Leather Seat Creases in Our New Toyota Highlander

In the time since we bought our new Highlander, noticeable creases (or wrinkles?) have been developing on the upper surface of the driver’s seat left bolster. It seems odd for this sort of wear and tear to show up so soon, but this is my first car with leather seats, so… What do I know?

Since a picture is worth a thousand words… Here’s a shot of the front passenger seat (taken from the driver’s side) to show you what a more or less pristine seat leather looks like. See? No creases.

Toyota Highlander Leather Seat Smooth

Front passenger seat in our new Highlander… (click image to enlarge)

And here’s a shot of the driver’s seat (taken from the passenger side) to show you the creases that I’m talking about.

Toyota Highlander Leather Seat Creases

Driver’s seat in our new Highlander… (click image to enlarge)

For reference, we’ve had this car for a month and I’ve only driven it ca. 1,500 miles so far. I’m also careful not to crush the bolster when entering/exiting the car so it doesn’t seem like this should be happening.

I believe that the side bolsters are covered in SofTex as opposed to the real leather that’s used on the seat backs and bottoms. But I’m not 100% sure about that, nor am I sure if that would affect the wear pattern.

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20 comments… add one
  • Milos Pospisil Jul 8, 2014

    I’m seeing the exact same thing, you’re not alone.

    • Michael Jul 8, 2014

      Bummer, sorry to hear that. But good to know that Iā€™m not doing anything wrong. šŸ™‚

  • Tina Jul 21, 2014

    OMH, I am seeing the same thing right after drove the car home. Call dealer, they said bring it to the shop for the tech to exam it, if not satisfy, they can order new chair, but my hub don’t want it. He afraid they will mess the car up more. Any advice????

  • tri Aug 11, 2014

    tina
    dealer just replace seat cover not wlhole seat

  • Heather May 8, 2015

    I’m seeing the same thing too!!! Grey interior also.

  • Bill May 12, 2015

    Yup same here on my new 2015 highlander gray interior. Is this happening to only the gray “leather”? And how do they get away calling them leather seats if they are using something other than leather. Are we really supposed to just be “OK” whit it being “mostly leather” ?

    • Michael May 12, 2015

      Mine are black, so it’s not just limited to the grey leather.

  • Brian May 16, 2015

    We have the same issue, 2015, silver platinum limited

  • JD Jun 1, 2015

    We have almond interior and have this on both front seats. One was that way when we bought it. We have had it less than 2 weeks. I didn’t think much of it until I read your most recent newsletter. I guess I thought that was the nature of leather.

  • Tobemeister - Houston Nov 27, 2015

    In October, we bought a 2015 Ltd Platinum with the Almond perforated leather seats. The front passenger seat is starting to show this same “crumpling effect” on the door side edge but not on the driver’s seat yet. Other than this, we have been very pleased with this new SUV. The Wife drives it to/from work daily, about 20 minutes each way. Ride and handing are both great.

  • Jim Smith Jan 26, 2016

    Just bought 2016 highlander silver with grey interior. 500 miles and seeing the exact same thing in passenger seat. Brought it to the dealer. Pictures were taken and told that they would get back to me once Toyota provides a next step.

  • Janet paonessa Oct 7, 2016

    Same thing on passenger side of seat. Is it leather or soft Tex? Should I complain?

  • Texas Belle Nov 22, 2016

    I’ve been researching the Highlander and test drove the 2016 model XLE V6 3rd row (2nd row bench) almond interior today. Toyota calls their interior “leatherette” not leather. In the past week I’ve test driven 4 SUVs with 3rd row seating. In my scrutiny, Toyota’s seats seem to be the cheapest looking and frayed contacts to plastic where seats are anchored. I drove Hyundai Santa Fe, Nissan Pathfinder SL, Honda Pilot and Highlander XLE.

  • Paul MacFarland Nov 30, 2016

    Anyone noticed that the thin vinyl on the interior door handles wrinle quickly?

    • Paul MacFarland Nov 30, 2016

      Correction – the word was wrinkle.

  • Kirk Mar 13, 2017

    Same on new 2017 XLE…passenger side.

    Also a back right door lock solenoid not functioning.
    (will get that fixed on first service).

    Working through entune set up…and missing our drivers seat memory setting from prior vehicle.

    Otherwise enjoying the experience.

  • Maggie T Apr 30, 2017

    Bought new 2017 Highlander. After 200 miles noticed bolster fold on passenger side. Sales rep said it’s the way passenger slides into car. Say what??? Am driving car in to dealer tomorrow to see rep. Really, if you spend over $45k for a car, this shouldn’t be happening.

    • Michael Apr 30, 2017

      Which trim level? Ours is an XLE. Just curious if you’re seeing the problem on a Limited (or Platinum) as those have the perforated leather instead of the flat leather of the XLE.

  • Maggie T Apr 30, 2017

    Has anyone had satisfactory resolution from Toyota?

  • K May 25, 2017

    Mine are much worse on my 2016 Toyota Highlander limited. The seat backs on the almond interior leather is severely wrinkled-similar to hills and valleys. After a year battling Toyota HQ I finally took them to court and won. However they have ignores the ruling and still not paid me or fixed the problem. Now I will have to put a levy on their assists. I can’t believe what they have put my family through for what is clearly a defect that should be covered under warranty! Their own upholsterer’s even told them that they were manufactured with to much leather! How can Toyota ignore this. I bought this car brand new!

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