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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
23 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
7 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,606 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 3 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #140

Jan 012011


  • 15,000 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving at 20 mph, the contact drove over a pothole and the vehicle veered to the right. In addition, the vehicle accelerated in excess. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who was unable to diagnose or repair the vehicle. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The contact was aware of NHTSA campaign number: 10V039000 (service brakes, air). The failure mileage was 15,000.

- Olney , MD, USA

problem #139

Jun 252010


  • 0 miles
We have experienced inconsistent break feel after ABS actuation during slow and steady application of the brakes on rough or slick road surfaces. We noticed also that there was a recall on this issue in 2010 but our particular car (by VIN number) did not qualify. We think that the recall should have included a broader sample of same year and model. We have brought the problem to the attention of the dealership several times but they have dismissed it as normal operation of brakes. We feel very unsafe in the vehicle.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #138

Jan 052012


  • 56,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving 10 mph, the brake pedal was depressed and failed to respond. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 56,000.

- Dublin , CA, USA

problem #137

Sep 012009


  • 1,000 miles


I read the complaints & found one listed recently dated 5/22/15 that describes the exact problem I have. My Prius is a 2010 purchased in 7/09 & shortly thereafter, I noticed the braking issue. The following info in quotes is copied from the other complaint which is the same issue I have - (other complaint stated) "when you are at lower speeds and hit a pothole or big bump while breaking, there's a sudden 'jolt' and it feels as if the breaks have been completely released momentarily. It almost feels as if the car lurches forward. I feel it heightens the chance of a crash due to increased deceleration time." It sometimes feels like you are sliding on ice & have no control over the car. (and it is scary when it happens!) I had Toyota check my vehicle a few times, but they were not able to duplicate the problem, so nothing was fixed. I thought it was just my car this was happening to. Now I find that I am not alone in this. The complaint I referenced stated that there was and a "previous investigation & partial recall but it didn't affect all of the 2010 production vehicles, just a portion." I never heard about any recall or investigation on this. I agree with the other complaint that "this needs to be re-investigated as my car and countless other cars (both involved and not involved in the last recall) are (still) malfunctioning when it comes to the breaking system at slower speeds when on rough roads / encountering potholes / bumps." My car still has this problem even as it is now 5 years old. What needs to be done to correct this issue?

- Florence, KY, USA

problem #136

Aug 012012


  • 30,000 miles
Experience inconsistent brake feel after ABS actuation during slow and steady application of the brakes on rough or slick road surfaces. Stopping distances increase.

- Hillsborough, NJ, USA

problem #135

May 212015


  • 68,000 miles
I have owned two Prius and both of them have had the same breaking issue. When you are at lower speeds and hit a pothole or big bump while breaking, there's a sudden 'jolt' and it feels as if the breaks have been completely released momentarily. It almost feels as the car lurches forward. I try to avoid potholes, etc anyways, but I am extra vigilant because of this issue as I feel it heightens the chance of a crash due to increased deceleration time. Last night, I was coming up to an intersection that had a yield sign. The car in-front of me stopped. I hit my breaks, but while breaking, I hit a pothole (it as dark so I couldn't see it) my breaks suddenly behaved as described above - they let go for a moment and the car somewhat jolted forward. I was unable to stop in-time and rear-ended the driver ahead of me. I was always afraid that because of this breaking issue that this would happen - and now it has. I know there was a previous investigation and a partial recall but it didn't affect all of the 2010 production vehicles, just a portion. I feel this needs to be re-investigated as my car and countless other cars (both involved and not involved in the last recall) are (still) malfunctioning when it comes to the breaking system at slower speeds when on rough roads / encountering potholes / bumps.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #134

May 142012


  • 50,000 miles


Have owned the car since new in 2010. Brakes exhibit the same issue mentioned in other complaints I.e. when going over bumpy roads, brakes "release" and re-engage causing the car to not stop quickly. Had software recall done but did not significantly affect. Have just been living with it but after seeing all other complaints, thought I would weigh in with the same problem as it appears to be a common issue with a design flaw of some sort that needs to be addressed for safety reasons.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #133

