Toyota Pre-Collision System Malfunction (Here Is How To Fix)

toyota pre collision system malfunction

A Toyota vehicle is a joy to drive, offering both reliability and advanced safety features. One such safety feature is the Pre-Collision System (PCS), which is designed to help detect potential collisions and take preventative measures to avoid or mitigate them.

However, like any technology, PCS can occasionally malfunction, causing concern for drivers.

Here are a few steps you need to take to fix the pre collision system malfunction on Toyota vehicles, which includes:

Step 1: Reset the vehicle

Step 2: Reset or recalibrate the Pre-Collision System

Step 3: Inspect the sensors

Step 4: Reset the electronic systems

Step 5: Check the ABS and airbag sensors

Step 6: Seek professional assistance

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the causes of Toyota Pre-Collision System malfunctions, how to fix them, and how to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

Understanding the Pre-Collision System

Before diving into the causes and fixes of a malfunctioning Pre-Collision System, it is essential to understand what this system does and how it works.

PCS is a part of Toyota’s Safety Sense suite, which includes various safety features designed to protect drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and other road users.

The Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD) uses a combination of radar and camera technology to detect potential collisions with vehicles, pedestrians, and in some cases, bicyclists and motorcyclists.

When the system identifies a potential collision, it provides audio and visual warnings to alert the driver. If the driver does not take action to avoid the collision, the system can automatically apply the brakes to either prevent the crash or reduce its impact.

Causes of Pre-Collision System Malfunctions

There are several potential causes for a PCS malfunction, including the following:

  1. Dirty or obstructed sensors: If the front-facing radar sensor, sensor cover, or camera becomes dirty or obstructed, the system will not be able to accurately detect potential collisions, resulting in a malfunction.
  2. Technical errors or software issues: Like any computer-based technology, the PCS can encounter software or programming issues that may cause the system to malfunction.
  3. Misaligned or dislodged components: If the PCS components are not properly calibrated or have become disconnected, the system may not accurately scan the road, leading to malfunctions.
  4. Damaged components: If any of the PCS hardware components become damaged or worn down over time, the system may stop working correctly.
  5. Disabled Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system: If the VSC system has been disabled by the driver or has malfunctioned, the PCS may not function properly.
  6. Faulty ABS or airbag sensor: If there is an issue with the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) or airbag speed sensor, or if the ABS pump is defective, this may also cause a PCS malfunction.

How To Fix a Pre-Collision System Malfunction for Toyota?

If you are experiencing a PCS malfunction, follow these steps to diagnose and resolve the issue:

Step 1: Reset the vehicle

First, try resetting the vehicle by turning off the engine, waiting for about 10 minutes, and then turning it back on. This simple step can sometimes resolve minor issues and recalibrate the system.

Step 2: Reset or recalibrate the Pre-Collision System

If the problem persists, consider resetting or recalibrating the PCS. This can be done by accessing the system settings through the vehicle’s multi-information display and following these steps:

  1. Locate the Meter Control Switch on the steering wheel.
  2. Press the UP or DOWN button until the Settings menu appears on the central multi-information display.
  3. Using the LEFT or RIGHT button, scroll through menus and find the Pre-Collision System feature.
  4. Hold the OK button for 2 seconds to enter the system settings menu.
  5. Inside the settings menu, press the OK button once more to deactivate the Pre-Collision System.
  6. Repeat these steps to reactivate the system after waiting for at least 10 minutes.

Step 3: Inspect the sensors

If the PCS still does not function correctly, examine the sensors for any issues. Ensure they are positioned correctly, clean, and free from obstructions.

If you have installed an aftermarket grille or lift kit, these can cause sensor misalignment and require recalibration.

Step 4: Reset the electronic systems

If the issue remains unresolved, try resetting all electronic systems in the vehicle by disconnecting the battery and reconnecting it after a few minutes.

While doing this, inspect the wiring for any damage, loose connections, or blown fuses.

Step 5: Check the ABS and airbag sensors

Examine the ABS and airbag sensors to ensure they are functioning correctly and accurately detecting vehicle speed.

