pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
119,800 miles
Total Complaints:
23 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace ABS actuator (14 reports)
  2. not sure (3 reports)
  3. replace ABS accumulator (3 reports)
  4. replace ABS pump (3 reports)
2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid brakes problems

brakes problem

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2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Feb 172019

Highlander Hybrid Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,000 miles


Toyota has recalled many models for a defective brake actuator assembly. Highlanders, like mine, were recalled for years 06-07. Lexus was recalled and Prius 04-09 were recalled. They did not recall the 2008 Highlander Hybrid and it cost me $4700 to repair. I called Toyota Customer Support, and they pretty much said sorry, we can't help you. This is outrageous cost to repair a part the company knows is a problem. I cannot ignore a brake issue, so am taking a loan to pay for it.

- Shelley C., Point Blank, US

problem #22

Jun 012018

Highlander Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Toyota had a fan until the lack of acknowledgment on recalling the ABS/Brake Actuator problem. Unfortunately, a tragic accident or class action lawsuit will probably be the motivation to recall like they did with the 2006-2007 Highlanders. Until they act, which should be NOW, all Highlander owners be warned and be safe.

- David L., Bluffton, US

problem #21

Jun 142018

Highlander Hybrid Highlander Hybrid 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

While driving to my daughter's high school graduation, A loud sound started blaring from within the cabin of the vehicle. a bunch of warning signs started to flash stating there was an ABS malfunction. The other message read, pull over immediately and have it diagnosed by a Toyota dealer. The brakes were completely gone, I had to press the brakes really hard just to get it to stop. Luckily for my family and I, we had driven one block when this happened so I was able to drive back without any issues. Reading the other complaints I can assume this will cost an arm and a leg, both of which I cannot afford right now. Toyota has recalled other vehicles with similar problems not sure why this isn't a recall? Please, Toyota hold yourself accountable and do not let an accident happen in order for you to realize this is a bigger issue then what you think.

- Daniel K., Bell, CA, US

problem #20

Jun 122018

Highlander Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,000 miles


Recalled in previous model years 2006, 2007 why is 2008 excluded?

- Craig M., Apex, NC, US

problem #19

Jul 152016

Highlander Hybrid LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

The cost to replace the ABS/Brake Actuator was beyond reasonable. The car was inoperable with any other fix that was attempted. As I see here, many owners have had similar issues and paid about the same for the repair. Toyota should be ashamed and take full responsibility. Thankfully this is the only serious repair I have had with this vehicle.

- Brian A S., Houston, US

problem #18

Sep 152017

Highlander Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

Abs light came on, see dealer ASAP. My mechanic said it was a $3000 to $3500 to repair. He saw many complaints about the same problem and not covered under any recall. The car has 120,000 miles which seems to be the number for the malfunction. Toyota needs to step up and recall these cars for safety concerns.

- Mike B., St Petersburg, US

problem #17

Jun 082017

Highlander Hybrid Limted 3.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,000 miles



- aldubaili, Visalia, US

problem #16

Jun 212017

Highlander Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

I am 80 years old. Purchased my 2008 highlander hybrid new. Recently backed out of garage and brakes did not work. Almost ran into my husbands truck. The ABS light came on, a brake malfunction light, and an alarm went off in my vehicle. It said to have my car towed to the nearest dealer. My car is now at the dealer and it has been estimated at $5500.00 to fix. The ABS brake pump and actuator must be replaced. This was a problem that also occurred with the 2007 and was covered on a recall. I only have 140,000 miles on my vehicle and only drive close to home and to the doctor. I cannot believe this fix is this expensive. It almost cost as much as the vehicle is worth. Thanks for listening.

- Kay W., Caddo Mills, US

problem #15

Jul 212016

Highlander Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

Brake warning lights come on for the 3rd time. "BRAKE MALFUNCTION" "CHECK ABS" "CHECK VSC SYSTEM", "CHECK BRAKE SYSTEM". This is the 3rd time these warnings have appeared on my console after we thought our mechanic had resolved our problem. We take the car back to our mechanic. First he has to replace our car's battery which was installed less than a year ago. He finally discovers that the problem is that we most likely need a new "actuator", which I understand somehow controls our ABS system. The worst part: the repair will cost close to $2500!

