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Toyota Camry Hybrid Brake Problems

I've owned Toyotas for 16 yrs; still drive a 2000 Camry. Since the day we got the TCH, the brakes seemed 'different,' overly sensitive. On slowly backing down my driveway, they almost felt grabby. Anyone else had that problem? Or is it just MY car may need an adjustment? BTW, love the car, despite center-console squeak. These both are minor and will be addressed.


  • berg32berg32 Posts: 56
    Today's NY Times (6-18-06, Auto Section, p18), says Road & Track ranks the TCH among worst for stopping distance from 60 mph. A rare negative report for the TCH. The TCH stopping distance is 136 ft, compared with 110 ft for Maxda RX-8, among the best. No mention of the non-hybrid Camry; did R&T test one? Can one shorten the TCH's stopping distance with different tires?
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    ranks the TCH among worst for stopping distance from 60 mph

    Granted that is 6 feet further than the 07 Escalade. However considering how much ground you're covering at 60 mph (88 feet per second), for my concern, the reaction time of the driver is much more critical than the 10 yards (about 1/3 of a second) difference in panic stopping distances.
  • bmgoodmanbmgoodman Posts: 102
    I can't find this R&T article or the NYT article yet online. Do you have a link?

    I'd like to see how the TCH did compared to the Camry LE, Honda Accord, Honda Accord Hybrid, etc. I wonder if the regenerative braking causes the longer stopping distances?

    Well, I'm at least glad the NHTSA tests showed the TCH at 5-stars for front and side impact tests for all passengers. That will help offset some concern over stopping distances. And, though not possible in all cases, sometimes you can brake and steer around things, which is where ABS & VDIM come into play.
  • gampagampa Posts: 78
    Not only would tires make a difference but also other factors... for example... the size of the disc and pads( more to grip)... profile of the tires( more road surface contact)... just to mention a few.

    also comparing a TCH and RX-8 is like apples and oranges

  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    136 ft is a reasonable stopping distance for a family sedan. If you look at numbers of family sedans (even performance ones) the stopping distances range from the high 120s to 130s.

    Of course sports cars have shorter stopping distances- they have bigger brakes, larger tires, and stiffer suspensions.

    If you want to see long- the Prius took 154' to stop from 60mph.

    AFAIK, R&T tested a preproduction model.

    The tires on the TCH are reasonable all season tires. Yes, you can improve the stopping distance with higher performance tires, but your trade off is a harsher ride and more noise.

  • berg32berg32 Posts: 56
    Sorry, I don't have a link to the NYTimes or to Road & Track. I don't know if R&T tested the non-hybrid Camry. Does Toyota's hybrid technology reduce braking performance? Can I improve braking performance with different tires? Do larger wheels improve braking performance?
  • berg32berg32 Posts: 56
    According to April '06 Motor Trend, Camry Hybrid 60-0 braking distance is 126 ft, much shorter than Road & Track's test of 136 ft. Same Motor Trend says Prius braking distance is 124 ft.
  • gc77584gc77584 Posts: 65
    Today's NY Times (6-18-06, Auto Section, p18), says Road & Track ranks the TCH among worst for stopping distance from 60 mph.


    June 18, 2006
    Stopping Short
    In its tests of new cars, Road & Track magazine routinely measures stopping distances from 60 miles an hour. The following lists include the best and worst results reported within the last four years in the magazine's Road Test Summary. All of the cars had antilock braking systems.

    Modern passenger cars have such powerful brake systems that in a panic stop, when the driver slams on the brake pedal, there are two possible outcomes:

    In a car without antilock brakes, the wheels will lock up. From a cruising speed of 60 m.p.h., a car with locked brakes will slide nearly 200 feet. An aware and skilled driver can avoid lock-up and modulate brake pressure to achieve distances closer to 150 feet.

    In a car with antilock brakes, the distance can usually be shortened to 130 feet or less. When the antilock system is activated, a modern car's stopping distance has more to do with the tires than with the size of the brake rotors. Sedans with all-season tires do not stop as well as sports cars with high-performance tires that provide more grip.

