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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 7 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #60

Apr 012011


  • 5,000 miles


This incident has occurred numerous times since purchasing the car, but it wasn't until last week (9/6/2013) that I became terrified as I almost hit another vehicle in front of me. Whenever my Prius runs over a pothole, bump, uneven surface, or deep manhole cover as I am braking towards an intersection to come to a stop (for me, all these incidents occurred when I approached an intersection) the brakes stop working for a brief moment and suddenly my car jerks forward, lurches forward, or accelerates. I have to press down my brakes really hard to the floor to stop the vehicle when this happens. When this fails, I immediately release the brake and re-apply very hard to the floor to stop the car. In these moments it becomes scary as I am never sure if the car will come to a stop before the intersection. Last week, I was approaching a busy intersection while braking and I ran over a uneven pothole cover/filler at about 5 to 15 mph which caused my car to accelerate to like 20 or 25 mph! I had to brake very hard in order to stop my car and swerve to the right to avoid hitting the car in front of me. This problem only occurs when my right side tires hit the uneven surface, manhole cover, potholes, bumps, etc. I have not had an incident where it happened with the left tires. Toyota service has said there is no problem with my car's brakes and therefore said they can't fix anything. There is a problem with Toyota's Prius braking system.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #59

Aug 062013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
This incident has occurred twice under identical conditions, in the same location. The car did not engage the brakes until approximately one second after I depressed the pedal. Maybe the computer's electronic stability control is involved in the problem, even though the car did not indicate that electronic stability control was engaged. Both times I was driving on a slight downhill at ~20 mph. Immediately after I passed over some bumps, I depressed the brakes, and there was a significant delay in the brakes being engaged (1S). I think the bumps in the road are involved in this issue. Of note, this car underwent an update to its software program following a recall involving braking problems, and these incidents occurred after the update.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #58

Jan 012009


  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the brake delayed to engage while decelerating. The contact was able to steer the steering wheel away and avoid crashing into another vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times for the failure and a diagnostic was performed, which indicated that the computer system needed to be reset. The computer system was reset but the failure was not corrected. The vehicle was also test driven, but the failure did not duplicate. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 2,000 and the current mileage was 35,000.

- White Plains , NY, USA

problem #57

Aug 192013


  • 5,000 miles


While braking over an uneven surface coming up to a stop light, the car lurched forward, causing it to seemingly accelerate into the crosswalk. I was coasting up to the stoplight and applied the brakes closer to the light, as the car was traveling over the uneven surface. The uneven surface was caused by raised metal plates covering road construction. The vehicle was traveling about 5-10 mph and decelerating at the time of the incident. This has happened with regular consistency even though the car got the software fix within a few months of purchase in 2010. It mostly happens decelerating over potholes in the road, when going from coasting (regenerative breaking) to applying the brakes by foot.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #56

Jan 192011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
When braking, such as when approaching a stop sign or stop light, in the presence of bumps, potholes, or rough/uneven road surfaces, the car noticeably and forcefully "lurches forward", and there is momentary loss of control of the vehicle's stopping mechanism....updated 02-03-15

- Merrillville, IN, USA

problem #55

Dec 132010

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
While braking at low speeds -- such as while approaching a traffic light or an intersection -- passing over a pothole or uneven road surface often causes the brakes to disengage. The sensation is one in which my foot is in the same place as it was when I began braking, but suddenly there is no give to the pedal, the braking has stopped -- braking does not return until I push further down on the pedal. My foot is not dislodged by the bump, and the braking mechanism will not re-engage unless I push the pedal to a new, deeper location. It is obviously disconcerting at intersections, and since moving to a new location and having to re-learn where on my routes this problem will occur, I decided it was time to file a complaint. The frustration is that this issue was supposedly solved a couple years ago with a software fix from Toyota, but that fix seems to not have worked. I filed a complaint about the Prius problem with some Agency (possibly NHTSA or ftc) a few years ago when the other, more notable, brake-sticking problem in other Toyota was in the news. This particular issue is quite different. Note: The date of first incidence is approximate, but the problem persists.

