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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
14 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,551 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 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #57

Sep 222008


  • 20 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that when driving over a bump at low speeds, when she depressed the brake pedal, the brakes would not engage. It would slow down eventually but not in the normal time it should. When depressing the brake pedal, the vehicle would jerk forward as if the contact made a sudden stop. She took the vehicle to the dealership twice. The first time she was told by the dealer that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle and after the second visit, she was told they repaired the vehicle, however they did not tell her what repairs were made. She still noticed the same problems. She had not spoken with the manufacturer to-date. The current mileage was approximately 18,000. The failure mileage was approximately 20.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #56

May 142009


  • 14,640 miles
As the traffic began to accelerate after stopping at a traffic light the brakes on my 2008 Prius, which I had for less than a day, apparently failed. I had plenty of room ( 3 to 4 car lengths) when the van in front of me stopped short. I slammed on the brakes, but the vehicle failed to stop (the highway was wet and I assumed the anti-lock brakes activated causing the stopping distance to be extended, but there was no evidence of the ABS engaging). The resulting accident caused over $ 4,000 in front end damage. Also, the ESC appear to "skip" while traveling over a railroad track near my home.

- Pottstown, PA, USA

problem #55

Feb 112010


  • 1,000 miles
Most recent failure was a few days ago but this has been a problem since I purchased the 2008 Prius in March of 08--- I thought it was a quirk in the car --- something that just naturally happened when I would go over a pot hole or bumps in the road --- the car would lurch forward --- I had no control over the car --- no brakes --- I didn't realize that this was not a "natural" response until I heard the description on a news broadcast a couple weeks ago. Model years prior to 2010 should be included in the investigation. I am going to make an appointment with my dealer. Thank you

- Buchanan, VA, USA

problem #54

Feb 012008


  • 18 miles


I own a 2008 Toyota Prius and I have been experiencing the same braking as the issues as the recent 2010 recall since I have owned the car brand new. When coming to a stop on a semi rough road (all the time) the cars brakes stutter and the antilock engages and dis-engages creating the car to not have proper braking control. Nothing has been done to correct the issue.

- Fairfield, OH, USA

problem #53

Jun 102009


  • 22,000 miles
I own a 2008 Prius and have experienced a loss of braking sensation numerous times while driving on winding, or uneven road at slow speed. I thought I was just imagining this for a long time until recent weeks. I'm hoping that Toyota will go back and fix earlier models as well.

- Malibu, CA, USA

problem #52

Dec 042009


  • miles
I have a 2008 Toyota Prius and on December 4, 2009, I rear-ended another vehicle after my brakes failed. I applied the brakes as I was coming upon the car, and the car just kept going. Fortunately, I was going at a slow speed. I immediately reported the accident to my insurance company and I did tell the representative that I hit the brakes but the car kept going.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #51

Jul 182009


  • 2,000 miles


We own a 2008 Toyota Prius there has been three separate incidents while braking that the car would speed up. The dealer said it was just the electric motor and gas engine changing back and forth. I read on the internet of other people with the same problem also one lady who was stopped at a red light and when she pressed on the gas pedal too take off at a normal speed the car sped up fast causing her too put both feet on the brake too stop the car. These are all pre 2010 cars they also need to be looked at.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #50

Feb 022010


  • miles
I own a 2008 Toyota Prius. There have been numerous occasions that the brakes on my car have not worked properly. The last time was on pavement that was wet, trying to stop for a red light on a downhill road. Luckily the car in front of me went through the red light or I would have hit it. The other times have been near my home, I live on a dirt road, many of the roads are unpaved and uneven dirt roads in my neighborhood where I am extremely cautious when braking because many times the brakes do not work well. The light does come on to indicate uneven road, while braking. I have noticed this problem since I purchased the vehicle. I hope something can be done about the braking system. This occurs daily because I live on a dirt road.

- Loxahatchee, FL, USA

problem #49

Jan 102010


  • 40,000 miles
Not a smooth braking system when braking over bumps / holes, railroad tracks.

- Mogadore, OH, USA

problem #48

May 152009


  • 15,000 miles
When my 2008 Toyota Prius moves on a bumpy surface at low speed I feel a pause in the braking - same problem that is being reported on the 2010 models.

- Strongsville, OH, USA

problem #47

Feb 082010


  • 100 miles


When I am slowing down and applying the brake on my Toyota Prius and there is a bump or defect in the road I get a feeling of being on ice. A feeling of a lack of control. I was always aware of this but I never mentioned it when having my vehicle serviced.

