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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 1 of 37)

problem #738

Jan 022016

Prius 4-cyl

  • 68,840 miles


As I was driving, I noticed that when I pressed on the brakes, the car would jerk forward before coming to a stop. Once stopped (but still turned on), the car made a buzzing noise I had never heard before. No warning lights came on, and the brakes did not squeak. An hour later, my husband drove the car home for me (I rode with a friend), and he reported that warning lights came on and the brakes did not work properly. In order for the brakes to work, he had to press very hard on them and also allow much more distance for the car to stop. He could have easily crashed into the back of another vehicle. He took the car to the Toyota dealership and was informed the brake booster assembly would have to be replaced. This is the same complaint as a 2010 Prius recall, but my VIN number was not included in the recall, so I did not receive a notice in the ail. Also, we had to pay $3008 to have the brake booster assembly replaced. The consumer referenced recall # 13V235000. Updated 02/11/16.

- Elon, NC, USA

problem #737

Jul 012012


  • 10,000 miles
When braking on rough roads the brakes will release, causing the car to lunge forward. Very scary and dangerous. I took my car back to Toyota dealer to have this checked out. They had never heard of this problem (even though there is a recall for it). They checked it out and test drove it, braking over rough road. They said it was braking fine. It is still releasing when braking on rough patches for me. I am always mindful to leave plenty of room between me and the car ahead of me in case I hit a rough patch. I plan on taking my car back to Toyota with a printout from this site showing it has been recalled for this very problem and that others are also experiencing the same thing.

- Center Line , MI, USA

problem #736

May 232014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
Whilst stopped at a traffic light, behind a suburu, the brake failed and hit the suburu. (this was not the first time the brake failed, but fortunately there were no other cars involved when the car did not stop. The driver believed that black ice was involved, but after the incident with the suburu, realized that it was brake failure.) believing that the auto could no longer be trusted, it was sold. Toyota insisted it was driver error., and claimed that there was no fault in the breaking system.

- Saco, ME, USA

problem #735

May 312012

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles


2010 Toyota Prius. Consumer states two brake system failures the consumer stated the vehicle began making an unusual sound and after a few days, numerous warning lights appeared on the dashboard announcing a failure of the braking system. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. An inspection revealed the master cylinder, booster and ECU needed to be replaced. The consumer paid $ $3,246.83 for the repairs. However, nine days later, the unusual brake pedal sound returned, but the brakes worked and no warning lights appeared. The next day, the brake system completely failed while his daughter was driving the vehicle. Again, the vehicle was towed to the dealer, where the technicians determined the vehicle needed a new brake booster assembly. The consumer was informed he would only be responsible for the labor costs of $ $255.48. The consumer believed the booster and brake booster were the same part, which was supposed to have been replaced several days prior.

- White Plains, NY, USA

problem #734

Apr 252012

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,643 miles
The contact was driving a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact was driving 40 mph when the vehicle stopped in the street. Prior to the vehicle stopping, a beeping/alarm sounded, the seat belt locked in place and the warning on the dashboard flashed brakes.

- Snyder , TX, USA

problem #733

Mar 172012

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
I was entering a parking space, I approached the space about 5 mph. The vehicle suddenly accelerated, the steering locked and the brakes went to the floor. The vehicle jumped the curbing and hit the truck in the next righthand space. It connected with the trucks left front fender. That stopped the vehicle.

- Citrus Springs, FL, USA

problem #732

Mar 172012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 20,600 miles


I was entering a parking space. Turned right into space. The vehicle accelerated, steering wheel locked, and brakes did not respond!.the car sped over the curbing and hit the left front fender of the truck in the next space.

- Citrus Springs, FL, USA

problem #731

Jul 142011


  • 1,200 miles
When approaching an intersection I hit a pothole & the car suddenly quit braking and required me to do evasive driving maneuvers to assure I did not hit the vehicle in front of me or the light pole at the intersection. Similar "brake release" has happened on multiple occasions. When bringing this matter to the dealership on multiple occasions I have been told that this is standard operation. When pressed they say itis just the way the car is designed. Thus, my complaint to you from the lobby of my Toyota dealership as they remove the braking comments, again, from my appointment record history. Please force the company to resolve this matter as I worry about my health & that of my four children who ride in the car with me. It should not be acceptable for a company to know that their vehicle is unsafe & tell customers, "sorry, we have a problem but we do not care...

- Parker, CO, USA

problem #730

Mar 082012

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
Brakes does not work properly on rough surface or bumpy road I have reported couple of times to the dealer but dealer try to mislead and confused me by saying that it is ABS system which becomes active on bumpy road and it is a normal brake operation and we have no recall for this vehicle. Please let me know what to do? thanks.

- Lorton, VA, USA

problem #729

Feb 242011


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that when starting the vehicle, he noticed that the brakes would not operate as they should if the vehicle was warm. When depressing the brakes, he would have to apply extreme force in order to get the brake pedal to engage. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where they advised the contact that they were unable to diagnose the failure. The contact mentioned that the failure only occurred when driving during the morning hours, after the vehicle had been sitting overnight. The manufacturer had not been contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 10,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #728

Feb 152012


  • 13,115 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact was driving 20 mph when the brakes were depressed but the vehicle failed to stop. The contact then crashed into a sign. There were no injuries. The vehicle was towed to the dealer but not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and current mileages were 13,115.