Jan 242015


  • 92,228 miles
Car came out of the car wash and as I got ready to pull out the brake light came on and there was a rapid beep. Pushed on the brakes and felt no resistance like brakes did not exist. Had the car towed to the dealer (right Toyota on frank lloyd - scottsdale AZ) - dealer ran a software to fix it (part of a recall) but that did not fi X the issue. Dealer asked me to have hydro booster pump and the assembly replaced - they charged me $4200 for parts and labor. I was forced to pay as they said they tried to fix it throught he software but it did not. I feel that Toyota is repsonsible for the system failure - the brakes are critical - they suddenly stoped working. It could have been fatal if I was on the road when it happened. The failure should be gradual and there should be a certain warning if the pump was malfunctioning. I need your help in resolving this. Toyota should be responsibelf ro paying the invoice.

- Fountain Hills , AZ, USA

problem #132

Dec 182014


  • 92,000 miles
I have notice a definite release in braking action when my 2010 Prius goes over a patch of bumpy road, within 1 minute of leaving my home and going down the block. I experience this "release" of braking as a sudden brief acceleration that occurs while there is pressure on the brake pedal to slow down while going over the bumpy patch of road ( a 20 foot stretch of road with numerous shallow potholes). I bough this car used in September 2013. (it had 80,000 miles on it and a history of travel over gravel roads). On March 20, 2014, the local dealer did the E0E recall repair on the motor generator ECU and the power management ECU, to correct issues related to hard acceleration. At the same time, the dealer did the older Toyota recall repair on the brake pressure accumulator issue. I have not noticed this braking release issue later in the day. It seems to be most noticeable first thing in the morning, in the first minute or two of driving.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #131

Apr 302015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
I had just pulled into the garage and was at a complete stop when the car surged forward and slammed into to the back of the garage, I would tip overattempted to stop the car with the brakes and they were not working so I shifted the car to reverse and it speed out of the garage up an embankment into a fence. It. was up on it's side and I was afraid that it would tip over so in an attempt to bring it down level I shifted to drive and it speed off forward it then jumped a row of bushes into the front yard and did a large circle in the front yard missing three large pine trees and hitting a small tree that ended up stopping the car and deployed the air bag.

- Evans , GA, USA

problem #130

Mar 182015


  • 27,892 miles


The Toyota dealer diagnosed a brake master cylinder and booster failure on our 2010 Prius at 27892 miles. Toyota declined to extend the brake recall that covered 2010 cars with a production date before November 2009. Our car has a March 2010 production date. Clearly Toyota was assembling cars with faulty brake master cylinders and boosters and they should extend the recall to cover those cars. The cost of the repair was $2760.

- Halfway, OR, USA

problem #129

Apr 012015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
As I was coming to a complete stop at an intersection, the car jolted as if I was hit from behind and the brakes lost pressure resulting in me having to press the pedal all the way down to the floor. The brakes would not respond and I had to put the car in park to get it to stop. The same thing happened after I first got the vehicle in 2010. In Sept. 2010, the brakes did not respond, causing me to slide into the row and resulting in an accident. The car will also jolt when the brakes are pressed while driving over a pothole or bump. I took the vehicle in to have this check on 4/2/15 at Toyota of lewisville, in lewisville, tx. They claim that everything checks out fine on the brakes and they can not get it to replicate the jolt or pressure failure. Per Toyota of lewisville, the car did have a recall for the brakes, which was repaired at Toyota of irving, but the brakes are still exhibiting problems.

- Flower Mound, TX, USA

problem #128

Mar 012010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 90 miles
This brake problems has occurred many times. During application of the brakes at low speeds on rough road surfaces the car suddenly loses braking power for a brief time then starts to work again if the brake pedal remains depressed. This has almost caused accidents a number of times and is quite frightening. The car was brought in for the recall and states that there are no open recalls. When we bring this to the attention of the Toyota dealer we are told this problem is "normal" and there is nothing more they can do. (however, I understand that they fixed it in the next model year.) in my opinion this is an unsafe condition and it has been complained about online by other Prius owners. I ask the NHTSA to require Toyota to fix this in the name of safety.

