2019 Toyota Highlander - Why won't you talk to me anymore?

Navigation System Voice Guidance Does Not Work

Go to the dealer, it’s under warranty, if a careful review of the owners manual doesn’t help.


Maybe you or another driver inadvertently turned off the voice navigation feature. You might also check the volume when navigation is active. The volume might have separate control capabilities for the radio and navigation systems.

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That is a known problem, the audio system amplifier will need to be replaced.

“Some 2019 model year Highlander and Highlander Hybrid vehicles equipped with JBL audio may exhibit inoperative text message playback, navigation voice prompts, and/or button beeps with the setting ON. Updated amplifiers are available through the exchange program to address this condition. Follow the Repair Procedure in this bulletin to address this condition.”

From bulletin # T-SB-0042-19 Rev 1


Give the TSB number to @LadyDi17 in case the Toyota dealer says they can’t find it. Good catch, btw.

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I did take it to the dealer, twice, texases. The first time the salesman tried to fix it. The second time I took it to the service advisor and the third time he told me that is as good as it gets - I will have to physically enter in an address for the navigation to work. I cannot “talk” to it as it does not work. The service advisor told me it won’t do any good to bring it back in until they get a fix for it because there is nothing they can do. I told him this is not what i bought and I am not happy. He said he understood. He told me if I had an IPhone instead of a Samsung android it would work. That’s another $1,000 and I DON’T LIKE IPHONE! My son tried after he synced it with his Iphone and it still did not work. It is back on the android and I’m using Garmin and my cell phone for directions – HOWEVER - my cellphone won’t give audible directions because it’s connected to the car – and don’t dare tell it to call a person. It calls so many wrong numbers I had to give up, shut off the car and use my phone.

THANK YOU!!! I’ll take this to the service advisor.

Nevada, It does have the JBL and it isn’t even a good radio.
I’m so disappointed in this HIGHLANDER. It’s our 3rd Highlander. The first was a plain Highlander, the second was a Limited and this one we went all in for the Ltd. Platinum AWD. I am sure having buyers regret

That bulletin does not apply to your problem, it is for inoperative voice guidance that you mentioned in the original post, turn by turn navigation prompts.

Your follow up post states that you have a problem with the Voice Command, the microphone and voice recognition, that is a different system.

Manufacturer Communication Number: T-TT-0414-16-Rev


TT: Some customers may encounter Bluetooth® connectivity concerns such as: ? Difficulty to pair the phone. ? Intermittent Bluetooth® failure to connect to the vehicle when first turning on the vehicle. ? Various Bluetooth® Audio functions are no longer functioning with customer?s phone such as ability to change the track using the steering wheel controls. These concerns can be caused by changes made on the customer?s phone. Make sure to inquire with the customer if the connectivity concerns occurred after receiving an operating system update on their phone or if they have restored their phone data/settings recently.

Does this seem like your problem?

No this is not my problem. This problem started from the very beginning. The problem has gone from bad to worse. I know I’ve had at least 2 samsung phone updates since January, 2020 and it’s made no difference in the Highlander.

The connection to the phone is established as soon as I get in the car. No problems there.


May your troubles be less, Your blessings be more, And may nothing but goodness Come through your door!

Have you posted this on a Toyota owners forum? Others may have the same problem. Don’t limit it to Highlander owners, lots of electronic equipment is used in multiple models.

Thank you, Nevada_545.

So this means I’m back to square one - the voice activation malfunction is so bad the system is inoperable.

I’m so disappointed in this part of my new $54,000 Highlander.


May your troubles be less, Your blessings be more, And may nothing but goodness Come through your door!

I have fixed a problem a little like this on my Lincoln by using the cigarette lighter and an adapter to charge my phone, and using bluetooth for connection to the electronics system. That way google maps directions come through the sound system. You are not using bluetooth, correct? What happens if you do not use the cord, and use bluetooth instead?

The 2019 navigation system uses your smart phone. I went through the voice recognition process and it still gives random erroneous responses. My GPS is totally useless and always gives the wrong response. The service advisior said I have to manually put in the physical address for it to work.
The auto start doesn’t work _ the service advisor said this car doesn;t have it - even though the manual says it does and the salesman said it did. ) won’t work because the cellphone is tied into the Highlander navigation system and won’t work independently.
The voice call command will call random numbers instead of who you told it to call
It’s just a nightmare and even though the service advisor said I needed an IPhone and it would work fine - after spending over $1099 to buy and connect it through an IPhone – it still won’t work!
To make matters worse, the service writer said it won’t be any better and won’t work until updates come out. MY SERVICE HISTORY DOES’NT SHOW I BROUGHT IT IN THREE TIMES TO GET IT FIXED! It only mentions that I came in one time for one software update.
I purchased the extended warranty because I was afraid one electronic problem would be expensive - not realizing the whole navigation system doesn’t even work! AND NO PROMISE OF IT EVER WORKING

@LadyDi17 If you have not already done so, I recommend that you escalate this problem directly to Toyota corporate. The information is in your owners manual for contacting Toyota directly. Doing so often ends up achieving a solution to problems in situations such as yours.

You might also try a different dealer to find a better electronics guy. You could also hand over your phone and owners manual to a tech-savvy teen and see if they can figure it out.

Yes, definitely something worth trying!

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You could also hand over your phone and owners manual to a tech-savvy teen and see if they can figure it out.
I have done that a few time’s when I first got into computer’s worked for me.