How to Fix Toyota Tacoma Brake Override Malfunction?

A faulty brake override system in Toyota Tacoma can be a frustrating issue for drivers. Checking for bad ECM, blown fuses, dead batteries, bad wiring, and malfunctioning pedal sensors are the first actions. Then repair or replace the components regarding the needs.

Pickup trucks like the Toyota Tacoma may experience brake override troubles as a result of both software problems and actual brake system failure. If your Toyota Tacoma brake override system isn’t working, it’s best to have a mechanic fix it.

This article examines common Toyota Tacoma brake override problems and describes how to fix them.

Key Takeaways:

Before getting deeper into the guide, let’s have a look at the topics we are going to discuss here.

  • The causes of the brake override malfunction in the Toyota Tacoma.
  • The ways of solutions to the brake override malfunction.
  • How you can reset the brake override system.

Tacoma Brake Override: Reasons and Fixes of Malfunction in Short

The brake override system is a standard feature in all Toyota vehicles manufactured after 2010. If the driver accidentally presses the accelerator and brake pedal while moving at a speed of at least 8 kmph, a signal to slow down the truck is sent to the computer.

Sometimes, the brake override system may malfunction due to several reasons. The table below lists the various causes and their fixes to the Toyota Tacoma brake override system malfunctions.

1A damaged airbag sensor.Replace the faulty sensor and check for loose wiring.
2Installed aftermarket tail lights.Disconnect it.
3A fuse shorts out.Replace the blown fuse.
4A dying battery.Replace the battery.
5A malfunctioning ECM.Reset the ECM.
6Defective brake sensor.Replace the sensor.

How to Fix Brake Override Malfunction in Tacoma? [Problems and Solutions Discussed]

Here’re the common problems and possible solutions discussed below regarding the Toyota Tacoma brake override issue.

Problem 1: A Damaged Airbag Sensor

Both the airbag sensor and brake override system are connected to the airbag control module. So when the airbag sensor malfunctions, it prevents the brake override system from successfully slowing down the engine.

If your dashboard displays an airbag warning light, it means your airbag sensor is damaged.


Replace the faulty sensor and check for loose wiring. To replace the airbag sensor, follow the following steps.

  • Step 1: Locate the airbag sensor(s) first. Open the engine hood. You will see two sensors on the two side walls of the car beside the radiator.
  • Step 2: Remove the yellow-colored connectors from the black-colored sensors by pressing on the connectors’ back or using a flathead screwdriver to push them back.
  • Step 3: Unbolt the sensor(s) with the right screwdriver.
  • Step 4: Now, put the new sensor(s) and bolt it properly.
  • Step 5: Reconnect the airbag sensor connectors.

Repairing the broken airbag sensor will ensure that the brake override feature activates appropriately, as both systems are interconnected.

Problem 2: Installed Aftermarket Tail Lights

If aftermarket tail lights are incorrectly installed or incompatible with Toyota Tacoma’s electrical system, the brake override mechanism may not work.


To resolve the issue, you have to disconnect the tail lights and then reconnect them. Before reconnecting the light, make sure the lights are compatible with your Tacoma’s model year.

You should go through the following steps to resolve the aftermarket tail light issue.

  • Step 1: Remove the tail lights first. You can use an electric screwdriver to ease the removal process.
  • Step 2: Disconnect all connectors from the lights gradually.
  • Step 3: Check the connector thoroughly to see if they are ok.
  • Step 4: Reconnect all connectors tightly so that there is no loose connection.
  • Step 5: Put back the tail lights on places and bolt the screws properly.
  • Step 6: Check the system to see if it works. The brake override system should work now if the problem was in the installation of aftermarket tail lights.

If you can’t do so, it should be done with the help of a professional auto mechanic.

Problem 3: A Fuse Shorts Out

The brake override system is powered by an electric fuse. A blown-out fuse could be another reason for the Toyota Tacoma brake override issue. Check for the fuse if it is blown out or shorted.

Pull out the fuse and check if the circuit inside the fuse is full. If you see any gap in the fuse circuit inside it, the fuse is blown out.


Resolving the blown-out fuse issue is simple. Follow the steps below to replace the old one with a new fuse.

