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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
10 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
90,766 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.

2008 Toyota Prius brakes problems

brakes problem

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2008 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #34

Aug 172016

Prius

  • 65,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

My Prius has a little over 67000 miles on it now. A couple months ago there was an intense alarm going off when I just entered the hwy. Lights came on all over the dash but the car drove fine and home was 2 miles away. Because of the alarm I pulled over and realized my brakes weren't working correctly. I called my repair service and they said to carefully drive home and bring it in the next morning since they were closing. As I drove home the brakes got worse and in parking behind my other car it almost didn't stop. Turned off the car, called the service repair and they said drive back now. The car was off about 5 min. And the brakes were better but not 100% there. Got a loaner drove home. Next day he said they couldn't find anything wrong. Hasn't happened in the last 2000 miles I put on it but I have noticed that the car lunges when hitting a small bump in the road while braking. It feels like the brakes stop for a second or two and the car speeds up. Quite a worrisome problem if the brakes are going to get worse as the car ages or the ABS messes it up as I have read. Sometimes the car does accelerate faster than normal but my Toyota pickup will do that sometimes and I just figure it might be some kind of fuel surge?

- Longmont, CO, USA

problem #33

Mar 012016

Prius

  • 125,398 miles
When I have the brake pushed down and I am in another gear besides park, then the brake can stop working and just roll forward or backward depending on where I am at. It does it part of the time, not all of the time. I am afraid I am going to hit something. It is when I am in stationary position in drive or reverse. It can happen anywhere. I do not know the exact dates that this has happened. But it has happened numerous times.

- Mayfield, KY, USA

problem #32

Aug 272016

Prius

  • 82,000 miles
I was in a parking lot and turned my car into a parking space. As I slowed my car to bring it to a stop, applying the brake, the car accelerated on its own and crashed into a railing at the head of the parking space. Although I pushed the brake all the way to to floor, I could not stop the car. The car hit at such a speed that it broke a solid wood railing at the front of the parking space. My car was declared a total loss by my insurance company because of the damage. It seemed to me the car accelerated on its own and the brake was nonfunctional. I could not stop the car. I had two related incidents prior to this crash. The first, I rear-ended another vehicle when applying the brake to stop at a traffic light. Again, the car accelerated and the brake would not stop it. Even with the brake fully pressed, the car hit the other vehicle, bounced backward, continued to accelerate and hit the car again before coming to a stop. Secondly, one time I noticed when applying the brake to make a sharp right turn, the car lurched forward. This did not result in a crash.

- Groton, MA, USA

problem #31

Mar 272016

Prius

  • 173,123 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

ABS actuator leak. Is not only my car

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #30

Mar 172016

Prius

  • 53,000 miles
Warning lights came on when I started it- after purchasing the car used (brake light, ABS, vsc, and ! lights). Would occur intermittently every other day. I replaced the 12V battery. Took it to the dealership- said they had not idea and 'recalibrated' it. The light came on the next day. Returned to the dealership and now we are being told it's the 'brake actuator' and it's a very well known issue in the generation 2 Prius'. see attached picture for warning lights.

- Apple Valley, MN, USA

problem #29

May 202015

Prius

  • 127,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact started the vehicle and noticed that the brakes failed to work. The dealer stated that the ABS pump failed and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 127,000.

- High Point , NC, USA

problem #28

Apr 142015

Prius

  • 149,850 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I was driving 50mph when the car lost power.the car suddenly had no power brakes, no ability to easily steer, no engine power and many warning lights came on including an warning that the main hybrid battery was not charging. The car would not respond to acceleration. The car came to a stop. I held the start button the car shut off. The car restarted with no problems. All the warning lights were off. I put the car in drive and started to accelerate. All the warning lights come on just as before and the car suffers the same issues again. I went through the same process of turning the car off and turning it back on. The car started up again with no problems again, all the lights were off. It failed on more time on the trip home. I was able to restart the car and put my emergency lights on. I never drove over 25mph on the trip back to the house. My family took the car to wilson Toyota in bellingham wa. They examined the car and said the 12V battery had failed. They told my family that the main 12V battery runs all the electrical to get the car started and running. We told the dealer the car still had electrical power. They still replaced the 12V battery. The following day my family went to look at the car and a service person at the dealer, who said he was new to this location, said he had noticed that the 12V battery had seemed to be replaced recently. They said they would keep the car to keep looking over its systems. On 4/16/2015 my family called Toyota to discuss our safety concerns with regard to how the car failed. We explained we also have a 2007 Prius that had the main hybrid battery fail and that all the warning lights that came on were similar in both cars. The dealer has said there are no codes that said the main hybrid battery is failing. I am worried that I or my family could be seriously injured if the car failed in this manner again while on a busy highway or intersection.

- Mount Vernon, WA, USA

problem #27

Nov 252013

Prius

  • 185,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While starting the vehicle, the brake, ABS, and vsc lights illuminated. In addition, the brakes dragged without pressure being applied pressure to the brake pedal and the vehicle veered to the left. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the brake actuator was faulty and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred several times. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 185,000.