Shouldn't a part like this last the entire life of the car? It is a major safety issue!!!

We decided to finally go to Toyota service. We describe the problem to the service person and he says that it probably is the actuator, but it will cost us $150 to have the problem diagnosed. That sure added insult to injury! We drove away so confused. Should we just have Toyota fix the problem? Should we just drive it and ignore the warnings? Or should we go back to our mechanic who has invested many unpaid hours trying to diagnose and fix our problem?

And is our car safe to drive? The brakes are great, but what if something happens? I drive our grandkids around all the time, are we putting them at risk? Could the fuse and battery problem be related to the ABS warnings?

I have read other complaints about this problem and how people are fighting with Toyota to make them pay for this repair. IF THIS IS A CHRONIC PROBLEM SHOULDN'T THERE BE A RECALL AND A FREE FIX?

- rungoca, Riverside, CA, US

problem #14

Jun 012017

Highlander Hybrid Hybrid 3.3L

  • CVT transmission
  • 141,000 miles

2008 Highlander hybrid ABS light is on and warning sign is flashing to stop safely and have dealer inspect your vehicle. Took it to Toyota dealer, charged me 130 diagnostic and told me that I need to change my Actuator Assembly and Pump Assembly, quoted for 5500. This is so awful that Toyota won't cover this. Toyota must act and cover this issue to keep its reputation because (1) It is common issues in Toyota Hybrids; (2) it is safety issues. I won't consider Toyota anymore even if I buy any in the future, it won't be hybrid.

- Khoshhal A., Bakersfield, CA, US

problem #13

Jul 122016

Highlander Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles


Highlander Hybrid problem part 2.

A week has passed since the alarming and frightening warnings and lights on my console have gone away. Return from vacation and oops! Guess what? They're BACK!! "BRAKE MALFUNCTION", "CHECK ABS" "CHECK VSC SYSTEM" CHECK BRAKE SYSTEM".

Trip 2 to the mechanic. They discover some bad fuses, which they replace and the warning lights go away. Could it really be this simple?

- rungoca, Riverside, CA, US

problem #12

Jul 052016

Highlander Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

Driving my Highlander Hybrid with three very worried dogs to drop them off at kennel to start vacation when all of a sudden lights are flashing. Messages tell me to stop driving....brakes unsafe/malfunction....call for assistance immediately...check ABS system, etc. I am completely frozen with fear...what do I do now? So I drove slowly to my mechanic.(Still had 3 panic stricken dogs in car so that made 4 of us!)

First I yelled at my mechanic because he had just told me the brakes were fine a few weeks ago. He checked brakes and they were fine! (Now I felt bad for yelling at him.) He said once they put the tires back on all all flashing warnings were gone so hoped it was just a glitch.

Drove to San Diego.

- rungoca, Riverside, CA, US

problem #11

May 012017

Highlander Hybrid Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

I always loved Toyotas and have been loyal to the brand, so now my 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is having this ABS issue that actually was a recall in 2006 and 2007, but not 2008, REALLY? I can't afford a $5000 repair on a $8000 car, Toyota Camelback Phoenix Arizona can you help a loyal customer? Or do I need to take to twitter, social media and perhaps a 'shame on you' protest, I hate that sh*t, but you can't put your customers in financial and or physical danger, please call with solution or for binding together as owners with this issue

Joe 602-521-2662!

- Joseph P., Phoenix, AZ, US

problem #10

Aug 032016

Highlander Hybrid Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,581 miles

This is my second complaint concerning my 2008 Highlander Hybrid ABS System failure/leak - this time I had the ABS Pump replaced with the help of Toyota ($1500) but the problem is still not fixed. Read my last complaint on 04/20/2017 for the full story.

- Rand H., Tomball, US

problem #9

Jul 012016

Highlander Hybrid Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,770 miles

This is the beginning of my complaint and the original problem - I am recording each ABS problem that I have had fixed separately so that the volume of complaints is correct. Please see my last complaint on 04/20/2017 for the whole story

- Rand H., Tomball, US

problem #8

Mar 222017

Highlander Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles

I have a 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid with 27000 miles and in perfect condition. Toyota knew of the problem with the ABS braking system on this car for 12 years and decided to do nothing. There is no warranty and the cost of the parts alone was $4600 and total was about $5200. I believe this is wrong and they did not do a recall because it would be too expensive!! I am amazed that can get away with this and not cover anything and not informing me when I bought the car new in February, 2008.

