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Highlander Hybrid Fuel Tank Issues merged threads

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Have any other 2020 Highlander Hybrid (AWD) owners having issues with filling the fuel tank all the way or the DTE display showing much less than it should?

When I took delivery of my 2020 Highlander Hybrid last month I was concerned that the "Distance to Empty" display read only 420 miles. I asked the salesman if this was right and she confirmed that the fuel capacity of the vehicle was 17.1 gallons and the MPG is rated at 35 so the range should be about 600 miles. Then she said that it might take a while for the computer to reset and show the correct DTE.

I've only driven the vehicle 725 miles since I got it due to Covid-19 restrictions, and while it's averaging 35.6 miles per gallon (mostly ECO mode), the vehicle only shows about 420 miles DTE when refueled. This week I specifically waited for the low fuel light to go on and drove a few miles past just for good measure. I went to the gas station and only could pump 12 gallons before the pump shut off. I tried topping off the tank and eeked 12.5 gallons into the tank and showed DTE of 445 miles – far less than the 609 miles I expected.

I took the vehicle back to the dealership and explained the problem. They checked for error codes, software updates, recalls and TSBs and found nothing. They noted that that were no issues. I called Toyota corporate and was told the same thing - no issues reported.

I did some research (“Google”) and found that 2019/2020 RAV4 Hybrids with the same new “saddle” tank design are having the same problem I’m experiencing. Apparently, the new tank design is required to accommodate the hybrid drivetrain and won’t fill all the way. RAV4 owners can fill about 9 to 10 gallons of the 14.5 gallon tank – pretty consistent with what I’m getting with 12 gallons of the 17 gallon tank capacity.

I’m pretty sure there’s a design defect in the Highlander Hybrid fuel tank preventing the last five gallons of gas being pumped thus cheating me out of 180 miles of range.

While Toyota has acknowledged an issue with the RAV4 and are working on a fix, they haven’t acknowledged a problem with the Highlander yet. I guess I might have to join the RAV4 class action lawsuit in order to get satisfaction?

Toyota Faces Class Action Lawsuit for Faulty RAV4 Hybrid Fuel Tanks
Toyota offers interim fix for Rav4 Hybrid gas tank concerns

Thoughts?
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I have a 2020 Hybrid Highlander and about a year ago they replaced the fuel tank trying to fix the problem of not being able to fill the tank completely without the gas pump kicking off early. This tank replacement did not work. Once I saw the Service Bulletin on the fuel tank problems, I brought my Highlander back last week and they changed the fuel tank (a different part # then the original tank) and new fuel sender. Glad to report that it fixed the problem. Now when the DTE is at zero, I can put about 14.5 gallons before the pump kicks off compared to about 12 gallons before the pump would kick off. I know that means there is about 2.5 gallons left in the tank since it's a 17 gallon tank when the DTE is 0 but I'm guessing Toyota wants to leave plenty reserve to reduce the likelihood of running out of gas completely since that's not good with a hybrid. So I'm happy that I can get these extra 2.5 gallons without having to spend several minutes slowly squeezing the pump to get it in like I use to do.
 

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I can already do this WITHOUT the fix. Am I missing something???
For some reason, some cars had this problem and others didn't. The problem was when the DTE was around 0 that some folks could only put in about 12.5 gallons before the gas pump would kick off and then you had to spend about 5 minutes slowly squeezin in several gallons more to fill up the tank completely. If you can completely fill your tank up without the pump kicking off early, consider yourself one of the lucky ones!
 

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2021 Highlander Hybrid Platinum - Ruby Flare Pearl, Glazed Caramel Interior
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I took the TSB into my dealership yesterday when I had my 20k service done. The 2 people working the service desk played dumb (or genuinely didn't know about it). They acknowledged similar problems with RAV4's but not Highlanders. They did agree to me setting up a follow up appointment in 2 weeks to look into it. I have to bring it in nearly empty of fuel and they will fill it up to see what happens. One of them told me that 14.9 gallons is considered a "fill up". He was reading something from his computer screen when he said this. I've never got more than 13 gallons in it. And that was putting in fuel after it automatically clicks off. I usually get in 10.5-11.5 gallons at the initial click off, even with the "low fuel" light being on.
 

