really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
17,033 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 Hybrid brakes problems

brakes problem

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2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Owner Comments

problem #6

Oct 202009

Highlander Hybrid

  • 41,000 miles


I was driving on the freeway, with small child in back, and all of a sudden the imminent danger warning lights came on. They stated stop the car in the nearest safe area and call dealer. I feared back to an acceleration issue in 1985 with an older car and looked for a less crowded area to pull over. I was in traffic and that was not possible. I phoned the nearest dealer, they could not tell me what was going to happen other than I needed to get there or pull over and stop. I was less than 15 miles away so I chose to try and get there since I was able to slow the car with breaks. I arrived at the dealer and sat 3 hours before I had any detail, with my two year old. They could not locate the problem. They escalated the issue up the Toyota service levels. Finally, they came back that there was a small (hairline)break fluid leak in the car and that part would need to be replaced. I was just out of warranty at 41,000 miles and I would have to pay the part and labor to install. After 5 hours, they gave me a ride home and did not offer a rental car. The details I received back were very vague and to this day I really don't know what caused the issue but I had to pay for an expensive repair, after many conversations about the issue - Toyota agreed to pay for the part $1500 but I was responsible for labor $600. I was told that they may have paid for all the repair (a year ago) but the floor mat issue was costing them so much money they were not paying for labor any longer. I feel a repair that was not common and not caused my driving or lack of proper maintenance. They called it a fluke and that is evidenced by the only place they could find the part was in cincinnati, Ohio when I live in ca. It took more than a week for the part to arrive and I was without my car for three weeks as I had no way to get back there. They did not offer up a rental car and my husband was out of town during that time.

- Bonsall, CA, USA

problem #5

Feb 092010

Highlander Hybrid

  • 23,000 miles
Since there has been so much talk about the Toyota hybrids I thought I would file a quick complaint that may need to be investigated. Just like on the Ford Fusion hybrids and some of the Toyota hybrids under recall, my 2008 Highlander hybrid has a bit of a funny brake feeling when going from regenerative braking to mechanical braking. I can duplicate the problem easily and it occurs several times daily. I've learned to live with it, but the first time it happened it startled me. Long story short, when travelling down hill and applying the brakes, the first braking is the regenerative braking. When it changes over to mechanical braking the vehicle sort of lurches forward and requires more pressure on the brake pedal to continue slowing down at the same rate. Again, this is something that I've learned to expect and I always leave plenty of room between me and any car in front.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #4

Dec 142009

Highlander Hybrid

  • 28,000 miles
2008 Toyota Highlander hybrid - experiencing brake problems. When applying the brakes, it takes a second before the brakes catch. The problems is exactly what is reported with the Toyota prius models and likely the same software problem. However, Toyota has not acknowledged this and is a major safety issue.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #3

Dec 272007

Highlander Hybrid

  • 1,000 miles


Highlander 2008 braking gap.

- Oak Forest , IL, USA

problem #2

May 012009

Highlander Hybrid

  • 9,000 miles
My 2008 Toyota hybrid highlander has on numerous occcasions lost braking power when going over a bump in the road. I first noticed this several months ago.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #1

Dec 042008

Highlander Hybrid

  • 200 miles
My wife was driving the highlander in the first week we had the car. She was driving in slow moving rush hour traffic in cambridge MA at less than 15 mph. When a car in front of her stooped quickly, she hit the brakes which initially stopped, but on their own released for a fraction of a second and then re-engaged. This caused her to hit the back of another car. Initially we reported this to Toyota and were told that it had to with the hybrid braking system. This type of brake release has occurred at least on a weekly basis and but is not consistent. We have both learned how to drive the car more conservatively because of the problem with the brake. Today the car was brought into the dealership where this behavior was confirmed by Toyota after driving our car, and we were told that this problem may be related to the braking problem described in the prius as well. A low battery was changed, in hope of helping.

- Sudbury, MA, USA

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