Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
111,418 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.

2005 Toyota Prius brakes problems

brakes problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2005 Toyota Prius:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2005 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #27

Jan 112016


  • 211,000 miles


Digital dashboard sometimes is completely blank for extended periods so that I can't see my speed, fuel levels, odometer, and other info. When I start up it happens and continues the whole time I am driving. It is causing other problems related to the hydrolic braking sometimes as well when this happens.

- Hazel Park, MI, USA

problem #26

Jan 062016


  • 83,706 miles
The vehicle brakes failed to apply completely during morning start up and back up from parking space. The dash warning lights on included brake, triangle with exclamation, and ABS. During drive to dealer, pedal went to the floor. Toyota dealer found brake actuator assembly failure. Paid for repair and contacted Toyota with concern. Found internet information on similar failure with later 2010 model.

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #25

Jan 012013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. While driving in rainy conditions, the rear brakes engaged with a grabbing force. The failure was experienced numerous times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the rear brake drums were cleaned; however, the failure was not corrected. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was not available.

- Beech Island, SC, USA

problem #24

Dec 252015


  • 186,000 miles


Even minor trepidation caused by any unevenness in the surface of the road while slowing down and applying the brakes will disengage the brakes momentarily causing a dangerous situation and risk of crash into vehicle in front. I observed this problem consistently in several Prius ranging from 2005 to 2010 since I purchased mine in April 2012. I have complained about this to a couple of dealerships but was told "it is a driver's fault"...!! all my friends owners of Prius have observed the same problem in their cars.

- Los Gatos, CA, USA

problem #23

Jan 012015


  • 125,000 miles
High pitched, steady tone comes on after several minutes of driving at start of driving day and does not stop unless/until brakes are depressed fully for at least 10sec., which causes tone to stop. Starts up again after several minutes of driving, sometimes less and recycles. Regular braking seems to work, but not ABS and ABS light, vsc ! lights are continuously on.

- Alhambra, CA, USA

problem #22

Mar 022015


  • 205,000 miles
The brake booster pump assembly is making a sound every time the car is operational. There is a structural deflect in the brake booster pump assembly causing gas to leaked into the brake fluid which can cause loss of braking. The 2005 Toyota Prius should be recalled to fix this brake booster pump. Based on research subsequent Prius models (e.g. 2010) have the same problem and were recalled. Therefore, this is a urgent request to please recall all 2005 Prius and any other applicable years. See you tube web site titled "Toyota - D0H - brake booster pump assembly":

- Royal Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #21

Jul 012015


  • 159,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving the vehicle, the combination meter would intermittently fail causing the instrument panel gauges to stop functioning. In addition. The parking brake did not function. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that combination meter would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The failure mileage was 159,000. The VIN was not available.

- Marble, NC, USA

problem #20

Oct 022015


  • 130,000 miles
When I am going slow and braking, the car lunges forward when there is uneven pavement, a pothole, etc. Often it will happen at the same stop signs around my home. This has happened since I purchased this used car in July of 2014. It has happened more than 50 times in the year and half that I have owned it.

- Waverly, NY, USA

problem #19

Apr 282010


  • 128,000 miles
I have been experiencing some problems with my headlights. I changed the bulb and a month later the light stopped working again. I took it to the dealership they blamed it on the bulb, I tried to return the bulb to the store and they tested it and said everything was ok with the bulb so it had to be the headlights. I'm also having problems with the dashboard lights. The speedometer and gas gage completely failed. At the same time I was told my ABS brake system needs to be replaced! this is too much happening at the same time and I have to pay for all of it out of pocket.

- Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #18

Oct 092014


  • 80,000 miles
While driving in traffic and making a turn into a parking lot the brakes failed on this car. They reacted as if there was no brakes until you pressed harder and then they would lock up. The lights for ABS had come on. We took it to a repair shop that specializes in Toyota repair and they reset the ECM, ECU for the brakes. It worked for a few days and it happened again. After the third time we decided that the ECM or ECU had to be replaced. $1800 and it worked for about 7 months. It happened again in heavy traffic in spokane Washington and we nearly had a wreck! we shut the car off after a hair raising drive to our motel and called the dealer to have it checked out. The next morning we got in the car and the brakes were back to normal. We decided to drive it and see if it would hold up. It happened again today, two weeks after the spokane trip. It reset itself again but this won't do! it's a dangerous car with this condition! we plan to take it to the repair shop as soon as we can. Toyota is very aware of this problem but has not really come up with a solution. I refuse to take it to Toyota for repair anymore because of the extremely high cost for their work and their ineptitude. Every report from consumers that I have read has led me to believe the problems Toyota cars have are not being resolved by the dealers. I will not be buying another Toyota of any kind..

- Florence , MT, USA

problem #17

Feb 012015


  • 91,000 miles


The automatic braking system (ABS), vehicle stability control (vsc), brake light, and brake system warning lights (4) on the Prius all came on and vehicle became very unstable while out of town. The owner's manual indicated that the dealership should be contacted and car should be taken in immediately for service. Since no dealership was available at the immediate location, the car was driven home (60 miles) in very unstable conditions. Upon bringing it to the dealership I was told it was a miracle nothing bad had happened because the "computer skid assembly" needed to be replaced at a cost of $1570.97 for just the part!!! I found it very interesting that the part was readily available as if I were replacing an oil or air filter. After confirming the cost with other dealerships, I consented to the work to be performed. Is this just another "built in obsolescence" feature? there appears to be nothing I could have done to properly maintain this new piece of technology and the sudden failure of the part posses a significant safety concern to consumers. In addition, how can any reasonable consumer be certain that this part failure was not input by the manufacturer into the car's control system. Makes me long for the days of manual vehicles and shade tree mechanics.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #16