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I took the TSB into my dealership yesterday when I had my 20k service done. The 2 people working the service desk played dumb (or genuinely didn't know about it). They acknowledged similar problems with RAV4's but not Highlanders. They did agree to me setting up a follow up appointment in 2 weeks to look into it. I have to bring it in nearly empty of fuel and they will fill it up to see what happens. One of them told me that 14.9 gallons is considered a "fill up". He was reading something from his computer screen when he said this. I've never got more than 13 gallons in it. And that was putting in fuel after it automatically clicks off. I usually get in 10.5-11.5 gallons at the initial click off, even with the "low fuel" light being on.
I genuinely want people to try something - drive it down as close to E as you can, DTE=0 if possible, and keep doing that for several tanks. For the first year of ownership, I wasn't putting more than 13 gallons in, despite DTE getting to ~20-30 miles. Looking back at my data, anywhere between 11.5 and 13 gallons for the first 15-20 tanks. Over the past several months, for one reason or another I'd be getting very close to DTE=0 (looking for cheap gas stations, mostly) and I noticed that gradually, both my estimated DTE and the amount of fuel I was putting in would go up. The last 5 tanks, I've been putting in closer to 14-15 gallons when getting down to DTE = 20; one in September was 15.25 gallons.

I fully believe this is a software issue with the DTE estimates from the ECM/PCM not being aware of what an empty tank reading looks like. Could be something as stupid as having inconsistent or varying volume of fuel in the tank when the car is first started when leaving the factory.
 

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I genuinely want people to try something - drive it down as close to E as you can, DTE=0 if possible, and keep doing that for several tanks. For the first year of ownership, I wasn't putting more than 13 gallons in, despite DTE getting to ~20-30 miles. Looking back at my data, anywhere between 11.5 and 13 gallons for the first 15-20 tanks. Over the past several months, for one reason or another I'd be getting very close to DTE=0 (looking for cheap gas stations, mostly) and I noticed that gradually, both my estimated DTE and the amount of fuel I was putting in would go up. The last 5 tanks, I've been putting in closer to 14-15 gallons when getting down to DTE = 20; one in September was 15.25 gallons.

I fully believe this is a software issue with the DTE estimates from the ECM/PCM not being aware of what an empty tank reading looks like. Could be something as stupid as having inconsistent or varying volume of fuel in the tank when the car is first started when leaving the factory.
I would think that Toyota wouldn't recommend and absorb the cost of replacing hardware with updated versions of a new gas tank and fuel sender if it was just a software issue. I've heard others in the past say they saw higher amounts on filling when the car was sitting at an angle during filling. Don't know if this might be the reason you are seeing higher levels. All I know is for my vehicle when the new tank and fuel sender was replaced, it immediately changed going from 13 gallons to 15 gallons before the pump kicked off.
 

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I took my Hybrid into the dealership today with the Distance to Empty indicating 5 miles. The gas gauge read Empty. They were only able to put 14 gallons in the tank when it shut off. They told me the cutoff was below 14.9 gallons to qualify for the issue. So the are ordering the new gas tank and related parts. Surprisingly, they say the parts show up as being here later in the week. So they kept the Highlander and I have a RAV4 loaner. Hopefully their parts inventory system is accurate.
 

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I took the TSB into my dealership yesterday when I had my 20k service done. The 2 people working the service desk played dumb (or genuinely didn't know about it). They acknowledged similar problems with RAV4's but not Highlanders. They did agree to me setting up a follow up appointment in 2 weeks to look into it. I have to bring it in nearly empty of fuel and they will fill it up to see what happens. One of them told me that 14.9 gallons is considered a "fill up". He was reading something from his computer screen when he said this. I've never got more than 13 gallons in it. And that was putting in fuel after it automatically clicks off. I usually get in 10.5-11.5 gallons at the initial click off, even with the "low fuel" light being on.
I just got home from picking my Highlander up from the dealer. They kept it all week (I had a loaner) and did the tank replacement today after ordering parts on Monday. No charge to me including a full tank of gas. The DTE showed as 493 miles at pickup. Being winter temps, I’m currently only getting about 30 mpg. Which would mean over 16 gallons of usable gas. But who knows how the DTE is calculated after all the work done. Every electronic setting in the car was reset to default values. So I’ll see what happens when I run the tank down toward E and then fill it up. I’ll report back again in a week or two.
 

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Have any other 2020 Highlander Hybrid (AWD) owners having issues with filling the fuel tank all the way or the DTE display showing much less than it should?

When I took delivery of my 2020 Highlander Hybrid last month I was concerned that the "Distance to Empty" display read only 420 miles. I asked the salesman if this was right and she confirmed that the fuel capacity of the vehicle was 17.1 gallons and the MPG is rated at 35 so the range should be about 600 miles. Then she said that it might take a while for the computer to reset and show the correct DTE.

