really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
25,184 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 RAV4 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2008 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #16

Dec 012015

RAV4 4-cyl

  • miles


2008 Toyota rav 4. consumer writes in regards to vehicle excessive oil consumption problems. The consumer stated the vehicle has consumer 15 quarts of oil in 36,000 miles. Also, there was a noise coming from the front brake. The dealer informed the consumer, there was some rust in the drum area that probably caused the noise.

- Diamond Bar, CA, USA

problem #15

Apr 052013

RAV4 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that while exiting a parking space, he attempted to engage the brakes but the brake pedal abnormally traveled to the floorboard. The failure was also experienced a second time and the contact had to engage the emergency in order to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the brake cylinder and the rear passenger caliper malfunctioned. As a result of the failure, both parts needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 79,000 and the current mileage was 79,030.

- Sauk City , WI, USA

problem #14

Nov 012012


  • miles
Letter to the administrator from re brake pedal on his 2008 RG4 Toyota the consumer stated shortly after purchasing the vehicle, he noticed the brake pedal was extremely close to the accelerator pedal. Also the braking did not become effective, until the brake pedal was pressed down to about the same level as the accelerator pedal. The dealer informed the consumer they could not adjust the distance between the two pedals.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #13

Nov 232011


  • 78,511 miles


As I was braking my foot pressed the accelerator at the same time I was braking. I noticed the engine speeding up. I moved the gear shift to neutral to slow the vehicle. I was then able to move my foot to only the brake pedal to stop. There was no accident.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #12

Aug 012011


  • 63,000 miles
My 2008 Toyota Rav4 accelerated when the brake was applied on two separate occasions recently. One instance took place on or about June 30, 2011, the second time happened on or about Monday, August 1, 2011. The first time, Toyota claimed that the non-braking/unexpected acceleration problem was caused by floor mats I put in the car. I bought these for the car because I felt the ones Toyota originally provided were not safe (heels on my shoes, though flat, kept getting caught in the deep ridges of their mats, making it difficult to maneuver). After speaking with the Toyota 's mechanics, I threw out my mats and replaced them with new Toyota mats recommended by the dealership. About one month later the same thing happened again. When I applied my foot to the brake, instead of this action stopping the car, the car accelerated and moved forward. The first time this happened, my car was approaching a stop sign at the bottom of a hill leading to my complex's exit. As I neared the stop sign in front of a very busy roadway, I started applying my brakes. The car did not slow down. Although I pushed down harder & harder on the brake in a desperate effort to stop the car, it continued to move forward. My Rav4 went onto the roadway, narrowly missing a truck in oncoming traffic. The second time I was in a parking lot. I think there is something significantly wrong with this car and do not believe it to be safe. The mechanic at Toyota, before even examining the car, claimed it was "human error." I have driven many cars in my lifetime and have never had this happen to me before. It is my sincere hope that the NHTSA & dot will look into this and other related matters. It appears there are many people having brake problems with these cars. I truly believe people's lives are in danger. I'm afraid to have my granddaughters travel in my car!

- Wappinger Falls, NY, USA

problem #11

Dec 212010


  • 24,700 miles
Pulled into parking space at work doing about 5-10 mph. Slowed to turn into space, giving car just enough gas, when car launched forward hitting a chain link fence. I did not have any brakes, so I tried pumping brakes before impact. Brake pedal was completely to the floor, so I used emergency brake to stop car before it caused further damage to car and fence. I did not report incident, but took car to lacey collision, and they estimated damage at $1500. This is not the first time this has happened, I have reported this to two different Toyota dealerships..nothing was ever done. They only admitted that yes, my brakes were a bit 'soft'. but car was not on their recall list.

- Dupont, WA, USA

problem #10

Jul 112010

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 28,400 miles


Driving my 2008 Toyota rav 4 limited, 6 cyl., purchased new, no prior issues, approximately 28,400 miles, when traffic began stopping for a red light. I applied brakes without response. Pressed all the way down, standing on the brakes, ABS, without any response and colliding into the rear of the vehicle in front of me. I was transported to er. Occupants of other vehicle suffered no injuries. VIN number beginning with "J". collision shop reports unable to reproduce failure.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #9

Mar 222010


  • 19,700 miles
Driving 2008 Toyota Rav4 (19K mi) in rain on NY state hwy at 30 mph. Driver in front slowed. Applied brakes which softened then went to floor. Pumping did not return pressure. Hand brake slowed vehicle to below 15 mph. Crashed into other vehicle at @ 12 mph. Car burst into flames beneath and consumed vehicle within 12-14 minutes;

