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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
32 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
8 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,374 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 5 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #77

Jan 152010


  • 24,000 miles


I have a 2008 Toyota Prius. On several occasions when braking and hitting a pothole (right front tire) I have experienced a momentary loss of braking. It kind of felt like the car was floating above the ground before braking was reengaged. I did not know what was going on until I heard about the 2010 Toyota Prius brake problems and instantly recognized the symptoms. I have not experienced any adverse consequences as the brakes reengaged and allowed me to control the car after a second.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #76

Feb 082008


  • 102 miles
I have a 2008 Toyota Prius. When I drive over bumpy surfaces such as road covers or pot holes while breaking, I can feel my car accelerating mid-brake and then have to press doubly hard on my brakes to slow the vehicle. I was in an accident driving because driving over some bumpy railroad track crossings, I had to break because the car in front of me stopped suddenly. I floored the brakes and my car continued to roll right into the car in front of me. I have also considered that perhaps there was electrical interference with my brakes caused by the railroad crossing.

- Chico, CA, USA

problem #75

Nov 222008


  • 12,800 miles
Brakes release at stops where only slight road conditions exist and here there should be complete braking. I have found this happens at numerous times during the period I have owned my 2008 Prius. I believe there are valid concerns with this vehicles brake system that need to be acknowledged and addressed by the manufacturer.

- Lititz, PA, USA

problem #74

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 #73

Feb 042010


  • 53,300 miles
Summary: Brakes hesitate if I have the brakes on before driving over bumpy road transition: Driving ~25 to 30mph going up hill, on bridge that is a freeway overpass, where I turn into the left turn lane that has a stoplight that leads to the freeway on ramp. If the light is red or I need to slowdown for the turn, when my wheels go over the metal transition plate between the asphalt road and the concrete bridge, if I have my brakes on prior to the transition, the out of control light flashes, ABS engages and after the transition, I lose brakes for a second or two or maybe three. If the light is red it can be a little tricky as I need to stop for the light shortly after the transition. There are two lanes that turn onto the freeway and if someone shifts from one lane to the other for a better light position, it gets even trickier to stop on time. For those in san diego, this is the light at la costa in carlsbad, going West on la costa and entering the I-5 South on ramp.

- Valley Center, CA, USA

problem #72

Feb 072010


  • 54,950 miles
While driving over a bumpy road today, I applied brakes to my Prius (2008). The vehicle jumped into anti-lock position and would not stop even after applying more pressure. Finally, just before rear ending the vehicle in front of me, I was able to stop. I notified Toyota about this today on their web site. Is there anything else I should do?

- Charlestown, RI, USA

problem #71

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 #70

Jan 232010


  • 20,000 miles
Proceeding to get on highway and in gravel driveway vehicle lost traction and brakes failed.(at least 5 or 6 times in 2009 and most rescent 2/03/10)\headlight and relay switch failed\front running light not working all the time\radio switching from fm, fm2and am randomly\car for no reason going dead at a store orbeing parked for an hour or 2and having to be jumped\main batteries losing charge(most of these issues have already been documented at Toyota with the response that there is nothing wrong with the car as far back as August and most recent in December '09) also the tires went bald after 20,000 miles\can't put more than 8 gallons of fuel in tank'ever

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #69

Jan 082010


  • 40,000 miles
Driving on a dirt road which turns into a paved road. Started sliding as soon as I hit the paved road. Pumped on the brakes, the ABS didnt work. The car kept sliding off the road into a fence. $4000 in damage.

- Cambridge, ID, USA

problem #68

Feb 052010


  • 15,000 miles
2008 Prius, 2006 Lexus 400H momentary brake loss. I believe the 2010 Prius brake issue goes well beyond 2010 Prius models. I think the momentary (split second) delay in braking happens at low speeds, infrequently, perhaps in the B shift position exclusively (not certain on this in the Lexus) and usually on slippery surfaces and/or cold weather and usually when going down an incline. The feeling I got in my Prius and my wife in her Lexus was not an acceleration feeling but a going into neutral feeling. It kind of felt like the car picked up speed but more from the coasting effect than anything to due with an accelerator. I would look at the anti-lock braking as it relates to regenerative braking with a dash of speed thrown in. Good luck. I still feel the cars are safe. Date below not real-just placeholder -today's date.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #67

Jan 152010


  • miles


I own a 2008 Prius and I have the same brake problem as many owners have reported. The brake sometimes does not work on a bumpy road edge and when it occurs the orange light that indicates unstable condition turns on. It also occurs when it is raining. Foursome reason, it works well in a heavy rain but doesn't work on a road under "light" raining condition. Whenever it happens, the car slows down but doesn't stop and I feel it's sliding on the road surface. I haven't contacted the dealer regarding this problem.

