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. Notes: Although it has a stellar record in terms of vehicle problems, initially the 4th generation (2003 - 2009) 4Runner didn't earn our top "Seal of Awesome" rating because it received poor crash test ratings for rear impacts. However it's proven to have one of the lowest driver death rates out of all vehicles (not just SUVs), so we've bumped it back up to our top award.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,818 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.

2005 Toyota 4Runner brakes problems

brakes problem

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2005 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #11

Sep 082011

4Runner 6-cyl

  • miles


When I tried replacing my brake pad, I noticed that the front caliper piston is frozen and I could not retract it. I ended up replacing my front caliper on both sides due to this. Both front driver side and front passenger side caliper is frozen. 1 piston on each caliper. I believe this is a safety issue and should be addressed quickly to avoid future accident. I have my receipts when I replaced it if you need it. Thank you.

- Walpole, MA, USA

problem #10

Mar 062012

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Front brake calipers had to be replaced because they were frozen.

- Fairfield, CT, USA

problem #9

Mar 232011


  • 86,000 miles
My ABS does not engage when brakes are applied in an emergency. Over time, braking distances have become significantly longer. Recently, I attempted to replace my front brakes and both sides' lower brake pistons were frozen/seized. This same issue has occurred with many other 2003-2009 Toyota 4runner owners. More information about this defect can be found on

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #8

Sep 292011

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles


Heavy vibration noticed when attempting to brake at speeds above 40mph. A reduction in braking feel and power was also noticed. When I went to examine the brakes, I found that both of the front brake calipers had frozen lower pistons. Had to replace both front calipers and rotors as well as brake pads. Found this to be a very common problem on 4th generation Toyota 4runners. Many complains can be found at

- Monmouth Junction, NJ, USA

problem #7

Sep 032011

4Runner 8-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
Vehicle brakes failed completely. No warning prior to event. The brakes failed while driving. We had to coast into a parking lot and then apply the emergency brake. Multiple dashboard warning lights came on but none prior to the brake failure. There were no symptoms whatsoever of the impending failure. The dealer says the master cylinder failed. There were no serious injuries, however, if this had occurred just moments before we would have been on the interstate driving 60+ mph!

- Hoover, AL, USA

problem #6

Aug 162005


  • 85,000 miles
Front brakes pistons seized to rotors and will not release. Vehicle would barely slow down. Called Toyota hotline and they said there's nothing they will do to help fix the problem. Called dealer and they are well aware of the problem. They said they have replaced many front calipers and this is a common problem for 2004 and 2005 4runners. I almost lost control and crashed car when the brake went out and Toyota can't even help fix there faulty products. Vehicle has 85K miles. I counted over a dozen similar complaint on NHTSA website regarding 04 and 05 brake calipers seizing. Calipers should be recalled, this is just as dangerous as the sticking gas pedals they put in the new cars.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #5

Apr 112010

4Runner 4WD

  • 60,000 miles


My 2005 Toyota 4runner has had issues with front brake calipers seizing up. With roughly 60K miles on it, I had to replace both front calipers because the lower inner pistons were seized. I replaced the calipers with re-manufactured calipers. At 100K miles, I had to replace the front calipers again for the same reason. After searching on the Toyota 4runner forums, it appears that this is a common problem. The local Toyota dealership was unable to offer anything other than replacing the calipers at my cost. I called the Toyota customer service line and reported the problem twice, but they were also unable to do anything. They blame road salt for the issue. My other vehicles, as well as those of my neighbors/friends/coworkers, have operated in the same conditions, but haven't had this issue. Thus far, I haven't had a complete braking failure or incident from the issue. I've noticed the issue when the rotors warp from the constant heat and replaced the calipers. I'm concerned over the issue and Toyota's unwillingness to address the safety concern.

- Mystic, CT, USA

problem #4

Dec 152009


  • 83,000 miles
I am writing today to alert you to a potential accelerator problem with the 2005 Toyota 4runner SUV. In mid-December, my husband and I were driving on the highway when the car inexplicably accelerated, going from approximately 40 mph to about 60 mph within a matter of seconds. My husband, who has had professional driving instruction, put the car into neutral and was able to slow the car down, at which point the accelerator (which was moving towards the floor without a foot on it) popped back up and the brakes began working again. However, within this same journey, this same accelerator program occurred two additional times. We immediately took the SUV to Toyota of alexandria in Virginia and explained what happened. They notified us that our car was not subject to a recall for accelerator problems but, based on our concerns, agreed to examine the SUV. To their credit, they did call in a corporate inspector to examine the dissembled drive train who in turn determined that an accumulation of oil in the differentials caused the cars computer to misread acceleration and deceleration information. Despite this diagnosis -- and subsequent replacement of the drive train and rear differentials -- Toyota mechanics were never able to replicate the acceleration problem that we experienced. After talking to several Toyota representatives, as well as a number of independent mechanics, we were advised to pursue arbitration with Toyota and are currently entrenched in that process. In the interim, we are using the car only for local journeys our of concern that this accelerator problem could reoccur. I am writing today to inform you of the problem so that you have a record that Toyota's accelerator problems may extend beyond the cars/SUVS included in the recent recall.

- Washington , DC, USA

problem #3

Jan 252010


  • miles
This is regarding the braking system on a 2005 Toyota 4runner. Every time I hit a pot hole as im pressing on the brake the vehicle stops braking. Even though my foot is still on the brake pedal the vehicle continues moving as if no braking was applied. This only happens if I hit a pot hole or bump while im pressing the brake pedal. Im reporting this now because I see that similar situation is occurring with the prius vehicles. I did report this issue to my local Toyota dealership over a year ago and was told that there was no issue with my SUV.

- Fort Lee, NJ, USA

problem #2

Nov 202009


  • 49,000 miles
Front brake caliper "frozen", both. Brought vehicle to several independent brake shops and all said that it is a "common problem". Toyota dealer would not repair at no charge and in fact wanted about twice what the independent shop charge.

- Marstons Mills, MA, USA

problem #1

Jan 312009


  • 42,000 miles
The problem is the sudden reduction of braking power. It happened twice during the course of the owner ship of my SUV. Last incident happened on 01/31/2009. Early in the morning I was backing up from my garage by using the reverse gear and then I switched the gear to D to move forward. My driveway slopes down away from my garage. While moving forward away from the garage I tried to brake, but the pedal went all the way down to the floor and the SUV was still moving. I had to pump the brake few times stop. The break system acted like that for next 2-3 hours and then it went back to ┐normal┐. the fist time that it happened about 2 years ago, Toyota looked at it but apparently couldn't find any thing. I don┐T know when and where it will happen again. Hopefully not on the freeway going 55 mph. Honestly I don┐T trust the braking system of this SUV any more.

- Rockville, MD, USA

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