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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 4 of 37)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #678

Jun 062010


  • 10,000 miles


2010 Toyota Prius, no accidents, but close calls. When I am slowing to a stop, and if the vehicle hits a rough spot in the road, for example a pothole, the brake pedal lowers slightly and the car appears to have the anti lock braking take over and the car speed decreases slowly under the control of the ABS and may not stop in the remaining distance to a stop sigh or traffic light. At least 4 times, 3 since the software update for my car, I have been stopping and within about 20 feet of the stop sigh there was a significant bump or pothole and with my foot on the brake continuously I noticed that the brake pedal depressed slightly and my rate of slowing decreased and my car drifted past the stop sign. This all happened with my foot still on the brake. I told the Toyota dealer about this and was informed that it is the way the car is designed, that any time that the computer senses a wheel slip, the ABS takes over. But on dry road conditions, this is problematic because in my area there are often un repaired roads with ruts, potholes, bumps and etc. Near the intersections. Having the ABS take over provides a lag time in the stopping of the car and each time I have gone past the stop sign and slightly into the intersection approximately 5 feet into the path of other vehicles. I am an engineer with nasa and know what I am doing and have been told that this is a design feature, but this feature can and has left me exceeding my planned stopping distance and could have lead to an accident.

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #677

Oct 082010


  • 2,500 miles
On 2010 Prius, brakes seem to release, generally for a moment, at low speeds when going over a bump on passenger side of the car. Car seems to accelerate momentarily, until brakes are hit again. This has happened a number of times but is sometimes hard to recreate. Car has 3000 miles. Dealer says brakes operating as designed and recall adjustment has been made.

- Port Washington, NY, USA

problem #676

Sep 242010


  • 1,500 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While traveling 2 mph the contact applied the brakes and noticed that they would not engage causing the contact to crash into a wall. No one was injured and a police report was not filed for the incident. The vehicle was taken to the dealership where the contact was informed that the failure could not be reproduced. There were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 1500.

- Woodside, CA, USA

problem #675

Aug 192010


  • 7,548 miles


Brake failure. 2010 Toyota Prius iv -- the vehicle's brakes lose pressure and the brake pedal loses pressure (regardless of how hard I press on the brakes as this is happening). The brakes are temporarily disabled and the vehicle unexpectedly accelerates as a result of its momentum prior to initializing the brakes. The failure occurs when the vehicle passes over a dramatic change in the texture/friction of the road surface. I have experienced the failure dozens of times, when driving over metal surfaces (manhole covers, pothole covers, temporary construction covers, metal expansion inserts in bridges, etc), as well as small patches of condensation (such as small puddles under a bridge when the surrounding road is dry). The failure is not related to hydroplaning, and has occurred at speeds as low as 15 mph. The failure causes the vehicle to accelerate until a few seconds after it has passed over the slick surface. After returning to the regular road surface, the brakes slowly regain traction and resume their function of slowing the vehicle down. This failure occurs every time these criteria are met -- regardless of whether road conditions are wet or dry. So far no accidents have resulted from this failure on my vehicle, but I have been unable to control the problem or decrease its effects. Again, this problem occurs even at low speeds, such as in city traffic while braking to stop at an intersection. Many times it has caused me to nearly hit the vehicle in front of mine. So I have been forced to leave an extra 40 feet between my vehicle and anything in front of me, which is not always feasible because I live in an urban area. I have already taken this vehicle into the Toyota dealership as part of their recall to fix the software which controls the interactions between the hybrid brakes and the normal disk brakes. Local dealerships have consistently denied that there is a problem with the vehicle and the Toyota company will not return my phone calls.

