really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
93,848 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.

2003 Toyota Sequoia brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Toyota Sequoia Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #43

Jun 012006


  • 4 miles


2003 Sequoia vsc recall.

- Destin, FL, USA

problem #42

Aug 232016


  • 252,500 miles
I have a 2003 Sequoia with 253,000 miles on it. About a month ago, while driving on a flat, dry road at about 30 miles per hour and slowing for an upcoming stoplight, my vsc off, vsc trac and check engine lights all suddenly came on. Apparently this is a known issue with this year vehicle. I am struggling now to figure out how L will afford to take this car in for repair and L am angered at being put in this position. This was an expensive, luxury SUV when we bought it and the manufacturer should own up to this bad part. If I'd wanted a crappy made car, L wouldn't have wasted $40K on this one.

- Mocksville, NC, USA

problem #41

Aug 142016


  • 108,800 miles
I went outside and turned the car on and noticed that the ABS, vsc off, and vsc trac dashboard lights came on and did not turn off. I drove the vehicle around the block and the lights remained on. This is a known manufacturer defect with the computer that controls the ABS / vsc trac system on the 2003 Sequoia. I have had the computer modules replaced for this issue before and 60,000 miles later the same parts have gone out again. It is unsafe to drive an SUV with the vehicle skid control and ABS systems not functioning.

- Salem, OR, USA

problem #40

Oct 052014


  • miles


My vehicle has an issue with the ABS skid control. When the mechanic ran the check it came back with error codes C1203, C1223, C1247. I purchased hated this vehicle because I have a growing family and I needed the third row seating.the problem with the braking system happens when I have to stop quickly, which is a a safety concern. I believe there is an issue with the computer and the skid control or anti locking brakes.

- Venice, FL, USA

problem #39

May 162016


  • miles
I just had to spend over 1,200 to have this repaired as my local Toyota dealership insisted it was routine ear and tear. My breaks would not work, and I just had new ones put on 09/2015, and the vsp light kept coming on and off. The car jumps, and something has not been right. I almost hit someone and had to use the emergency break to stop!

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #38

Jan 122016


  • 272,590 miles
While I was driving at an approximate speed of 40 mph, I noticed my brake, trac off, vsc trac, engine light all came on at once. I noticed that braking was not as responsive (increased braking distance; ABS doesn't seem to be engaging) and when speeding to over 50 mph, the vehicle feels as if it is slowing itself down. It is currently an expected heavy rainfall season where I am and having the vehicle in this state is very dangerous especially when the brakes are not working effectively or when it starts to slow itself down suddenly. After shutting the vehicle down and restarting it after about 2 hours, the lights mentioned are still illuminated except the brake light. After reading all the other similar complaints, I am surprised Toyota is not paying for all aspects of this defect associated with the vehicle and not driver misuse.

- Northridge, CA, USA

problem #37

Jun 292011


  • miles


Vehicle stability control (vsc), traction control (trac), and antilock brake system (ABS) dash lights continuously illuminated indicating that all systems are off or malfunctioning. Can confirm that the trac, vsc, and ABS are inactive all or most of the time. The ABS intervenes at random under normal braking conditions without cause at low speed (less than 20mph) and makes braking difficult and inconsistent in conditions where ABS is not normally needed. In that situation the brake pedal becomes hard to depress and braking force is inconsistently applied with little control given to the operator in turn extending the braking distance without due cause or warning. After much research online I have found numerous reports stating identical and/or similar observations and experiences. It is my opinion that the problem lies in the vsc control module, a known problematic component on this generation of Sequoia and more specifically model year 2003 vehicles. A recall for the vsc system was issued in April/May 2010 upgrading the control logic of the vsc system in certain model year 2003 vehicles. Let it be known that the vehicle in question had the recall work done in June of 2011 which did not remedy the issue as it has been either intermittent or constant since then.