- Alcoa, TN, USA

problem #727

Feb 012012


  • 13,560 miles
While the car was parked in a hill with the parking brake it suddenly went backwards and hit the wall of the residency across the street like 500 feet down. Car was almost completely damage back, train suspension and all doors out of frame. Repair will take 8 weeks at a cost of $14850. There were no passengers in the car.

- Beverly Hills, CA, USA

problem #726

Mar 012010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
Even after all recall work was performed there is an issue braking with the 2010 Prius. When braking over bumpy surfaces you often get a feeling that the car is accelerating rather than braking. I do not think the car actually accelerates - it is more of an issue that the brakes releasing when I brought it to the attention of my Toyota dealer they do not think it is a problem. When it happens in bumper to bumper traffic it can really scare you! I worry letting my kids drive the car. And no - it is the ABS is kicking in.

- Bergenfield, NJ, USA

problem #725

Feb 022012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 31,000 miles
When I started to drive home, the car was lurching while braking. It was an uncontrolled acceleration. Once I got on the freeway, my brake light, ABS light and slippage lights all came on at once (along with beeping noise that does not go away). I pulled over to the side of road and noticed that my brakes had degraded by about 75 percent.....while I did have some brakes it would have not been enough for an emergency stop or normal traffic braking.

- Bridsnest , VA, USA

problem #724

Jan 102012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 10,500 miles
The Prius seems to accelerate while stepping on the brake at slow speeds--the car feels like it jerks forward. This usually happens while I am on a road with potholes.

- Jericho, NY, USA

problem #723

Jan 242012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
I was driving on I-680 North today and suddenly the "brake", "ABS" and "slip indicator" turned on and started beeping. At that time I did not realize what happened, but when I tried to brake the pedal was really hard to press and I was not able to slow down. I finally was able to slow down by going on a ramp and then really pressing down on the brake where the car jerked and slowed down. Again the brakes were not working. I was finally able to get the car to stop. When I turn the car on again, the same lights switch on and the car is beeping.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #722

Jan 142012


  • 46,000 miles
While driving on interstate, the brake and vehicle stability assist lights suddently went on and a beeping alarm sounded. The brakes were not very effective, and it was very difficult to slow down and stop the car when we pulled over. We had the car towed to the dealership, where they informed us that the ABS pump and the entire braking system needed to be replaced...on our one year old car! parts alone totaled over $4000 dollars, without labor. Toyota was unwilling to replace, as the car was out of warranty for mileage. Clearly a defective system in our car, but they were not willing to stand behind their product to cover. Angry customer, especially given the fact that Toyota states that they want to restore customer faith in their product. We were lucky that injury did not result from the failure of the parts needed to stop the car.

- Spotsylvania , VA, USA

problem #721

Feb 022011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 800 miles
When I am driving and hit a pothole, the car jolts forward. It's a pretty scary feeling to be out of control when that happens. I don't drive often, so I can only imagine how many more times this could happen. I do like my car and is only a year old, but this is quite concerning. I am extra careful, but what if I hit someone in the street or the car in front of me. I have seen a few complaints about this same exact reason. Please something has to be done about it before someone gets hurt.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #720

Aug 092011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the vehicle was serviced under NHTSA campaign id number: 10V039000 (service brakes, air: Antilock: Control unit/module). The contact noticed that after the recall repairs, there was an abnormal increase in stopping distance when braking over uneven pavement. The contact stated there have been several occasion when the vehicle floated into an intersection because the failure prevented the vehicle from stopping. The vehicle was taken to the dealer four times where the contact was told there were no failures with the vehicle because the braking system was operating as designed. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Lake In The Hills, IL, USA

problem #719

Dec 302010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 7,000 miles
My driving record was clean until this 2010 Prius. In one year I have had two accidents and several incidents, all of which I am now convinced due to brake failure. The first accident took place end of December 2010. I was going only about 10 mph. I hit the brakes repeatedly to try to get the car to stop. At the time I thought the car did not stop because of ice, but now after this 2nd accident and researching other Prius reports, I am convinced this first accident was also because the brakes failed to work. Since I did not suspect this at the time, I did not report it or have the brakes checked when the car was repaired. The 2nd accident was last night, Dec 8th, 2011. I was traveling between 25-30 mph. The brakes clearly failed to work, and I hit a car stopped at the traffic light in front of me. I had plenty of distance to stop. The car did not slow down, if anything, it may have speeded up, but I cannot definitely say this, as I was too freaked out looking at the car I was going to hit to check my speed. The road was not icy. The impact demolished the front end of the Prius. My air bag also did not inflate. I have whiplash from this second accident. Fortunately no one else was injured. I now realize I had several other brake 'slippage' problems last winter that did not result in accidents and I did not identify then as brake problems. I thought it was my snow tires, even though they were brand new. I took the car back to the tire dealer last month who said they had no other complaints about that brand of tire, but I so concerned I had them replace the tires anyway with new ones of a different brand. I have opened a case with Toyota after I started to research 2010 Prius and found a recall on this model and year from before I leased this car. Toyota says there is not a recall on my VIN#. I want Toyota to take responsibility for this accident and take back the car.

- Bozeman, MT, USA

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