Is there any recourse or should I just get a lawyer and deal with it that way. The car has only 27,000 miles

- peter@pbcorr.com, St Thomas, Virgin Islands (US)

problem #7

Feb 202017

Highlander Hybrid 3.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,807 miles

So extended warranties for the accumulator and booster pump for 2006, 2007 and 2009 years. Recalls on the 2010 Prius. All for the same freaking problem, but Toyota won't do anything for me. I took it to my mechanic who was CERTAIN this should be covered under some warranty, but Toyota told me I had to get it diagnosed at a dealership -- which cost me three times what my mechanic charged. 5 days later..."sorry, the regional manager states this is normal wear and tear and you're not a good customer, so your out of luck". I'll tell you this, if Toyota thinks that this is a normal wear & tear issue for a 9 year old car, they're going to lose customers. A $4,500 fix is NOT normal. They won't stand behind their product, so I'm not inclined to every buy a Toyota again.

- Kathy M., Orange, CA, US

problem #6

Aug 262016

Highlander Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

Almost got involve in a car accident. The ABS light turn on while i was driving, no brake. Took it to the a Toyota dealer. they told me i have to replace the ABS actuator, the price is gonna be $3800. its an internal leak that we can not fix. I don't have money to fix it and there is no manufacturer warranty on it.

- compere, North Miami Beach, FL, US

problem #5

Aug 012015

Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

click to see larger images

ABS light is on ABS light is on

My 2008 Highlander ABS is failed and that put our family and others in danger because of the ABS is NOT working properly. The lights keep staying on, doesn't matter what you do, reset it or not. The brakes stopped working, the siren inside the vehicle making buzzy noise when opening the door or attempting to start the vehicle. I've done a lot of research online regarding to the Toyota Hybrid models and found many disappointed customer reviews, they all point to the ABS platform design flaws by Toyota just like the ABS on Camry hybrids & other hybrid models that have been recalled. I took my vehicle to a local Toyota dealer as suggest by Toyota representative, the same Toyota dealership where I bought my two Camrys from; paid $125 to have them checked out. My Highlander ABS and the results tuned out to be both ABS actuator (47070-48010) and ABS pump (44510-48080) are failed and the costs to have both fix is $5240.46 while the vehicle is only worth between $8000-$9000 which is more than half of the vehicle's value, for just a few small defective parts made by Toyota. I do believe that the cost is ridiculously high and because of the manufacture design flaws & NOT from end users fault. See attached quotes from dealer. I've called Toyota twice to bring it to their attention but I got disappointing results instead. Case # 1604020974. We, Toyota Highlander Hybrid owners need to unite and contact Toyota and or smart attorneys to connect all the dots and sue Toyota for the above problems. Our life and others is in danger due to Toyota's defective parts.

- Tim N., Fort Worth, TX, US

problem #4

Aug 152016

Highlander Hybrid 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I had the same issue form what I have seen in the US and on PR, I personally know another 2008 hybrid owner who had the same issue at exactly the same millage 119k. He went to the dealer ,same thing, they said it was a rare issue. He went and got it fixed $3plus, we bought the cars 3 months apart the same year. When I took mine with the same issue, I asked for Inf. on recalls (they said it wasn't normal but they had fixed another one) this was right after I had called another dealer and they said they have never herd of the issue, the same dealer who had repaired my friends 2008 Highlander. I know that there is a recall for the same issue the ABS Actuator on the Prius, I don't know why Toyota isn't acting on this for the Highlander. It is a very serious issue, when I took mine 8/26/16 they did replace the battery Inverter as this is on a current recall.

I refuse to pay that amount on a Hybrid model that clearly has some issues. I asked why the actuator is on a recall for the Prius and not the Highlander and they didn't have an answer. So TOYOTA, WHY ISN'T THE ABS ACTUATOR FOR THE 2008 HIGHLANDER HYBRID MODELS ON RECALL????

- Juan C G., Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

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