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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 1
Average Mileage:
33,486 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.

2006 Toyota Prius brakes problems

brakes problem

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2006 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #23

Dec 152009


  • 30,000 miles


2006 Toyota Prius. If it encounters bumpy road while turning and braking, then stability indicator will light up and brakes will stop working for about a second. It feels like the car is being driven on ice. It can be reproduced at will. Just bumpy road surface and turning/braking at the same time. Did not take it to a dealer to have it looked at it though. Learned to live with it.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #22

Mar 202007


  • miles
ABS or traction control engages unnecessarily when braking on uneven road surfaces, potholes, bump in road, or on wet surfaces.

- Tallahassee, FM, USA

problem #21

Mar 152007


  • 12,000 miles
I have now had three separate incidents of the brake failing on my car: March 15, 2007; December 4, 2008; and January 16, 2010. On March 15, 2007: ¿I was in stop and go traffic on the freeway, traveling about 15 mph. ¿I was rolling, with my foot off the brake and accelerator. ¿the car in front of me (about 3 car lengths) put on brakes. ¿I applied my brake, and it felt normal, but the car did not stop. ¿I kept my foot on the brake and tried to press harder (pressing on the brake and getting no response was very disorienting; I actually checked to see if my foot was on the brake.) ¿it was the car in front of me that stopped me, not my brakes. ¿after I was stopped by the collision, my brakes worked again. I filed an accident report with my insurance company, and I had the car towed to the service department of the Toyota dealership in carlsbad ca where I bought the car. The car was ¿quarantined¿ by your company. I was without a car for several days until a Toyota inspector came to the dealership to inspect my car. The inspector found nothing wrong and the car was returned to me. On December 4, 2008, similar circumstances: ¿I was in stop and go traffic, traveling about 10-15 mph. ¿I was coming to a rolling stop as I approached a red light. There was one car in front of me. ¿I applied the brake, but the car did not stop. ¿I took my foot completely off the brake and slammed it back down onto the brake.the car stopped, but I very nearly bumped into the car in front of me. ¿I took the car to the Toyota carlsbad service department again. ¿they inspected the brake system and checked the codes, and couldn¿T find anything wrong. The third brake failure happened on January 16, 2010. The brake failed when I was parallel parking. I took my foot all the way off the brake and pressed down again. The brake worked on the 2nd attempt. Luckily, I did not hit the car in front of me. I did not take the car back to the dealership svc dept; I knew it would do no good.

- Encinitas, CA, USA

problem #20

Feb 042010


  • 0 miles


I would like to make the Agency aware of my experience with the traction control system on my 2006 Toyota Prius. I understand that it is being investigated for the 2010 model but I have very similar issues with my 2006. This is an ongoing issue and occurs regularly from time to time (and has since I purchased the vehicle new). When passing over road surfaces that cause the traction control system on the vehicle to activate (wet road, gravel, pot hole, snow, etc.), braking and acceleration control is temporarily lost. This loss of control persists for 1-5 seconds when braking, and indefinitely when trying to accelerate (I.e. when on snow). Braking distance is clearly increased, as the vehicle does not apply the brakes at all. I have had several incidents where I had maintained a safe following distance, but nearly ran into cars stopping in front of me (due to my vehicle not braking appropriately). Merging is also an issue at times, as is accelerating (into traffic or out of a hazardous situation on snowy/wet roads). I feel that the best solution would be the ability to deactivate the traction control system. Unfortunately Toyota is not currently offering a way to do this.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #19

Jun 012006


  • 100 miles
Loss of braking capability when slowing over potholes and loose pavement. This has been reported in the 2010 Prius - I'm here to tell you, it's not a new problem. I have a 2006 Prius and it's done this since I bought it new. At first it alarmed me, now I'm used to it - hasn't bothered me enough to quit driving it or take it back to the dealer for this. Happens 5-10 times per week.