I've only driven the vehicle 725 miles since I got it due to Covid-19 restrictions, and while it's averaging 35.6 miles per gallon (mostly ECO mode), the vehicle only shows about 420 miles DTE when refueled. This week I specifically waited for the low fuel light to go on and drove a few miles past just for good measure. I went to the gas station and only could pump 12 gallons before the pump shut off. I tried topping off the tank and eeked 12.5 gallons into the tank and showed DTE of 445 miles – far less than the 609 miles I expected.

I took the vehicle back to the dealership and explained the problem. They checked for error codes, software updates, recalls and TSBs and found nothing. They noted that that were no issues. I called Toyota corporate and was told the same thing - no issues reported.

I did some research (“Google”) and found that 2019/2020 RAV4 Hybrids with the same new “saddle” tank design are having the same problem I’m experiencing. Apparently, the new tank design is required to accommodate the hybrid drivetrain and won’t fill all the way. RAV4 owners can fill about 9 to 10 gallons of the 14.5 gallon tank – pretty consistent with what I’m getting with 12 gallons of the 17 gallon tank capacity.

I’m pretty sure there’s a design defect in the Highlander Hybrid fuel tank preventing the last five gallons of gas being pumped thus cheating me out of 180 miles of range.

While Toyota has acknowledged an issue with the RAV4 and are working on a fix, they haven’t acknowledged a problem with the Highlander yet. I guess I might have to join the RAV4 class action lawsuit in order to get satisfaction?

Toyota Faces Class Action Lawsuit for Faulty RAV4 Hybrid Fuel Tanks
Toyota offers interim fix for Rav4 Hybrid gas tank concerns

Thoughts?
Crossposted from Highlander 4th Generation (2020+) forum

Have any other 2020 Highlander Hybrid (AWD) owners having issues with filling the fuel tank all the way or the DTE display showing much less than it should?

When I took delivery of my 2020 Highlander Hybrid last month I was concerned that the "Distance to Empty" display read only 420 miles. I asked the salesman if this was right and she confirmed that the fuel capacity of the vehicle was 17.1 gallons and the MPG is rated at 35 so the range should be about 600 miles. Then she said that it might take a while for the computer to reset and show the correct DTE.

I've only driven the vehicle 725 miles since I got it due to Covid-19 restrictions, and while it's averaging 35.6 miles per gallon (mostly ECO mode), the vehicle only shows about 420 miles DTE when refueled. This week I specifically waited for the low fuel light to go on and drove a few miles past just for good measure. I went to the gas station and only could pump 12 gallons before the pump shut off. I tried topping off the tank and eeked 12.5 gallons into the tank and showed DTE of 445 miles – far less than the 609 miles I expected.

I took the vehicle back to the dealership and explained the problem. They checked for error codes, software updates, recalls and TSBs and found nothing. They noted that that were no issues. I called Toyota corporate and was told the same thing - no issues reported.

I did some research (“Google”) and found that 2019/2020 RAV4 Hybrids with the same new “saddle” tank design are having the same problem I’m experiencing. Apparently, the new tank design is required to accommodate the hybrid drivetrain and won’t fill all the way. RAV4 owners can fill about 9 to 10 gallons of the 14.5 gallon tank – pretty consistent with what I’m getting with 12 gallons of the 17 gallon tank capacity.

I’m pretty sure there’s a design defect in the Highlander Hybrid fuel tank preventing the last five gallons of gas being pumped thus cheating me out of 180 miles of range.

While Toyota has acknowledged an issue with the RAV4 and are working on a fix, they haven’t acknowledged a problem with the Highlander yet. I guess I might have to join the RAV4 class action lawsuit in order to get satisfaction?

Toyota Faces Class Action Lawsuit for Faulty RAV4 Hybrid Fuel Tanks
Toyota offers interim fix for Rav4 Hybrid gas tank concerns

Thoughts?
I just purchased a 2023 Highlander Hybrid and have the exact same problem. I noticed it when I picked up the car and it also read 420 miles. I have since filled it - 12.4 gallons with a 17.1 gallon tank and once filled, it reads 420 miles. One big difference, I am getting a little less than 28 miles per gallon. Pretty poor compared to the 34-35 average mpg that Toyota promotes. There has to be an issue with this since there are so many complaining about the same issue.
I called the dealer and told the manager that if the problem doesn’t correct itself soon, the car is coming back. I can’t live with a brand new, expensive vehicle that doesn’t read the gas level correctly and one that doesn’t get near the gas mileage as advertised.
 

