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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 1 of 9)

problem #180

Aug 312016


  • 92,000 miles


I went to start the Prius after work, after I pressed the start button, several alarms went off on the main panel. Alarms included the master alarm, ABS, brake, check engine, and an incessant beeping. There was also a repetitive sound coming from under the hood that sounded like the braking system was trying to build pressure, but was not successful. I towed the vehicle to the dealership and they diagnosed this as the master brake booster assembly. The quote was $2500 for the part, and $500 in labor. They started work on the vehicle, then called and said that they would have to replace the accumulator as well, even though it was already replaced during the original recall. They contacted Toyota corporate who paid for the accumulator, but would not cover the additional labor to install the accumulator. The total bill was $3900. This seems like a common problem with the Prius family. My car had approximately 92,000 miles.

- Lake Tapps, WA, USA

problem #179

Jul 222016


  • 83,313 miles
Brake system failure while driving on Suburban street. Master cylinder, assembly and booster replacement. All corresponding warning came on. Was able to drive to dealer. This is the exact problem that incited the recall for nitrogen leaking into the brake system in some Prius made in 2010 (82,000). Cost of $3200. Incidentally, brake fluid was flushed and changed at 60,000 and then again at 75,000. The reason, stated from the dealer is that maintenance was responsible for the failure. Priority Toyota of springfield was the only one during the maintenance and I followed their recommended advice for the 2 brake fluid flushes and replacement.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #178

Aug 142016


  • 141,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. When the brake pedal was depressed at 35 mph, the vehicle skipped, jerked, and hesitated to respond. Also, the ABS and traction warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the brake booster pump assembly accumulator was leaking and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 13V235000 (service brakes). The failure mileage was 141,000.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #177

Sep 022015


  • 50,394 miles


All the lights on the dash associated with antilock brakes, traction control, brake are on. The braking has changed and does not slow the car as fast as it used to, almost hit the car in front the first time I drove it with the lights on that morning. Car has 50,394 miles on it, noticed all the lights on when started car in morning, brakes appeared to work normally when backed out of driveway, but at higher speed stops the car travels a lot farther and takes a lot more effort to stop.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #176

Apr 042016


  • miles
We came to the dealership at auburn blvd and they told us they don't have a parts for recal and it will take about a week to order them. They gave us a paper stating that the recal has been fixed for dmv purposes to renew the registration even though recal wasn't fixed. It has been more then 4 months and no one from dealership called us to inform us when they'll actually fix the recalled part. Every time I call them they say they don't have part in stock and they don't know when they'll receive it. Please help!

- North Highlands, CA, USA

problem #175

Jun 092015


  • miles
Driving on a extremely rough street, my car jerked to the left. I tried braking, but unmovable objects (street sign and phone junction box) provided the stop. Airbags did not deploy, but force of car pushed me hard into the steering wheel. I had my safety belt on, plus back brace. Emts noted 60% O2, in icu on respirator for a week, hospital for 2 wks. Distinctly, I remember the steering wheel jerked to the left.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #174

Jul 092016


  • 159,000 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the brake pedal required to be depressed several times in order for the vehicle to come to a stop. The ABS, the traction control, and the brake warning indicators illuminated. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failure could not be duplicated. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 159,000.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #173

Jul 232016


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving approximately 5 mph, the brake pedal had to be depressed to the floorboard to stop the vehicle. The traction control, ABS, and brake warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the brake pressure accumulator needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 13V235000 (service brakes). The approximate failure mileage was 75,000. The VIN was not available.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #172

Jul 212016


  • 72,000 miles
I am experiencing a resurgence of the acceleration while braking phenomenon that was the basis of the 2010 recall. We had the car fixed at the time of the recall. The incidents relate to when I am braking and happen to go over a bump or hit a pothole. As I am breaking the car suddenly accelerates forward and you have to keep breaking harder to keep from having the car get away from you. It is now happening almost consistently. After calling the local Toyota dealer and the general Toyota number, I find out that they are not willing to apply the same fix as they did in 2010. I am now forced to take the car in and have it diagnosed and don't know what they will charge me for that. Then Toyota said I could call them back to see if there is anything they can do I don't understand why they don't have to stand by a fix that is not related to wear and tear but rather a malfunction in the way they built the car. It should never be right to have a car accelerate if one is braking. The only damage to date has been a glare from a construction worker who was telling me to stop only to see the car lurch toward him.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #171

Jul 162016


  • 127,000 miles
I was in a parking structure going approximately 15 mph when I removed my foot from the accelerator to press the brake. Before I could get my foot to the brake, the car quickly accelerated. It took at least two attempts at pushing the brake peddle before the car came to a stop. And, to be honest, the guardrail the car hit helped actually stop the vehicle. It was totally unexpected and extremely scary. In hindsight, I should have suspected that there may be a problem when I noticed that sometimes when applying the brakes to come to a stop there would be a feeling of the brakes slipping and the car lurching forward a bit. The dealership had the car towed in to get checked out, and I have been told that they will notify Toyota. In the meantime I am concerned about the safety of this car!

