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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
23 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
7 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,572 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 8 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #40

Jun 032013


  • 70,089 miles


I'm a owner of a 2010 Toyota Prius. I almost crash into another car, due to the brake system of this vehicle. I had to drive off the road pavement to avoid the car accident. I had multiple times near miss car accidents before reporting this issue. Due to the very poor braking system on this vehicle. The brake response is very poor. In a quick reaction for braking, this car's brakes will not stop in time to avoid accident. After a recent close car accident 6/3/2013, I have to give a lot of distance between my car and other cars for braking in time to avoid a car accident. As a buyer purchasing a new car, the braking system is a number one priority for safety for a family owned car. I purchase this car for a fuel gas saving car, but it's scary driving this vehicle. Due to very poor brake system in this 2010 Toyota Prius. Toyota company needs to recall the braking systems for all 2010 Toyota Prius. It's needs to be checked and fix for better braking quality. I want to sell my 2010 Toyota Prius, due to this issue of braking, but I can't sell this car due to I still have to pay off my auto loan. My family fears for my safety and other Toyota Prius owners out there. Please someone look into this matter. I fear for my family's safety due to this problem. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Visalia, CA, USA

problem #39

May 192013


  • 144,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the contact applied the brakes then the pedal went to the floor and the vehicle failed to stop. The contact pumped the pedal and eventually the vehicle stopped. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the contact was informed that the brakes needed to be replaced. Several days later the failure recurred. The vehicle was returned to the dealer and the contact was informed that the master cylinder and the brake booster would need to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer had not been notified of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 144,000.

- Columbiana, OH, USA

problem #38

Sep 012010

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
The vehicle has a nasty habit of losing brake pressure over bumps. This can be duplicated easily and is a known issue that Toyota has yet to rectify. Simply drive over a bump such as a break in concrete on a bridge, pothole, etc. And hold on tight. This can result in a crash and serious injury as occupants experience a sudden loss of braking force which can induce panic and collision.

- St. Charles, MO, USA

problem #37

May 212013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 65,910 miles


In the past (starting at 2,800 miles) and reported numerous times to the dealer (huntington Toyota), Toyota corporate and the NHTSA, whenever the car went over a rough road service while braking at about 10 miles an hour the regenerative braking would cut out and give the sensation of the car surging forward requiring much greater braking effort to bring the car to a stop. The brakes would reset after a full stop and they would act normally until the next time braking was done on a rough road surface. Toyota claimed that this was normal behavior for the Prius ABS system, even after the firmware upgrade was applied. This time the brakes did not reset after a full stop and every warning light on the dashboard lit up. There was no regenerative braking available. The car was brought to the dealer who has had it for more than a week, and is replacing major brake system components under my extended warranty. I was told that without the warranty these repairs would have cost me over $4500. This has been an ongoing and dangerous situation, which may be finally resolved after all of the brake component replacements. As an aside, the brake pads show significant and unusual wear because the regenerative braking did not work as it should.

- Centerport, NY, USA

problem #36

May 112013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 96,687 miles
Brakes failed while driving. Pedal went to the floor. Very little braking power left. Luckily I didn't have to stop suddenly and was able to bring the car to a stop slowly. Had the car towed to Toyota dealer where they diagnosed the problem as the brake booster / master cylinder. They told me there was air in the brake system. I received a quote for almost $2900 to fix the brakes. I called Toyota corporate office and asked for assistance with this catastrophic brake failure but was refused. Searching online found others with same failure. In particular, there was a person with 43K miles with exact same issue, and Toyota refused to help him. This is a very dangerous failure and should be a recall. Please investigate fully and feel free to contact me for any assistance. I am in the process of replacing the brake booster but I will keep the old one in case you need it for your investigation. I had similar issue on my 2004 Lexus RX330 and there was eventually a recall for it. It is unacceptable for a 3 year old car to have this kind of a safety failure. My wife and kids could have been seriously hurt or killed.

