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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,273 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Toyota Prius brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #3

Dec 232010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 43,561 miles


Applied brakes while car was moving slowly, less than 10 mph, and heard loud grinding sound coming from left front as car stopped. Shifted to reverse and car barely moved, about 1 foot, which was accompanied by the loud grinding sound, then stopped. Turned car off and could find nothing interfering with the wheels but did find pieces of brake pad on the ground along the path the left front wheel had followed. The left front wheel appeared as if the calipers were holding whatever remained of the brake pad and/or backing tight against the rotor. Brake function had been normal for prior 7 11/12 years, ie, since I purchased it as a new car. There was a bothersome grinding, sometimes rattling or squealing noise from the left front wheel since the first year of ownership and I was repeatedly told by the dealer that nothing was wrong. Brake rust had gradually accumulated on the left front aluminum wheel but not on any others and the dealer blamed that on winter salt. It was towed to a different dealer and the front brake pads were replaced along with the front rotors being resurfaced. Despite my request, the brake pad from the other side was not kept nor was its thickness recorded. Nothing I told the service manager was relayed to whoever worked on the car and that person only recorded that the tow truck driver said the left front wheel was frozen fast. The car, 2002 Toyota Prius, had 43561 miles on it when this occurred and should not have had significant brake pad wear given the hybrid braking system and braking gear as well as my driving style. After the above repair was done, I learned that there was a recommendation that the left front rotor be replaced. I will have this done by a private mechanic so that the part will not be discarded.

- Manheim, PA, USA

problem #2

Feb 012010


  • miles
I drive a 2002 Prius. In the six years that I've owned my car, I've noticed that there's a loss of braking, and even slight acceleration, when I try to brake over a bump or pothole. I've experienced this about half a dozen times total. Fortunately, I have never been in an accident because of this defect. I never asked a mechanic to fix the problem, and I never gave it much thought (I just learned to drive much more slowly on bumpy road surfaces). I saw that the NHTSA issued a statement on Feb. 9 about the brakes on the 2010 Toyota Prius and made the connection that perhaps my older-model Prius was also susceptible to the same braking problem.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #1

Feb 022010


  • 62,257 miles
My 2002 Toyota Prius brakes sometimes don't work when stopping at a slow speed. It happens when going over bumps and potholes. The brake takes a second before making contact with the brake pad. It can happen also when going over multiple bumps and potholes leaving the car unable to brake for a few seconds. Thank you for any help on this issue.

- Stony Point, NY, USA

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