- Prairie Grove, AR, USA

problem #54

Aug 132013


  • 27,000 miles


I was driving car about 25 miles P H and sandalee the ABS lights came up and its was ready hard to stop the car somehow break wasn't working properly.

- Catonsville , MD, USA

problem #53

Mar 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
When I try to brake, occasionally, the car jumps forward, instead of stopping. It moves like 6 inches to 12 inches. It happens more often when I try to brake at a stop sign, when the road is rough, or there is a pothole. It gives a feeling of that car actually accelerated instead of slowing, and feels unsafe.

- Belle Mead, NJ, USA

problem #52

Oct 152012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
This has happened atleast 4 times in the last year, where the car has lost complete braking power and at the time this happens, all the lights on the dashboard light up for a few seconds and on subsequent pumping of the brake pedal, the brake power returns to normal. On one occasion I almost ended up in the middle of an intersection, thankfully there was no oncoming traffic and was able to recover without getting crashed into. I see a lot of similar complaints here and on Toyota's own community portal describing the exact same behavior. In all cases, the dealership has ended up replacing the brake booster assembly. In my case though, the dealer confirmed that my car was on the recall list for the brake booster assembly, but when they ran some diagnostics tests advised by Toyota which did not report any issues and therefore refused to change the brake booster assembly. I also contacted Toyota (case# [xxx]) only to be told a wishy washy answer. I was told that Toyota cannot do anything about it since it has given guidelines to the dealership and if the dealership says "no" then so does "Toyota". not to mention having spent hours on the phone with Toyota only to be tossed several times between different supports reps and the dealership. Additionally, I was told by the dealership to keep driving the car and see if it was to happen more often. Once it gets to a point where I can find a pattern and reproduce the error with the Toyota rep that's then they will look into the issue. For some reason they fail to understand that I am not complaining about my wiper blades not working but the brakes, which could put the diver in a life threatening situation. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #51

Jan 152013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the ABS and anti-skid warning lamps illuminated while the contact was driving 40 mph. The brake pedal was depressed however, the brakes failed. The emergency brake was used to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and diagnosed as brake failure. The master cylinder and the brake booster assembly were replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000. Updated 8/26/13 the consumer stated Toyota admitted to installing a faulty brake pump. The consumer is seeking reimbursement. The consumer referenced recall # 13V235000. Updated 09/10/13

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #50

Jun 182013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles


On 6-18-13 at 9:45 am, at NJ turn-pike South, milestone 108.3, newark, NJ. I, owner of the Toyota Prius 201, driving at 45 mph pushed the brake pedal to the floor to stop but could not. I hit the back of the vehicle front of me suddenly stopped. My 2010 Prius was total lost in this accident. According to the Toyota 6-4-13 recall announcement, my 2010 Prius in the recall list is equipped with a brake pressure accumulator that may develop a fatigue crack on an internal part due to vibration that caused my failure to stop completely in this car rear-end collision accident on 6-18-13.

- Fort Lee, NJ, USA

problem #49

Jun 282013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the brakes would not respond. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that nitrogen gas was leaking into the brake fluid. There was a recall under NHTSA campaign number: 13V235000 (service brakes) that could have been related to the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 46,000.

- Hunington Beach, CA, USA

problem #48

May 282013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
As we were driving the car down a hill we began to feel a jerking in the brakes. As we drove onto the ramp to the highway, warning lights and a buzzer went off and the brakes failed. Every 15-30 seconds my husband, who was driving my car at the time, said he had a little bit of braking for a couple seconds, and then he didn't have any brakes again.

- Middletown, OH, USA

problem #47

Feb 022011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 25 miles
Since purchase of vehicle when stopping vehicle, as approaching a stop sign or stopped traffic, if I hit a small bump in road, the car jumps forward. I have not hit another car yet but feel this jump when stepping on brakes whether in dry or wet weather could one day hit car in front of me. This is intermittant. Did mention to dealer when car was for it's timely services. Dealer says there is no recalls.