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2021 Highlander Hybrid Platinum - Ruby Flare Pearl, Glazed Caramel Interior
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I just purchased a 2023 Highlander Hybrid and have the exact same problem. I noticed it when I picked up the car and it also read 420 miles. I have since filled it - 12.4 gallons with a 17.1 gallon tank and once filled, it reads 420 miles. One big difference, I am getting a little less than 28 miles per gallon. Pretty poor compared to the 34-35 average mpg that Toyota promotes. There has to be an issue with this since there are so many complaining about the same issue.
I called the dealer and told the manager that if the problem doesn’t correct itself soon, the car is coming back. I can’t live with a brand new, expensive vehicle that doesn’t read the gas level correctly and one that doesn’t get near the gas mileage as advertised.
Your 28 mileage is perfectly normal in cold temperature locations. Mine gets 28-29 during the winter in Northern Pennsylvania. It climbs to 35-36 during the summer months.
 

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23 Highlander Hybrid lmtd pearl gray interior
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I just purchased a 2023 Highlander Hybrid and have the exact same problem. I noticed it when I picked up the car and it also read 420 miles. I have since filled it - 12.4 gallons with a 17.1 gallon tank and once filled, it reads 420 miles.
Hi everybody, new to this post (I find great btw)…. picked up a 23 ltd HiHy on Black Friday with a full tank with 400 miles DTE now displaying avg mpg 33 (with 32F in northern NV but garage parked) and refueled twice since similar mpg (confirmed with odometer). Has the TSB for 20-21 vehicles been considered for 2022 or 2023? Or have they given up due to incurred costs and non solution? Doesn’t seem fixed to me after those 700+ posts since mar 2020. Anyway the indication on the display makes No Sense at all..really ? 330 miles DTE with a full tank gauge with 120mile and 33mpg?? That can’t be a software issue….
PS: still love the car, how it rides, mpg. Just a little disappointment… being an engineer, I would like Toyota eng coming with a fix, but if it not fixed since 2020 there might be engineering reasons…
 

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We had the tank replaced and I can now consistently get 14-15 gallons into it when it's on E. Based on my experience with other cars, when the DTE is 0, you can refuel with nearly the entire rated capacity of the tank. Seems like Toyota has claimed the total volume of the tank as the usable volume when the usable volume is actually a couple of gallons less.
 

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An update on my fuel tank replacement. The dealer applied the TSB changes to my Highlander Hybrid 2 weeks ago (new gas tank and related parts). When I dropped it off, it showed 5 miles to Empty. They told me they were able to put 14.0 gallons in it. Less than 14.9 was their cut off for doing the TSB, so they did the work free of charge to me. After they replaced the tank, when I picked it up, the tank showed above Full. The DTE calculation was 493 miles. Unfortunately, I did not ask how much gas they put in it.

Fast forward to today. I ran my tank down to 11 miles to Empty, so not quite as empty as when I dropped it off before the work. I was able to put 13.933 gallons in when the nozzle clicked off. So, pretty much the same as they were able to put in before the work was done. The DTE calculation at fill up showed 484 miles. Applying the TSB and putting in the new tank and associated parts doesn't seem to have changed a thing.

Now, we all know the DTE calculation is only an estimate based on a number of variable and some magical algorithm that Toyota uses. The tank I just used up after the work was done only gave me 401 miles (compared to the 493 the car estimated at fill up). Given that my car shows it has been getting about 28.5 miles per gallon for this tank, that works out to 14.070 gallons used... just about what appears to have been used. It would seem that the estimated 493 miles it came up with when the dealer filled the tank is based on getting 35 miles per gallon or so, which this car does in the summer. But, since the car only gets about 28-29 in the winter in my area, it would seem the DTE calculation doesn't take seasonal mileage variation into consideration very well (if at all).

Unfortunately, I'm just going to accept that my car only has 14 gallons of usable gas in it when full. Meaning 3.1 gallons (or 88-108 miles, depending on seasonal temperatures) can't be relied on for use. I will probably never run the car until it stops due to no gas, so I will never really know how much of that 3.1 gallons can be used in emergency situations. I would hope at least some of it can be. I'm moving on from the issue.
 

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Well, I have a 23 hihy and got exactly what is described above: full tank at click for 13mpg max gives DTE: 420 miles and I am at 33mpg. And if I insist at the pump (which is risky) the I get DTE: 490 miles But it seems there is no fix from Toyota. Probably a bad tank entrance design.
Maybe we need to live with it, which is not the worst if I keep getting 33mpg is winter (26F)…

Does this still happen to the new 22-23 models? Here is mine.



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