- Apple Valley, CA, USA

problem #36

Oct 272015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Sequoia. While operating the vehicle, the traction off, vsc, and brake sensor lights illuminated. When depressing the brake pedal, the vehicle failed to immediately stop and the braking distance was extended. The contact also indicated that the vehicle would sometimes hesitate to accelerate. The cause of the failures were not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failures. The failure mileage was unknown.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #35

Jan 042015


  • 125,000 miles
When driving on the freeway the ABS, vsc trac and brake light all came on at once. Since then I notice a problem when I brake at higher speeds the car seems to shake as though the ABS is not being applied properly. The dealership said there was a recall on this which was a simple software update. Now the dealership tells me these parts need to be replaced. How do I know that a simple update is not the fix or that the new parts wont have a similar issue in the meantime I am stuck with a vehicle that's not braking properly when it seems this should be fixed by the manufacture

- Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #34

Jul 102008


  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Sequoia. The contact stated that the vsc skid control warning light, ABS warning light, and service stability traction control warning light randomly kept illuminating. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who reflashed the ECU, but the failure recurred. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer several times and they did not address the recall repair since mid 2008 to 2015. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer for further inspection and diagnostic testing. The vehicle was also included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V286000 (air bags) and was waiting for the part from the dealer to receive the recall repair appointment. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 89,000.

- Danbury, TX, USA

problem #33

Nov 112014


  • 112,000 miles


NHTSA's conclusion that the SAS ECU failure associated with Toyota Sequoias built from 2002-2003 under NHTSA investigation # 10V176000 is seriously flawed. While typically the sudden failure to accelerate or fail to brake associated with this issue is only annoying, it can be catastrophic under the right circumstances. For instance we had it happen in a parking lot when beginning to accelerate and then noticing a car pulling out quickly in our path. Our brakes failed, the traction and brake warning lights lit, and we barely missed the car as it noticed us coming at it and quickly got out of the way. What if the car hadn't noticed in time to pull away quickly and avoid our uncontrollable car" what if it were a child running out between cars? what if it were to happen during our low speed accelerating and braking when we drop our kids off at school and other kids are walking among the cars now and then? the conclusion that it is not a serious safety issue due to the speeds involved in most incidents reported is simply ignorant or recklessly risk tolerant. Does someone actually have to die before this is a serious safety issue" we will try to get the dealer to make this repair but since their are "no active recalls" listed on Toyota's website for this or on NHTSA's, I can only hope they will fix it.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #32

Jul 272005


  • 120,015 miles
I have had my rotors and brake pads changed a few times due to a conspicuous issue with my vehicle. At braking times during any slight "hard" stop, coming from either highway or street speeds the vehicle starts to vibrate on the front end. Tires seem to be wobbly and shake quite a bit. Nearly had a few accidents due to this phenomena. Have taken my vehicle in for servicing at reputable repair shops and have had rotors "cut" and new brake pads installed frequently. Have even had to buy new tires, even though not needed, based on dealer recommendation. Seems there is an issue with these Toyota vehicles after having done some research and spoken to a few other Sequoia owners. Catastrophic brake failure is a possibility on these vehicles. Will it take an injury or even a death to finally have someone delve into this issue?

- Aloha, OR, USA

problem #31

Jul 152014


  • 120,000 miles
Parking brake disintegrated into a pile of parts. I had had the brake replaced twice, and was determined to find out how this could have happened when I drive and brake normally. I had 6 mechanics look at it extensively until the last one figured it out. What we determined: 2003 Sequoia's brake design swivels the gripping "wings" (C-shaped) from one single pin (or point) to grip the center to hold the car in place. This design allows these two "wings" to catch on each other. Since this happens every time I release the parking brake and go in reverse, I am forced to go "forward", to unhitch these two pieces, in order to back up. (newer designs use two pins for the two brake "wings", so they do not catch on each other.) I have learned the only way around this was to always park in a place that I can pull forward. Since that is not usually possible, I am not able to set the parking brake most times. I end up relying on my engine to hold the car in gear to keep it from rolling...not a safe way to park! I do believe there was a recall on something like this, but they missed my 2003 model. This is a safety issue since my engine may not stay in gear one of these moments. Can anyone help?