- Magnolia, DE, USA

problem #46

Jun 152013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 28,700 miles
Slowly passed over a speed bump, which caused a brief sensation of acceleration (common in this Prius). Then braking was significantly affected, with brake travel quite long and stopping power diminished. All brakes warning lights came on and stayed on. Problem continued until I stopped the car and turned it off. When car turned on, warning lights remained but went out after depressing brake. Took to dealership. Told that brake booster pump needs to be replaced. VIN is outside the range given by Toyota for recall published on 6/5/13. However, symptoms are identical for this vehicle. I'm concerned that Toyota may not be including all vehicles that are affected by this problem in its recall plans.

- Glen Ellyn, IL, USA

problem #45

Jun 162013


  • 46,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated the brakes failed to engage while driving 55 mph on an exit ramp. The vehicle eventually stopped by depressing the brake pedal with force. The vehicle was driven to the dealer for diagnostic testing which confirmed that the brake power booster pump was leaking internally. The manufacturer advised that the vehicle was not included in the NHTSA recall campaign number 13V235000 (service brakes). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 46,000.

- Mystic , CT, USA

problem #44

Jun 102013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 2,500 miles
When hitting larger size potholes or bumps in the road I lose control of what feels like the rear end, its as if the vehicle brakes gives way when the rear tires hit the object, car shimmies slightly, the brakes stop working for at least 3 seconds as the car lurches forward. The brake also depresses further to the floor while it happens. There's a particular spot on my way to work that continues to cause the problem. Its heading down a small declining hill before a turn to the left. If I were to tailgate someone and have that happen I would surely hit them because there's no control of the vehicle for a few seconds after hitting the object. This object goes straight across the 2 lanes as if the concrete paving was poured too high in a long horizontal line. I think it has to be above a 4-5 inches or so because I'll hit smaller ones and I'm fine and I've tested it on different objects, its higher raised items causing the behavior. It happens when its dry, wet or icy out, but you have to be applying the brake to really feel it as far as I can tell. My passenger also felt the loss in control each time this has happened and its been numerous since owning the vehicle.

- Attleboro, MA, USA

problem #43

Nov 122010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
For the entire time that I've owned the 2010 Prius, the car lurches ahead virtually every time I run over a pothole with the brakes applied (I.e., approaching a stop sign). When I mentioned this at one of my first appointments, I was assured there was nothing wrong. Now the problem continues and I've been reading that many other people have the same issue.

- Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #42

Sep 022010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
I have previously (2010 or 2011) filed a detailed report of the consistent anomaly that occurs while braking on a rough surface or upon hitting a pothole, manhole cover, etc. In this situation, the feedback from the vehicle suggests that the brakes have disengaged. Based upon 2+ years of additional experience, I would note that: (1) this anomaly occurs consistently, and it has not disappeared or attenuated, (2) I believe that stopping distances are longer than would be expected without this anomaly, (3) my Prius was manufactured after the 2010 software fix, and (4) other drivers of 2010 and later Prius cars have reported the same phenomenon when I asked about it (see below). Most importantly, I would note the following source of evidence which you might easily pursue further. I have been living in New York city (nyc) for most of the last two years. The nyc taxi fleet includes a sizable number of Toyota Prius cars. Every time I take a Prius taxi, I ask the driver if he has encountered a similar problem when braking on rough surfaces. In more than a dozen such instances, drivers have consistently reported this same problem. While you may not want to trust my evidence on this matter, it would be very cheap for NHTSA to send an investigator to some of the large taxi garages in nyc to interview drivers with experience driving Prius taxi cabs. Given the large number of miles logged by taxi drivers, this could be an important source of information from highly experienced drivers --- who must regularly contend with nyc's myriad potholes. I would finally note that --- other than this anomaly --- I love my Prius. It is a great car. I would just like for Toyota to figure our what is causing this anomaly and fix it.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #41

Dec 122012


  • 39,001 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the brake and traction control warning lights illuminated. The vehicle became difficult to stop when the brakes were applied. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnosis and the contact was informed that the brake booster pump assembly would need to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 39,001 and the current mileage was unknown.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

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