- Evanston, IL, USA

problem #674

Jul 272010


  • 10,000 miles
1. pulling in to a parking space, slight uphill angle, stepped on brake and car lurched forward over a barrier and into another vehicle. 2. the vehicle gave no prior indication of a problem. Extensive damage to hood, bumper, right fender and radiator. 3. vehicle was towed to a repair facility. Once repaired, vehicle was taken to dealer for diagnostic of brake failure problem where it currently remains.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #673

Aug 102010


  • 6,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving 20 mph over rough terrain the contact applied the brakes and they failed to engage. The vehicle was not repaired nor was there a diagnostic test performed. There were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 6000.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #672

Jul 272010


  • 18,500 miles


Was driving Prius 2010 model II with brake software applied by dealer about 1.5 months ago. Today (7/27/2010) I exited highway and began gentle braking on offramp, as suggested by manual to maximize regeneration. About half-way down offramp, I realized car in front of me was completely stopped and that I had to stop much more quickly than I was planning to. I don't recall being particularly distracted, but I can't rule out I noticed the stopped vehicle later than I should have. In any event, I'm not sure how hard I pressed the brakes, but I recall distinctly thinking "oh, my god. Nothing is happening" and 1-2 secs later I plowed into the car in front of me. The collision was hard enough to cause temporary pain to the driver in front of me, but no air bags were deployed and the Prius appears to not have major frontal damage - hood is bent back and maybe slight frame distortion => the impact clearly was not at the ~40-50 mph I was going when just exiting the highway, so some braking clearly did occur -- but I have the distinct feeling that my previous car (Subaru outbook) would have easily stopped in time. After accident, I tested brakes by going 15-20 mph in parking lot and braking hard. Always stopped quickly, I'm guessing w/100% friction braking. So brakes are probably not "defective" in sense of lost hydraulic fluid, etc... but I have never before experienced the feeling "I'm not stopping" except once when losing traction on icy road with a non-hybrid. The fact had time to think this thought at all probably means maybe 0.5-1.5 sec passed while braking ineffective. Checked for tire/skid marks on road or evidence of strong tire wear and found none, while I have on other cars when I have had to brake hard => Prius not braking hard despite emergency. Seem to have been caught in transition between regen & friction mode" this is still discussed in Prius forums -- software fix not good enough!" this is potentially very dangerous. Btw, car was in "eco" mode.

- Madison, CT, USA

problem #671

Jun 162010


  • 21,000 miles
(this compliant is being marked for deletion because it is an inadvertent duplicate of ODI# 10343621) the contact's brother owned a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated her brother died in a head on crash. While he was driving at approximately 65mph North bound, a truck waiting at a traffic light was rear ended by another truck pushing the truck into the contact's brother lane of traffic. The contact stated witnesses advised her that brakes failed on her brother's vehicle and he was not able to bring the vehicle to stop when he saw the truck approaching. The police report was not available. The VIN was unknown. The failure and the current mileage was 21,000.

- Rapid City , MI, USA

problem #670

Jun 162010


  • 21,000 miles
The contact's brother owned a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated her brother died in a head on crash. While he was driving at approximately 65mph North bound, a truck waiting at a traffic light was rear ended by another truck pushing the truck into the contact's brother lane of traffic. The contact stated witnesses advised her that brakes failed on her brother's vehicle and he was not able to bring the vehicle to stop when he saw the truck approaching. The police report was not available. The VIN was unknown. The failure and the current mileage was 21,000.

- Rapid City , MI, USA

problem #669

Jul 012010


  • 5,700 miles
Brakes do not work when decelerating and road is uneven or bumpy. We took the car in for the recall fix and the problem persists. Brake failure happens 3-4 times/ week driving in seattle.

- Shoreline , WA, USA

problem #668

Jun 032010


  • 3,000 miles


Grabbing brakes: Parked and sat in the car on a slight inclined driveway for some time listing radio. When I started backing up and tried to brake, there was no braking and then clunk clunk noise and car stops, tried again, same thing no braking and then little more pressure on brakes, clunk clunk noise cars stops. There was no way to smoothly glide the car down. This happened around 5 times. During last service I explained dealer about the problem but they could not reproduce it.

- American Canyon, CA, USA

problem #667

Jun 262010


  • 100 miles
While braking and the car is slowing down to below about 10 miles an hour, it will surge ahead if it goes over rough pavement or a bump. The ABS recall has been performed on the car, and it was brought back into the dealer after the recall and the dealer confirmed that the recall was applied. The dealer claims that this behavior is "normal". the car has been back to the dealer two times so far.

