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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
107,947 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 Toyota Highlander Hybrid brakes problems

brakes problem

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2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Owner Comments

problem #4

Jun 152016

Highlander Hybrid

  • 119,900 miles


On June 15th, 2016 while over 200 miles from home on a family trip with my pregnant wife and 2 year old son in the car driving down a 2 lane highway with a semi truck behind us at approximately 45 mph constant speed our 2008 Highlander hybrid brakes locked up, a warning tone sounded, several lights lit up on the dash including brakes, ABS, vsc, (((!))), and /!\, and the car stopped completely in the highway with the engine still running. The lcd displayed several alternating messages about the brakes, ABS, and vsc and also about needing to have the vehicle checked by a dealer. As our car was about to be smashed by a semi truck I pressed the gas pedal to the floor. The brakes were completely locked up, but fortunately the car inched forward at less than 5 mph with wide open/full throttle to pull off of the road before the semi truck could hit us from behind. The situation was terrifying. I have taken the vehicle to a dealer. They do not know the reason for the issue. They want $500 to trouble shoot and generate a repair estimate. It sounds like the ABS actuators are commonly $3,000. I have noted many similar problems on the NHTSA website for the 2008 Highlander hybrid and other Toyota hybrid vehicles in which the brakes, ABS, and vsc lights illuminate and braking issues occur.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #3

Dec 172015

Highlander Hybrid

  • 84,687 miles
At 61.614 miles Nov.9 2013, diagnosed code C1391, abnormal leak in accumulator. Verified by dealer where it was bought. ABS module diagnosed with internal damages. Actuator assy, br, part num. 44050-48320 was replaced under extended warranty, for $3,102.71 plus brake fluid, for $3,118.25 after the system was bled also (see invoice of that date). Problem returned involving same part 44050-48320, plus part num. 47070-48020 pump assy, brake defective at 84,687 miles, just 23,073 miles later, last December 17, 2015; was taken to another dealer, braulio agosto Toyota in rio piedras, puerto rico as reprint shows, from Dec.17 2015 (reprint date was Dec.31 2015). Also included photos showing exact mileage of 84,687 miles, easy to verify with reprint, and warning messages displayed inside the vehicle, same messages appeared last Nov. 9 2013. Vehicle has excellent maintenance at 2 different dealers; I am including related invoices: June 7 2013 at 55,586 miles:1st rear brake pads replacement, turning of rotors performed, 1st problem on Nov. 9 2013 just 5 months 2 days later; pdf invoice Dec.19 2014 at 72,436 miles, when front brake pads were replaced at our request, due to excessive brake pedal travel; Oct/15/15 at 82,379 miles left caliper base was replaced, part 4722-48140; 47717-48150 plate pad support at 83.025 miles on Oct/29/15. Parts prices for same 2nd repair included, local complaint, inspection, result and photos. Unsafe condition evident since Dec.17 2015: Inverted brake pedal pressure when applying the brakes, not shown while driving at speed yet, but unsafe to drive normally because there is no guarantee it will not happen at speed. Local consumer department (daco) has the case for administrative judge evaluation after confirming the problem today, Feb 23 2016 at 3rd dealer with us represented by pablo E. rosado, my brother.see all documents, some in spanish.

- San Juan, PR, USA

problem #2

Nov 102015

Highlander Hybrid

  • 115,000 miles
While driving ABS, vsc and check engine light illuminated, I continued driving (was 10 miles from home on fwy). Five minutes later I encountered traffic, traveling at 40-50 mph I took foot off gas and began to apply brakes. Brakes immediately seized and the car started to skid. I released the brakes, then tried again, same result. I pulled to side of fwy and stopped. I drove surface streets using the parking brake when I needed to stop, until I got to my house. That evening and the next morning I checked toe cars operation, it didn't matter if I was traveling in fwd or reverse, the brakes immediately grabbed at the slightest application of the pedal. I took the car to a repair shop, he witnessed the same circumstance and did a computer diagnosis, which indicated a new brake actuator unit was needed ($3000). My primary concern (and my mechanic's) was that there was no fail safe, if the unit malfunctioned I would expect the ABS system not to work, not to make the braking system completely inoperable. I narrowly avoided being rear-ended when they malfunctioned on the fwy. I reported the problem to Toyota motor as well (case #1511120583)

- Beaverton, OR, USA

problem #1

Jun 062015

Highlander Hybrid

  • 112,200 miles
Incident date: 6-6-15. Started vehicle and dash warning lights came on for ABS, vsc and brakes. Also the word, "brake" in red came on. Toyota dealer diagnosed a code 1391 (abnormal leak detected in accumulator) and tested brake system and found ABS actuator/pump internal failure/leak. Dealer replaced ABS actuator, part #44050-48320, and ABS pump assembly, part #47070-48020. Original estimate to repair was $5,388. After complaining to Toyota's national customer care, the bill was reduced to $1,556.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

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