Last post on Dec 06, 2013 at 7:35 PM
You are in the Toyota Highlander Hybrid
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Brakes, SUV
#67 of 139 Braking Gap Has Been Frightening
Nov 29, 2009 (9:05 pm)
I called Toyota about the Highlander Hybrid braking gap problem described herein, and as of November 2009, they advise that they have never heard of this problem before. It am disappointed to see that this info has been posted for years, and that Toyota has even posted herein.
We are experiencing the braking gap at moderate to low speeds, in rush-hour stop and start traffic (go 50 mph, then slow way down, repeatedly), on smooth roads. It feels as if the brakes are working, then suddenly stop working, and then resume working. The period during which the brakes are not working feels almost as if I am fighting against acceleration. Having rarely driven the HH since we bought it, I have been driving it daily since August 2009, as my commute requires it now. I was bothered by the braking gap experience, before the stories of runaway Toyota/Lexus cars came to our attention. The braking gap alone was worrisome because a) more distance seemed to be required to stop, which could lead to an accident, and b) it seemed as if the accelerator was involved, which would lead to lower fuel efficiency. But when the run-away Toyota/Lexus story broke, the CNN coverage of highly educated, extremely concerned, credible people talking about their run-away cars, with no floormats near the gas pedals, and an expert with a chart showing rapid increase in run-away cars after a computer governing the throttle was introduced, I took notice. Toyota seems to be doing no better than Ford did with their Explorers when the Firestone tires were killing people, and I had become more concerned about the braking gap problem. So I am quite relieved to see that others' accidents related to the braking gap problem have been relatively minor, although still hair-raising, compared to the other Toyota/Lexus scenario, with the crash-and-burn outcomes.
I gather that I need to adjust my driving style. No longer can I count on the consistent braking I have long enjoyed as a driver of German and Swedish cars. I will have to anticipate the braking gap, and try not to be bothered by what feels like equipment failure, until I can replace the 2007 HH.
We have spent over $100,000 with Toyota Lexus in the last five years, buying a Lexus for each of two college grads, and the HH for ourselves. We gave Toyota/Lexus the benefit of the doubt on safety, and allowed them a spot on our short list of Trusted Brands in the car category. They have now removed themselves from the list. We were down to one Lexus, and the HH. The Lexus was traded in for a German car last week. Now we're down to one slightly problematic (we hope) Toyota Highlander Hybrid with a braking gap. Thank you for your help in calibrating this risk.
#68 of 139 Re: Braking Gap Has Been Frightening [jaw6884]
Nov 30, 2009 (10:46 am)
With a standard HL if ABS needs to activate it begins releasing brake fluid pressure from the wheel(s) approaching lockup IMMEDIATELY.
With a hybrid the FIRST action of ABS will be to DISABLE regen braking. Disabling regen ALONE may resolve the problem. The result is that ABS activated without your EVER being aware. All you thought you felt was a surge or lurch forward when regen ceased opperation thereby (momentarily) lessening the braking HP.
Also. There are MANY instances wherein a single pulse of ABS would be all that was needed, would be "felt" by the driver via the brake pedal kick-back or otherwise. With a regen vehicle all you "feel", think you feel, in these instances is the slight surge or lurch forward.
Since NON-ABS controlled/limited braking is deemed so highly dangerous there are indications that regen braking is disabled/reduced/limited somehow in cold sub-35F temperatures. Even moreso for most hybrids since there are consistently FWD or F/awd. Ford, I believe, disables regen entirely during coastdown periods if the temperature is sub-freezing. Obviously regen MUST be disabled anytime ABS (initially) activates.
#69 of 139 Itís Frightening: Toyota/Lexus Donít Seem to Care about Human Life: Need
Jan 04, 2010 (2:43 pm)
This is to call the Toyota or Lexus Hybrid car ownersí attention to braking gap problems. We owned the Lexux LS 600 HL for one year before we experienced the braking problem.
The first incident happened in a parking lot in early October í09. The Lexus would not stop and ran over the curb and walkway and ended into a grassy area near a fountain. We ignored this incident and did not report it until the last incident happened. The last incident happened at a one-way stop which crosses the intersection of a two way heavily traveled thoroughfare. The car failed to stop at the stop sign, crossed two lanes of traffic, and ran into hedges and a street sign before coming to a stop. There was damage to the body of the car (bottom & front). We reported this to our Lexus Dealer. They were very nice to accommodate us with a loaner car. They sent our complaint to the Lexus Customer Satisfaction Center in Naperville, IL. Their complaint investigation was totally unacceptable. They advised that they have no history for the subject warranty problem and repair records and are unable to duplicate our concerns.
We are surprised that Toyota/Lexus did not even consider human life issue or even their own brand image. They should know that similar problems did occur and exist in Prius and Highlander hybrid vehicles during the past few years and are all shown on this website. I canít believe that Toyota/Lexus ignore this problem and donít even educate the vehicle operators on how to control the brake if this is a minor problem (which I believe is a major problem).
I donít want to wait until someone crashes and dies.
