hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
102,181 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.

2006 Toyota Highlander brakes problems

brakes problem

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2006 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #16

Sep 162016


  • miles


The brakes on our Toyota Highlander hybrid randomly get mushy (slip) and don't engage for a second, then will engage. This creates a dangerous situation as the vehicle will not stop as intended and when needed. Also, the vehicle at other times will surge when the brakes have been applied and you attempting to come to a stop. This has been happening for quite some time. These problems have been well-documented at the following site. We are experiencing the exact same issues as noted by others with our vehicle. forums.edmunds.com/discussion/5357/Toyota/Highlander-hybrid/Highlander-hybrid-brake-problems

- Highlands Ranch, CO, USA

problem #15

Jun 282016


  • 186,000 miles
Vehicle is leaking brake fluid through the vacuum line from the master cylinder to the intake and then out the exhaust. Brakes are now spongy and do not operate as required for safe driving. Toyota refuses to acknowledge this recall stating my vehicle does not fall under the recall notice. The brake fluid slow leak happens both when stationary and in use. The recall was issued on October 21, 2010. Brake fluid travelling down this path also affects other components of the engine; such as, vacuum lines, fuel air sensors both prior to and after the catalytic converter, and the catalytic converter itself.

- Waxahachie, TX, USA

problem #14

May 052016


  • 165,000 miles
The "brake actuator" became defective, and was not able to be repaired. The part was very expensive and seems to be a problem that could be considered wide spread enough that it should be "recalled".

- Logan, UT, USA

problem #13

Nov 012015


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander. When the vehicle was started, the brake light, antilock brake light, and the check engine light illuminated. The vehicle did not accelerate and the antilock brakes did not work. The vehicle was taken to a local dealer where it was diagnosed that the computer core needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 90,000...updated 05/02/16

- West Long Branch, NJ, USA

problem #12

Sep 012015


  • 90,270 miles
When applying the brakes there is a noise that comes from the brakes and it feels like the brakes are failing so I went to the Toyota dealership to find out the problem and they said that the brake actuator was bad and had to be replaced. The cost of the replacement was quoted at $3200. I searched the web and found that this has occurred not just once but many times on numerous Toyota vehicles over many years. I also determined that even if I were to pay to repair this condition that it would reoccur do to the defect in the design of this part of the braking system. Why hasn't this been addressed and a recall issued?

- Pinecrest, FL, USA

problem #11

Sep 052015


  • 75,000 miles
Driving vehicle when warning lights for ABS and skid control came on. Check vsc system in dash. When brake is applied right front tire locks and causes vehicle to spin. Slow speed is the only reason for no accident. Took vehicle to dealer and was told "brake accuator " electronics had failed and needed to be replaced for $3800. Research shows this is an issue on the Highlander, the Lexus and the Camry so why have the Highlanders not been included in the recall?

- Alexander City, AL, USA

problem #10

Aug 312015


  • 169,563 miles


While driving on the freeway and the traffic came to a slow as I was braking to slow down I noticed all the lights on my dashboard suddenly lit up, all the following engine, ABS, brakes and check vsc lights came on. I took to a dealership, piercey Toyota and they did a diagnostic and came back with codes C1391 and B1281.

- Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #9

Aug 192015


  • 122,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander. While driving at any speed, the instrument panel displayed a "vehicle stability control" error message. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the anti-lock brake system accumulator pump remained activated and drained the battery. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 122,000.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #8

Mar 192015


  • 151,247 miles
After an synthetic oil change and rear brake job at Firestone a few days earlier in atlanta, I was driving along and my check vsc system light came on. I then took it back to Firestone and they put it on the computer and there were no codes; subsequently they suggested that I take it to the dealer for diagnosis. The diagnosis at the dealer revealed that I needed a new ABS accumulator and this could be repaired for $3,118. I was not interested in spending this amount since the part has a know design manufacturers defect. I decided to do some research on clearing the check vsc system light and followed the instructions and the code cleared for about 9 days and reappeared on yesterday for some reason. What can I do?