    When it was tested 21 years ago, a Honda Civic without antilock brakes stopped in 166 feet from 60 m.p.h. And while a more recent Civic EX (with an antilock system) had one of the worst performances in Road & Track tests over the last two years, it still managed, at 133 feet, an impressive 20 percent improvement over the old Honda.

    It is also noteworthy that a Mazda RX-8 stops nearly as well as some superexotic sports cars. The Mazda's braking benefits from sticky tires, antilock technology and a lightweight chassis. SHAUN BAILEY

    Aston Martin V-8 Vantage 107 ft.
    Ferrari F430 Spider 107 ft.
    Lotus Exige 107 ft.
    Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 107 ft.
    Porsche Boxster S 107 ft.
    Porsche 911 Carrera S 108 ft.
    Ferrari Enzo 109 ft.
    Chevrolet Corvette Z06 109 ft.
    Maserati Quattroporte 109 ft.
    Mazda RX-8 110 ft.

    Ford Escape XLT 145 ft.
    Volkswagon Passat 3.6 138 ft.
    Volvo S60 T5 138 ft.
    Cadillac CTS 138 ft.
    Audi A3 2.0 T. 138 ft.
    Mitsuibishi Eclipse GT 137 ft.
    Toyota Camry Hybrid 136 ft.
    Subaru Legacy GT Limited 135 ft.
    Scion xB 134 ft.
    Honda Civic EX 133 ft.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    It appears to me that being in the "worst" category simply means you're in the non sporting class of cars. The list of other cars in this category is impressive. I'm not sure I would intrepret this "worst" rating as bad.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    The HSD system runs the braking system through the central computer, which works out the needs of regernerative braking vs. stopping distance. I think Toyota needs to revamp their system to increase braking in panic stops.

    On a conventional car, the braking system is independent of everything except the brake petal and the antilock braking systems.

    In essense, the HSD has two functions to braking, while conventional cars just, well, brake.
  • spiff72spiff72 Posts: 179
    I posted a similar message at but I was questioning the final couple of feet as I come to a stop when driving on public roads.

    Mine seem to grab at the last possible moment as you come to a complete stop. I tried unsuccessfully to duplicate it for a technician when I had it in for other reasons. They said that they were behaving normally.

    You have to keep in mind that the brakes at slow speed can be grabby, since you are braking "by wire" - there is no mechanical connection between the brake calipers and brake pedal. It is done electronically. At higher speeds (abouve 12mph from what I have heard), braking is done by using the resitance of the "generator" and this is used to recharge the batteries. In a panic stop, the mechanical/hydraulic brakes are engaged.
  • I experienced center-console sqeaks. My dealer finally corrected the problem but it needed numerous visits to the
    service center. And yes the brakes are very sensitive but I
    feel secure with them. Overall it is to this day the best car I ever owned.
  • I have a slight brake noise during my first couple of stops in my TCH. I contacted the dealer. They said Toyota recgognizes this as a problem. The dealer is installing a company supplied fix tomorrow. FYI.
  • Did you get the fix? What was it? I am noting noise also, esp after rain or snow. Since I have already had the car in to fix the center console noise, replace the transmission (at 2600 mi.) I am getting tired of taking the car in for all these things. I wonder if Toyota is going to publicize the "fix" for the brakes.
  • I got the fix. The dealer said my brake squeak problem
    was well known by Toyota. They installed some sort of manufacture supplied fix kit. Only problem? Brakes still squeak..worse than before. So its back to the dealer again
  • I went back to the dealer. Toyota told them to replace all my brakes pads. So, it's back again in the near future to try this fix.
  • dmhltd1dmhltd1 Posts: 31
    I have a noise when backing out of my garage each morning (that's about the only time I back up). I hesitate to call it a whine or squeal because the pitch is lower than that but higher than a groan. I have 8K on the car and just had it in for an oil change but forgot to ask about it. I'm going to email the service department and ask about it.
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    I've got it too. It's definitely not a brake squeal sound. It'll be brought up later this month at service time. Unfortunately, it's intermittent, which sometimes makes diagnosis difficult.
  • lessachslessachs Posts: 44
    I have a 2007 TCH with 3900 miles. My brakes squeak. Its been to the dealer twice. Last time, they said they replaced the brake components. Still squeaks. The service department now tells me this is typical.
    They say the brake pads have metal in their composition which rusts and causes the brakes to squeak for the first few times I brake and especially during wet weather. I've had several Camrys and have never had this irritating problem. This my first TCH. What do you all think?>
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    22,000 miles and I've not heard it. Then again I don't hear high frequencies well ;)
  • plknjplknj Posts: 121
    It has happened in the cold weather, usually at start-up and quickly goes away. Have not heard the sound recently as it has gotten warmer... I have 10,000 miles on my TCH.
  • mrpatmrpat Posts: 24
    I hear a brake squeak or squeal at low apeeds, parking lot, garage etc..