This task may be challenging to perform on your own, so consider consulting a professional if necessary.

Step 6: Seek professional assistance

If you are unable to resolve the issue on your own, it is best to consult a professional mechanic or Toyota dealership. They can diagnose the problem accurately and perform any necessary repairs or recalibration to restore your PCS to proper functioning.

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Preventing Pre-Collision System Malfunctions

While it is crucial to know how to fix PCS malfunctions, prevention is always better than cure. Here are some tips to help prevent PCS malfunctions:

  1. Keep the sensors clean: Regularly clean the front-facing radar sensor, sensor cover, and camera to ensure they can accurately detect potential collisions.
  2. Avoid aftermarket modifications: Refrain from installing aftermarket grilles or lift kits that could cause sensor misalignment or other issues with the PCS.
  3. Perform regular maintenance: Schedule regular maintenance and inspections for your Toyota vehicle to identify and address any potential issues early on.
  4. Update software: Keep your vehicle’s software up-to-date, as manufacturers may release updates to address known issues or improve system performance.
  5. Consult a professional: If you notice any warning signs or experience difficulties with your PCS, seek professional assistance immediately to diagnose and resolve the issue.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I drive my Toyota with a Pre-Collision System malfunction?

Although a malfunctioning PCS may not directly affect your vehicle’s drivability, it could compromise your safety. It is essential to address a PCS malfunction as soon as possible to reduce the risk of being involved in a collision.

What speeds does the Pre-Collision System operate at?

The Pre-Collision System is most effective at detecting vehicles and automatically braking when the car is traveling between 7 mph and 110 mph.

At slower speeds, the system may have difficulty determining whether a collision is likely.

What is the minimum speed for Toyota pre-collision system?

The minimum speed for the Toyota pre-collision system is around 6,2 mph. However, the Pre-Collision System in Toyota Safety Sense-P can detect pedestrians at speeds between 6,2 mph to 49,7 mph.

Where are the Pre-Collision System sensors located?

The front-facing radar sensor is typically located behind the radiator grille or below the Toyota badge, while the camera is usually positioned at the center of the windshield, either on the back of the internal rear-view mirror or at the base of the windshield.

Where is the pre collision assist sensor located?

The location of the pre-collision assist sensor in the 2019 Ford F-150 is not specified. However, [3] mentions that the 2020 Ford F-150 pre-collision assist sensor is located in the front grille.

It is important to note that any malfunctioning pre-collision system (PCS) should be resolved by a certified dealership, and while it is possible to turn off or adjust the sensitivity of the PCS in Toyota and Ford vehicles, it is not recommended as it can lead to safety issues and fail to prevent a crash.

Can you drive with pre-collision system malfunction?

No, it is not recommended to drive a vehicle with a malfunctioning pre-collision system. If the system malfunctions, it may not be able to detect potential collisions, which could lead to accidents and injuries.

In the case of Lexus vehicles, if the pre-collision system malfunctions, it is recommended that the vehicle is not driven until the issue is resolved by a certified dealership.

However, it is important to note that the pre-collision system is designed to be a safety feature, and disabling or adjusting its sensitivity in any way could lead to safety issues and potential crashes.

How much does a collision sensor cost?

The repair costs for minor damage to front or rear ultrasonic sensors used with parking assist systems can range from $500 to $1,300.

Additionally, post a minor crash, advanced safety systems such as blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning can cause double the repair costs, which can range from $500 to $3,000 depending on the model and type of sensors and their location.

Toyota Pre-collision system failure: Ideas of what might be the problem >> Check out the video below:


Toyota’s Pre-Collision System is an important safety feature designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions. However, like any technology, it can occasionally malfunction due to various factors such as dirty sensors, software issues, or damaged components. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can diagnose and fix a PCS malfunction and ensure your vehicle remains safe and reliable. Regular maintenance and inspections can help prevent malfunctions and keep your Toyota running smoothly for years to come.

Steve P.

Steve is an automotive technician, technical writer, and Managing Editor. He has held a lifelong passion for cars, with a particular interest in cars like the Buick Riviera. Steve is based in Boise, Idaho.

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