- South Bend, IN, USA

problem #26

Sep 152014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 105,327 miles
I was driving to work in the freeway and suddenly I heard a loud continuous beep noise with all the lights in the dash was lit. When I tried to apply the brake, the brake did not respond, I was going at 30 mph, since there was traffic. I got panic and turned the steering to the right and drove to the curb and stopped there. I toed the vehicle to Toyota dealer and they said the brake actuator broke and said that it costs around 3500 dollar. How come the brake actuator fail in the vehicle which is 5 and half years old ?

- Ladera Ranch, CA, USA

problem #25

Sep 152014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 105,326 miles
Driving 2008 Toyota Prius with 105K miles on the freeway. Suddenly, I saw the ABS, vcs and brake lights shows up on the dashboard along with a continuous screeching noise. I tried to apply the brakes but the car did not stop, I applied the brake even harder, still the car did not stop but continuous to move forward. It was traffic time on a Monday morning, so I was going on 15mph. When I found that my brake did not respond, I immediately moved to the curb and called aaa. Dealer did check my vehicle and said there is break actuator issue and needs to be replace with a price tag of 3823 usd. Spoke to Toyota customer service, and the associate told that this is a wear and tear issue. How come the brake actuator become faulty on a 6 year old car, which was advertised a safe car. Note: I had my 100K service done and I was told everything was normal.

- Ladera Ranch, CA, USA

problem #24

Jul 072014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 134,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

As I was coming to a stop driving along a side street, I hit a slight bump in the road while braking. The brakes stopped working for about 1 and 1/2 seconds while the vsc light was flashing. Then the brakes started working again and I could stop the car. This has happened 3 additional times since then in different places driving around town, probably after hitting slight bumps or a few pieces of gravel. One of those happened as I was going to the Toyota dealer to have it checked out. The Toyota serviceman could not find any codes that indicated that there was a problem. "no verifiable malfunction occurred." Yesterday, I talked to the Toyota service manager again. He said that there was nothing he could do to fix the car.

- Wheeling, WV, USA

problem #23

Jul 152014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated the brake and ABS warning lights illuminated intermittently. The contact mentioned that intermittently the brakes became inoperable. The vehicle was taken to a dealer and the diagnosis was a leaking ABS actuator needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 100,000. Updated 10/7/14 updated 3/25/2015

- Eliot, ME, USA

problem #22

Mar 312012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 55,960 miles
On 09/01/10, we took our 2008 Prius in because there were two times the car didn't stop when we used the brakes. I told the service manager, the car was accelerating on its own. It was scary and I feared an accident. After they worked on the car, I was told that it was the floor mats that interfered with the accelerator pedal. It didn't make sense to me because I had to put my foot under the pedal to raise it up since it was stuck. I was angry they completely ignored the fact the car was accelerating on its own and acted as though the problem was handled. On 03/31/12, w. manchester/hindry, before 2:00 P.M., it had drizzled, I stopped at a light, drove ahead and at a fork in the road I tapped my brakes to slow down on a curve. Instead, the car kept accelerating. I stepped on the brakes but the car did not respond. The car kept gaining speed! I was at least 3 car lengths behind other car, plenty of time to stop but the car accelerated no matter how hard I stepped on the brakes. It was terrifying! I realized I was going to crash and there was nothing I could do to prevent it. I rear ended the Mercedes, the airbags failed to deploy. I had 2 boxes of books in the trunk that hit the back of my seat and knocked down the rear seats from the impact. The car was towed. Damages: $5,988.79. Medical: $25,000. Next month, a cracked pump was discovered at firewall, due to the accident. The black box showed impact was at 35 mph, (35-27) mph, 0.02 sec. Injuries: Concussion, whiplash, back spasms, double-crush injury, ptsd, depression, migraines. I couldn't drive or start physical therapy for 4 mos., until 07/27/12. My therapist worked alot to relax my muscles, I had traction, bought a traction device $400. And 6 mos. Of chiropractic for muscle spasms. 12/08/12, I had a nerve-test, it was abnormal for a double-crush injury. Prescribed xanax for ptsd, anxiety.

- Lake View Terrace, CA, USA

problem #21

Mar 312012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 55,960 miles
On 09/01/10, we took our 2008 Prius in because there were two times the car didn't stop when we used the brakes. I told the service manager, the car was accelerating on its own. It was scary and I feared an accident. After they worked on the car, I was told that it was the floor mats that interfered with the accelerator pedal. It didn't make sense to me because I had to put my foot under the pedal to raise it up since it was stuck. I was angry they completely ignored the fact the car was accelerating on its own and acted as though the problem was handled. On 03/31/12, w. manchester/hindry, before 2:00 P.M., it had drizzled, I stopped at a light, drove ahead and at a fork in the road I tapped my brakes to slow down on a curve. Instead, the car kept accelerating. I stepped on the brakes but the car did not respond. The car kept gaining speed! I was at least 3 car lengths behind other car, plenty of time to stop but the car accelerated no matter how hard I stepped on the brakes. It was terrifying! I realized I was going to crash and there was nothing I could do to prevent it. I rear ended the Mercedes, the airbags failed to deploy. I had 2 boxes of books in the trunk that hit the back of my seat and knocked down the rear seats from the impact. The car was towed. Damages: $5,988.79. Medical: $25,000. Next month, a cracked pump was discovered at firewall, due to the accident. The black box showed impact was at 35 mph, (35-27) mph, 0.02 sec. Injuries: Concussion, whiplash, back spasms, double-crush injury, ptsd, depression, migraines. I couldn't drive or start physical therapy for 4 mos., until 07/27/12. My therapist worked alot to relax my muscles, I had traction, bought a traction device $400. And 6 mos. Of chiropractic for muscle spasms. 12/08/12, I had a nerve-test, it was abnormal for a double-crush injury. Prescribed xanax for ptsd, anxiety.