- Banning, CA, USA

problem #18

Sep 142006


  • 14,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. Whenever the contact attempted to apply the brakes while driving 30 mph, she noticed that the vehicle suddenly surged forward causing the contact to increase braking pressure in order to stop the vehicle. The dealer informed the contact that the vehicle was working properly. The contact noticed the failure immediately after the vehicle was purchased. The current and failure mileages were 14000.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #17

Oct 292009


  • 24,000 miles


Momentary brake slippage at slow speeds when we hit something slippery like a wet manhole--much as has been described elsewhere. It has* yet been a major problem.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #16

Jul 312007


  • 41,404 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. The contact was driving approximately 30 mph on normal road conditions. There was pressure applied to the accelerator pedal, followed by an unintended increase in acceleration. The driver applied pressure to the brake pedal and the vehicle failed to slow down. The gear shift failed to operate in the "neutral" position. In addition, the entire gear indicators illuminated at the same time. The vehicle was driven into a barrier of dirt as a result of the vehicle coming to a complete stop. The failures occurred on four separate occasions. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer. The technician was unable to duplicate the failure. The vehicle has not been repaired for the malfunctions. The failure mileage was 41,404.

- Studio City , CA, USA

problem #15

Feb 032010


  • 0 miles
This is a complaint about the brakes and/or traction control system on my 2006 Toyota Prius. This is an ongoing issue and has been ongoing as long as I have owned the vehicle. I am the first owner. The fault is as follows: When passing over road surfaces that cause the traction control system on the vehicle to activate (gravel, pot hole, snow, standing water, etc.), braking and acceleration control is temporarily lost. This loss of control persists for 1-3 seconds. Of particular concern are instances in which a yielding situation accompanying a merging or turning maneuver present themselves. In these situations, if the car passes over a road surface which causes an activation of the traction control system, I am unable to stop the car or to accelerate out of danger. I fear that I will find myself in the situation where I am trying to slow down to yield to a vehicle while making a right turn on a red light and will be able to do so due to the loss of braking/acceleration control accompanying the activation of the traction control system. In such a situation, I would be unable to avoid a high-speed collision on the driver's side of the vehicle. I have lived with this danger for the last 4+ years, but in the light of recent developments, I feel it is appropriate to raise this issue through this complaint system.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #14

Oct 302008


  • 40,000 miles
I am an owner of a 2006 Toyota Prius. I don't have a specific date since this type of failure has occurred several times. I construed this to be a part of the Prius and did not think of lodging a complaint. But based on today's (2/3/10) report on Prius' brake issues from Japan, I feel compelled to point out that: There has been a typically recurring problem of the tires skidding as the brakes loose their grip when I have hit the brake as I am crossing a pothole or a road expansion joint or minor bump (not speed bumps) or just a wet spot. This condition has been noted regardless of the condition of the tires - meaning even on brand new tires. The vsc lights comes on when the car glides/skids over and moves past the point where I had wanted to slow down. I am not sure of the type of brake in this vehicle so I will be checking off all 3 kinds.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #13

Nov 272009


  • 6,750 miles


2006 Prius brake pedal slowly moves to floor when foot held on brake pedal, I.e., at a stop sign. Toyota service tech said this is normal and that brake would hold even when pedal is fully depressed. I this true?

- Bellingham, WA, USA

problem #12

Jan 152010


  • 35,000 miles
I read the article today regarding Prius brakes and I definitely have that issue all the time in my 2006 Toyota Prius. Whenever I hit a pothole or a slippery service and apply the brake, it feels like the brake stops working and the cars moves forward more quickly. Then, it feels like the car re-engages the brakes. I have not yet had an accident relating to this, but it is most definitely something I have experienced many times. I have not approached Toyota or my dealer about it (in part because I am not nearby to my dealer).

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #11

Feb 012010


  • 83,000 miles
Braking effectiveness is reduced or non existent when hitting a bump, pothole or uneven road surface at slower speeds as reported by 2010 Prius owners. This has been occurring since I took delivery of the new vehicle in June 2006 and have been told by various dealers that "this is how ABS works in the Prius, just keep applying steady pressure to the brakes, they will eventually catch again and you'll stop". until hearing news reports today of other owners with similar issues I though this was normal (though somewhat unnerving behavior) for a hybrid with regenerative braking systems.

