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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
20 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
3,694 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 24 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #42

Dec 012009


  • 8,000 miles


I have not yet had this problem corrected, but when I decelerate in my 2010 Toyota Prius and I happen to go over a bump (can be a pothole, or ice, etc.), in all weather conditions, the brake sometimes disengages briefly and I have to re-engage to re-establish braking. The loss of braking is unrelated to the position of my foot, it's as if the brake suddenly is not present (not a decrease in brake pressure). I've caught it quickly each time, so never thought to complain until the recent recalls.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #41

Feb 032010


  • miles
I was driving this morning and hit small pot hole as I was trying to slow down after going over the pot hole, the brake did not seem to work for a brief moment, but it seem okay later on.

- Elmhurst, NY, USA

problem #40

Jan 122010


  • miles
Listed one date, but not a single incident - has happened several times since I purchased car in Aug 2009. When braking and hit a pothole or bump in the road, car accelerates/jerks forward for a moment. I have been lucky so far that I haven't been close to another car or a pedestrian when this has happened - though I came very close to hitting the back of one car that stopped quick in front of me when this happened.

- Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #39

Jan 042010


  • 1,000 miles


I have a 2010 Prius. When I brake over a bumpy surface, I loose braking power for 1-2 seconds. I have experienced this very serious problem at least 10 times. I noticed this problem soon after the purchase and continues. I have brought it back for service at Toyota but I was told there was no reported problems and they could not find the problem when they road tested my car. This is documented in the maintenance records. A couple of times when I experienced this problem, I almost hit the car in front of me! there is a defective braking system.

- Mantoloking, NJ, USA

problem #38

Feb 012010


  • 1,000 miles
The brakes on our 2010 Toyota Prius momentarily stop working at low speeds on bumpy roads. The brakes stop working for only a second or two when braking on a bumpy road surface, the reengage. This has happened multiple times since we bought the car new in July 2009.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #37

Feb 012010


  • 3,000 miles
2010 Toyota Prius. Going downhill and approaching a stop sign. My foot is steady on the brake and I am gradually coming to a stop. Then, I inadvertently go over a bump in the road and the Prius lunges forward. I had to immediately slam hard on the brakes in order to keep the car from going into the intersection. Fortunately, there was no car or person in front of me as I was stopping.

- Allentown, PA, USA

problem #36

Jan 052010


  • 8,500 miles


I have a 2010 Toyota Prius that has often quit braking when I was driving on (a) a bumpy dirt road (2 times), (B) bumpy paved road (bumps caused by compacted snow) (2 times) and (C) a large dip in a road near my house (approx.10 times). The lapse in braking is probably less than a second, but scares me every time. Before my Prius, I have always owned all-wheel drive vehicles, and I just attributed the lack of braking on the fact that I no longer have all wheel drive. But now that I think about it. That shouldn't affect the braking! I can pretty much count on this happening over a bumpy road, or just one big bump, so if someone wants to drive my car and see what it does, that is fine with me. Let me know if I can help get this problem fixed. I have not contacted the dealer about this. Should I?

- Carson City, NV, USA

problem #35

Jan 242010


  • 6,500 miles
I own a 2010 Toyota Prius II. I've noticed that when I run over a bump or a pothole on the road, the car seems to accelerate or jolt forward. It happens while I brake to a stop sign and run over a bump or pothole. It has also happened while letting go of the gas pedal but not stepping on the brake. Therefore, I have to quickly step on the brake even harder to stop or slow down the car. During one incident, I nearly ran into a pedestrian crossing the street. It was a 4 way stop and I approached slowly. The pedestrian was directly in front of my vehicle and he had the right of way. I slowly approached and as my tire ran over the pained "stop" on the pavement, my vehicle jolted forward. It was a close call and it scared the pedestrian and myself. I went to a Toyota dealership and has asked about the problem. They said they don't or have not had any complaints. Told me that mine was probably an isolated incident. I went home and googled to see if other Prius drivers had the same experience. I was shocked to have read a few incidents of other Prius owners experiencing the same thing. What can I do about this matter if Toyota claims that my experience was isolated. Going back to the Toyota dealership won't resolve anything.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #34

Jan 292010


  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving 25 mph and attempting to slow the vehicle down, it lunged forward. The weather was not a factor and the failure occurred approximately four times. The failure has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The contact is concerned that the risk could cause a crash to occur. The failure mileage was 5,000.

