Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

NHTSA — Electronic Stability Control Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
55,562 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2008 Scion xB brakes problems

brakes problem

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2008 Scion xB Owner Comments

problem #20

Dec 152015


  • 55,000 miles


Vehicle was driven to location and parked. When I returned to the vehicle, restarted and began to pull away, steering light came on and all assist in the steering disappeared making it almost impossible to steer. Had to have steering ECM replaced.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #19

Mar 012016


  • miles
Takada inflators. While driving my power steering was extremely hard to turn making it extremely difficult to steer including pull over to the side. In motion on 110 freeway going 60 M ph went I lost control.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #18

Jan 142016


  • 72,000 miles
Electronic steerin module located under the dash are a danger to peoples lives and can go out without warning and cause the driver to lose complete control of the vehicle. Also these modules on a 2008 Malibu, 2009 Saturn and many other vehicles are known to have the same problem. The manufactuers of the auto have issued a tsb on this item when they should have issued a recall. If this matter is not taken care of asap someone will lose thier life! just a matter of time! I have 35 years mechanic experience on vehicles and 27 years experience on jet engines with the gov. These same type modules are being used on current model vehicles of all makes and should be deemed unsafe! anything that does not allow you to habdle your vehicle after failure is a danger to lives and manufactuers are aware of this. They would not have issued tsb's if they were not aware! read online in forums and complaints thier has been crashes resulting in serious injuries!

- Haughton, LA, USA

problem #17

Dec 012011

xB 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles


The initial incident occurred while driving the vehicle on partially snow covered pavement. As I applied the brakes to stop at an intersection, the vehicle began to skid. The vehicle stability control and ABS systems did not work, and the brake, ABS and vsc lights came on. The warning lights remained on for approximately one day as I continued to drive. After the warning lights turned off, they remained off for approximately two weeks, then the ABS and vsc systems failed again and the lights came back on. This problem occurs fairly regularly, six to eight times per year. I was quoted a cost of around $1200 to replace the rear hub assemblies and wiring harness replaced, with no guarantee that would solve the problem.

- Mokena, IL, USA

problem #16

Dec 162013

xB 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
After a snowstorm, my ABS, vsc, stability control and traction control lights came on. Stayed on. Took to mechanic, they went out. He suspects ice build up. Ran scan. It shows right rear wheel sensor problem. Lights come on intermittently. Son's car is in shop for GM ignition recall for over a month now. So he drove my Scion to college. Called me and said lights were on again. I called mechanic, he feels it could be wheel bearing or speed sensor in that wheel, either rust or corrosion due to intermittent lights. He checked it again. Now vsc and traction lights are on anytime car is drive. I am taking it in today for wheel bearing replacement. After reading multiple complaints on this site, I am very upset and disappointed in what I thought was my dream car!!! Toyota needs to issue a recall and fix this problem immediately!

- West Milton, OH, USA

problem #15

Dec 012013


  • 62,000 miles
While driving down the road all of these lights came on. The lights on are the brake light, the ABS. The skid control, and the vsc. These lights came on during the winter and went back out several times. During January they came on and have not gone out sense. When I purchased the car the car fax report had said that the car had been in for a electrical problem previously. I am unsure if it is causing any problems but wonder if there are any safety problems connected with these lights.

- Twin Lake, MI, USA

problem #14

Dec 112013

xB 4-cyl

  • 91,892 miles


My Scion experienced loss of stability control, traction control and anti-lock brakes during a snow storm in winter 2012. Warning lights for ABS, brakes and vsc on the gauge cluster illuminated at that time. While driving at slow speed in the storm I realized that ABS was not working. The warning lights remained lit for about two days, then went out and did not return until December 2013. My vehicle was in California during the winter of 2013, and did not experience any loss of ABS, brakes, vsc or traction control or illuminated warning lights. In December 2013 while driving in a light snow, approx 2 inches, exiting a local highway and approaching a stop sign at 25 mph I put pressure on the brakes to stop. My car spun around 360 degrees. I hit a snow bank and came to a stop. The entire time the vehicle stability system did not activate. The three warning lights for ABS, brakes and vcs are now continuosly lit. Anti-lock brakes, traction control and vehicle stability control still do not function.