- Valencia, CA, USA

problem #35

Apr 152013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
First incident: April 15, 2013 I lost my brakes while I was driving home from my night shift work as a registered nurse. I was at an intersection two blocks from my house when I felt the brake was failing. It was a good thing that I was driving slow to make a turn when I felt the brake system was not working. I was able to steer it to a parking lot nearby by using the foot brake. Prior to this incident, I heard squeaking noises for about three days whenever I step on the brakes. I was relieved that I did not get into an accident. Action after the 1st incident: April 24, 2010. We towed the car to dch Toyota freehold, and it took about 5 days to repair the brakes so they gave us a loaner car which we truly appreciate. But when we picked up the car, the brakes were fixed but the squeaking noise is still present, and our windshield was cracked. We called the dealership right away to inform them about the squeaking noise and to complain about the cracked windshield. I was told by the service representative that their technicians tested my car and deemed it safe to drive and that they would never release my car unless they know it is safe to be on the road. Second incident: April 29, 2013, I lost the brakes again while I was on my way to work around 7:00 pm. I really got very scared because there was so much traffic at that time. I was able to stop and park my car slowly to the curb without hitting anybody else by using the foot break. Action after the second incident: Same night, we towed the car back to the dealership for repair, and after a week of waiting, they finally came back to us specifying that the whole master cylinder and brake pad assembly is defective and needs to be replaced and will cost more than 4K for parts alone. Contacted Toyota about this issue, and they said that they will not assist us, since we exceeded the warranty period.

- Monroe, NJ, USA

problem #34

May 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles


On 01 May 2013, I was driving my two daughters home from school and the brakes on my 2010 Toyota Prius failed. The brake pedal became very stiff and the brakes did not respond. I began to panic because we were traveling down a steep hill. I continued to pump the brakes and suddenly, the pedal gave way and the car came to a screeching halt. I was luckily within walking distance of my house. I had my car towed to the dealership and they informed me that my brake booster and master cylinder needed replacement at a cost of $5500. I'm shocked. My car is 3 years old. After research, I discovered this is a common problem for the 2010 Prius. What I find most disturbing is this is clearly a manufacturer's defect, that is an extremely dangerous safety hazard. Prior to owning my Prius, I was a loyal Toyota buyer. I have had consistent acceleration issues with my brakes, even after the recall. If Toyota does not address this issue, I don't intend to purchase another Toyota product.

- Kapolei, HI, USA

problem #33

Aug 152010


  • 6,000 miles
While I was braking to stop at the red light, the car accelerated. I moved the steering wheel to hit the curb to prevent crossing the red light. It happened to me couple of times. Then I realize it happens only when I am driving over uneven surface or over bumps. It is really scary. I almost hit a car seattle downtown going down the hit because my car accelerated instead of stopping. I took it the car dealer but they said there is no problem. I am afraid that I might get in a big accident.

- Renton, WA, USA

problem #32

Sep 012010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
Vehicle surges when brakes are applied while traveling over railroad tracks or rough pavement. Surge lasts for 1 to 2 seconds until braking resumes. Vehicle behavior can be easily replicated.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #31

Mar 302013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 50,450 miles
The brake booster pump began running continuously when the vehicle was on. Warning lights on the dash indicated brake failure and anti-lock system failure. After I took the vehicle to a Toyota dealer, they determined that the brake master cylinder/anti-lock assembly had failed. The repair took two weeks and cost $3000.

- Burien, WA, USA

problem #30

Apr 112013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 65,800 miles


I was driving to work this morning and a man stepped off the curb right in front of me (not in a crosswalk). I hit my brakes, and hit a pothole in the road at the same time. The car accelerated and felt as if it was shuddering, it was not braking at all even though I mashed the pedal to the floor. I was forced to swerve to miss the man, which I thankfully did. After that I got moving again I applied the brakes and they worked fine. When I arrived at work I tried it again by finding some potholes in the parking lot. @ 15 mph the problem occurred again only when I was hitting the potholes while applying the brakes. I went to and found this has been an issue since Feb 2010. I purchased my car in Nov 2010; I then called my service dealer and talked to the service manager who claimed to have never heard of that problem even though I told him I found the info at the website. He then proceeded to let me know I should not believe everything I read in the internet and offered to let me bring it in and he will look at it. I am leaving work early today to have it looked at.

- Gloucester, VA, USA

problem #29

Oct 102012


  • miles
Multiplie incidents: We will be driving the vehicle and hit a bump / pot hole and be braking, but the car will accelerate.