- Lake View Terrace , CA, USA

problem #20

Mar 062014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
It actually happened two times within a month. In one case, I was turning left to take a ramp with a very low speed around 5 mph. Even though some parts of the road was icy, but the car didn't slip. It was exactly a several sudden pushes, unintended acceleration, with my foot on the brake only. I was so scared because I couldn't control the car for few seconds, and I thought I totally lost the control of the car. I tried to steer the car safely and turn on my emergency light. Checked the brake again, it was working after that. The second time, happened to me when I was coming out of school parking and didn't have any speed at all. Again around 5 mph. School is located in residential area. When you get out of the parking, you can only turn right, then there is an intersection with a stop sign almost 50 feet away. On the day of incident, I tried to stop behind the stop sign with no speed at all, but suddenly the car got the same continuous and sudden pushes. It was accelerated unintended. My foot was completely on the brake, but I lost the control again, and I was so lucky that day that there were no cars around the intersection, I tried to steer the car to the left, turned on my emergency light, and tried to push the brake again and again. After few seconds, I found it working. I called the Toyota the same day, and they are in the process of scheduling me for inspection. Again, even though the surface was slick with ice, but I didn't have speed, and it didn't look like ABS is working. I exactly know how ABS works, specially when it is snowy or icy. This is very scary. Please investigate. Thanks.

- Dearborn Heights, MI, USA

problem #19

Mar 112014

Prius

  • 107,694 miles
Car loses braking ablities when going over rough terrain or slippery terrain. The ABS initiates but then stops. The ABS light can be seen on the dash (normal). This action is very frightening. The stopping distances have left room for error, so no accidents yet.

- Poughkeepsie , NY, USA

problem #18

Mar 032014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 127,000 miles
There is a leak inside the 12V battery compartment that houses the battery and the electronic brake controller. The car's hatch leaks water in from rain and car washes and it collects around the 12V battery. In this Prius, this area has the battery, electronic brake controller, and further back is the hv battery. There should not be any water that can leak into this area with the electronics. There are many google threads regarding owners experiencing this problem with water leaking inside the car's back area. This is a major safety issue that needs to be addressed because the battery and brake booster is in this exact area where it can affect the safety of the car when driven.

- El Monte, CA, USA

problem #17

Jan 232014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 129,325 miles
Everytime I drive the car and engage the brakes over an uneven, bumpy, or slick surface, the anti lock brake system engages. When it engages the car no longer slows down, it is like the brakes are completely gone for 1-2 seconds until the brakes re-engage. I have had several close incidents of almost hitting other vehicles. I have not done anything about it because it is a company vehicle and nothing bad has happened until today. The anti-lock brakes system disengaged the brakes and I ended up rear ending another vehicle.

- Cedar Knolls, NJ, USA

problem #16

Nov 182013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 180,000 miles
When I brake and also go over a bump my 2008 Prius lurches forward. The traction control light illuminates. The brakes become ineffective. This caused me to have an accident last night. The cars before me came to a sudden stop. I was driving 15-20mph but unfortunately I hit the brakes while unknowningly simultaneously going over a bump. The faulty traction control system sent me into a 1-2 second lurch forward with zero brakes. When I finally was able to have brakes I had to maneuver the vehicle to the left of the car ahead scratching the aura and denting my front right panel. This is not the first time the brakes have failed but it is the first time I was involved in an accident because of it. Toyota drivers need to leave a 4 sec. Space between cars to make up for the 2 sec. Lapse in brakes.

- Cleveland, MN, USA

problem #15

Nov 152013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact sated that while driving less than 10 mph on a wet road surface, the brakes failed to respond when engaged and went straight to the floor. In addition, the brake pedal became stuck to the floorboard when depressed. The contact was able to coast to the shoulder where the brake pedal was released. The vehicle resumed normally and was later taken to the dealer, who advised that the battery failed and caused the brake actuator to fail. The dealer replaced the battery. The failure and current mileage was 61,000. Updated 02/11/2014 the consumer stated there was no resistance and the pedal did not get stuck, but it had no effect in stopping the vehicle. After several seconds, the consumer coasted to the shoulder at which time, the brakes started to work. Also, the battery was replaced. A month after the incident, the instrument cluster failed again, with no warning lights and it had to be replaced.

- Cedar Key, FL, USA

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