Brake squeal on a new vehicle, is it normal?

'14 4Runner SR5, 4k miles
It is sporadic, but here in the MIdwest the weather is frigid. Is it normal for brand new pads to squeal right when I pull out of my driveway? It goes away, but I never had this with any other vehicle.

What you are hearing is the effect of a light coating of rust that is forming on the brake rotors as the vehicle sits overnight. Simply using the brakes a few times wears that light rust coating off of the rotors, and the noise disappears–until the next day when it will likely begin again.

Some makes are more prone to this situation than others, but the most important thing for you to know is that this is not a defect and it is not a safety hazard.

I think that the only places where you might not experience this problem would be Arizona, New Mexico, and other arid states where there is not enough moisture in the air for rust to form on the brake rotors.

My brother has a brand new Highlander and it doesn’t have this problem at all. I guess as you said some vehicles are more prone to it, but I can’t see his pads being much different than mine.

" I can’t see his pads being much different than mine. "

What does differ from one area to another is the relative humidity–and humidity is what leads to this situation.

Also, a car that is driven more often will be less prone to the problem, and–for reasons that I don’t fully understand–some makes and some models are more prone to it than others.

Yes, a little squeal can be “normal”, undesirable, but normal. Manufacturers hate this because it doesn’t affect the stopping ability of the vehicle but it annoys the driver. It is VERY hard to design for every condition that can create a little squeal. Nearly every vehicle will squeal at some combination of conditions. Don’t worry about it, it will likely go away. If not, take it back to the dealer.

I agree with VDC. Perhaps some cars don’t do it but I have yet to have a Toyota that did not. The Venza does and it’s a Highlander chassis.

Yes it’s normal. I used to drive I5 in the Seattle area on my morning commute and I heard new Rolls Royce’s and Bentley’s brakes squealing as loud as Ford’s, Chevy’s and Dodge’s as they slowed down.