really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
30,475 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 Highlander brakes problems

brakes problem

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2005 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #12

Jan 162012


  • 59,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that while driving in snowy weather and applying the brake, the wheels seized and the vehicle would not stop. The contact lost control of the vehicle but was able to move to the shoulder and maintain control of the vehicle at that time. The dealer and the manufacturer was notified, but was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 59,000 and the current mileage was 63,000.

- Framingham, MA, USA

problem #11

Oct 032011

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 35,900 miles
Brakes made metal/metal grinding noise. Found rear brake rotors badly corroded. Approx. 30% of both rotors functional. Seventy percent caked with thick rust. Driver's side rear caliper slider pin stuck. Front brakes did most of work, therefore pads are prematurely worn. In decades of driving, I've never had brake work before 80,000 miles. Car is used almost daily and always garaged. Rotor castings are defective and should have been recalled. Brakes have been inspected by Toyota dealer every 6 months. No problems were reported, but corrosion is severe, thick with flaking. I have dealer service records and photos to support my safety concerns. Toyota recalled 130,000 vehicles in china because of a defect in the rear wheel disk brakes which could possibly rust. Perhaps some of these rotors found their way on to our Highlander. My family and I have been driving an accident waiting to happen. Thankfully, no emergency stops have been required. How many other Highlanders have corroded, unsafe, brake rotors? updated IVOQ 01/26/12

- Afton, MN, USA

problem #10

Apr 012011


  • 56,800 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Highlander. In April 2011, the dealer serviced the vehicle and informed the contact that the front brakes were locked. The dealer replaced the calipers. In August 2011, the vehicle was taken back to the dealer for service and was told that the rear calipers had rusted and needed to be replaced. The dealer performed the repairs. The contact was concerned about premature wear of the brakes and stated that it was a safety issue since the failure continued to occur. The manufacturer was aware of the failure. The current mileage was 60,000. The approximate failure mileage was 56,800.

- Old Chantom, NY, USA

problem #9

May 152009


  • 2,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Highlander. While driving 2-3 mph in reverse, the vehicle abnormally accelerated. The contact attempted to brake but to no avail as the vehicle crashed into her garage. The air bags did not deploy but the contact was not injured and there was minimal damage to the vehicle and moderate damage to the contacts home. The vehicle was taken to the dealer yet the dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. There were three additional occurrences of the failure and the vehicle was taken back to the dealer where repairs were made to the floor mat and the brake covers. The contact stated that she was still afraid to drive the vehicle. She later received notification of NHTSA campaign id number: 11V112000 (vehicle speed control:accelerator pedal) and the recall repair was performed on the vehicle. The failure mileage was 2,000 and the current mileage was 20,000.

- Rome, GA, USA

problem #8

Mar 012011

Highlander 6-cyl

  • miles
2005 Toyota Highlander. Consumer writes in regards to safety recall request the consumer stated there was a problem with the brakes. When he applied the brakes they were very slow to respond.

- Saint Cloud, MN, USA

problem #7

Mar 012011


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Highlander. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for recall repairs under NHTSA campaign id number: 10V499000 (service brakes, hydraulic: Foundation components: Master cylinder). The technician detected that the rear brake pads exhibited ninety percent abnormal wear and recommended replacement. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that the front brake pads were never replaced. The failure mileage was 55,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Nashua , NH, USA

problem #6

Jan 102010


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Highlander. The contact was driving approximately 45 mph and applying the brakes but the brakes would not respond. The contact stated that an unknown warning light illuminated. The failure persisted and the vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the brakes were replaced. The failure recurred. The dealer was contacted and advised that they would need to inspect the vehicle to attempt to diagnose the failure properly. The vehicle was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was not contacted. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000. The VIN was not available.

- Lewisville, TX, USA

problem #5

Aug 032009


  • 19,000 miles
In a 2005 Toyota Highlander, while parking the vehicle front bumper corner hit another vehicle. The brakes in this particular vehicle feel very spongy making it very difficult to control the speed and trajectory of this vehicle at slow speeds.

- Shrewsbury, MA, USA

problem #4

Jan 122010

Highlander 4WD

  • 28,000 miles
While coming to a red light I applied the brakes but the pedal went all the way to the floor and the car did not stop. Took my foot off the brake pedal and applied the brakes again and the second time the brakes woked. This has happened once to my wife and once to me.

- Hawthorne, CA, USA

problem #3

Feb 232010


  • 50,000 miles
I've owned a 2005 Toyota Highlander since new, once in a while this condition would occur, now it is all the time. It just turned over 80K miles. I have not been notified of any recalls, not even Toyota no. 60F. When you are coming to a stop, at normal speeds, normal braking pedal pressure, just before the vehicle stops, it launches forward with your foot pressure on the brake pedal. When you apply more pressure as if there was an emergency, it is worse. My wife and I have learned to compensate by coasting then stopping. I emailed Toyota.com about this twice, no answers.

- Caledonia, MS, USA

problem #2

Mar 032007

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 0 miles
My 2005 Toyota Highlander, V6 model, always on applying the brakes the first time after starting in the morning is like the ABS system is engaged, it takes longer to stop than it will on the succeeding braking applications. This is very dangerous, especially to someone who may not be prepared for this or is not the usual driver. At first I thought this was just hydraulics but now I think it is tied to the ABS system, after reading of the problem with acceleration.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #1

Nov 012006

Highlander 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Brake problem I bought a 2005 Toyota Highlander in April 2005. Early November 2006 this happened: After I started the car, I heard an extremely loud noise when the brakes were stepped on. It sounded like noisy construction equipment. The noise repeated every time the brakes were stepped on. I had the car towed to the service at crystal Toyota in green brook, New Jersey, and they did some work on it. About ten days later the noise returned. The crystal Toyota service foreman stated that rotor pads now have a metallic content. Whenever moisture forms on the pads due to the weather, noise can result. The service applied an additive. The loud noise reappeared early January 2007. Crystal Toyota service suggested driving the car a short distance and the noise would go away. This was correct. The noise went away after driving about half a mile and stepping repeatedly on the brakes. I could not see this as a long- term solution, however, as the noise level was extreme, and it was likely that an excessive impact and stress were occurring. It appeared that the brakes would eventually fail. I contacted the Toyota corporation customer service and joe lacefield, a New Jersey representative, called me. Lacefield downplayed my concern and said he would look at the car on January 26. I told him that he would probably not hear the noise since it did not occur on most days. Lacefield called me after looking at the car and said that he had heard no noise. I told him that I had expected that and had pointed it out to him. He then said that what I heard must have been some plain everyday brake noise and that there was no problem! Toyota corporation customer service then told me there was nothing else they could do. The noise has now occurred about a dozen times. The attitude of lacefield and of Toyota customer service is that my complaint has no merit, and that the extreme loud noise does not even exist! March 14 was the latest noise occurrence. Updated 05/04/07

- Bridgewater, NJ, USA

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