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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
15 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
42,068 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

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2005 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #58

Dec 122009


  • 67,000 miles


I have a 2005 Toyota Prius and my brakes slip whenever a front tire drops onto an uneven surface. It seems to be the exact problem described as happening to the 2010 models. I have had it happen several times as I live on a gravel road and when I turn onto my road it is an uneven surface. It has happened numerous times, to the point that I anticipate the occurrence when on an uneven surface. I think that I could recreate the occurrence if needed. (the date listed below is just one of several) also, the light showing that vehicle stabilization is on lights up whenever this happens.

- Woodstock, GA, USA

problem #57

Feb 162010


  • 35,000 miles
Vehicle: 2005 Toyota Prius, currently not covered by brake recall. When I apply the brakes and drive over a bump or pothole, I experience a momentary loss of braking power. This happens consistently - there is one particular pot hole that always causes this to happen, so it happens at least three times a week. I took it to the dealership to have it fixed, and they told me to call Toyota directly. This has been happening since 6-28-09, two days after I bought the car, and happened again as recently as this morning.

- Waller, TX, USA

problem #56

Feb 202008


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that when driving slowly, 5-15 mph, the brakes would fail to engage when she depressed the brake pedal.the skid light and chime would flash on the dashboard. After that, the vehicle would operate normally. She noticed the problem three times. She took the vehicle to the dealership and the dealer told her that there was nothing they could do about it. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. She had not spoken with the manufacturer to-date. The current mileage was approximately 45,600. The failure mileage was approximately 30,000.

- Corona Del Mar, CA, USA

problem #55

Jul 062007


  • miles


Owned a Prius and had a brake failure.. coming of the highway slowing to a stoplight by taking foot off gas, when I started to get close to the car infront I hit the brakes to complete my stop when I did nothing happened.. I ended up rear ending the car in front of me.. I had my car repaired and I reported the problem to Toyota dealer (who did the repairs) they said they checked the brakes but didn't see any issues.. the braking problem happened after that too.. but they just ignored my claims..

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #54

Jan 012008


  • 65,000 miles
My 2005 Toyota Prius has the same brake/acceleration problem that has been reported in the media. Sometimes when I apply the brakes on bumpy surfaces, the car tends to accelerate - or even lift up slightly - until the wheels touch down and regain contact with a flat surface. I never pump the brakes, but when this happens, my control over the vehicle is momentarily interrupted. This problem has recurred on numerous occasions since I bought the car a few years ago, but I ignored it. However, when I read a description of this braking problem being reported on 2010 models, I immediately recognized it as something that I have experienced from time to time. Note: The "incident date" is merely an estimate of the first time I experienced this problem.

- Salem, MA, USA

problem #53

Jan 102008


  • miles
Brakes appear to not engage properly or momentarily release when applying brakes over rough pavement or potholes. Seems to last for about a second. This occurs frequently and I noticed this two years ago... assumed it was normal... odd, but normal. This can be easily replicated.

- Ankeny, IA, USA

problem #52

Feb 052006


  • 15,007 miles


We ordered a 2005 Prius in the fall of 2004 and received delivery in May 2005. My wife drives the car more often than I do and she informed me that during times of wet or rainy conditions the brakes "grab' when applied. This braking problem was not apparent during the first year. I've experience the brake "grab" evertime I drive it in wet weather, and even though I try to avoid it by gently applying the brakes, they they still "grab" this is just not a "one time" occurence...I have read the reports from other Prius owners about the brakes. If there is a fix, and there should be, Toyota should take care of this and not be in denial.

- Cleveland, TN, USA

problem #51

Aug 102007


  • miles
2005 Prius braking issue: My brakes delayed to engage when I tried to brake on an uneven road surface. I ended up going thru a curb at a higher rate of speed and just missed being in an crash. I now avoid engaging the brake if the road is uneven (where possible) to avoid this type of response.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #50

Jan 152010


  • 65,000 miles
Car always surges when I hit a slippery patch. It has done this for years and I have complained to Toyota several times over the last few years. (local service at dealer), but am always told it's normal.

- Brick, NJ, USA

problem #49

Jun 012005


  • 500 miles
After listening to publicity about the 2010 Prius problem I realize that I have had the same problem of brake fade in my 2005 Prius. There is a bridge section that I drive over several times a month. This bridge section is 1 inch higher than the asphalt road and on a steep hill immediately before a stop sign. So if I am braking as I hit the bridge section, I notice an immediate brake fade. So for all these years, I assumed it was an ABS peculiarity with car unweighting. I've learned to brake hard immediately before I enter the bridge section, release the brakes as I hit the edge of the bridge section, brake hard on the bridge section and release as I drop off the section, then brake to the stop sign. I have never experience this problem in other situations but I am aware of the brake fade and might be anticipating the problem. It has been occurring since I purchased the car in 2005.

- Shepherdstown, WV, USA

problem #48

Feb 032010


  • miles


My wife and I recently bought a used 2005 Prius from wilde Toyota in West allis, wi. In the last few months we have experienced braking issues with the vehicle on icy roads, slick roads, and snow covered roads. We have had three brake failures. The first was when I was driving on a side-street. I was going slow, less then 15 miles per hour, and stepped on the brakes to make a turn. The brakes were unresponsive for aprox. 2 seconds causing me to roll before the brakes engage. The second occured when my wife was driving at a low speed, under 40 miles an hour, on a main road. As she approached the stoplight she stepped on the brakes, which also failed to engage. Due to her higher speed she rolled over 10 feet and came close to hitting the car stopped in front of her before the brakes finally engaged. The final occurance also occured when my wife was driving, this time at a higher speed between 40 and 50 miles per hour, when pressing on the brakes on an overpass the brakes failed to engage and the car physically seemed to shake a bit. After being unable to stop for several feet the brakes finally engaged. We believe these occurances are due to an error with our ABS system. In each occurance the "slippery road" warning has appeared. We took it to wilde tayota this morning. After software testing as well as road testing on their snow covered lot they failed to replicate the problem. No system errors were present and they were unable to take any further action. We are, however, still convinced that a problem exists. If it occurs again we will once again take it to the dealership and try to replicate the problem.