- Centerport, NY, USA

problem #666

Jun 132010


  • 8,500 miles
I own a 2010 Toyota Prius, and last week I had the ABS ECU updated per the recall. Prior to the update, braking over a bump or pothole would result in a little 'skip' on the road as the brakes kind of fluttered. I just pressed the pedal a little harder and all was well. Post update, I have a serious safety problem. I have experienced the brakes disengaging completely as the car hits a bump. The little 'skip' is gone, and now there's a panic moment where the car lurches forward with no brake pressure. I have to really mash the pedal the get the brakes back. Prior to the update I was a little worried that the slight increase in braking distance might have resulted in a crash. Now, I am very afraid. The car is almost uncontrollable when this happens, and it is always unexpected. I feel that if I crash, I will be held liable for something that isn't my fault. I ask the NHTSA to revisit the Toyota recall for the 2010 Prius and make them prove they fixed the problem. I do not think they will be able to.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #665

Jun 102010


  • 13,259 miles
I have a 2010 Prius that has had the brake recall fix applied. But when I am turning right applying the brake and then hit bump/chuck hole the brakes fade for just a few seconds. No accidents but does not give driver any confidence.

- Pendleton, IN, USA

problem #664

May 152010


  • 10,000 miles
2010 Prius - this car was recalled for a braking problem. The "software fix" was completed on my car, but the same braking problem still exists in the car. A follow-up visit to the dealer complaining of the problem still happening resulted in nothing being done to fix the braking problem. The problem : occasionally when braking over a bump the brakes disengage for a brief time (probably less than a second) and result in an increased stopping distance and possible accident. In other words the recall fix has done nothing to correct the problem - - if it was bad enough to have a recall - and it doesn't get fixed - then it must still be a significant problem.... this problem occurs often - but not easily demonstrated. It has happened since the car was new and we now have 11,000 miles and it still happens.

- Parker, CO, USA

problem #663

Jun 032010


  • 9,872 miles
Today at yet another check for my 2010 Prius to try to discover the cause for the continual surging, I was informed that 160 times in the last 1 1/2 months I have driven with both the gas and brake pedals depressed simultaneously. This is a ridiculous assertion and completely false. Obviously there is an issue with the computer software in my Prius brakes. This is further evidence that there is a serious safety issue with the Prius brakes.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #662

Sep 012009


  • 300 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated when braking from speeds of at least 30 mph, the vehicle would abnormally surge forward. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. The contact stated the failure had occurred since the date of purchase and continued to recur intermittently. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 300 and the current mileage was 9,650.

- Quincy, MA, USA

problem #661

Jun 012010


  • 9,780 miles
I was driving the car on a road approx. 25 mph. I hit a dip in the road right as I was braking to make a left turn. The automobile surged forward despite my foot being on the brake. This has happened repeatedly since having the recall fix!!! this problem must be fixed. We have repeatedly contacted Toyota about the problem and get the same answer every time - there is no problem. I do not consider it to be normal for the car to surge forward while my food is firmly on the brake. What does it take to get something done! we tried arbitration to get rid of our vehicle and Toyota basically said that we were lying about the problem. Please review and recall. I know by reading the other complaints that I am not the only one having this issue. This is a safety hazard!!!

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #660

May 292010


  • 5,000 miles
Our new 2010 Toyota Prius lost its brakes for a short period when driving down a steep hill at slow speed (10 mph). Although I was pressing on the brake pedal the brakes completely released for roughly 2 seconds and then re-applied. We had just driven over a small but sharp bump. I understand how ABS works, and this was not ABS. The brakes completely released and the car "jumped" forward - it jumped because the hill was quite steep. What is most disturbing is that the car had just been serviced (May 29th) and the event happened May 31. When I called the dealership they said the car had been recalled for a brake problem but they had "forgotten" to do the recall. Further, I have owned the car for five months and have not received a recall notice from Toyota.

- Laguna Beach, CA, USA

problem #659

May 312010


  • 9,800 miles
My 2010 Toyota Prius continues to experience the momentary loss of braking power even after the recall fix was applied back in March. I experience the same loss of braking power as I did in the past when going over bumps, pot holes and the like, especially when hitting the brake on a decline. I brought my car back to the dealership and a field tech specialist was unable to reproduce the problem - but I have experienced it a half dozen times since the recall and have notified Toyota's hq - they have not responded. I continue to feel as if pedestrian, other driver, and my own safety are at risk with this continued brake issue that Toyota cannot seem to fix.

- New York, NY, USA

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