2018 Toyota Sequoia Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electronic stability control and electrical problems issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Today’s busy families count on the 2018 Toyota Sequoia for transportation. The automaker claims that newer SUV “rule every road trip,” but many owners are scared to death about taking this vehicle beyond the driveway. It suffers from a defective electronic stability control system, a faulty electrical system and trouble with the vehicle speed control.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2018 Toyota Sequoia

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Electronic Stability Control
Vehicle Speed Control
Lane Departure: Blind Spot Detection
Service Brakes
Air Bags
Back Over Prevention: Rearview System Braking
Electrical System:adas:blindspot:sensors
Electrical System:adas:driver Monitoring:camera/sensor

Problems with the Electronic Stability Control

Modern vehicles include this system that is supposed to improve stability, but the Sequoia doesn’t seem to function correctly.

Here is an NHTSA complaint addressing the problems. “The contact owns a 2018 Toyota Sequoia. On several occasions, when the vehicle was started, the Adaptive Collision Warning Sensor illuminated. The contact stated that the vehicle was turned off and back on, and the vehicle would reset itself. The failure recurred several times, on several occasions, while driving various speeds with no other vehicles ahead. The Auto Braking feature independently activated and the ‘Brake Obstacle Ahead’ warning message illuminated. The vehicle would then suddenly brake independently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the forward facing cameras and sensors were replaced. However, the failure recurred. The contact stated that several warning indicators illuminated at times, including the Blind Spot Monitoring System Malfunction, Adaptive Collision Sensor, Brake Obstacle Ahead Warning Indicator and Adaptive Cruise Control. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the bumper sensors and sideview mirrors where the forward collision sensors were housed needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer and was replaced with a similar vehicle. The contact stated that the replacement vehicle experienced similar failures. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken back to [dealer] where the contact was informed that the issue was due to a software failure, and that the engineers at Toyota were actively working on the software update. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 12.”

It turns out that there is a massive recall that related to the electronic stability control system. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V122000 states that the system can deactivate on its own and lead to an increased chance of an accident. The trouble stems from electrical interference in the power supply circuit that causes the system to deactivate. Without it, customers lose the ability to enjoy a stable ride, which further proves why this SUV is not meant for road trips at all. It might even struggle to take the kids to soccer practice.

Problems with the Electrical System

The last recall was caused by an electrical problem, but that’s not the only fault worth mentioning.

Here’s a comment from an Edmunds user. “I have leased the vehicle not too long ago. A week later I had to drive it to the shop due to multiple safety sensors repeated failures. Rear cross traffic, Blind spot, active cruise control, front collision radar, etc. At the moment dealer had to contact Toyota to figure out what is going on. I wish I could return it at this point in time…Toyota reliability is gone. First one, and definitely the last Toyota I will ever lease / own.”

It turns out there is yet another recall related to electrical problems. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V685000 states that nearly 170,000 vehicles might have a faulty air bag electronic control unit causing trouble with deployment. Basically, this SUV is only good for a road trip if owners don’t want to protect the occupants. Of course, there’s always the option to simply wrap the family in bubble wrap. This option might provide more protection.

Problems with the Vehicle Speed Control

With today’s modern systems, there is equipment that helps to regulate the speed at which the SUV travels. When these systems malfunction, anything can happen.

Another NHTSA review states, “At less than 500 miles, the safety sensors (Collision Prevention, Cruise Control Adaptable Speed, Rear Cross Traffic, Blind Spot Monitor) are failing repeatedly. Dealer has contacted Toyota for support. No ETA at present.”

The Sequoia appears to be allergic to safety. It doesn’t want to protect the passengers and there seem to be faults with every safety system imaginable, even the basic ones like air bags. While there is no communication related to the vehicle speed control, it’s clear that Toyota is simply trying to cover up its tracks at this point. After all, it doesn’t want to change the tagline to “rule every service center.”

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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  • Aj O

    Going through this exact same issue now. Was told the car needed a software update but no info supplied within receipt. Sensors still going off when I come to a stop with nothing in front of me. They stop when I begin to drive. Awfully scary

  • Aj O

    Going through this exact same issue now

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