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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
48 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
8 / 2
Average Mileage:
4,570 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 15 of 37)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #458

Feb 042010


  • 6,600 miles


The brake lights on my 2010 Toyota Prius do not illuminate under light braking. There is a very discernible "gap" after depressing the brake pedal before the brake lights illuminate. Under light braking, the brake lights will not warn the driver of the car behind me that I am actually braking. This results in people tailgating me, and sometimes sounding their horn signal at me, while I am slowing down. Once the pedal is depressed far enough -- under moderate to severe braking -- the brake lights will eventually illuminate. This has been confirmed by several co-workers and friends who also own this model of Prius. All of our cars have the same issue with the brake light switch.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #457

Oct 012009


  • 2,000 miles
1. low driving speeds (<30 mph), moving down hill, decelerating as approaching a stop sign. 2. when the front wheel strikes pot hole, the braking action stops/decreases, the car moves forward more quickly. In the current case, there are a series of three pot holes, so hitting each pot hole increases the forward motion despite having break pedal depressed. Consequence, is immediate difficulty to come to a stop at a stop sign. 3. no current correction has been attempted.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #456

Dec 082009


  • 5,800 miles
I have noticed a braking problem with my 2010 Toyota Prius. I was slowing down because of a cow in the road and as I was slowing I hit a small bump and suddenly my brakes completely stopped working for about a second and it almost felt like the car was accelerating. I thought I was going to run into the cow and then the brakes grabbed again and I continued to slow down. It was not a good feeling. I also experienced a similar issue when I hit some ice on the road. When I hit the ice there was a brief second where the brakes seemed to be doing absolutely nothing at all. I could not feel the normal ABS feel or anything.

- Blue Lake, CA, USA

problem #455

Jan 112010


  • 6,008 miles


The cruise control on my 2010 Toyota Prius does not always cancel while braking. This has resulted in unintended acceleration after braking while the cruise control has been set. A driver expects that the cruise control will automatically cancel while applying the brakes but this does not happen under light braking. This is even more pronounced while driving up a steep hill. On January 11th, 2010, I was in a situation where I actually applied the brakes to reduce my speed while traveling up a steep hill and felt the car "fighting" against me to maintain a steady speed. After I had slowed my Prius to match the speed of the car in front of me, the cruise control unexpectedly caused the car to accelerate again, placing me at a less than safe distance to the car in front of me as we crested the hill.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #454

Aug 152009


  • 6,000 miles
My 2010 Prius has had 4 instances when brakes didn't work. All involved slightly wet surfaces on a sem- potholed road in houston tx. I am taking car into fred haas Toyota, , but I am not sure anyone knows how to fix it yet. After trying to brake, there is a lurch forward before it comes to a stop. I do not feel safe in vehicle. Fortunately, I was going less than 40 mph when it happened, and have not had an accident.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #453

Aug 012009


  • 500 miles
I purchased a 2010 Prius in July 2009. Whenever I go over a bumpy road or hit a pothole while braking the car will lurch forward. I brought it to walser Toyota in bloomington, mn for this problem. They said my brakes work fine. I'm still having the problem. In fact...I have it so often we have nicknamed it "Prius braking." So each time it happens we say "Prius braking." We know to not follow closely to anyone at a stop sign or stop light in fear of rear-ending them when the "Prius braking" happens.

- Plymouth, MN, USA

problem #452

Feb 042010


  • 11,950 miles


I own a 2010 Toyota Prius. I have had multiple times when I have hit a bump and was applying the brakes and the car seems to skip or float. On Feb 4, 2010 I was approaching a stop sign and was braking. Just before the stop sign I hit a bump and the car slid through the stop sign and into the intersection.

- Johnston, IA, USA

problem #451

Aug 012009


  • 1,000 miles
When driving, and going over a rough spot in the road (pot hole, crack, etc.) the car feels like it is lurching forward momentarily, as if the brakes released. This happens every time the car goes over a rough patch in the road.

- San Mateo, CA, USA

problem #450

Dec 012009


  • 50 miles
I have a 2010 Toyota Prius, bought in November 2009. I have noticed that if I am driving over a speed bump, pothole or even an uneven road surface and I brake, the car either accelerates or slips forward. The brakes don't work. I experienced this soon after I got the new car. Yesterday, I slowed down to enter a gas station, but the road surface was driven with holes and the car did not slow down even thought I braked and it overshot the entrance. I'm nervous that I may hit someone in front of me and even worse, if I am slowing down for a pedestrian, I may hit a person.

- Hastings-On-Hudson , NY, USA

problem #449

Dec 182009


  • 4,200 miles
2010 Toyota Prius brakes on two separate times have almost caused an accident. Both times slippery conditions were present.

- Staley, NC, USA

problem #448

Aug 282009


  • 1,000 miles


I own a 2010 Toyota Prius. While braking on a slick or rough patch of road my car will briefly surge and then brake. At first I thought this happened because the car has low friction tires for efficiency. It has happened about 5 times since I bought my car in August 2009. After reading the recent reports it seems like I am having a braking problem, not a tire problem.

