Notes: 2008 is the first year of the 2nd generation Highlander, & it may be a model year to avoid as Toyota most likely worked out some production quality issues with the new model.

The 2009 Highlander is the has far fewer complaints.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,546 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2008 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #8

Nov 152016


  • 140,000 miles


Braking became erratic. Pedal was squishy and ABS lights came on. This occurred over several months but on an intermittent basis. Lights would go off for a while then come back on.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #7

Jul 052012

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
As I approached a stop sign, my check engine and vehicle stability control lights came on. I was less than a mile from my destination and was able to safely park my vehicle with no issues. As soon as possible, I contacted my local Toyota dealership to alert them to the problem. The dealership representative asked if the vsc light was flashing and I told him no; to which he replied it would be okay to drive. Later on that evening, I decided to take the vehicle to the dealership and upon taking off at the light, the vehicle seemed sluggish at first and then suddenly accelerated and surged forward. When I pulled into the dealership, I explained what happened and am now awaiting to see what the problem is.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #6

May 082012

Highlander 6-cyl

  • miles
Vsc, tracking and ABS lights come on when driving. Sometimes on as soon as I reverse in the morning. Used to go off if I turned car off and restarted. Sometimes doesn't come on until I am almost home from work (30 miles) sometimes the brakes feel off and not gripping. Had brakes inspected and everything fine.

- Vermilion, OH, USA

problem #5

Feb 282012

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 25,000 miles


Upon starting my car, the vsc off, check engine, and ABS lights remained lit. Acceleration was slow and rough, and the general engine feel was wrong. I stopped car and restarted with no effect. While driving, the lights extinguished for a moment, and at that point performance temporarily improved - this caused a surge in acceleration. But the same lights came on a moment later and performance, once again, failed. Fortunately I was not in traffic when the surge occurred.

- St Clair Shores, MI, USA

problem #4

Jan 132011

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 63,367 miles
Dealer claimed " this is an electrical problem. Access and traced all related wiring to inside the fuse/relay panel. Found something had chewed and shorted out the wiring" they would not provide any proof. I notified Toyota motors and got no help from them.

- Easton, PA, USA

problem #3

May 072011

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
2008 Toyota Highlander had a new set of tires put on it 6 months ago and 9,000 miles later the rear tires were bald to the cords to a point it was not able to be driven. The car appears to have a problem with alignment or stabilization as the car, even with new tires and an inspection by the dealership was undrivable in snow or heavy rain even at low speeds. The rear end is very unstable in this car.

- Findlay, OH, USA

problem #2

Dec 292010

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
The sensor lights for ABS and vsc have gone on and off intermittently on my 2008 Toyota Highlander. Sometimes the brakes engaged the skid control, braking capability is lost and other times the speed needle does not gage properly. The system was inspected by Toyota, who indicated it was due to damage to the sensor from a rope. Toyota supposedly replaced the sensor and they stayed off for a few weeks, but continue to come back. My vehicle still has less than 50,000 miles, and Toyota is again telling me they have to look into the problem.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 062010


  • 29,000 miles
We have a 2008 Toyota Highlander with intermittent failure of the anti-lock brakes and vehicle stability control system (ABS/vsc). For no apparent reason, the ABS/vsc will malfunction and brakes operate incorrectly. It is an intermittent problem that comes an goes. We have almost had an accident in the snow in Ohio. We have had the car into the dealer 4X without resolution since nobody knows what is wrong. It has been an ongoing issue since it started Jan 2010.

- Galena, OH, USA

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