- Newton, MA, USA

problem #127

Mar 112015


  • 27,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving at approximately 5 mph, the braking ability seized and the ABS warning light illuminated. The contact came to a complete stop and the vehicle had to be restarted. The vehicle was driven to the dealer who stated that the hydraulic system failed. The hydraulic master cylinder had to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 27,000.

- Halfway, OR, USA

problem #126

Feb 062015


  • 100,444 miles
It was raining and I was existing the I5 Ram, when I bumped the brake, the vehicle speeded up more, I continue to pump the brake, then the vehicle started drifting, then I tried correcting, but it didn't work, the vehicle kept on driving, for about 15 seconds come to stop by the wall of the I5, it then bounced vehicle backwards and finally the vehicle come to stop after the shift broke, causeing a totally crash, meaning, no matter how hared I step on the brake, it didn't stop, it felt like there was no brake system. I only bought the car for 6 days earlier, and it was my third time driving it. I have been a drive for 7 years and I have never had any incident.

- Des Moines, WA, USA

problem #125

Jan 282015


  • 78,000 miles
1 original recall did nothing concerning hitting a pothole and losing brakes for 20 +- feet..result..alway give yourself 20 extra feet and pray. 2 antilock on packed snow or ice results in total lost of brakes..result either drive into a snow bank or go through the red light and pray again. So I guess Toyota accepts the fact they choose to give you steering control to save yourself and hope you are not at a railroad crossing! there is no pulsating like other vehicles. 3 if you are stopped on ice /snow...without traction car does not rock..does not want to move... for study can a metal stud tire be made for priuses"?"would it help or sell car only in Florida..

- Matawan, NJ, USA

problem #124

Jan 232015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 126,990 miles
While driving around 70mph I had to hit the brakes hard but short. About 5 seconds later a bunch of warning lights came on and the vehicle became very difficult to stop. Pretty much had to stand on the brakes to slow down and then the brakes would lock up so I would get off the brakes and start the slowing/stopping process over again. This is the same failure mode (ABS accumulator nitrogen gas leaked into brake hydraulic fluid when accumulator cracked) as other cars (Prius and Lexus hybrids) that Toyota did recall but my car is outside of the current recall scope. If this was not in southern California's dry road a major incident could have taken place, especially with the grabbing/ locking up of the brakes.

- Hemet, CA, USA

problem #123

Nov 232009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 50 miles
Brake pedal loses pressure while braking over bumps in road. Pressure returns after bumps are passed. Recall issued and software fix provided by dealer in March 2010. Software fix didn't help. Similar condition has persisted since then. Bought vehicle new. Mileage and date when first noticed condition are estimates. After software fix, noticed condition again immediately.

- Champaign, IL, USA

problem #122

Apr 032013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
This has happened several times over the past two years. As I brake at low speeds, the car surges ahead as though your foot is on the accelerator. Sometimes it was so subtle, you wondered if it really happened. Today (11/23/14) there was absolutely no mistaking it. The car surged forward a couple of feet as I was slowing to turn left. If someone had been stopped in front of me, I would have hit them from behind.

- Essex Junction, VT, USA

problem #121

May 082012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
While applying the brakes to stop at an intersection one of the front tires was over a manhole cover and the car skidded over it like I was braking on a patch of ice. As soon as I was past the cover the brakes engaged and stopped the car. I noticed this occurring every time I would brake on an uneven surface where there was space between one of the front tires and pavement. I had bought the same make, model and year vehicle for my son 11 months later and noticed the same problem while test driving it. When I questioned the salesman about it I was told that it was the way the ABS works and that it was normal. On 11/20/2014 while checking the airbag recall list I noticed a recall for the same problem that I was having, recall announced 2/9/2010, NHTSA ref # 10V03900 so I called Toyota customer service 1-800-331-4331 and was told that neither cars' VIN# showed in the recall so it could not be happening and I would not be covered under the recall. They referred me to a Toyota dealer who told me that the fix which was (reprogramming of ABS control unit module) would not covered in the extended warranties of either cars. I should not be financially responsible for the diagnostics and repairs of a known safety problem which had a recall. I understand that it is not the dealers' fault and they shouldn't be held financially responsible either.

- Meriden, CT, USA

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