- Southfield, MI, USA

problem #13

Apr 082013


  • 50,000 miles
Sudden forceful braking 2 times in a 15 mile commute. Driving 55 mph with my foot firmly on the gas pedal, the car suddenly brake hard enough to tighten my seatbelt. 4 dash lights came on. ABS, brake, and traction control were all solid and vsc was flashing. Luckily the car behind me was alert enough not to rear-end me. The dash lights mentioned above come on and go off occasionally.

- Candor, NY, USA

problem #12

Mar 032011

xB 4-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
My tires slipped in the snow in March, very light snow. Not sure of the exact date. My brake light, ABS light and traction control light came on. A few days later they went off. Now all three are on most of the time even on clear, dry pavement. My anti lock brakes are not activating correctly and I was told that the senor is bad. I looked online and noticed this is a problem with this particular make and model. The car does not stop as it should. I also noticed from my research that Toyota is not taking responsibility for their defect and it is costing the consumer up to and over a thousand dollars to repair. I don't have that type of money to repair their defective part.

- Zion, IL, USA

problem #11

Dec 032012


  • 42,000 miles
At random times all of the traction control lights, brake lights and other lights on the dash illuminate. It also seems to get harder to steer the vehicle. I have been told it is a wheel speed sensor and drum that needs to be replaced and possibly an axle or spindle. For a car bought new in 2008 with only 42,000 miles the manufacturer should stand behind the product. I am concerned of the safety of driving this vehicle and having a wheel come off. The dealer wants a bunch of money to fix it. Unhappy Toyota owner.

- Provo, UT, USA

problem #10

Dec 302012


  • 78,000 miles


While driving on snowy and salted roads, the brake, ABS, and vsc lights all came on at the same time. They remained on while driving on those same snowy and salty roads. The next day they eventually went off. Weeks later they came on again in wet weather and remained on. The local Toyota service center duplicated the issue and pulled the diagnostic codes C0210 & C1238. The Toyota service center said the entire hub and bearing assembly had to be replaced as the internal ABS sensor which they said was at fault was not sold separately and only came as part of the hub and bearing assembly kit. Their quote to repair this issue was $915 for the replacement of one hub and bearing kit! this is ridiculous. Brake sensors should not fail due to snow, salt, or water coming into contact with them. This is a dangerous flaw in the design of this vehicle and one that is not commonly found with other makes and models, but is commonly reported all over the internet from other owners of Toyota's Scion Xb. Toyota should issue a safety recall for this vehicle and cover the cost to replace the sensors with ones that do not fail due to weather conditions.

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #9

Oct 192012


  • 59,000 miles
Scion has a tsb on parking brake cables that freeze in cold weather. When the cables freeze, it will cause the rear brake calibers to lock against the rotors. You would have to drive about 10 minutes to warm the rotors to unlock the brakes. This could cause brakes to fail and may not stop at all. I drove the Scion about 1 mile when a car made a left turn in front of me and the brakes and or traction control failed to work. I've noticed that the car still has stopping problems when its cold. I was lucky it was a low speed crash that caused about 5000 in damage. Scion Toyota has not recalled these cars for brakes and only your Toyota mechanics know of the problem.

- Edgewood, MD, USA

problem #8

Feb 262012

xB 4-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
At just over 38,000 miles the brake, ABS, traction control, and vsc lights all illuminated on my dash. From what I have read it is most likely the rear speed sensors but also requires hundred of dollars worth of other parts to replace. I looked on many of the Scion Xb forums and found many many people with the same problem. Since I have owned this car(from new) it has been a pain. I have had to replace the O2 sensor the clutch master cylinder the rear brake pads and the low wheel pressure light goes on when it is cold or wet out. So much for Toyota reliability. I owned a 1985 Toyota Celica that had 185000 miles on it when I bought it drove it for 3 years and put on an additional 100000 miles myself and all I had to replace was an alternator belt. So why am I having so many problems with a car that is 23 years newer. I have also received a recall for the ignition coils. Seems to me as though all of us that own theses Xb's have been suckered into buying lemons.

