really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,116 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 Hybrid brakes problems

brakes problem

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2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Sep 292015

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 91,500 miles


Involved in a minor accident on September 29, 2015 that may had been caused by brake failure on September 30 the brakes malfunctioned and dealer diagnosed a brake actuator malfunction. On December 16, 2013 at 68,490 miles this car also a complete and sudden failure of this same part, no accidents involved with this failure. It was repaired at the dealer. The premature failure of the brake booster assembly should be investigated on hybrids since the inability to brake the car can led to a fatal accident.

- Guaynabo, PR, USA

problem #25

Feb 142009

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Highlander hybrid. The contact stated that the brakes failed and caused a crash. The contact applied the brakes, but the vehicle accelerated into another vehicle. The vehicle was repaired, but the contact stated that the failure continued to occur. The failure mileage was 48,000 and the current mileage was 85,000. Updated 04/02/13 updated 04/12/2013

- Erie , PA, USA

problem #24

Feb 212012

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 129,000 miles
For the past month or so, the highlander has been making a squeaking noise at the end of a moderately hard stop. It also makes the same sound sometimes when beginning to move after start-up and the brakes are released. I went to the dealer on Feb. 21, 2012, and they said it was the ABS actuator making the noise. The service representative told me that the noise was no problem, he said it was not a safety issue, and that the ABS actuator only needed to be replaced if I did not want to put up with the sound. It is a very expensive part to replace, and should be expected not to fail over the life of the vehicle. I read online that ABS actuators have been an issue in Highlander hybrids, so I have reported this incident.

- Okemos, MI, USA

problem #23

Feb 022012

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles


I swerved and stopped suddenly when someone pulled out from a side street to avoid a collision. When I tried to restart the car, I couldn't. everything "seized" up. I just could not move the car. I had to have it towed to the dealership. They investigated and said that the actuator was stuck open and allowing brake fluid to continually enter the wheels, thereby engaging the brakes. In fact, the mechanic could only move the car once he disabled either the brakes or the actuator, he wasn't specific. From reading other customer discussions online, it appears that this part is supposed to have a lifetime warranty. My dealership looked up the general warranty and said that this wouldn't be covered. My car has had regular maintenance. I think a part like this should be covered and it should be recalled.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #22

Jul 312009

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 24,000 miles
When I brake and have my foot firmly and gradually depressing the brake pedal, the car slows but there are these one second instances when the car continues to coast/lunge forward as if it is not going to stop. These problems occur between 25 mph and 30 mph and also sometimes at 5 mph. This creates an unsafe feeling that I am not in control of the car.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #21

Oct 042011

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
When running and decelarating when arriving at a stop, I applied a regular pressure on the brakes. At some point in the breaking the system stop braking and truck keeps running. After few seconds and extra pressur the truck star braking again. Two months later I have to change both bearings on my truck. As a professionnal electrical engineer, I would say that the hybrid system seems defective and some current is flowing to the ground. This result in bearing discharge. This non-braking behavior is occuring frequently around 3 to 4 times a week.

- Mcmasterville, NY, USA

problem #20

Jul 262011

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles


2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid braking system temporarily releases when hitting a bump or uneven road conditions. This problem originally started in winter, when temps were below freezing. It is now happening no matter what the weather conditions are. The vehicle has been back to the Toyota dealer 3 times and each time they say they cannot reproduce the fault, nor do they find any information about it when they search their database. The incident date cited in this complaint is the most recent incident.

- Schwenksville, PA, USA

problem #19

May 102011

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 68,400 miles
When braking moderate to hard, usually going downhill at anywhere from 20 to 40 mph, brakes will occasionally "release", causing vehicle to surge forward, and requiring reapplication of brake pedal, which usually then functions normally. Failure occurs several times a week, but not daily. Has happened ever since purchasing the vehicle used in 2009. Have not reported it to dealer, but keep expecting a recall for this malfunction.

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #18

Mar 132011

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
I have a Toyota Highlander hybrid 2006. When I am braking to a stop at less then 15mph I often feel the car "lurch" forward for an instant as if the brakes stopped working for an instant. I searched on the web and found forums where other owners of Highlander hybrids reported similar issues. I think it is possible the braking switches from regenerative to hydraulic and there is a little pause or loss of performance for this instance which forces you to add more pressure to the brake pad to maintain smooth braking. Toyota has not stated that this is something that happens on their hybrids but most of the other drivers have had my experience. I would like confirmation that this is an issue and a determination if this is a safety or design issue that needs to be acknowledged by NHTSA or Toyota.

- Cape Elizabeth, ME, USA

problem #17

Nov 252010

Highlander Hybrid

  • 51,500 miles
I was parking on a steep hill and as I stepped on the brake, the vehicle lurched forward approximately 2 feet and hit the side of a fence post and caused damage to my front bumper. Since I bought this vehicle in 2007 I have noticed that often times while driving and then trying to brake on steep hills the vehicle lurches forward. This lurching often causes me to end up in the middle of an intersection or very close to a car in front of me, thus making it a very unsafe situation especially while driving kids. I have reported this problem to my Toyota service dealer several times and each time they deny that there is any issue.