- Champaign, IL, USA

problem #170

May 172016


  • 48,000 miles


The contact owned a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving 45 mph, the anti-lock brakes independently engaged and the power steering and brakes failed without warning. As a result, the contact veered off the road and rolled over several times. The air bags failed to deploy. The contact sustained a concussion, fractured ribs, and several lacerations that required medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to a salvage yard where it was deemed destroyed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 48,000.

- Brookline, MA, USA

problem #169

May 312016


  • 153,000 miles
I have driven people for a living for over 30 years. I bought a Prius because of fuel costs. A month ago while transporting passengers, my power brakes go out and my dash lights up with ABS, brake, & traction control warning lights. I take it to the Toyota dealer who charges me $111 to tell me I have a brake problem and that it will cost $4418 to fix it. Code # C1391; they recommend replacing the master cylinder; and booster pump assembly saying there is an abnormal leak down of the brake accumulator. This is insane. I cannot afford to fix it and must continue to work to live; therefore driving about 200 miles/day with hydraulic only brakes. My research indicates there was a major recall for this exact problem on the 2010 model. The dealership and Toyota corporate both say my vehicle was not part of the recall. I feel as though it should be since, obviously, the problem has not been solved. I am not alone, as many owners on priuschat have the same problem. This is a major safety concern to not only myself, other vehicles or pedestrians, but also my passengers. An expanded recall is necessary and warranted. Anything you can do will help and make us all safer..

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #168

May 242016


  • 46,485 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving approximately 30 mph, the brake pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to slow down until excessive pressure was applied. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the brake booster nitrogen fuel leaked into the brake fluid. The brake booster pump assembly was replaced. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 13V235000 (service brakes). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 46,485. Updated 10/06/16

- Iowa City, IA, USA

problem #167

Dec 312013


  • 25,600 miles
Design flaw....loss of brake function during braking events while going over bumps and potholes (lower speeds <30mph). I believe the root cause is the transition between regenerative braking and hydraulic brake. I always feel unsafe during braking events, and always have to be proactive and calculate the distance in front of me to accommodate the loss in stop distance. Very uncomfortable feeling!

- Shelby Township, MI, USA

problem #166

May 202016


  • 114,000 miles
Brakes suddenly stopped functioning while driving 55 mph on 4 lane highway. Dashboard alarms also indicated there was a brake problem. Per Toyota technician at prestige Toyota in kingston NY, gas bubbles contaminated brakes and ruined pump and actuator. According to Toyota warranty assistance representative "fred, " who spoke with local technician, there was a recall for this exact condition, but did not include my particular VIN. I was very lucky not to have been in a serious accident, and I have to wonder how many other Prius drivers are at serious risk because of similar condition.

- Cape Elizabeth, ME, USA

problem #165

May 292016


  • 96,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving at an unknown speed, the brake pedal was depressed but it took a greater amount of time to stop the vehicle. The contact applied excessive force to the brake pedal. The ABS and brake warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that a brake pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number: 13V235000 (service brakes). The failure mileage was 96,000.

- Malden, MA, USA

problem #164

Oct 082014


  • 1,500 miles
Oncoming car stopped at traffic light while I was proceeding straight in the opposite direction. The oncoming car then made a left turn across the road in front of me. I started a turn to the right assuming that the other car would see me and stop. At the same time I hit my brakes. My car seemed very slow to decelerate. I now realize that car brakes can give much more significant stopping. At the time, because of my training as military and airline Pilot, I stayed on the brakes and did not pump them. In retrospect, pumping the brakes might have gotten them to work. The anti-skid system seemed to be ineffective. I struck the other car at its right front wheel. My airbag worked wonderfully, but my car was totaled. As no person was hurt, the police were uninterested. The accident is on file with riverside county sheriff's office as file# MV142810251. The date was 10-8-2014.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #163

May 252016


  • 85,000 miles
On 05/25/2016 at about 9am, while in motion at a rate of speed approx 25 mph on a street during construction (don't know if the bumpy road had anything to do with it), the change oil soon light appeared and seconds later all the lights on the dash came on with the message to check the "check hybrid system". I tried to stop the vehicle and it kept accelerating. I pressed on the breaks really hard and the traction control light kept flashing on and off like crazy but it barely had any impact. Although the vehicle slowed, it did not come to a full stop. I ended up hitting the vehicle in front of me. Thank god it was a truck and as able to stop the car from moving further or I could of ended up in the middle of an intersection. After the collision, the car would not stop although the park button was pressed and light was on. I even tried turning off the vehicle and the vehicle stayed on and in drive. I ended up in the hospital and don't know how it eventually got turned off but that was very frightening. I had my children in the car. On impact, the seat belts did not even tighten.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #162

May 092016


  • 46,900 miles
At 46,900 miles without any warning all the brake warning lights came on and braking effectiveness dropped off. Have to push pedal to the floor to get the car to stop the lights for traction control, anti lock brakes and the word "brake" and another light like a circle are on all the time normally there is strong braking when first touch the brake pedal but now very limited braking until push down very hard on the brake pedal. Looked at brake fluid and it is full, do not know why the brakes are not working

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #161

Jun 152015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 17,867 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving 35 mph over bumps in the road, the brakes failed to slow down the vehicle. The failure recurred each time the vehicle drove over a bump. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 13V235000 (service brakes). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 75,000. Updated 07/14/16

- Northridge, CA, USA

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