Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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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 19 of 37)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #378

Jan 152010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles


2010 Prius brake applied in zero temperature weather approaching a red light on slight down sloping road covered in ice/snow. The brake pedal was pushed as would normally be applied (maybe approx 1/3 - 1/2 brake pedal travel) and there was no applied braking. The car kept rolling forward to where I had to make a decision to continue rolling with a right turn into the intersection and continue travel. Luckily the oncoming traffic was far enough away to not crash into me. I would estimate that the brake was applied for about 1-2 seconds, enough travel time to force me to make a decision that I needed to continue through the intersection before the oncoming traffic. This same type of scenario occurred on an exit off of an interstate ramp down another down slope with ice/snow that again when the brakes where applied, the regenerative engine brake applied, but when the ABS went to engage due to the slippery surface, there was a 1-2 second duration of sensation of no brakes. Pushing pedal further (or just waiting the 1-2 second delay) seemed to eventually apply brakes. I am a systems/test engineer that performs numerous work on commercial and military aircraft and I now know how to anticipate this situation for myself (I.e., I am more careful on braking earlier especially on slippery surfaces more than normal distance from my other Honda vehicles on same type of surfaces to account for this possible 1-2 delay time in braking); however, this is unacceptable for my wife who does not have the same experience as I do or same technical feeling of what this vehicle is doing. Again, if the traffic on that one intersection was closer to me than it was, there would have been a side impact collision. I have yet to experience this issue on solid roads over bumpy surfaces. With today's Toyota revelation that the Jan 2010 Prius has a fix for this, I demand to have this same fix applied to my three month old 2010 Prius.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #377

Jan 282010

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
I was driving my 2010 Toyota Prius down the road here in berkeley, ca, and applied the brakes as I was hitting a bump in the road. The brakes did not work. I thereafter lifted my foot off the brake and hit them again, at which point the brakes worked correctly.

- Berkeley, CA, USA

problem #376

Sep 102009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
I want to report a momentary brake failure of 2010 Prius over uneven roads 2 months ago. I didn't report it earlier because I didn't know if it was a one-off or systematic issue. Two months ago, I was driving a newly owned Prius with hardly 4000 miles on it over a stretch of rt. 93 from andover to boston. I was traveling at about 65 - 70 mph on the left fastest lane. I cam across a bumpy patch, probably the road was being repaired, and it was not late for me to slow down as I didn't expect such unevenness on a major highway. I stepped on the brake while the car was being tossed up and down by the bumps and I immediately felt that the car lost braking. Luckily, there was no car ahead of me and the braking did recover after the car settled down. I owned 4 Toyota's from SUV to the hybrid and Prius is the only one that has this problem. I just want to support other people's complaints about this car. I must say that the braking did recover quickly that a collision was not likely unless someone drive the car very fast on an uneven road that is also crowded. However, a car should not behave like this under any conditions.

- Nashua, NH, USA

problem #375

Feb 032010


  • 900 miles


Toyota Prius 4th generation purchased one month ago. Surges forward with brake depressed when going over potholes.

- Belmont, MA, USA

problem #374

Jan 122010


  • 2,000 miles
I have a 2010 Prius that "lurches" when I brake. This only happens every once and a while. I took it to the Toyota dealership, they looked it over and said it was fine. To say the least I continue to be very concerned.

- Missoula, MT, USA

problem #373

Feb 042010


  • miles
Prius 2010 slow braking. I thought it was just me but now I found out the braking is rather slow and a lot of others feel the same way. I have to adjust my braking when I switch cars with my wife and have to extra careful when I switch back to Prius.

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #372

Feb 042010


  • 2,010 miles


I drove over a bump while braking and it felt like the car was sliding on ice. It felt like there were no brakes.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #371

Sep 092009


  • 1,500 miles
My 2010 Prius which was purchased in August of 2009 on several occasions when braking on rough surface or pothole slips momentarily.

- Studio City, CA, USA

problem #370

Feb 042010


  • 1 miles
I have a 2010 Prius and had a 2005 Prius with all the safety features. When I had the 2005 Prius, I noticed on some roads that during braking, the brakes would release then reengage, giving the sensation that the car is accelerating. This happens when the road has a series of dips (washboard). The first couple times this happened, it was rather frightening because the car in front of me had stopped, and I felt as if I were accelerating. This is a reproducible event that occurs at a known location that I simply avoid. The road in this particular area is also down slope, which lends to the acceleration feeling. I have driven my 2010 Prius over this same area with very much the same result. My initial assessment was that the traction control took over to regain traction, however I would not thing this is acceptable. The Toyota dealership said this is normal behavior and is not a problem. Please feel free to contact me and I can describe better the conditions for this very reproducible event.