- Glassboro, NJ, USA

problem #33

Jan 312010


  • 6,123 miles
When the car is moderately braking (so called regenerative braking) and either (or both) of the rear wheels hits rough pavement (pot holes, metal plates covering road, rough rail-road crossings) the car ceases to break and the car actually accelerates (the actual time is about 1 second of no breaks and acceleration). I have had this happen 10 times since I bought the car in Oct of 09. In the first month the dealer told me they had not heard of this. Two months ago (Dec)a mechanic told me that the electric engine kicks in (when regenative breaking) which drives the front wheels for a smoother breaking, so he surmised that if the breaking wheels are not making contact the car would speed up. On 1/13/2010 I met with the head of service for the dealership. He told me that the dealership tested a Prius hooking it up to a computer and reproduced the environment of this complaint. Although he admitted there was a momentary lack of breaking with the loss of back wheel contact with the pavement he claimed there was no acceleration noted. He also admitted the test was done at approx. 25mph. I suggested he should repeat the test at 40-50mph as this is where it is most notable. Toyota's only suggestion is to drive carefully. They know they have a problem but this is there solution. I have been careful but on 1/31/10 I was driving at 45mph beginning to decelerate as the light ahead had turned red, and the truck infront of me had to panic stop as a car cut infront of him, at that moment my rear left wheel hit a pothole so I was not able to brake and actually accelerated toward the back of this truck. When the brakes reengaged I actually stopped 12 inches from his bumper. The consequences of this are an obvious safety hazard when you need to stop unexpectedly, you might well be endangering other drivers and/or pedestrians.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #32

Jan 052010


  • 200 miles


Prius 2010 purchased 12/26/2009. When I'm braking downhill and hit a pot-hole, I get a big kick from the car. It feels like the ABS system engages. It's happened a few times, and is predictable in certain routes. Over time, I've adjusted to it and learned to apply the brakes differently. I'm also more careful to avoid the potholes. It's not happening as often now. It's startling, but I'm not sure it's dangerous.

- Moraga, CA, USA

problem #31

Jan 152010


  • 1,100 miles
2010 third generation Prius braking problem, loss of control on rough or slippery surface.

- Deforest, WI, USA

problem #30

Dec 042009


  • 2,000 miles
My husband and I recently purchased a 2010 Toyota Prius. We have noticed repeated problems with the braking system. Whenever we go over a pothole while braking, the car surges forward. This does not just appear to be a problem with the pressure on the brake pedal; the passenger can feel the surge as well. This problem is quite alarming. We are taking the car to the dealer today to address this issue.

- Ithaca, NY, USA

problem #29

Jan 262010


  • 3,000 miles
I have a 2010 Prius. When I go over small bumps while breaking, the brakes stop working and the car accelerates for a bit. Disconcerting.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #28

Jan 272010


  • 2,000 miles
I noticed that the car lurches forward whenever driven on a manhole, or a rough patch on road, or a speed hump despite the braking. Though I regain control within seconds, the moment of lurch is scary and makes me feel unsafe in other traffic situations. This happens at almost all speeds. I guess from now onwards I will maintain enough gap between this car and the forward one as I seem to be not able to trust this car any further. Perhaps I will never recommend this car or any Toyota to anyone in future.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #27

Jan 232010


  • 15,300 miles
While braking at a speed of about 25 mph, wheels hit a pothole and the car seemed to accelerate and lurch forward for a fraction of a second before braking resumed.

- Piscataway, NJ, USA

problem #26

Nov 012009


  • 1,000 miles
On rough roads and terrain, the 2010 Prius that I recently bought consistently displays defective behavior. When I am trying to brake, and during braking hit a bump (always during a slow brake), the car actually speeds up. This has resulted in my changing my driving habits to be further away from cars in front of me, especially on bumpy roads. However, I am very concerned that at some point I won't be able to stop the vehicle properly when expecting the car to continue a slow brake, and instead it hits a bump and does not brake. I don't believe Toyota is addressing the defect at this time from reports I have read. My mother (without going into any detail after having read reports) asked if I had experienced any issues with my Prius and I told her of this exact issue prior to being aware of media coverage.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #25

Jan 212010


  • 860 miles
While braking while going through shallow water and small pothole, the brakes felt like they slipped. The car stopped braking for about a second or two.

- Granada Hills, CA, USA

problem #24

Jan 212010


  • 5,300 miles
I own a 2010 Toyota Prius. On a number of occasions it feels as though this vehicle has lost braking force for a brief period of time (no more than 1 second) when the vehicle encounters an uneven road surface while braking. I believe this only happens while the vehicle is using regenerative breaking. When this happens the vehicle feels like it's lurching forward because the braking force has been removed. Once I press harder on the brakes to force the friction brakes to apply, or after a brief period of time, the car does continue to slow down. I have not yet had an accident of any kind, but I can imagine how one could happen because of the increased stopping distance.

- Framingham, MA, USA

problem #23

Jan 012010


  • 6,000 miles
There are braking issues with my 2010 Toyota Prius. 1) in multiple instances, perhaps 12 times, when braking in snowy conditions, there is a moment where the brakes appear to be inactive. Pressing much harder brings the brakes back on line. I have driven for 40 years, in dozens of cars and never found this. The situation is counter-intuitive, because I do not want to jam on the brakes in slippery conditions for obvious reasons. 2) in 3-4 instances when braking and going over a pothole or larger bump, the same as the above occurs, that is momentary loss of braking. Again, pressing harder alleviates the problem.

- New Haven, CT, USA

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