- Bellaire, TX, USA

problem #447

Jan 152010


  • 4,850 miles
Lack of braking when hitting a bump in the road. In my case, there is a bumpy section of road under construction at the intersection of shiloh rd and fm 1171 in flower mound, tx. This problem occurs every time I brake at the traffic light at that intersection.

- Flower Mound, TX, USA

problem #446

Dec 152009


  • 800 miles
Momentary loss of braking when ABS activates causes car to travel an unexpected 12 feet. Has happened 4 times since Dec 2009. Happens when slowing down for stop sign, or making left or right turn in traffic, when there is a slippery patch causing ABS to trigger.

- Kennebunk, ME, USA

problem #445

Oct 142009


  • 400 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving approximately 50 to 55 mph on normal road conditions pressure was applied to the brake pedal, followed by no power response for a second. The failure occurred intermittently. In addition, when after a complete stop the vehicle began shaking excessively. The authorized dealer and manufacturer have been notified of the malfunctions. The failure mileage was 400.

- Wellington , FL, USA

problem #444

Nov 202009


  • 1,500 miles
2010 Toyota Prius purchased in October 2009. When braking, car hits a bump in the road or on a rough road, brakes appear to fail for approximately 2-3 seconds.

- Suffolk, VA, USA

problem #443

Nov 042009


  • 4,000 miles
I purchased a 2010 Toyota Prius in June, 2009. I noticed that the vehicle seemed to lurch forward when braking - specifically when the road may have even the slightest bump or unevenness. When this occurs, I am not certain that the car will stop. This does not occur during breaking on smooth surfaces. I reported the problem to the Toyota dealer in Nov. And received this response: Wednesday, November 04, 2009 1:05 pm: I'm responding to your question about the Prius braking condition. One thing to know about the Prius braking system is that when the brakes are applied there is a signal to the generator to engage. This does 2 things, helps regenerate the hybrid battery and assists in braking the vehicle, and the normal brakes also apply to assist in braking. I did have another Prius owner ask about this also, I had him come out and drove with him and could not duplicate the stated condition. I think he was pushing to fast and hard on the brake pedal causing the lurch. When I drove his vehicle I did tell him I was trying to be very conscious of how much pressure I was applying to the pedal. I did notice the brakes are very responsive to pedal pressure. Before responding to your E-mail I did check online with Toyota technical group to see if they had any pertaining service bulletins pertaining to your question, there were no applicable bulletins. I hope this helps answer your question. Thanks for choosing seeger Toyota, tim evers, service manager the problem has continued and I've noticed it occurs when braking on snow packed roads -- I nearly rear-ended the vehicle in front of me when my car seemed to lurch forward - I could not stop - I had to swerve into another lane to avoid collision. I reported this problem to another Toyota dealer (weiss Toyota in St. Louis, mo.) they did not have any response. When I contacted the service manager again on 2/4/10, I was told that they had not heard anything about a problem with the Prius from Toyota.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #442

Nov 142009


  • 1,000 miles
Toyota Prius 2010 model: Brake lag. I gather NHTSA is considering a recall. This is to further your data. I took my 2010 Prius in to 355 Toyota, rockville, in November to complain about the brakes disengaging when being applied over rough terrain, leading to a 4 - 6 foot jump forward then re-engagement of the brakes. I lodged this concern as part of getting an oil change service, and I have this complaint in writing on the docket. They told me the problem was just normal antilock braking. The problem has occurred multiple times since, causing about a 4 - 6 foot jump before the brake reengages. With all the ice we have had recently, I can now assure myself that this issue is not about the antilock brakes, which have a totally different feel, as they should. The brake disengagement almost caused an accident on Monday this week on E street as the car hit an ice patch and the brake disengaged momentarily. I think the Prius is a great car, but, this problem is dangerous and needs to be fixed. When I called 355 Toyota yesterday when it became evident that I wasn't the only person reporting this, they were very nice but I am not sure that Toyota has provided them with a solution.

- Potomac, MD, USA

problem #441

Sep 012009


  • miles
When slowing down, if the car hits a pothole or bump in the road, it seems to accelerate. As soon as I put pressure on the brake, it stops. It almost feels like the car jumps ahead for a brief moment.

- Wynnewood, PA, USA

problem #440

Jul 122009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 300 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving approximately between 10 to 20 mph on an uneven road surface; proceeding to a complete stop and applying pressure to the brake pedal, was followed by a no power response. Suddenly, the vehicle resumed normal operation within a few seconds. The failure continued to occur intermittently whenever encountering an uneven road surface or pothole. The vehicle has not been inspected for the malfunction. The failure mileage was 300. Updated 02/26/10 the consumer stated she was satisfied that the complaint described the problem she reported. Updated 04/29/10.

- San Antonio , TX, USA

problem #439

Dec 122009


  • miles
I have a 2010 Prius purchased in late July 2009. I have definitely had problems with the braking system in winter weather on slippery surfaces. When braking, it feels like the antilock brake system fails and the wheels lock up momentarily. I don't let my wife or kids drive the car in slippery conditions. This is definitely an issue for me and I believe it should be investigated and pursued. I have contacted the dealer - alderman's Toyota of rutland, vt about the issue. They are aware of the problem.

- Huntington, VT, USA

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