- Yakima, WA, USA

problem #30

Dec 012014


  • 70,000 miles
ABS, vsc trac, and engine check lights on. Brought to the shop. Mechanic stated it's the computer need to be replaced for more than $1000 and up. Search internet and lots of owners have the same problems, can somebody do something about it please.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #29

Sep 172014

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 137,000 miles
I have been having this issue with the electronic stability control with my truck for several months. I have taken it to the dealer 3 times and they have been unable to determine what the problem is. They first told me I had to replace my shocks and springs all the way around. That didn't fix the problem. As far as I can tell they don't have any fault codes to work with from the computer. I live on a windy road in the mountains. Everytime I go around a turn, which is all of my road, the traction control kicks on, the brake peddle pulses and the breaks grind until I come out of the turn and my wheels are straight. Just in time for the next turn. This is very dangerous. I can't stop my truck fast if a deer or other wildlife runs across the road. This happens all the time.

- Malibu, CA, USA

problem #28

Sep 042014

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Going around a turn in the mountains at a slow speed, my traction control kicks in and there is a grinding noise, I loose the use of the brakes completely until the traction control turns off. I took it to the dealer and they told me my springs and shocks were bad. I replaced all 4 of the springs and shocks and the problem persists. This is very dangerous and scary.

- Malibu, CA, USA

problem #27

Jul 312014

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 161,980 miles
The vsc, and trac, and brake lights all lit up while coming into an intersection, where I heard a grinding clunking noise in the drive train, as I tried to stop the vehicle, coasted through the intersection, made others braking to avoid me as I steered away from them. This has happened intermittently over the years but this was the scariest, as it happened going into an intersection. It has happened backing out of our driveway several times, on the highway several times. Toyota doesn't want to tie this issue to the recall regarding the vsc ECU trac light recall from several years ago. I've tried unsuccessfully to escalate this issue with Toyota motor co.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #26

Jul 312014

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 161,980 miles
We bought this 2003 Sequoia limited 2 wheel drive new, and it has been a good car over all. But the vsc tracs, brake lights have flashed on and off sporadically at different speeds, when driving and or when braking. They usually don't effect the car, but recently we have experienced them all coming on when braking, and we seem to loose power and the power steering is lost momentarily until we come to a stop, and shut it off for a few minutes. This happened most recently last week when coming into an intersection driving about 30mph, and all of the vsc, trac, and brake lights abruptly came on, there was a grinding noise, and it seemed to have lost electrical power, trying to come to a stop, I could not stop in time for the intersection, but was lucky enough to avoid being hit by cross traffic, it could have been a lot worse. It sounded like something fell apart underneath. I inspected it and saw nothing, but know that this is a major safety issue that Toyota should address and pay for being a recall item. I called the Toyota hotline and was given a case number for this issue, which was a recall in 2010. Took it to the dealer, and they weren't able to replicate the issue. Stated it was a bad computer, and some vsc module sensor" didn't state Toyota would cover the cost or help with the cost. Even though this has been a known issue with Toyota Sequoia's for years, and was a recall item. This is a safety issue that could result in a major accident. Why would Toyota not cover the cost to fix this if it is a recall item? I want it fixed but with the miles I have on it, don't want to spend much money on it, especially an item that is a recall problem with many like mine. What should I do? wait to have an accident, hire a lawyer, and sue" frustrated Toyota owner in Texas.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #25

Jul 232014

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 185,790 miles
The vsc off/ trac off and check engine and brake light all came on. The brake started to jump and the car pulled hare to the left. I turn the car off and back on the problem went a way but the lights all came back on. However there are a lot of people having this problem with their Sequoia and I have seen no safety recall for this.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #24

Jun 272014

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • miles
At random times, the vsc and brake lights will come on. When this happens, the brakes do not work properly. They severely grind and stopping is nearly impossible. The only solution is to completely turn the car off and restart. I have taken my vehicle to Toyota many time over the course of several years. This is very dangerous as I have children riding in the vehicle!! Toyota either said there is nothing wrong or that a sensor will need to be replaced which costs approximately $1600. This is a common issue with older Sequoias and should be a recall. It should be free of charge to the owner! I should not have to pay for something Toyota did not do right!

- Dacula, GA, USA

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