Please advise me what action I should take or how to advise the other owners so they wonít be sacrificed.
#70 of 139 Re: Itís Frightening: Toyota/Lexus Donít Seem to Care about Human Life: Need [ch120842]
Jan 04, 2010 (9:15 pm)
I also had a braking problem with my 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, where I coasted into the car in front of me because I was travelling under 20 mph and the ABS brakes never "grabbed" during an emergency stop. I filed a complaint with the government agency the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration at http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/. If enough people file complaints there, they will open an investigation for a possible recall. The Consumer Affairs website is useful for lawyers to find class action lawsuits, which would be nice to recover all of the money that people are spending on these rear-end and slow speed accidents. I also alerted Consumer Reports, as they always rate these cars very highly, which is misleading.
#71 of 139 Re: Itís Frightening: Toyota/Lexus Donít Seem to Care about Human Life:
Jan 10, 2010 (2:48 pm)
One has to be extremely careful.
So far, most HH owners have reported a "slip" or "gap" in braking at low temperature but few, if any, have reported incidents that resulted in a "run away" condition as you have reported. So I will caution against generalizing this to be something that has been reported "all over" the web.
I have heard of ABS incorrectly activating at very low speed (Chevy?) when it ought to shut off. ABS activation at low speed causes the brakes to not fully engage so the car keeps on rolling. Low speed rolling though should not send a car across so many lanes plowing onto curbs. So something is definitely wrong with your vehicle.
Unfortunately, the recent "gas pedal" run-away problem that resulted in deaths have shown that Toyota will also hide the truth and refuse to acknowledge safety concerns. It continues to blame the matt instead of looking into the accelerator system. Anyway, do be careful how you make the claim.
All that said, I am losing confidence in Toyota's reputation. Having a defect is one thing but refusal to own up to the problem and fix it is much worse. Time to look at Ford again.
#72 of 139 Re: Itís Frightening: Toyota/Lexus Donít Seem to Care about Human Life:
Jan 10, 2010 (2:54 pm)
Not sure what this means. You need to be very careful and not confused the problem. Is this inappropriate ABS activation at low speed causing car not to stop? Certain Chevy trucks of a particular model year had this problem.
By not grabbing, do you mean the brakes did not work? Or did you cause the car to lock up and skid because ABS did not work?
The manual states that ABS will not activate under 25-MPH. This is not new and is actually a requirement of ABS systems. ABS is supposed to shut off at low speed else it will keep the brakes pumping and not able to stop your car. This is a totally different problem that the ones we have been reporting? Is this what you are experiencing?
#73 of 139 Hi Hy Brake issues
Feb 03, 2010 (7:12 am)
I have a 2006 Hi Hy Limited that I bought pre certified in 2008 with 38K on it. First let me say I LOVE THIS CAR!! I would buy it again in a second!! I have experienced the brake "coasting" slightly when I step on it lightly but I believe this to be less a defect and more of an after effect of the regen brakes. You simply have to learn to brake differently? The brakes are drive by wire as is the gas pedal. NO LINKAGE!! This is a radically different driving concept and you really need to treat it as such. I've always tried to follow other cars at a safe distance and when the coasting effect does occur, simply pressing the brakes slightly harder corrects this and stops the car on a dime!! I am amazed at how well this car does stop!! Follow at a safe distance proportionate to your speed!!! This more then your Hi Hy's brakes is probably the bigger problem?? Hope this helps???
#74 of 139 Re: Hi Hy Brake issues [hihy2006]
Feb 03, 2010 (11:12 am)
Not Applicable. My brakes work properly as long as i don't hit a bump in the road. Let's say I am slowing down from 25 mph. The dial on the left (mine is an Rx400h) show regeneration, i.e. it is below the neutral zone. Then, I hit a small bump, an irregularity in the road surface. It doesn't take much. The braking power is reduced and the dial shows that regeneration has stopped. Regen, doesn't come back unless i stop braking momentarily.. If I stop and reapply the brakes, the dial shows regeneration again and the braking power returns to normal.
This could be a loose connection. The dealer says he never of heard of this problem. But, it could also be a bug in the ABS or stability control systems.. That is, the small bump could stop wheel rotation which is sensed by both of these systems.
Thanks for trying to help...
#75 of 139 Will recall affect HH?
Feb 03, 2010 (5:09 pm)
Seeing the news today about the Prius braking problem coming to light, it sounds all the world like what we've been describing on this thread with our HH's.
Wonder when HH's will finally be recalled to address the braking gap problem.
#76 of 139 Here's the latest from Toyota
Feb 03, 2010 (5:13 pm)
Hot off the presses Feb. 3, 2010, from Toyota:
Statement Regarding 2010 Model Year Toyota Prius Inconsistent Brake Feeling
In certain 2010 model year Prius vehicles, Toyota has received reports that some customers have experienced inconsistent brake feel when the vehicle is driven over potholes, bumps or slippery road surfaces.
Toyota is currently in the process of confirming these reports and investigating the vehicle driving conditions under which the reported phenomenon occurs. It would be premature to comment until the investigation has been completed.