- Plymouth, MN, USA

problem #28

Apr 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 52,300 miles
In the morning I started my car and the ABS light and warning lights came on and started beeping. I reversed my car slightly to check the brakes and noticed my brakes were not being responsive. I put the vehicle into park and called the wondries Toyota dealership and told them my brakes were not functioning properly and my ABS warning light was on. Despite my having informed them of my brake failure, they told me to bring the car into the dealership. I reversed out of my garage, shifted the car into drive, and proceeded down the hill with caution. I did not press on the accelerator. My car began to accelerate down the hill due to gravity and reached a speed of approximately 15 mph, at which time I pumped the brake pedal but the car would not stop or slow down, and it continued moving down the hill. At the bottom of the hill, after traveling approximately 1/4 of a mile, I turned right into a small street with a slight incline in order to stop the momentum. My car slowed and I put on the emergency brake and put the car into park. I called my brother for help. When he arrived, I turned the car on to show him the flashing ABS warning. It flashed for about another 15 seconds before suddenly stopping. My brakes then began functioning again though they felt spongy when I pressed down on it. I turned on my emergency lights and drove slowly to the dealership. I parked the car and turned off the engine. When a representative came by, I turned on the car and she pressed down on the brake to feel them. The ABS lights suddenly came on again and she said the brake pressure did not feel right and there was something definitely wrong with my brakes. After it was assessed I was informed I needed a new ABS actuator assembly and an accumulator pump for the master cylinder. Total cost was estimated as $4600.

- South Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #27

Mar 242013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 59,970 miles
I was driving my 2010 Prius in a congested area and cars in front of me stopped suddenly. As I braked hard, the car seemed to lurch forward for about one second, maybe longer, and then the brakes kicked in. I noticed that the road was rough. The surface was dry. Fortunately, I had allowed ample distance from the car in front of me, and there was no collision, but it was very unsettling. In the previous month, I had three or four less intense sensations of "lurching forward, " which occurred when I stopped at a particular intersection when I had just started the car, but the road was smooth.

- Ardmore, PA, USA

problem #26

Jun 242011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 39,000 miles
I had been hearing a lot of grinding noises that just got worse. When I went to the dealer, they discovered that my brake pads had failed/frozen. They replaced my pads and machined my rotors. They could not explain why a car I had for only a little over a year had this problem. They at first blamed my driving, and then the roads (I.e. too many gravel roads). Now, at 68,300 miles those pads have now failed again. One is completely worn down and the rotor is now rusted through. No one can explain why this is happening. When I demanded an answer, they told me that a "bulletin" had gone out to the dealers only stating that due to the pads failing, they were "redesigning" them. But, they would only replace for free those that fell under the 36,000 mile warranty. I don't understand why, in less than 69,000 miles I have had to have this repair done not once, but twice. They tell me no other owner has had this problem, but I find that hard to believe. Can anyone tell me if there are other complaints of this type, and what can be done to rectify this problem.

- Howe, IN, USA

problem #25

Mar 132013


  • 52,500 miles
Experienced a complete brake failure while driving 2010 Prius. Dealer indicates brake booster failing and leaked nitrogen into master cylinder which should then also be replaced. Dealer insist it is one assembly and estimates replacement to be $5,166 ($1,638 for booster and $2,466 for master cylinder). Due to the complete warningless failure of brakes while in operation it would seem to a critical safety hazard due to the design flaw in the combined brake booster and master cylinder brake assembly causing a brake failure in operation.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #24

Apr 252011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 2,156 miles
On multiple occasions, I have experienced issues with the car suddenly accelerating while I'm pressing the brakes. Specifically, this appears to occur when braking on uneven surfaces (ie construction areas, pot holes, etc.). this can obviously become a deadly situation if one is trying to stop the vehicle and with this problem run into the car/vehicle ahead. Most recently this occurred on the surface streets in low speed, in traffic. It feels like the car lurches ahead while applying the brake. I was told by the service people at Toyota that I was making this up. I can recreate it given the right surface.

- Diamond Bar, CA, USA

problem #23

Feb 022011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
When braking over rough road, brakes fail.

- Hopewell, NJ, USA

problem #22

Mar 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
Vehicle has no brakes at all, we turned the ignition on and the car start beeping, brake light its on, ABS light on and slip indicator light is on.

- Wichita , KS, USA

problem #21

Dec 202012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
The following event happened twice with this vehicle. Tin both instances, the car was running and in park with no one in the vehicle. It then down the driveway with no one in it. In the second occurrence, it appears to have gone into reverse on its own and rolled into a retaining wall causing damage to the rear passenger side bumper and back panel.

- Sioux Falls, SD, USA

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