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Rx400H Brake Failure


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I would be most grateful if other RX400h owners would indicate whether they have experienced a BRAKE FAILURE problem with this vehicle.

When applying normal constant pressure to the brake pedal, the brakes automatically release and then automatically reapply.

As this operation is automatic - without any change in input from the driver - it is distressing to be uncertain each time whether the brakes will actually reapply themselves after automatically releasing brake pressure! Obviously this presents a potentially lethal hazard to oneself and to other road users and to pedestrians.

This brake failure occurs when braking and turning into a corner and when the vehicle is travelling over a rough surface (which is most places!).

The sensation to the driver is that of skidding on ice (as braking force is lost) and gives the impression of a relative acceleration due the loss of expected deceleration.

Naturally, this is accompanied by a distressing sickening feeling in one's stomach due to the unexpected release of braking force when pressing the brake pedal - especially when approaching roundabouts and when travelling downhill !!!

PM me if you wish.

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I would be most grateful if other RX400h owners would indicate whether they have experienced a BRAKE FAILURE problem with this vehicle.

When applying normal constant pressure to the brake pedal, the brakes automatically release and then automatically reapply.

As this operation is automatic - without any change in input from the driver - it is distressing to be uncertain each time whether the brakes will actually reapply themselves after automatically releasing brake pressure! Obviously this presents a potentially lethal hazard to oneself and to other road users and to pedestrians.

This brake failure occurs when braking and turning into a corner and when the vehicle is travelling over a rough surface (which is most places!).

The sensation to the driver is that of skidding on ice (as braking force is lost) and gives the impression of a relative acceleration due the loss of expected deceleration.

Naturally, this is accompanied by a distressing sickening feeling in one's stomach due to the unexpected release of braking force when pressing the brake pedal - especially when approaching roundabouts and when travelling downhill !!!

PM me if you wish.

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[ i have never had any brake problems on my 400 in 6000 miles of varied motoring conditions. Certainly never experienced your problem. On the snow and ice I could feel the ABS system working when any skids began. Maybe you should take your car back to your dealer and have the ABS and other systems checked. I have always thought the braking on the Lexus was most reassuring and positive.

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Appreciate that this has been covered in another post, but i suppose what i am asking is has it really been resolved?

All the feedback from UK owners so far indicate that this happens over rough or slippy ground and that is precisely the same criteria where the newer cars that have been recalled so far. See quote from toyota press room:-

"The ABS, in normal operation, engages and disengages rapidly (many times per second) as the control system senses and reacts to tire slippage. Some 2010 model year Prius and 2010 HS 250h owners have reported experiencing inconsistent brake feel during slow and steady application of brakes on rough or slick road surfaces when the ABS is activated in an effort to maintain tire traction."

So what is different on the 2010 hybrid models (that dictates only these need to be recalled) from the earlier uk ones? As we have the same symptoms?

Thoughts appreciated

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  • 2 weeks later...

[ i have never had any brake problems on my 400 in 6000 miles of varied motoring conditions. Certainly never experienced your problem. On the snow and ice I could feel the ABS system working when any skids began. Maybe you should take your car back to your dealer and have the ABS and other systems checked. I have always thought the braking on the Lexus was most reassuring and positive.

Interstingly, not all RX400h owners have experienced the BRAKE FAILURE from new - and many report that this fault appeared later in the vehicles mileage. So, whilst one hopes you do not experience such a problem, the fact that you have not experienced it in 6000 miles driving is no guarantee that your vehicle is immune from this Brake Failure. Good luck!

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inconsistent brake feel

Yes indeed thanks for your reply.....the 'default denial' of Lexus dealers is wide-spread, and is clearly an official policy of the Toyota Motor Corporation.

inconsistent brake feel is what the Toyota spin doctor calls it - damn frightening Brake Failure is what the drivers say!

When the brakes automatically release, this is not a change in feel but rather a release of braking force - which can be felt directly by the driver.

There is clearly no difference between UK and US vehicles - as both UK and US vehicle have the same problem.

This was the situation with the Prius - and is obviously the situation with the RX400h.

Here's what Toyota stated about the 8500 UK vehicle Prius recall: "Owners have reported problems with the Prius's brakes, claiming that they appear to 'momentarily fail' on bumpy or slippery surfaces."

This is exactly what RX400h are reporting (both in the UK and US).

But in typical 'default denial' mode, Toyota claim that BRAKE FAILURES do not represent a danger!!!

Evident from your experience - and that of any right-minded owner/driver for whom the BRAKES FAIL - one would have to say something very rude in response to Toyota's 'default denial' that safety is compromised by BRAKE FAILURE!!!!

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I would be most grateful if other RX400h owners would indicate whether they have experienced a BRAKE FAILURE problem with this vehicle.

When applying normal constant pressure to the brake pedal, the brakes automatically release and then automatically reapply.

As this operation is automatic - without any change in input from the driver - it is distressing to be uncertain each time whether the brakes will actually reapply themselves after automatically releasing brake pressure! Obviously this presents a potentially lethal hazard to oneself and to other road users and to pedestrians.

This brake failure occurs when braking and turning into a corner and when the vehicle is travelling over a rough surface (which is most places!).

The sensation to the driver is that of skidding on ice (as braking force is lost) and gives the impression of a relative acceleration due the loss of expected deceleration.

Naturally, this is accompanied by a distressing sickening feeling in one's stomach due to the unexpected release of braking force when pressing the brake pedal - especially when approaching roundabouts and when travelling downhill !!!

PM me if you wish.

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I would be most grateful if other RX400h owners would indicate whether they have experienced a BRAKE FAILURE problem with this vehicle.

When applying normal constant pressure to the brake pedal, the brakes automatically release and then automatically reapply.