  • Step 1: Locate your Tacoma’s fuse box and see if the 10 amp fuse with STOP written underneath has blown.
  • Step 2: Pull out the fuse by pulling it with a nose plier. Or you can use your hand.
  • Step 3: Install the new fuse by putting it in the right place and pushing it to the place evenly. You should hear a little click-like sound if the fuse is installed properly.

Check for other electrical issues since the fuse goes bad due to high voltage or short-circuit of the electrical components. If found, resolve the issues according to the issues found.

Problem 4: A Dying Battery

A dying battery could result in other electrical problems with the car that might indirectly affect how well the brake override mechanism works. Check for CEL, dim headlight, bad smell from the battery, corroded battery, etc., to understand if the battery is dying.


If the battery is dying, you should replace it with a new battery. This may cost you around $70 to $200 based on the brand and other relevant facts.

Follow the following steps to replace the battery.

  • Step 1: Disconnect the battery connection. First, disconnect the ground/negative terminal, then the positive one.
  • Step 2: Remove the battery from its place.
  • Step 3: Put the new battery in place of the old battery.
  • Step 4: Reconnect the positive terminal first, then do so for the negative terminal.
  • Step 5: Tighten the battery terminal bolts snugly.

On the other hand, if the battery lacks charge, recharge the battery.

Problem 5: A Malfunctioning Electronic Control Module/Electronic Control Unit

The brake override system may not work properly if the ECM malfunctions. In a Toyota Tacoma, defective ECM can be caused by faulty wiring, short circuits, broken sensors, and exposure to extremely cold or hot temperatures.


If the ECM of the Toyota Tacoma gets bad, you have to replace it. Tacoma’s ECM is located underneath the glove compartment. Follow the following steps to replace the ECM.

  • Step 1: Disconnect the battery. Disconnect the negative terminal first and then the positive one.
  • Step 2: Remove the front and side covers of the glove compartment.
  • Step 3: Remove the airbag assembly cover.
  • Step 4: Remove the screws of the glove compartment first, and then the compartment itself.
  • Step 5: Now you have access to the ECM. Remove all connectors from the module. Be careful while disconnecting the connectors.
  • Step 6: Remove three screws from the ECM mount brackets and remove the module after unscrewing the screws.
  • Step 7: Now, put the new ECM and screw it with the mount brackets.
  • Step 8: Follow the reverse procedure to reinstall ECM.

Problem 6: Defective Brake Sensor Switch

The system receives information from the brake sensor switch when the brake pedal is pressed. If the brake sensor switch isn’t functioning properly, the vehicle’s brake warning light may illuminate the dashboard. Also, the brake override system won’t work.

The brake sensor may go bad due to corroded brake discs, worn-out brake pads, and so on.


If the brake sensor switch goes bad, you have to replace it. The replacement process of the brake switch is pretty straightforward. Follow the following steps to do so.

  • Step 1: Locate the brake switch underneath the brake pedal.
  • Step 2: Disconnect the brake connector from the switch, and pull out the switch straight.
  • Step 3: Now, pull back the new switch to the brake switch place and reconnect the brake connector.

Check for the other reasons behind the brake sensor malfunction. Replace or repair the components accordingly.

How to Reset the Brake Override System of Toyota Tacoma to Default?

The Tacoma brake override malfunction reset procedure consists of some simple steps.

  • Step 1: Switch off the car’s engine.
  • Step 2: Clear any stored codes in the car’s computer by disconnecting the negative cable from the battery.
  • Step 3: After a few minutes, reconnect the negative cable to the battery and start the engine.


Here’re some frequently asked questions that may help you on the issue of brake override malfunction.

How do you turn off the brake override system?

If you must turn off the brake override system, place your foot on the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal. Hold them down with all your strength for an interval of 15 to 30 seconds.

What is the difference between a brake override system and a brake throttle system?

The Brake Override System prevents accidents caused by accelerator pedal misapplication, while the Brake Throttle Override ensures that the vehicle is stopped during an emergency.


To effectively fix a brake override malfunction in Toyota Tacoma, it is important to identify if there is a software-related problem or a physical problem with the braking system.

Replacing defective parts is crucial to fix the brake override malfunction. If the malfunction’s cause is not clear or the repair process is above your level of expertise, you should take it to a mechanic.

You are recommended to fix any major Toyota Tacoma problems immediately to guarantee the correct functioning of your vehicle.

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