Aug 252014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
I went from a stationary driving position, to driving off at 20 mph down a 3 lane highway, suddenly a few seconds after, all these lights came on: Flashing warning light, brake lights, ABS light and a loud beeping noise. I had no power, no brakes?.. fortunately there was nobody in front of me or close behind and I could veer into the side of the road. I turned the car off totally. And then tried to turn it back on again to see what would happen, and all the same lights and beeping noise started again. Had the car towed to Toyota in santa monica. There was no manager on site. One of the service guys said he would have it checked. They refused to give me a temporary rental or substitute car - they said they would give me a ride to a rental place! this is 11 a.M. the following morning. The manager at the dealership is still not there. The associate called me and said I could pay to have it repaired !! I have called the Toyota customer relations service, who say they will get back to me in "a day or so". aside from my life and others lives, being put in total jeopardy by my cars' failure, I think the lack of urgency on this matter is appalling. There may be other Prius cars that will have the same failure, and people killed.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #15

Jun 302014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 80,800 miles
In 2007, we purchased a certified used Toyota Prius 2005 with 13,298 miles. We have owned this car ever since. We currently have about 81,000 miles on this vehicle. Brake failure incident on June 30, 2014, I was driving the 2005 Prius slowly (10-15 mph) along a roadway located in a tecumseh, mi city park: as the car approached a local street, I braked for a stop before making a right-hand turn. As I engaged the brake, the ABS system red light appeared, the red brake light was lit and the related buzzer was activated as well. as I braked, my right foot went all the way to the floor. I experienced complete and total brake failure. I finally stopped the car with the emergency brake. I drove the Prius very slowly over the two miles home, using the emergency brake to stop as needed. my wife and daughter were riding with me in the car and witnessed the incident. On July 1, 2014, I contacted aaa and arranged to have the car towed to a repair shop in ann arbor, mi 30 miles away. After a week, at the repair shop I arranged to have the vehicle towed to the local Toyota service facility. Over the previous five months, I experienced another curious problem that may be brake related. When braking on bumpy roads (we have horrible pot holes on many major streets and roads) or curb cuts, the car accelerates ever so briefly. The feeling of loss of control is very disturbing. It remains to be seen if this problem is related to the brake failure noted above. There were no injuries as a result of this brake failure. However, I had just returned home from business in a neighboring community 35 miles away. I often drive backcountry county roads with posted speeds of 55 mph. If I had experienced the brake failure then, I might well have been killed along with others.

- Tecumseh, MI, USA

problem #14

Jun 032014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 140,748 miles
Brake, ABS and (O) with exclamation mark inside have been on, the seller was not honest with me about why the lights were on, I went to the Toyota dealer and they said it is not safe to drive the vehicle, repairs would cost $7000.

- Hilo, HI, USA

problem #13

May 172014


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the brakes were depressed and failed to respond. The contact crashed into the rear end of another vehicle and the air bags failed to deploy. The contact sustained injuries to the chest, a leg gash and a pulled muscle in the back. The front passenger sustained whiplash. Both the contact and the front passenger required medical attention. A police report was filed. Additionally, the contact stated that the flat surface warning indicator illuminated intermittently as a result the contact had to restart the vehicle on multiple occasions. The key failed to exit the ignition switch on multiple occasions. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 65,000.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #12

Feb 012013


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the brake and ABS warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where unknown repairs were performed however, the failure recurred three days later. The contact stated that the brakes malfunctioned and additional pressure to the brake pedal was needed to stop the vehicle. The manufacturer was notified and no solution was offered. The failure mileage was 92,000. The VIN was not available.

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #11

Mar 132014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 132,216 miles
While driving home on the fast lane driving 65 mph a sudden alarm came up. The red triangle with exclamation mark, ABS and brake light came on with a tone. When I press the brake the car, it would not brake. I was able to slow down my car by releasing the throttle off. I brought my car to the dealer only to find that would have to pay $3000 for the replacement of the brake ECU and actuator. The other problem is if you drive a bit fast over pothole and speed bump. You lose braking for a moment.

- Canoga Park, CA, USA

problem #10

Sep 022013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 199,371 miles
I had just had my oil changed and when I was leaving I started the car but the dashboard lights didn't come on. I drove on and still nothing. When I was at a stop light, the lights came on with the error message that my brakes were engaged. I tried multiple times to depress and release the emergency brake, but the same message. I couldn't move the vehicle because the front brakes were locked. I had it towed to the dealership and they said they had to get Toyota involved but it sounds like three computers are fried. This is very frustrating since I got the vehicle because it had such wonderful reviews (yes this was some years ago) how do computers just "up and fry" without any warning. I am hopeful that Toyota will do the right thing and step up and take the necessary steps to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else. Also, whatever they could do for me would be greatly appreciated since I was a die hard Prius fan.....until now"?"

- Garland, TX, USA

problem #9

Jul 102013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Brakes did not apply instantly when coming to a stop light. We almost hit the car in front of us. Thankfully we applied the brakes early, but it seemed like the brakes were not being applied and that the wheels just kept on moving. I had to pump the brake again to make sure it would apply more pressure. We came within a few inches of rear ending the car in front of us. And this has happened about 10 times now. This should be a recall before a major accident or death, heaven forbid, occurs.

- Ewa Beach, HI, USA

problem #8

Jul 082013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 134,652 miles
The braking system for my 2005 Prius has been malfunctioning since I bought the car in the summer of 2012. While trying to slow down on a rough road surface the brakes refused to brake for 1 or 2 seconds, causing a higher-than-anticipated speed when going around a turn. This problem increases the distance the vehicle needs to stop and I consider this a high safety concern and a major product defect. No accidents or injuries have been sustained from the problem on this vehicle so far.

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

Read the next 7 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?