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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 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #17

Nov 172009


  • 50,000 miles


Headlights on Toyota Prius 2008 started dimming and going out intermittently at 50,000 miles. Lights will go back on when turned off and then back on again. I have been stopped 3 times by the police for a headlight out and been let go with a warning. In addition, the ABS system activates for no reason on dry roads and brakes are slow to engage.

- Chatham, MA, USA

problem #16

Jan 162010


  • 44,000 miles
I have a 2008 Toyota Prius and have experienced several instances where the brakes appear to stop working over the last 2 years. This has happened while braking while hitting a pot hole in the road. It lasts for only a split second.

- Chippewa Falls, WI, USA

problem #15

Jan 032010


  • 21,464 miles
I have a 2008 Prius and have noticed that the car regularly loses braking ability and surges forward after hitting potholes. This has been occurring since I bought the car. I didn't realize until reading the news that other people were experiencing the same problem.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #14

Jan 102010


  • 10,000 miles


Brake failure on my Toyota Prius is something that happens every so often, so far about 20-30 times since I have owned the car (June 08). I will begin braking with the car and all of a sudden the brakes will lose pressure and it does not brake, only to regain the braking ability about 2 seconds later. This mostly occurs in wet weather and I have narrowly avoided a few crashes because of the failure. It is not a function of sliding on the wet pavement but the brake failing momentarily. I contacted Toyota who told me that they had not heard of my problem but that I could take them for a drive and hope that the failure happened while they were in the car. I did not pursue this since it does not happen regularly and they told me there were no other fixes.

- Salem, OR, USA

problem #13

Jan 062010


  • 24,000 miles
I was driving a 2008 Toyota Prius on the highway at around 50 mph when traffic came to a stop, and when I depressed on the brake pedal, the car kept going, and it wasn't until I jammed on the brake pedal all the way to the floor that the brakes seem to engage, but by that time, I had already collided with the car in front of me. On a separate instance, one year ago, the car failed to stop when I pressed on the brake and instead accelerated into my parking space, over the concrete block in front of my parking space and into the wall.

- San Marino, CA, USA

problem #12

Feb 012010


  • 5,000 miles
Brakes fail if the car is driven over even a very small bump in the road. Brake failure is very sporadic.

- Vernon Hills, IL, USA

problem #11

Jan 012008


  • 500 miles


2008 Toyota Prius - brakes slip when trying to stop at low speeds, especially on wet roads or on roads with bumps (including manhole covers). This has occurred repeatedly since I bought the vehicle. The dealer, on three separate occasions, said that they ran diagnostics and found no anomalies. I read today that this problem has also been reported on new (2009-2010) Toyota Prius models, and that the Japanese government had ordered Toyota to investigate. However the article said that Toyota was unaware of any problems with older vehicles. I am filing this complaint in the hope that Toyota will extend its investigation to series 2 Prius models (2004-2008) as well.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #10

Jan 152010


  • 9,000 miles
Toyota Prius 2008 driving over potholes or wet pavement, it's harder to steer or brake than I've ever experienced in another car. This has happened approximately 15 times since I bought the car in July 2008.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #9

Jan 312010


  • 0 miles
2008 Prius brake slippage- not the 2009 Prius, but 2008. Recurrent slippage when it feels as though the car is not responding to the brake pedal, usually after hitting a pebble or a slick area (even just water)...occurs approx once/month. News stories today only referencing the latest model, and it is clearly a problem in my 2008 car. No accidents yet, but always a bit alarming. Otherwise love my Prius.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #8

Oct 162009


  • 68,980 miles
2008 Toyota Prius brakes did not work upon starting vehicle one day. No warning, just no brakes. Vehicle was towed to nearest dealer (50 miles) and the "linear solenoid valve" was "reinitialized".

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #7

Dec 172009


  • 27,387 miles


I have a 2008 Prius. I was in bumper to bumper traffic and stopped. When the car in front of me moved up (I was about 2 or 3 car links behind them) I took my foot off the brake and my car surged forward, I pressed as hard as I could on the brake with both feet and the car crashed into the car in front of me. It was like in slow motion, but the car would not stop. I put the car in park then turned it off after the crash. My airbag did not deploy, but it caused the rear bumper of the car in front of me to almost fall off in the street. I had the car towed to the nearest dealership. I was not given a ticket by the police. I told all this to the dealership and ins. Company and we requested an inspection of the brakes. After the body repair on my car iwas completed, the dealership did a visual inspection of the brakes, test drove it and said it met with their specs. And that the pads were still within the proper thickness on the brakes. They couldn't find any problem.

- Cornelius, NC, USA

problem #6

Jan 262009


  • 10 miles
I own a 2008 Toyota Prius and from the day I drove it off the lot its had braking problems. I have always just assumed the car was useless in bad weather because the smallest amount of rain or snow seemed to prevent me from braking. I would begin to slow down and if the car noticed a tire slide even an inch it would seem to activate the traction control and the break would release. I thought this was some sort of horribly designed safety device to prevent hydroplanning. But I've been paying more attention to when my brakes release and it's anytime I slow down and hit a pot hole, or slow down for a dip. The moment the tires lose any contact/friction on the road the brakes stop working. So far it's been most dangerous when turning onto side streets or into parking lots with a bump or dip. If a car is coming out of the same driveway I'm slowing to enter I have to "pump" my brakes when I turn so I don't hit the other car. It's much worse in any snow/rain. It's almost as though when I begin to slide a little and the brake releases it actually accelerates. The brakes give out on a daily basis, this is not rare or insignificant. This has got to be a manufacturing error with the braking system it's just so consistently faulty.

- South Salt Lake, UT, USA

problem #5

Nov 202009


  • 32,500 miles
When I brake for a bump or pothole, my 2008 Toyota Prius, accelerates on its own when the front tires hits the bump or pothole. I must hit the brakes harder in order to slow. This occurs very frequently, I notice this especially at low speeds. This acceleration on a bump recently occurred when there was a car immediately in front of me, I barely missed hitting the car. This has nothing to do with floor mat. The floor mat is properly secure, moreover it only happens in this situation (I.e., the floor mat does not invisibly get in the way when I hit a bump and magically go back into place all the other time.)

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #4

Aug 142009


  • 18,000 miles
My 2008 Toyota Prius slides when I brake on wet roads. It is very scary and I'm concerned this will cause an accident...especially because occasionally when my 77 yr. Old mother is driving it and is not accustomed to it.

- Soddy Daisy, TN, USA

problem #3

Feb 232008


  • 1 miles
When I depress brake pedal just before stopping it feels like the brake disengages for a second and then reengages before coming to a halt. Been this way since I got the 2008 Prius. Every one I speak to just shrugs. No incidents as yet.

- Freeport, NY, USA

problem #2

Sep 162009


  • 38 miles
Driving on pch in corona del Mar, ca at a speed of approx. 25 mph. Trying to brake at a pedestrian crosswalk where a car was already stopped in front of the Prius. Car did not brake, instead it accelerated and the car that was already stopped at the crosswalk was rearended. Driver of Prius injured ankle. Prius is totaled. Police report was filed.

- Corona Del Mar, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 042009


  • 5,000 miles
I drive a 2008 Toyota Prius. As I was driving out of the gas station and stepped on the accelerator, the car continued going faster. The brake did not work, the only way the car stopped was by hitting another car. See also 10265332.

- Laguna Hills, CA, USA

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