Cursed Cruiser: Toyota Land Cruiser SUVs Are Waking up Neighborhoods

The Toyota Land Cruiser is well-loved, hard to get ahold of, and runs forever. No one can convince the general public otherwise. But now, a new problem is taking over the Land Cruiser/Lexus LX 470 world, and it’s a loud one. Why are all of these owners experiencing midnight honkings? Is this some sort of SUV Halloween ritual?

Are these Toyota Land Cruiser SUVs cursed?

Toyota Land Cruiser SUVs are waking up neighborhoods, but this guy is OK with it (the Lexus LX 470 too)
Toyota Land Cruiser SUVs are waking up neighborhoods, but this guy is OK with it | Philippe Le Tellier/Getty Images

The Toyota Land Cruiser (or, in this case, the Lexus LX 470) probably isn’t cursed. I mean, most of them have like 200,000 miles on the original chassis and aren’t slowing down anytime soon. If these SUVs are cursed, it’s by the curse of running forever. But this particular issue is related to the 100 Series Land Cruiser in particular.

David Tracy from Jalopnik woke up to his Land Cruiser honking up a storm in his driveway in the middle of the night. The noise was incredible, straight out of a bad Halloween movie. The horn started going off in the middle of the night without a break. Tracy went out to the driveway to diagnose the problem, and all he could muster was unplugging the battery.

If you have ever woken up to your car alarm going off in the middle of the night, you know the horror. You spring out of bed, wondering why your alarm is going off. Is someone breaking in? Did an asteroid hit your beloved SUV? Or maybe…you have a cursed Toyota Land Cruiser. Thinking it might have been an issue with the new battery installed in the key fob lately, Tracy tried to set off the panic alarm. That set off another set of alarms. An alarm symphony, if you will.

The case of the honking Toyota Land Cruiser / Lexus LX 470

Upon yanking the battery cable, the noise ceased. If only temporarily. Later the same day, the horn started going off again. In this case, Tracy thinks a fussy squirrel might have been making a bed in his battery area. But when he went on the interest not investigate further, Tracy realized he was far from alone.

Many forum users on IH8MUD.COM (Who doesn’t?) shared experiences similar to this one. Since this vehicle isn’t exactly fresh off the dealership lot, there’s been a lot of time to share experiences. Most of the stories involve water and horns.

There’s actually a neverending supply of these stories on various Land Cruiser and Lexus LX/GX forums. After some more investigating, Tracy believes the problem is caused by water. Or a leak, which is further exasperated by water.

Well, a bit of research leads me to believe that the problem is caused by water intrusion into the driver’s side footwell area, where a large fuse panel sits upright on the left side against the vehicle’s sheetmetal. As I understand, on the back of that panel is a horn relay, which water has a tendency to ground out, causing the horn to go nuts.

David Tracy | Jalopnik

If that’s the case, there might be a lot of neighborhood honking going on soon.

Halloween horn hijinks got us again


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Since many of these vehicles are old, the water thing makes sense. Toyota made the Toyota Land Cruiser 100 from 1998 through 2007. The Lexus LX and GX is an early 2000s vehicle as well. If the problem is a “bad windshield seal or a clogged sunroof drain,” as presumed, that would make sense. The seals on these vehicles are probably long gone at this point, allowing water and squirrels in all willy-nilly.

Tracy seems to think that there is some relation to the middle of the night and water density as well. Which would make sense as to why this isn’t happening in the middle of the day, which would be convenient. Back to your regularly scheduled Halloween tricks.