- Jackson, WI, USA

problem #10

Feb 012010


  • 55,642 miles
Issue relating to Prius brakes. I have a 2006 Prius and have experienced the brake issue ever since I've owned the car. I don't think it is entirely brakes, because I've also experienced it while accelerating and one of the wheels loses traction. I think it is the traction control system / ABS. Anyway, I've learned to cope with it, the dropout is only for less than a second, and there's never been an accident (or even near accident) because of it. This latest event was slowing down for a turn and one of the wheels went over a manhole cover. That wheel locked up and the ABS light came on, and the brakes cut out and then back in.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #9

Jan 302010


  • 66,666 miles
On 1/30/2010 at or about 9:00am. My daughter's 2005 Toyota Prius brakes failed enroute to mammouth. No snow or rain was on roadway. We have been unable to reach he since, but our sending this complaint to document this incident in the event an accident occurs.

- Arcadia, CA, USA

problem #8

Jan 102010


  • miles
I understand there is a study and possible recall about the braking system on the 2010 Toyota Prius. I am an owner of a 2006 Toyota Prius. I think every model year of the Toyota Prius line should be investigated. I too have a problem when the vehicle goes over a bump or railroad tracks when braking. The brakes disengage for several seconds and you continue to maintain speed. An indicator light comes on, on the dashboard like you are sliding. It is very disconcerting. This event occurs almost every time you go over a bump when braking. I am the only owner of the vehicle which was purchased in March of 2006. I would highly, highly, highly recommend that the NHTSA investigate all Toyota Prius brakes in every year manufactured. With total sincerity - thank you. (ps - this form requires me to put in an incident date - there are multiple with no specific date, so I am putting today's date).

- Mokena, IL, USA

problem #7

Oct 032009


  • 345,000 miles
It was raining heavily with poor visibility. I drove about 15 mile mph on a one-lane road with no traffic lights or signals. I saw a car ahead of me and slow down even more to about 10 miles mpg and kept distance. When the car stopped suddenly about 30 feet away, I engaged the brake. However to my dismay, the car kept rolling. When I realized that I shout in panic "please stop, stop!" for about 8 second I hopelessly watched my car slowly ran into the car in front of me at a speed about 5 miles mph. Because it was such a slow speed, my car's front bumper was almost intact but my hood was damaged by the rear bumper of the SUV. I had an estimated damage about $1100. I thought it was because of the slippery road. After searching internet, I realized that the slow speed brake failures are well-documented by many drivers. Other people's experience were very similar to what I experienced. Therefore I would like to register my complaint.

- Malden, MA, USA

problem #6

Nov 182008


  • 89,108 miles
Ever since I purchased my 2006 Toyota Prius, I have had intermittent problems with the brakes letting up for a couple seconds when going at slow speeds (under 25 mph) and hitting a bump or shallow hole when braking. Typically, the anti-skid (vsc) light comes on fully or flickers for several seconds and the car momentarily stops braking (you can feel the car accelerate forward slightly and the pedal feels like it is on the floor). It does not seem related to wet or dry conditions as it has happened in both. But it does seem to be related to going over a small bump or even more frequently when hitting a small pothole/sewer plate while braking. If I have the reaction time & forethought, immediately letting go of the brake pedal completely and pressing down hard will get the car to stop. Fortunately, it has happened enough times (including several near misses) that I allow extra distance with cars in front of me and been lucky to avoid collisions. I also watch the road surface for bumps/holes when braking but am worried that I might not be lucky to avoid 100% of the time and could rear end a car or even worse I could serious injure a pedestrian walking across a crosswalk as I'm coming to a stop at a red light. I have had the car into my dealership twice and they have tried to replicate it but haven't been able to so they haven't done anything about it. If you check out this forum, you will see that I am definitely not alone however:

- State College, PA, USA

problem #5

Aug 092008


  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the vehicle would not come to a complete stop when the brake pedal was depressed. The failure caused her to rear end another vehicle while driving less than 35 mph. The vehicle behind the contact witnessed that her brake lights illuminated; however, the vehicle failed to stop. The vehicle was destroyed and a police report was filed. The failure mileage was 25,000.

- Nampa, ID, USA

problem #4

Oct 042007

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,290 miles
I have a brake problem with my 2006 Toyota Prius. Several times (at least 6 times) the brakes have failed to function when I try to stop. The car does not respond when I press the brake pedal and continues to move forward several seconds. So far I have been lucky and not have had an accident but it has been close several times. I have taken the car to the dealership twice but they have not found any problems. They tell me that in order to correct the problem, they must replicate the problem in order to fix it and so far this has not been possible. This keeps happening and I feel very unsafe while driving.

- Granada Hills, CA, USA

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