As this operation is automatic - without any change in input from the driver - it is distressing to be uncertain each time whether the brakes will actually reapply themselves after automatically releasing brake pressure! Obviously this presents a potentially lethal hazard to oneself and to other road users and to pedestrians.

This brake failure occurs when braking and turning into a corner and when the vehicle is travelling over a rough surface (which is most places!).

The sensation to the driver is that of skidding on ice (as braking force is lost) and gives the impression of a relative acceleration due the loss of expected deceleration.

Naturally, this is accompanied by a distressing sickening feeling in one's stomach due to the unexpected release of braking force when pressing the brake pedal - especially when approaching roundabouts and when travelling downhill !!!

PM me if you wish.

I have been and continue to have arguments with my dealer over this very problem.

It does not have to be cold or bumpy for my RX400 to let go off the brakes. Remembering that there are two braking effects in operation, i.e the foot brake and also the regeneration which also slows the car. There are also other problems with the hybrid system on my vehicle. The dealers attitude is to completely ignor my complaints and just say the car is OK. When I wrote to Lexus UK to ask them for help/guidence I got a circular letter saying that it was not there problem as I had bought the car from a dealer.

My conclusion is that it is a serious problem on some cars and Toyota/Lexus are ignoring it. How much will it costs us when it finally goes wrong. I for one will never buy another Lexus, amazing car but I have found a dishonourable dealer and manufacturer.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have been and continue to have arguments with my dealer over this very problem.

It does not have to be cold or bumpy for my RX400 to let go off the brakes. Remembering that there are two braking effects in operation, i.e the foot brake and also the regeneration which also slows the car. There are also other problems with the hybrid system on my vehicle. The dealers attitude is to completely ignor my complaints and just say the car is OK. When I wrote to Lexus UK to ask them for help/guidence I got a circular letter saying that it was not there problem as I had bought the car from a dealer.

My conclusion is that it is a serious problem on some cars and Toyota/Lexus are ignoring it. How much will it costs us when it finally goes wrong. I for one will never buy another Lexus, amazing car but I have found a dishonourable dealer and manufacturer.

Given our experience, and the experience of thousands of owners in the US, of the attitude of Lexus Toyota to potentially lethal Brake Failure problems on their vehicles, it does not surprise me that you are having arguments with your Lexus Dealer over this Brake Failure problem. It is clear from the experience of others that the corporate (Toyota Motor Corporation) response to Brake Failures is to immediately claim that there are no Brake Failures - on any vehicle at any time! This is exactly what the Toyota Motor Corporation did to owners in the United States - and is exactly the reason that the Toyota Motor Corporation is being sued by thousands of owners in the US.

I reported a Brake Failure to the Lexus Dealer - who immediately told me there were no problems with Brakes - via email !!! without having even inspected the vehicle first !!!

Regarding the statement (fobbing off) you received from Lexus GB ("it was not there problem as I had bought the car from a dealer") - is your car under a finance agreement? If it is, then the vehicle - and its faulty brakes and/or hybrid system - is the responsibility of the Finance Company (e.g. Lexus Financial Services, Toyota Financial Services (UK) plc)

Your conclusion is absolutely correct - Toyota Lexus are simply - and cynically - ignoring serious faults on their vehicles - including potentially lethal Brake Failures - and doing so for financial reasons - and ignoring driver/passenger/other road user/pedestrian safety.

As with you, we shall NEVER buy another Lexus - or Toyota - and are absolutely disgusted at the response from Lexus - Lexus Financial Services - Toyota Financial Services (UK) PLC - Toyota Motor Corporation.

We have a Lexus Purchase Plan on the RX400h - and Lexus Financial Services have been absolutely negligent in dealing with our case and simply ignore their legal obligation with respect to the faulty Lexus RX400h with a Brake Failure.

Lexus Financial Services have attempted to impose on us a condition not included in the original contract - obviously a condition to our detriment - and have attempted to make us liable for any shortfall in the resale of the vehicle!

Lexus Financial Services - Toyota Financial Services (UK) PLC - have refused to provide a remedy to the Brake Failure - and along with the Dealers - have merely insisted that we drive a vehicle with a potentially lethal Brake Failure on the highway.

Naturally, we have refused to do so......but Lexus Toyota simply ignore the potential hazard of a Brake Failure in order that they do not lose money!!!

Lexus Financial Services - Toyota Financial Services (UK) PLC - have even stated that even if they admit there is a Brake Failure problem even then they claim they are not liable - because the problem did not exist when the vehicle was driven out of the showroom!!!! This is the level of dishonest - and unlawful - business practices that Lexus Financial Services - Toyota Financial Services (UK) PLC - are engaging in!

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Yes, experience this most mornings as I leave home on a bumpy bit of road at a junction onto a main road.

I've put it down to the regenerative braking mode switching off and not quite being balanced by the switching in of the friction braking when the abs is triggered. It sounds a bit like the situation that Prius suffers from, familiarity allows me to prdict when it is going to happen.

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  • 7 months later...

I have recently experienced 3 occurrences when Applying the brakes in an ''emergency''. The first two times was when approaching a roundabout and needed to apply the brakes suddenly. On both times the car started to slow, but then there was no retardation at all.In both instances there was no accident so I assumed there may have been a problem with the road surface or I had misjudged the situation. However,on the third occurrence,last week,I was in heavy traffic on the A1 near the M62 junction when the traffic came to an emergency stop and I braked fully.I fully expected to stop when approximately a cars length from the car in front,but from there on there was no retardation at all and I ran into the back of the car in front.In this incident I was very aware that there was no retardation at all and remembered that it was exactly the same as the two previous incidents.

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