- Franklin, WI, USA

problem #7

Dec 012010


  • 70,000 miles
The anti-lock brake system (ABS), visibility stabile control (vsc) and traction control warning light, and brake indicators remain illuminated on the instrument panel. The repair center has advised me on different repairs that are inconsistent. One repair option is a faulty sensor in one of my rear wheels that needs replacing. The other repair was that the wheel bearing was bad on the left front wheel and that when fixed would re-set the sensor lights. This is an obvious flaw in the design of this vehicle and Toyota should make every effort to repair the sensor problem. I an not sure why the bearings need to be replaced at this time at over $500/wheel. The brake pads, rotors, calipers and other brake parts need frequent replacement at a very high cost.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #6

Feb 022012

xB 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
The ABS, vsc and brake indicator lights came on. Had to pay $110 to have diagnostics run-they found that the R rear wheel speed sensor wire had frayed and malfunctioned. I am able to drive the car but the consultant at Toyota told me that my ABS, vsc will not work because the sensor is bad. So I have to pay $ $1070.16 to replace the R rear hub, bearing, sensor and harness. I feel this is poor design and from what I see on the internet, this is not an isolated issue. I feel this is a safety issue due to poor design-Toyota/Scion is aware of the problem and should recall faulty parts/design.

- Orland Park, IL, USA

problem #5

Nov 152009

xB 4-cyl

  • 16,839 miles
My Xb was bought on April 2008. 1.on November 2009, the vsc light was on. Dealer fixed it by replacing #3 ignition coil. 2.on December 2009, the vsc light was on again, this time dealer replaced #2 ignition coil. 3. on March 2011, the vsc light was on again and dealer replaced #1 ignition coil. 4. on September 2011, the electric steering light was on and steering will not turn. This time I was out of warranty. The dealer replaced "power steering ECM (computer) and charged me $863.36 including $75 rental during repair. The dealer said there was 4 ignition coil in the car, so 3 of 4 of them failed within the first 3 years. He also agreed that the steering problem is life threatening. However he said he couldn't do anything and it was an individual case.

- Corvallis, OR, USA

problem #4

Jan 282011

xB 4-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
1. driving on snow covered roads + salt several times + low temps lower then 30F 2. ABS+trac+vsc+brake trouble indicator all come on with the vsc light blinking, this occurs after snowfall and the roads being salted. Loss of traction control, vehicle stability control, anti lock brakes, and electronic brake distribution. Causing the car to loose all active safety features. 3. anti-lock electric connectors were removed cleaned with electronic cleaner and brushed to remove significant corrosion from the ABS sensor and plug. This hars resolved the problem for the moment.

- Medford, NJ, USA

problem #3

Jan 022010


  • 50,000 miles
I have a Toyota Scion Xb and I was driving on a snow covered road. I had a deer jump out in front of me. The anti-lock brakes failed and my wheels locked up and I slid into the ditch. I contacted the dealership and they said a speed sensor went out. I ordered the part and was going to have it replaced for $90. When they went to install the part they found a short in the wiring and that is what caused the sensor to fail. They wanted me to pay over $1000 to have the wiring fixed. They gave me a copy of the service advisory from Toyota stating they knew they had this defect and had a redesigned part to install because of corrosion which caused the short. I refused to have the new parts installed because I don't feel I should have to pay for their design flaws.

- Daphne, AL, USA

problem #2

Nov 152009


  • 48,505 miles
ABS system / vehicle stability control system failure. Faulty speed sensors, harness, and wires / both left and right sides. Defect results in permanent loss of ABS braking and vsc control systems.

- Cranberry Twp., PA, USA

problem #1

Dec 012009


  • 40,000 miles
Parking brakes frozen during drive. It happen only in winter time. First time it happen when odo meter at 9,000 mile then 18,000 and now at 40,000+ miles. I checked with local repair shop and endup in replacing rotor + brakepads. But now I feel now it getting worse and repair shop insist that I should contact dealer about this problem, because it is not normal to replace rotor and brakepads twice with 40,000 miles of driving. Windows also froze during the cold weather.

- Burtonsville, MD, USA

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