- Dacula , GA, USA

problem #7

May 142014

Highlander 4-cyl

  • 103,362 miles
While driving the car, the brakes failed. I was able to stop the car without an accident, but it had to be towed. The repair shop found the master cylinder had failed. Per Toyota, the VIN # for the car is not in the "batch" involved in a recall in 2010 involving the master cylinders for Highlanders, and they refuse to honor the recall for this car.

- Matawan, NJ, USA

problem #6

Jan 052015


  • 150,500 miles


Was driving in traffic when an alarm sounded and several dashboard lights lit up. Center display said "check vsc system". I took it to the dealer who said the ABS module needs to be replaced at a cost $2,800. Other than a vibration under the hood while slowing down the car appears to be operating normally. The ABS warning light is on which leads me to believe the ABS maybe disabled. I was able to run a vsc diagnostic and pulled code 45. Given the number of reported incidents for this failure it appears to be a wide spread problem.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #5

May 032010


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander. While driving approximately 40 mph, the contact heard an abnormal noise when depressing the brake pedal and the brakes failed to respond. The vehicle was shifted into neutral in order to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to dealer who diagnosed that the hybrid was calibrating and was performing normally. In addition, the contact stated that the vsc and ABS warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer who diagnosed that the actuator and the hybrid pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Alanta , GA, USA

problem #4

Apr 182012


  • 85,000 miles
Complaint: 2006 base Highlander, fwd, 4 cylinders. Brake system (vsc, trac off, ABS & brake) and TPMS lights on, disabling safety features. 1)TPMS flashing light. Issue may have been in-process since day 1. it regularly came on, reset by dealers and eventually showed us how to reset ourselves. 2)brake system lights. All (4) came on, diagnosed as left rear wheel sensor. Dealer quoted cost: $1000. Replacement didn¿¿T work, wound up replacing wheel hub assembly pigtail. Lasted two (2) weeks, re-diagnosed as ABS pump/control module assembly. Dealer quoted cost: $2500. While this itself is ridiculous, the repair costs would exceed 1/8th (13%) the cost of the vehicle new! now, in 2014, it¿'s approximately ½ (50%) of the current vehicles value. This issue has recently resulted in screeching to a halt in dangerous traffic. It essentially negates the star safety system features, for various environmental and driving conditions. This issue cannot be ignored any longer, since it¿'s the topic on numerous web site forums and inquiries and even salvaged used parts are being sold by many sites for this problem. Recompense: Remuneration of expenses to date and future repairs to correct this problem is requested. Review of tsb and/or investigation into recall campaign to fix all affected vehicles.

- Hendersonville, TN, USA

problem #3

Jul 242014


  • 81,130 miles
After the date of the crash the car is failing to stop properly. The car will bump constantly before a complete stop. It is unsafe to use the car at higher speed or in sudden stop situations. It is also making a constant noise when the pedal is depressed. I took the car to a local hybrid shop and the diagnostic was quick in just minutes. They said it is a common problem with all Toyota hybrids. Toyota is aware of the problems but not assuming responsibility. They said that part should last for the life of every car but not for the hybrids. It was a bad design and Toyota has a technical bulletin for just diagnose but not repair or prevent. The part cost $2400 including labor. I called Toyota pr and make a complaint. They have failed to help me neither they provide status on the complaint.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #2

Aug 032013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 76,725 miles
The vehicle failed to stop when depressing the brake pedal. The pedal suddenly felt 'soft' and the vehicle continued to move. After stomping on the brake again the vehicles' braking system engaged with a jerk and began working normally again. This happened several times over a period of a few days before taking the vehicle into a Toyota dealership for repair. Dealership identified a faulty master cylinder and booster assembly - both of which are covered under a limited recall on 2004 - 2006 Highlanders. Unfortunately not all 2006 Highlanders are covered even though they experience the exact same malfunction.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #1

Dec 142012


  • 29,100 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander. While driving approximately 30 mph, the brake and ABS warning lights illuminated. The contact stopped the vehicle and shut the engine off. The vehicle was able to be restarted but would not shift out of park. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the brake switch would have to be replaced. After the brake switch was replaced, the technician advised that the failure continued and would have to diagnosed a second time. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 29,100.

- Cambria Heights, NY, USA

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