- Reno, NV, USA

problem #46

Jan 122010


  • 37,000 miles
My 2008 Prius experiences the braking problem being investigated with the 2010 Prius.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #45

Feb 052010


  • 100 miles
The issue that has been reported on Toyota Prius brakes failing to work on bumpy roads extends beyond the 2010 model year. I own a 2008 Prius and know another person as well who have experienced the exact same problem with our cars when braking on bumpy roads. The Toyota complaint line does not answer anymore due to the volume of calls (says the message), so I am reporting it here.

- Watertown, MA, USA

problem #44

Jan 202010


  • 56,300 miles
I purchased 2008 Toyota Prius from anapolis Toyota. The brakes failed on three occasions since purchasing car on January 18, 2010. Car was taken in during the first 7 days after purchasing it. Service departmdnt and used car sales management claimed nothing was wrong. Problem occurs when I hit a bump in the road. Brakes competely fail. Very dangerous. It is not just the 2010 model that should be questioned. All Prius' should be recalled until this is solved.

- Lothian, MD, USA

problem #43

Jan 012010


  • 1 miles
2008 toytoa Prius brakes disengaging when going over bumps, potholes, railway tracks. No injuries yet but some close calls.

- Rockford, MN, USA

problem #42

Feb 282008


  • 15 miles
1) the even happens during normal braking from 40 mph over a road with potholes. The location is here:, +cass, +Missouri&ll=38.67887, -94.675729&spn=0.00139,0.00284&Z=19 2) the car loses all braking for 1-2 seconds after running over the pothole. If somebody was in front of me, it would result in a accident. It happens 5 days a week as part of my daily commute. 3) Toyota says it is normal for the Prius to do this.

- Cleveland, MO, USA

problem #41

Feb 012010


  • 26,000 miles
Toyota Prius 2008: When driving at slow speed and braking, if I hit a small bump (like manhole cover), my vehicle skid warning light comes on and it feels like the car temporarily stops braking for about a second and then brake re-engages. This has happened off and on for over a year. I reported it to the dealer when I first experienced it and they checked computer and could find no evidence of a problem.

- San Rafael, CA, USA

problem #40

Oct 012009


  • 9,000 miles
2005 and 2009 Toyota Prius braking problems. I have a 2005 and a 2009 Toyota Prius. On both of these vehicles, I have experienced the same problems which are being described in the news about the 2010 Prius model. I have never had an accident relating to this problem, but the potential is certainly there. The problem occurs when I am moving forward, have the brake slightly depressed, and I hit a pot hole or speed bump. The wheels momentarily speed up, so I react by pressing harder on the brakes and the wheels slow down.

- Lake Jackson, TX, USA

problem #39

Jan 282010


  • 30,000 miles
My car is a 2008 Prius. The incident is that my car didn't stop and skidded into a concrete curb, damaging the right front power steering rack. It was snowing, about 1-2" accumulated. Driving into my office parking lot, there is a street with a steep but short hill - maybe 50feet or less - (it was not plowed or sanded). At the foot of the hill, there is a left turn into a level parking lot or a right turn under a highway overpass, or straight ahead into shrubs and the river. I slowed down before going down the hill and as I went down the hill I lightly pumped brakes. Tried to come to a complete stop at foot of the hill but car didn't stop completely, but was going slow. So, I made the left turn into the parking lot. The body of the car turned into the lot, but was not in control. With the brakes on, and the wheel turned to the left, the car went into a slide sideways to the right. The right front wheel slammed into a concrete curb and the car stopped. It felt as if I had no brakes - coming down the hill they couldn't stop me and there was no skid control coming on at any time. The failure: Given the weather conditions I don't know how to prove a failure but I suspect something with the brakes. I have owned this car for one year (purchased it used) and during that time the one thing that bugs me in the car is the brakes and the skid control. They just feel strange, I go over a depressed manhole in the road and the dsc comes on and it feels like I skid - it should just feel like a bump. Repairs: This is the list -entire power steering rack on right front to be replaced- tie rod, lower control arm, wheel, rim-all bent. Front cover and lower ball joint damaged-to be replaced. Over $3000 in repairs; they will be done this week (8 Feb). If you want the old parts I can ask for dealer to save them. Car is @ Toyota dealer. Mileage & speed are my best guess; components I guessed - your terms were not familiar to me.

- Westport, CT, USA

problem #38

Feb 052010


  • 38,000 miles
I own a 2008 Toyota Prius. I've noticed that when I run over a bump or a pothole on the road, the car seems to accelerate or jolt forward. It happens while I brake to a stop sign and run over a bump or pothole. It has also happened while letting go of the gas pedal but not stepping on the brake. Usually when this occurs the light for the traction control engages as if it detects a skid, even though there is no skid. I have to press the brake very hard in order to stop or slow down the car. I tend to leave extra room in front of me just in case the car accelerates unexpectedly, but there is definitely a problem with unexplained acceleration.

- Chicago, IL, USA

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