- Mill Valley, CA, USA

problem #16

Aug 122008

Highlander Hybrid

  • 10,000 miles


My 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid lurches forward when you first apply the brakes at about 20-25 mph or less, giving the sensation of losing braking power. The brakes also squeak when pedal applied and have since I purchased the car. Now has 65,000 miles. Prius aside, the problem can be dangerous and dealer says simply knows nothing about the problem and no one else complains. Just look at your complaints as well as hundreds all over the internet. Let's try to fix the problem before there is a death which gets someone's attention at your office. Thank you. Below date is irrelevant. Happens all the time and has for years.

- Plymouth, MA, USA

problem #15

Feb 102010

Highlander Hybrid

  • miles
When I am braking my Toyota Highlander hybrid '06, there is a 2-5 second surge before the brakes kick in.

- Providence, RI, USA

problem #14

Sep 012009

Highlander Hybrid

  • miles
I purchased a 2006 Highlander hybrid limited in September 2009. Fairly often when I apply the brakes at lower speeds, the SUV surges forward like the brakes have released for a moment and then have reapplied. It is dangerous and very disconcerting in close traffic or when going around a corner or circle. Although I have managed not to have a collision, I have come pretty close when driving with a reasonable distance from the car in front. I have described it to Toyota, which denies there is any problem. I have had it serviced without any problem with the brakes being identified. This is a problem that is noted by many people on the internet who describe the exact problem with my model as well as other hybrids manufactured by Toyota. It is a defect that could cause a serious accident if emergency braking is necessary, which at some point we all need to do to be safe on the road. Please address this with Toyota.

- Concord, NH, USA

problem #13

Oct 222006

Highlander Hybrid

  • 7,000 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) my 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid [xxx] sometimes surges forward before stopping at speeds between 20-35 mph. I reported the problem to my local dealer, superior Toyota, erie, pa on 1/11/07 (mileage 10,072). They said I was experiencing the change from electronic to hydraulic brakes. On 11/07/07 I complained again (mileage 24,335). This time they updated the ECU logic per tsb EG030-07. On 3/25/08 they said there simply was no problem. In summer 2008, palmiero Toyota in meadville, pa told me the sensation was caused by the "fly by wire system", and it was not a problem. When I heard about the prius braking problem, I began worrying again. I called superior Toyota on 2/23/10. They told me my car was not part of the recall, and there was nothing they could do for me. Any vehicle that surges forward rather than slowing when the brakes are applied is a safety issue. I am sending a letter of complaint to Toyota motor sales usa.

- Mckean, PA, USA

problem #12

Oct 202008

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 29,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid. The contact stated that while braking at various speeds, the brake system would slip and the vehicle failed to slow down unless she depressed the brake pedal again. She noticed that the failure occurred an average of 2-3 times a week. She took the vehicle to the dealership twice and the dealer stated that they could find nothing wrong with the braking system. She also called the manufacturer and was told that it was a normal behavior for hybrid vehicles. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was approximately 40,000. The failure mileage was approximately 29,000. Updated 03/15/10 updated 05/12/10.

- Cos Cob, CT, USA

problem #11

Feb 012010

Highlander Hybrid

  • 46,000 miles
I have a Toyota Highlander hybrid purchased Jan 2006. Periodically I experience brake surging as I've read described by prius owners. This is a random event that occurs when first applying the brake. I've reported it several times to my dealer and the reply is "Toyota says there is no problem with the brakes." The last time was two weeks ago. Since Toyota has a fix for the prius I hope you'll will encourage them to address the Highlander hybrid problem. By the way, I am an engineer and recognize a problem when I experience it.

- Xenia, OH, USA

problem #10

Feb 152010

Highlander Hybrid

  • 60,000 miles
My 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid has a persistent problem with the brakes. The problem resembles that reported by prius drivers. Specifically when I am riding the brakes, on an downhill, as I approach a stop, etc, if I hit a pothole or a bump in the road the brakes suddenly release and the vehicle feels like it is lurching forward for a moment. It is a frightening sensation of losing control. This problem happens on a daily basis. I live at the top of a steep hill and experience the problem everytime I leave home. It has not caused an accident but I believe it could in an emergency stopping situation.

- Corning, NY, USA

problem #9

Feb 112010

Highlander Hybrid

  • miles
I own two 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrids. After hearing about the braking recall issued recently for the prius, we are now both 100% sure that the same problem exists in both of our vehicles. The vehicle will suddenly lunge forward for about a second when braking, especially when the road surface is bumpy. We had previously written it off to our imagination, but the problem definitely exists in the 2006 Highlander hybrid. Wondering when the recall will be...

- Newton, MA, USA

problem #8

Feb 012007

Highlander Hybrid 4WD

  • 0 miles
2006 Highlander hybrid 4WD. Surge when braking and going over bumps. Since 2007, on many repeated occasions, when I go over bumpy roads and braking, I have been experiencing a slight acceleration surge when braking. Every time I bring my highlander into the Toyota dealer I ask if they know about the problem, what causes it, and if there is any service information or bulletin on it. Form notes>>I checked service brakes..this applies to the regular braking system-this term is not clear. As to what mileage--this is a continuing ongoing problem so there is no way to indicate that answer in your boxes. Similarly this has happened at a wide range of speeds, 15-35 mph so your form does not provide a way to indicate that.

- Florence, MA, USA

problem #7

Feb 062010

Highlander Hybrid

  • 1,000 miles
2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid- a delay when the brakes were pressed in cold conditions and on some bumpy roads.

- Milford, MI, USA

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