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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,476 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.

2010 Toyota Prius brakes problems

brakes problem

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2010 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #11

Jan 082010


  • 4,000 miles


Upon braking approaching a stoplight, my 2010 Toyota Prius hit a pothole and suddenly jerked forward, then returned to slowing. I kept my foot on the brake and the car stopped normally.

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #10

Feb 042010


  • 200 miles
At 8:00 am this morning, I was driving through a street at a speed of 20 miles to 30 miles per hour. Suddenly, the car jumped a little probably hit a small potholes or bumps. I felt like the car surged forward or may be the brake didn't respond immediately. Fortunately, no other car right in front of me and the car speed is not very fast. I was able to brake it and slow down. I have called the dealer and the service representative doesn't think it is a problem. Later, I also sent a fax to Toyota us headquarter asking for help.

- Murrysville, PA, USA

problem #9

Aug 142009


  • 2,800 miles
Pressing brakes while turning and hitting a pothole causes car to surge forward.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #8

Sep 252009


  • miles


Just wanted to add my two cents worth that the brakes on my 2010 Prius aren't right. When I hit a pothole while braking, the car lurches forward a few more feet. It has almost put me into oncoming traffic a couple of times. This has happened numerous times. I purchased my car on August 28, 2009. Please let me know when repairs and adjustments will be available to the public.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #7

Jan 272010


  • 10,000 miles
I own a 2010 Toyota Prius. Since purchasing it in August, I have been aware of odd, completely reproducible braking behavior. I have not reported the complaint until now because I assumed it was something normal within the operation of the Prius, but with the report in the New York times that Japan is investigating the Prius braking system, I thought I should file a report. I live near train tracks that have a grade crossing in the middle of a block. The crossing itself is in ann arbor, mi, on w. william St. Between S. ashley St and S. 1st St. When driving westbound on william St, one travels downhill and encounters the grade crossing near the bottom of the hill, about 20-30 feet before an intersection. Every time I cross the train tracks at this grade crossing--regardless of weather conditions--I notice an alarming loss of braking power that occurs exclusively when crossing the train tracks. At first I thought this was normal, that perhaps the car was just slipping, but now it seems as if this represents the conditions that are under investigation in Japan. The problem is 100% reproducible. Typical travel speeds are 15-30 miles per hour. The braking action is only interrupted while traveling over the bumpy surface of the rail tracks, and then braking action is restored. However, if there are cars queued up at the bottom of the hill at the intersection, it often leads to short braking times and has caused concern regarding the effectiveness of the brakes. I have not spoken to my dealership regarding the problem, nor had any service performed on the vehicle regarding the problem. Again, I believed this to be more of a design issue than a performance problem, but it is alarming, nonetheless. Thank you for your hard work keeping America's cars safe.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #6

Jan 292010


  • 11,000 miles
Dear, NHTSA I was driving my Prius in November of 2010 and noticed that the braking system was not braking well. I recently was involved on Jan 29, 2010 in an incident driving out of the parking lot from work were the brakes failed on the vehicle when I went to stop the vehicle and the car skidded and struck some ice/snow (one the edge of the parking lot) causing damage to my front passenger side bumper. I am not as concerned about the damage as I am about my overall safety in the vehicle. I have reported the problem to Toyota and they have responded and I have told them that there is an issue with the braking. I want to take this time to formalize my complaint. I am not checking crash and property damage due to the fact that it is not well defined on this page although I had property damage to the car itself and I crashed into snow/ice on the side of the road.

- Schuylerville, NY, USA

problem #5

Jan 282010


  • 3,000 miles


On Thursday, January 28th my wife drove our 2010 Toyota Prius to work. The was a slight coating of snow on the ground. Less that one block from our house, driving at no more than 10-15 mph she applied the brakes to stop at a stop sign. She reported that the brakes seemed to lock (not the normal ABS feel) and she lost control of the car, which then slid/skidded into a curb which punctured the front passenger tire. The car appeared to have only a punctured tire which was changed by a aaa service truck. After the tire was changed and the service truck left, I attempted to drive the vehicle to a nearby tire dealer. As I tried to drive the car, I heard and felt a loud scraping noise that sound and felt like the brakes were still engaged. Even though I was now on clear pavement if I at all tried to apply the brakes, the ABS went on, but in an aggressive manner. The ABS also went on a couple of times even without me putting my foot on the brakes. The tire dealer said he thought we might have been the frame and told us not to drive the car. The car was towed to a nearby body shop to be inspected by our insurance company, state farm. As of February 2, 2010 no inspection has taken place. It is our contention that something malfunctioned with the brakes which caused the accident.

- Peekskill, NY, USA

problem #4

Feb 012010


  • 2,000 miles
I have a 2010 Prius. When I am braking and hit some bumps in the road, my car lurches forward with brief spurts of acceleration. This has nothing to do with the gas pedal. It seems that others are having similar issues ( This could be dangerous, especially on a wet road. And the roads are so terrible in los angeles, that I experience this problem more often than I would like. Hopefully enough people report this problem that Toyota takes action.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #3

Jan 202010


  • 6,200 miles
When I am braking/slowing and turning and hit a curb or chunk of ice, or driving straight and hit a chunk of ice, my 2010 Prius brakes will completely go away. This has happened 4 times during the past 3 weeks of winter weather.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #2

Nov 192009


  • 3,500 miles
The roads were covered with snow and were quite slippery. I was coming down a hill to a stop sign at about 10 mph. I hit the brakes lightly, the ABS engaged (I could hear/feel the brakes pulse), but the car didn't slow down much. I jammed on the brakes, the ABS was still engaged and the car finally stopped in the middle of the intersection, again slowing down very slowly. If it had not been a four-way stop, somebody would have hit me! I kept driving and the same thing kept happening to me: I hit the brakes, the ABS engaged and the car stopped very slowly. In some cases, it felt like the car even accelerated a little bit before finally (and slowly) coming to a stop. I am a mechanical engineer and used to work for General Motors - I have driven lots of cars - and this has never happened to me before. I immediately drove home and drove my 2002 Honda civic (which does not have anti-lock brakes) down the same road. While the car did slide in the snow, it stopped in about one-third the distance of my Prius. There is definitely something the matter with the braking system and/or the traction control system when the ABS engages.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #1

Nov 252009


  • 3,000 miles
Unexpected total loss of propulsion after driving on wet road conditions at approx 35 mph.. 2010 Toyota Prius with enhanced stability control. No response from gas pedal. Needed to come to a complete stop and restart vehicle to obtain power. Lights and dash display remained on but vehicle had no power to move. Had to coast several hundred feet avoiding traffic to come to a complete stop and "restarting" vehicle. ESC/trac squiggly symbol appeared on dash momentarily. On other occasions I have noticed when stopping on loose surface materials or stopping when driving over uneven pavement that the vehicle unexpectedly lurches forward in a most unpredictable and unnatural way almost as if there were no brakes and the vehicle momentarily attempts to accelerate. The first condition could easily cause an accident in heavy traffic or on a busy freeway since control of the vehicle was not returned to the operator until the vehicle was totally stopped and then shut down and restarted. My sense is that the enhanced stability control and trac system is overly responsive to road conditions and is slow or inhibits the return of control of the vehicle to the operator. I took the vehicle to a Toyota service center. They report no error codes or technical service bulletins on the issue. No corrective action taken. My confidence in this vehicle has been severely damaged. I can't imagine the danger of loss of propulsion when driving at a high speed on a high traffic/speed highway.

- Norwell, MA, USA

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