- Groveland, FL, USA

problem #66

Feb 052010


  • 58,055 miles
I just reported the brake problem for this car, but there's also a problem with the tcs. When trying to accelerate on slick surfaces there is a momentary loss of traction resulting in an overly-long compensated period of seriously reduced acceleration; this has caused safety problems in intersections, where I am unable to quickly accelerate out of the way if conditions are slick or sandy, it is so unsafe that I wish I could turn off the traction control system..

- Hubbardston, MA, USA

problem #65

Oct 212009


  • 21,000 miles
When going over bumps it fells like the brakes stop working. It almost feels like the vehicle accelerates.

- Urbana, IL, USA

problem #64

Dec 182009


  • 53,000 miles
My 2008 Toyota Prius has experienced the same braking problems described in recent media releases. My 2005 Prius also had the same problem, but I've since sold it. When driving over a slippery surface (ice, a wet sewer cover or painted crosswalk line) and needing to brake - when I first apply the brake it begins to stop, then the car suddenly speeds up again before continuing to brake. I've learned to keep my distance so I don't hit anyone in the split second the car is no longer braking.

- Hubbardston, MA, USA

problem #63

Dec 282009


  • 28,500 miles
I have a 2008 Toyota Prius and live in St. Paul, mn. In late December following a snow and then ice storm I was driving on city streets. As I was coming up to an intersection with a stop sign, I applied the brakes and nothing happened. The anti-lock brakes did not engage at all. I pressed harder and nothing happened. I avoided an accident by making a sharp right hand turn and missing the car which I was about to hit broadside. I have taken no action yet regarding this malfunction.

- St. Paul, MN, USA

problem #62

Feb 052009


  • 31,000 miles
This is for a 2008 Toyota Prius. This problem occurs during normal daily/routine driving, and occurs almost daily. Problem: While braking, if I encounter any non-smooth surfaces (small pot hole, slight gravel, etc) or while braking and turning--the braking pressure/force momentarily releases for about a 1/2 second, and is immediately followed by a flashing ABS light. When this occurs, the car also momentarily lunges forward due to having no braking force. On 4 occasions I almost ended up into cross traffic at an intersection. This has occurred since I first owned the car back in July 2009 and is not a recent development. This same problem occurred today during my commute to work on wintry mx weather roads, but I did not have any near collisions. No repairs or work has been performed on my car to fix this problem. I assumed this problem was inherent to hybrids, but in light of recent Prius braking problems on the news, I felt it was my duty to report that my 2008 Prius does have a braking issue.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #61

Jan 242010


  • 49,000 miles
I am an owner of a 2008 Toyota Prius. I have also experienced the braking problems that have been associated with the 2010 model. When hitting a bump in the road or an uneven part of the road, the brakes will not take hold and the vehicle seems to accelerate or jerk forward. Also the anti-lock brake light flashes.

- Swansea, IL, USA

problem #60

Aug 302009


  • 44,608 miles
Toyota Prius 2008. I bought the car as used fleet car in August 2009. The first time I drove over uneven roads, specifically manhole covers on a slight down grade, the slip light came on and the car felt as if it were sliding without gripping the road over the cover. I continued to have that same feeling when trying to stop on uneven road conditions, specifically metal manhole covers. I mentioned this to the dealer over the next couple of months. As long as the road is dry, this is a momentary feeling. However, one day the roads were recently wet from a rain. I went to stop and the car slid at least several feet before the car stopped. I was decelerating from 35 miles an hour to an abrupt stop. This reaction persists. I have taken the car in to be inspected and told there was nothing wrong with the anti-locking mechanism. However, I continue to have no gripping action on wet pavements (I slid completely over an ice patch this week at a stop sign. The patch of ice was at least 10 feet across. I anticipated this problem so approached the spot slowly and still slid clear to the other side, which put me into the cross street traffic. Fortunately, I was the only one on the street.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #59

Oct 312009


  • 30,000 miles
Toyota Prius 2008 seems like it releases brake or the brake doesn't work when driving over a bump, pothole, or wet roads., although brake is applied. Feels like car jumps or slips. A light indicator comes on when this occurs. It is a orange light indicating car is slipping it has occurred several times over the year. Took it to the Toyota dealer and explained what happened, but was told it was my driving and could not identify problem unless it happened to them and it never did. Sometimes it continues to occur.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #58

Sep 202008


  • 3,500 miles
I have a 2008 Toyota Prius and my problem is with the braking and the anti skid coming on even on dry pavement. I have also a noise that comes from braking when the car is stopped. When you press on the brake it makes a clicking and grinding noise even when the car is not going. I have had it in about 4-5 times for these 2 problems and 3 times they bled the brakes and 2 times they changed the actuator. This problem started about 3-4 months after I purchased my 2008 Prius.

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

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