- New Berlin, WI, USA

problem #47

Dec 102005


  • 1,000 miles
I own a 2005 Prius, bought new. I now have 130,000 miles on it. It has been serviced and maintained at scheduled intervals, mostly by a Toyota dealer. #1: I have complained to the dealer since the first winter that I bought the car that the "traction control system" is dangerous in bad weather conditions. Whenever the road is slippery, if the car senses wheelspin, it cuts power to the engine. This is scary if you're pulling out into traffic on a rainy day, as the car will sometimes just quit running for a second, leaving you vulnerable to oncoming traffic. Snow is far worse. I live on a hilly road. If it's snowy the car will slow down, and simply stop trying to move forward on the first steep slope I come to. It doesn't matter how hard I mash on the accelerator, or if I back off and try again, the car will not attempt to move. Once the car stops moving forward it begins to slide backwards, and control is totally lost. I was nearly killed the first time this happened (in about one inch of snow) as my car eventually slipped sideways across the oncoming traffic lane. An SUV came down the hill and nearly broadsided me before I was able to get my car turned back down the hill. (my car was equipped with aggressive snow tires at the time.) ever since then, if I'm coming home from work in the snow, I leave my car in the shopping center at the bottom of the hill and call my husband, who picks me up with his Ford Bronco. # 2: anti-lock braking. The 2010 Prius's aren't the only ones with problems; mine does the same thing. If I'm braking on a bumpy stretch of road or over a manhole cover in the rain, the car will cut power to the brakes, causing the car to feel like it's surging forward. Again this problem is much worse in the snow. Going downhill on a snowy, slippery hill the anti-lock brakes repeatedly cut braking power, which actually causes the car to accelerate to unsafe speeds. My dealer tells me that this is how the car works, and nothing can be dome to correct it.

- Hellertown, PA, USA

problem #46

Feb 092010


  • 10,000 miles
2005 Toyota Prius has brake issue. When braking over pothole or bump, I momentarily loose all brake. The brake comes back about 1 sec later. This has always happened, I have talked to the dealer several times, but I am only told that I need to 'get used to it'.

- Shortsville, NY, USA

problem #45

Jun 012007


  • miles
Several times over past 5 years my 2005 Toyota Prius ABS system had released the brakes for uncomfortable amount of time (0.5-1.0 seconds) when coming to a stop over slightly bumpy road. If I didn't keep good distance I could have crashed into a vehicle in front of me.

- Stoneham, MA, USA

problem #44

Oct 302005


  • 0 miles
The brakes "slip" when driving over a bump or pothole in the road. This experience is similar to what has been described in the 2010 Prius model recall. I am driving a 2005 Prius hybrid and have experienced similar slips since I purchased the vehicle in October of 2005. To date the slipping has not resulted in a crash, injury or failure however I have had some close calls.

- Avoca, NY, USA

problem #43

Jan 102010


  • 70,000 miles
I have a 2005 Toyota Prius. I am having the same problem with braking. It happens mostly in wet weather when going over a bump. It always brakes after so I haven't done anything about it. They should know it is not just 2010 cars, it has happened several times.

- Wallingford, CT, USA

problem #42

Jan 292010


  • 48,000 miles
I consistently experience the feeling of my brakes momentarily releasing when going over a pot hole or train tracks while driving in normal conditions (usually at low speed). When I glance to see if the anti skid light is on, on these occurrences it is not. I have become accustomed to the odd feeling and the situation is always only momentary so I came to think nothing of it. However, with all the information about Prius brakes failing completely, I want you to know that this is also occurring on my 2005 model.

- Bothell, WA, USA

problem #41

May 012009


  • 50,000 miles
2005 Toyota Prius - I have had braking problem. Near where I live there is a small pothole near an intersection with a stop sigh. When trying to stop if I hit the pothole the car's brakes just seem to disappear for a second. Almost ran out through stop sign. This has happened a couple of times so I am now very careful to avoid the hole by nearly running off the right side of the road. Now I hear there is a recall for the same thing with the 2010 Prius. I've already had the "floor mat" recall. This concerns me because I wonder if it is really the floor mats or the run away gas pedal problem. I'm going on vacation and seriously considering renting a car because I'm almost afraid to drive my car.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #40

Jan 242005


  • 100 miles
Braking on 2005 Toyota Prius. When slowing to a stop and you hit a bumpy surface or manhole cover the antilock brakes go off and the brakes release for approximately 1-2 seconds and you feel as if you are skidding on ice.

- Havertown, PA, USA

problem #39

Feb 012006


  • 3,000 miles
I have been complaining to the dealer since I have had my 2005 Prius (I bought it new) that at slow speeds on occasion when I just very lightly touch the brake my Prius will suddenly stop as if I had slammed on the brakes. They insist that they have to see the problem before they can do anything about it. Naturally the car doesn't do it when they have it for service. I selected "service brakes hydraulic" below because, you don't have a selection for just "brakes".

- Odessa, FL, USA

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