- Greenwich, CT, USA

problem #8

Jan 292010


  • 9,500 miles
On Friday, January 29th, 2010, my wife was driving our 2008 Toyota rav 4 when the brakes were ineffective at slowing the vehicle as she approached a stop light. Although she stood on the brakes she left no skid marks before stopping in the intersection as she collided with a vehicle who had the right of way. The car had slowed sufficiently that there was no release of the air bags. She has operated a car for 40 years with out a moving violation, the weather was bright and sunny and the roads were clear and dry. It was a familiar intersection and she had stopped at the light one block away. Earlier in the day she had practiced putting the car in neutral, but it was not sufficient to help her in this situation.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #7

Dec 102009

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 16,519 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact was driving approximately 25 mph; approaching a traffic stop signal. While depressing the brake pedal there was no power response. The brake pedal traveled to the floor surface when excessive force was applied. The vehicle came to a complete stop. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for inspection. The technician stated the computerized system was functioning properly. The failure mileage was 16,519. The current mileage was 18,600. Updated 4/7/2010 the consumer stated as he lifted his foot off the accelerator pedal, there was a surge of acceleration and he placed his foot on the brake hard. The vehicle then came to a stop. Updated 07/01/10.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #6

Feb 162010


  • 18,561 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that when trying to stop at a stop sign, the brake pedal would not move down as he tried to depress it and he could not steer the vehicle. He continued moving forward until the vehicle collided with a guardrail. The contact was slightly injured and a police report was taken. He contacted the dealership and was told that no one could inspect the vehicle until it was repaired at the body shop. The vehicle was at the body shop at the time of the complaint. The contact had not spoken with the manufacturer to-date. The current and failure mileages were 18,561.

- Woodside, NY, USA

problem #5

Jan 022010


  • 17,000 miles
I was driving in a snow storm at approximately 20miles/hr.the road had not been plowed recently, so there was some snow that had accumulated, but it was certainly passable and I was driving a 4 wheel, Toyota, rav 4, 2008, in excellent upkeep. All of a sudden the car started drifting to the right, when I tried to slowly correct the direction of the vehicle, the steering would not work. I could not move the wheel, the brakse did not work, everything in the car froze. I was helpless and had to watch as the car slowly drove itself off the side of the road into a deep ditch. Half way through this harrowing time span a beeping noise came on(the vehicle stability control system?), but only after the car was incapacitated for what seemed like minutes. I was on a straight away and there were no hills at this location. The vehicle traveled approximately 300+ feet, as evidenced by the track marks left in the snow. Luckily the ditch was filled with snow, so I did not crash into a tree or roll over. The snowpack stopped the car and it ended up tilted on its right side, buried almost to the top of the passenger window. When I tried to open the right window to crawl out, it was inoperable. I was towed out of the ditch and because of the soft snow cover there was no damage to the car. I have also had 1 other steering problem with the car when it did not respond as expected(although the steering wheel was not frozen) and I subsequently side swiped a car I was passing while driving in a parking garage. I am an excellent new england driver with a stellar driving record. This car has been a disaster the infrequent times I it. It usually sits in the garage, since I prefer my 109,000 mile, reliable, 2001, Mercury Mountaineer; after experiencing the first steering event with the Rav4, which I know was not my fault. I drove the rav 4 during the second incident because I thought it would be safer, being a new car!

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #4

May 142009


  • 2,000 miles
I purchased my 2008 Toyota Rav4 new. It has needed brakes to be replaced twice in under 3,000 miles. One accident resulted because of this.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #3

Jun 012008


  • 100 miles
Brake pedal on my 2008 Toyota Rav4 releases on it's own when stopped at a traffic light or in stop-and-go-traffic. It's more noticeable when the air conditioner is on, but happens once in awhile in winter. If I have to stop for any reason, with my foot resting on the brake pedal, it releases on its own and goes all the way down to the floor. I usually have to start pumping the brake so that it doesn't start rolling into the vehicle ahead of me. I have taken the car to two different Toyota dealerships and they tell me there is nothing wrong with my brakes. (a salesperson admitted to me that her Camry did the same thing and that she got rid of the car.) I want my car repaired and safe to drive, otherwise I will have to get rid of it and I cannot afford that at the moment.

- Dupont, WA, USA

problem #2

Oct 162009

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
2008 rav 4 AWD V6. When slowing for a stop lost all brakes. Was towed to local dealer and was found that the brake booster had failed.

- Springfield, MA, USA

problem #1

Nov 242008


  • 11,945 miles
Lost braking power and there was a crunching sound, had both feet on breaking pedal & truck wouldn't stop. It was still accelerating and ABS/anti skid light came on.

- Dover, DE, USA

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