Brake Override Malfunction – Causes And Solutions

Brake Override Malfunction – Causes And Solutions

A brake override malfunction is a phenomenon that occurs in a car when there is a conflict between the accelerator and brakes.

It happens when a brake pedal loses its ability to respond as soon as you press it.

Many brake override malfunctions occur due to technical glitches, but drivers also cause some.

Brake Override Malfunction Causes

Although this issue is not very common, it can lead to unfortunate consequences if not appropriately addressed.

Read on to find out the possible causes of brake overdrive malfunction. It includes warnings, symptoms, joint problems, and solutions for different cars.

Reasons For Brake Override Malfunction And Their Solutions

If your vehicle’s braking system is well maintained, there is little chance of this problem occurring.

But if your car has been in a collision before, there is a high probability that this problem will occur if it was not checked for any defaults on the sensors.

Here are some of the reasons behind this malfunction:

Faulty Brake Pressure Sensor

A faulty brake pressure sensor can send false signals to the brakes through the Electronic Control Unit.

That way, it can tell them to cut off engine power even though the brakes have not been applied.

It can be dangerous because drivers lose control of their vehicles when the engine shuts off.

Signs Of A Faulty Brake Pressure Sensor

  • Even after lifting your foot off the pedal, the brake light stays on.
  • The brake light fails to turn on even with your foot on the brakes pedal (unless it is a burnt-out bulb).


If the sensor is faulty, it will have to be replaced. It, however, should only be tested and replaced by a trained mechanic.

Faulty ABS Module

The ABS module contains several components responsible for keeping your car from skidding and sliding when you have to brake hard.

When one of these components in the ABS module fails, it can cause a brake override malfunction.

When it happens, your ABS can override your regular brakes, making it nearly impossible for you to stop your vehicle. It can be so bad if an accident is imminent.

Signs Of A Faulty ABS Module

  • The vehicle’s brakes feel Spongy when you apply them.
  • Your vehicle doesn’t stop as quickly as usual.
  • ABS light stays illuminated on the dashboard.
  • Your car has trouble starting or strange noises from the brake area.


It is best to let trained personnel diagnose the failure from the ABS module and get the whole module replaced.

Otherwise, the problem might continue appearing or even result in a more deadly state.

Airbag Sensor Failure

The airbag sensor monitors information from several sensors to deploy the airbags in an accident.

If the airbag sensor fails, it sends information about its malfunction to the car’s computer.

The computer then shuts down both brake override and airbag systems as a safety precaution.

In this case, both systems are being shut down because of a failure in just one sensor.

It can lead to further safety issues since now the car is without its primary braking system. Of course, it puts drivers at greater risk during an emergency stop.

Signs Of An Airbag Sensor Failure

  • The airbag warning light comes on while you’re driving.
  • After a collision, the airbags do not deploy.
  • The Check Engine light flashes on and off.


While sensor failure can occur, it is also possible that there is a wiring problem with control modules.

It can also be from the control module to an ignition circuit in your car.

It would be best to have an expert diagnose your airbag system and determine why it is not working correctly.

However, most probably, you may have to replace the airbag sensors.

Foot On Both Pedals (Gas And Brake)

The brake override safety feature will take over if the gas and brake pedals are hit simultaneously. It will cause the engine to die and slow down the vehicle.

It can be a lifesaver, as it helps to avoid accidents and even death.

However, sometimes this system malfunctions and has been known to cause accidents by itself.


The driver should try their best not to step on both pedals simultaneously when driving. It is dangerous for your car and you; it is easy to get hurt.

Brake Override Malfunction Solutions

Faulty Key Fob

Key fobs allow drivers of modern cars to open and close their car doors from a distance.

Upon pressing START on a push-button start vehicle, the system gets a signal from the key fob.

It then checks your foot position for detection that you have your foot on the brake. After that, it sends a start signal to the vehicle’s computer, telling it to start up.

If there is an issue with the keyfob’s signal, it can cause the brake override to malfunction. So the system will not get the signal that your foot is on the brake.

So it will not allow you to start your vehicle.


Any number of things could cause this problem. If you notice that your key fob is cracked or damaged, replace it immediately.

If you are using a case with your key fob, try taking it off and see if that helps. You can also try moving other electronic devices away from your key fob.

It may mean moving them away from your purse or pocket and seeing if that helps fix the problem.

If none of these works, you may need to contact your car manufacturer or certified mechanic.

Defective Cruise Control

When you turn on your cruise control, it will accelerate until you tell it to stop.

When the cruise control isn’t working correctly, it can’t receive enough information from all of its sensors.

If one of these sensors is broken, it can be problematic for getting accurate information.

If you press down hard enough on the brake pedal with the cruise on, your car will not respond correctly.

It is like braking hard in traffic jams or heavy rain because its sensors aren’t working correctly.


If you’re lucky, the problem is a fuse or a defective brake light switch. You have to find the fuse box (usually under the dashboard) and replace it.

However, it’s not always that easy. Some cars have a relay for the cruise control that’s separate from the other electrical parts of the car.

If this relay goes bad, it might be cheaper to replace it than to repair it. However, a trained mechanic will know what is best to do.

How To Reset Brake Override Malfunction In Various Car Models

Have you ever tried to brake, only for your car to keep accelerating? This horrifying experience clearly shows that your car has a severe problem that needs fixing fast.

But, it can be challenging to do so.

Luckily, you can use a few tricks to reset the brake override malfunction in almost any car. Some of the solutions may temporarily fix the issue.

It may, however, depend on the model of your car.


Different Toyota models may have similar or different approaches to reset this function. So, to reset it, you need to locate your engine’s fuse box.

Some Toyota cars have this fuse just beside the driver pedals on the door side. However, there is no exact location for this fuse box.

You may have to check your manual to know the location of the engine fuse box. Most cars come with two fuse boxes – engines and boot fuse boxes.

Once you get the engine fuse box, check for fuse number 4 in the drop-down list. The fuse is written [STOP].

So once you change it, your car should be good to go.

All Car Models Reset Trick

Disconnect the battery terminals, starting with the negative terminal first and then the positive.

Connect the two cables and hold them in place for 15 minutes. Don’t worry; this won’t affect anything in the car because you haven’t connected the battery power.

So holding this terminal together aims to reset all the modules and other accessories in your car.

With the cables still in connection, turn the headlights knob in your car to full. It will help draw all the power from the car entirely, fastening the resetting procedure.

After 15 minutes, plug the cables back into the battery, starting with the positive first and then the negative. You will see some sparks, but that is nothing to worry about.

When the battery terminals are well connected in position, start your car and note the difference.

So this is a procedure you can successfully do on any vehicle model, and it will work fully.


Brake overrides malfunctions sometimes result from the minor issues you would think of.

It is, however, best that, in case it happens, you try to maintain control of your vehicle to a stop.

The above reset trick for all cars works when you are sure there’s no leak or physical problem.

If the vehicle fails to react as you expected, it is best to visit a professional mechanic.