- Escondido, CA, USA

problem #369

Dec 152009


  • 4,000 miles
I've been monitoring the Toyota recall news because I have experienced similar braking issues with my new 2010 Prius. The best way I can describe it is as if the braking system "hiccups" when the brake is applied while traveling over an uneven road surface. As this was a new vehicle type that I had never driven before I thought it was inherent.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #368

Dec 202009


  • 6,300 miles


2010 Prius: Brakes had momentary failure on a snow-covered speed bump. Vehicle speed was about 10 mph. This was the first of several incidents.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #367

Feb 012010


  • 5,000 miles
We have been experiencing, intermittently, the exact problem described in recent news accounts about the momentary failure of anti-lock brakes on the 2010 Toyota Prius. When braking on a rough or slick surface, such as thermoplastic lane or crosswalk markings, the car feels like it's surging forward. We believe it is not so much an actual surging as it is the momentary absence of loss of braking, but it feels like the car is a bit out of control, and potentially dangerous. We have experienced this momentary brake failure on perhaps a couple dozen occasions. Fortunately, none of these incidents have resulted in a crash. We contacted the dealership to let them know that we had been experiencing the same issue described in news reports, and were told that they have not yet received instructions from Toyota about a recall or potential fix.

- Mattituck, NY, USA

problem #366

Jan 102010


  • 5,000 miles
When braking at lower speeds and traveling over a transition (manhole cover, pavement break), the car will act as though the brakes lose grip for a second, then regain stopping power. I haven't hit anything, but it's been unsettling.

- Vernon Hills, IL, USA

problem #365

Aug 302009


  • 1,000 miles
2010 Toyota Prius brake issue. We are experiencing a momentary loss of braking capability while traveling over an uneven road surface, pothole or bump.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #364

May 012009


  • 300 miles
2010 Toyota Prius purchased April 2009. Reported to dealer shortly after purchase that antilock brake system releases brakes and lunges car forward if tires encounter uneven surface (e.g., pothole) while braking. Occurrence has resulted in missing stop signs, but no accident to date. Toyota dealership reported that this was normal operation despite my calling the dealership on two separate occasions.

- Stamford, CT, USA

problem #363

Jan 212010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 1,400 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving at speeds of less than 20 mph in overcast weather conditions and approaching a stop sign at a busy intersection, the brakes failed to engage and the vehicle proceeded with caution through the intersection. The dealer was contacted and stated that they never heard of any similar failures. There were no recalls or repairs made to the vehicle. The failure and current mileages were 1,400. Updated 03/18/10 updated 05/12/10.

- Altus, OK, USA

problem #362

Dec 012009


  • 11,000 miles
I own a 2010 Toyota Prius and have experienced several times the braking failure problems recently discussed in the national media on snow and ice and on rough road surfaces. This has happened several times during the winter weather season particularly on snow and ice. I purchased my Prius in July 2009.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #361

Jan 232010


  • 7,000 miles
2010 Toyota Prius II--purchased August 2009. On January 23, 2010 I crashed my vehicle into a car that had stopped in front of me. I applied the brakes but was unable to stop the car before it hit the car in front of me. I am contacting you because I believe the brake issues with the 2010 Prius may have been a contributing factor in the crash. In the 5 months that I owned the car I remarked that the brakes did not seem to function like ABS brakes on other cars that I had driven. I chalked it up to the fact that car was new to me and had many features that were different from a traditional car.

- Litchfield, CT, USA

problem #360

Dec 252009


  • 4,500 miles
From a dead stop, moving forward or in reverse, brakes will lock or grab & will not release easily.

- Lake Ozark, MO, USA

problem #359

Dec 282009


  • 5,000 miles
Brakes are terrible. Vehicle computer causes brakes to unload when going over very rough road or potholes. If stopping just behind traffic, collision is always imminent. Brakes are also extremely sensitive, especially at low speeds. While trying to feather the brakes while backing out of a parking space (for instance) the computer seems to tell the brakes to fully clamp down without applying additional force to the brake pedal. This causes a lurching motion as opposed to a smooth backup at idle speed. Also, when coming to a stop, the slower you go, the more sensitive the braking becomes such that you are trying to not over-apply the already sensitive brakes you inevitably end up stomping on them at the last minute because the amount of travel from zero to full braking is miniscule. I have owned all three generations of Prius. The first had brakes that were unusual due to the regenerative system, but they had acceptable amount of pedal travel and were not a problem. The second generation's brakes were much improved over the first edition and they felt almost like normal brakes. But this third generation's brakes are absolutely hideous! I complained about them to the dealer about a month ago and they said they were normal and that all Prius brakes were like that. That doesn't make it right! I am glad all this publicity has vindicated my assertions.

- Bothell, WA, USA

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