    Ive seen refernce to a technical service bulletin but i dont know where to find them.

    Going in for the first service appointment tomorrow, will check back in the morning.

    I also want to get fog lights and a block heater for winter FE.

    average 35 mpg so far, 22 with my Volvo
  • plknjplknj Posts: 121
    Please tell us what they say about fog lights as I have never gotten a plausible answer. Thanks.. Peter
  • mrpatmrpat Posts: 24
    I dont want them any more I just posted a reply to someone who got the zenon headlights installed instead. I will try to get them installed.

    Dealer said fog lights would cost about 900.00
    Definitely not worth it unless done at the factory.
  • thaipthaip Posts: 32
    Hi all,

    I just picked up my TCH and everything is good so far except for the break. When I am breaking to stop the car or simply slowing down the car, it makes some kind of noise like wind blowing noise or hail noise.

    Does anyone expriencing this problem? please share!

  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    What you describe sounds normal to me. Both the hybrid system and regenerative brakes make distinct sounds, most noticeable when braking or slowing down. Some people call it a whine.
  • thaipthaip Posts: 32
    Hi All,

    I am in the process learning all about the TCH. If anyone exprience the below situation please share! When the car stop at a traffic light or at park or when just started, the fuel consumption gauge at E, now you step on the gas pedal to get the car rolling, the car is not rolling smoothly like a regular gasoline engine car would. If I step on the gas pedal very slowly then the car rolling smoothly. I don't know if because it is in the transition stage from electric to gasoline so the car is hesitating?

    The ECO button, is it o.k to use it all the time? Does it really help with the MPG? My first tank, I averaged 32 miles and I put on 480 miles. Will I get better MPG?


  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    From a standing stop, it's normal to feel a slight shudder when the engine starts up. Once up to speed, the back and forth switching of the hybrid system should be hard to detect.

    If the ECO mode saves gas, I haven't noticed it. On hot days I think it reduces the cooling output of the AC too much.

    Your mileage will vary greatly based on how and where you drive, length of trips, outside temperature (cold weather hurts hybrid mileage), and I'm sure a few other factors.

    The best test is probably to take a long freeway drive. At 70 mph I'd be surprised if you didn't get 38-40 mpg (assuming it wasn't mostly uphill!).
  • thaipthaip Posts: 32
    "From a standing stop" you mean at when the car just started, at a full stop sign, and at a traffic light right? I didn't feel anything once the car is rolling at a very slow speed like 2-5 miles and during transition from this low speed to higher speed. The car only shuddering when I step on the gas pedal after the car is at full stop. Is the above situation you exprienced?

    I also noticed that when I had the ECO button on the AC reduced the cold air. I read the manual and it says that the ECO can help to improve MPG but will reduce cold air or heat, take longer to cool or heat up.


  • mrpatmrpat Posts: 24
    I havent noticed the eco problem, I want to have my dealer set eco up to be always on.

    I normally start out gently and hardly feel the shudder, now that I have 2500 miles I sometimes accelerate fast when the situation calls for it; it takes off like a v6 and no shudder at all.

    I looked up toyota canada and im going to try to have the back up assist, a canadian spoiler and a block heater installed there, should be about 2 500 mile tanks of fuel and a nice ride.

    Toyota canada has a better customizing web site if you choose the xle model. they dont show much for our hybrids
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