really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,090 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.

2001 Toyota Prius brakes problems

brakes problem

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2001 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #7

Feb 092010


  • miles


When I am braking and go over a bump or dip in the road the brakes stop working and I immediately have to let up on the brake and reapply. This has happened several times but did not think anything of it until the latest recalls for Toyota. This is happening with my 2001 Prius. Yes I said 2001. This has happened many times in the past 9 years. I thought it was normal until the recent reports of newer vehicles having this issue. My vehicle is 9 years old.

- Holliston, MA, USA

problem #6

Feb 082010


  • miles
Toyota has announced a recall of the newest generation of Prius cars to install software to repair a braking problem. I am the owner of a first generation (2001) Prius. My car has always had that braking problem. When the road is wet or bumpy or at unpredictable times due to road conditions, the brakes momentarily fail to engage and it is as though there are no brakes. The Toyota dealer has never been willing to admit that there was a problem. I think that all models of Prius have this problem because of the unique nature of the braking/charging system inherent in the car's design. Since it is a safety issue, earlier models of the Prius should be investigated as well.

- Pleasant Grove, UT, USA

problem #5

Dec 211996


  • 63,932 miles
On 12/21/06 the brake pedal went to the floor, as I tried to stop for a light. Had to use the park brake to stop. Prior to this my wife complain several time that the pedal was soft and went down. We complain several time about that and the ABS light coming on, answer we can not fine anything. On 01/10/07 the ABS light did not go away they replaced the master brake cyl. Not fix they replaced ABS actuator assy fix 12/10/09 brake light and ABS on, brake pedal to the floor.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #4

Jun 012004


  • 30,000 miles


I have a 2001 Prius that also has a problem with braking, similar to that described with the 2010 model. At low speeds when the car hits a bump or pothole the braking is momentarily lost, but then resumes within 1-2 seconds. In ~ 2003 I had a very low speed collision from this (about $1000 damage to the hood sheet metal), but have now learned to compensate for it (basically apply brakes hard and wait for braking to resume after the pause). I had reported this to the dealer on several evaluations, including after the accident, and was told that no problem could be identified. I am reporting this because it is remarkably similar to what it purported to be a new problem with the 2010 Prius. It is not new. Please feel free to contact me if you would find other information useful.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #3

Apr 152008


  • 137,700 miles
While driving along on interstate, got warning triangle and low main battery information. Immediately, car began to speed-up on its own. I applied very hard braking to try and slow down while trying to move to the right lane with traffic on my right. Car did not slow down but I managed to avoid traffic and get onto the right lane, where there was an exit from the interstate. I made the exit and was able to get control of the acceleration. I then drove the rough running car to the my dealer off that exit. They replaced the main battery, and everything is now fine. I feel that I was very lucky that nobody got hurt!

- Tyrone, GA, USA

problem #2

Jan 102010


  • miles
I saw that the Japanese government is making Toyota look into the following complaint in newer model priuses. "the vehicle surged forward or temporarily lost braking after driving over a pothole or other uneven surface. This is a reoccuring problem." My 2001 Prius has this problem all the time. In addition the car had the hybrid batteries catch on fire, the catalytic converter fail, the ECU for the brakes fail, the power steering fail, the brake pump leak, the computer fail (which caused the car to improperly shift gears). These issues were all fixed for free by Toyota except the ECU for the brakes and the brake pump which were fixed, but at my expense. No injuries occured.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #1

Feb 032010


  • miles
I am the owner of a 2001 Toyota Prius, purchasing the car in 2002. Ever since I have had it, I have noticed it temporarily loses braking after driving relatively slowly -- 5 to 20 mph -- over a pothole that hits just one wheel. It is a recurring problem. I complained to the dealership in 2002 and was told that there was no problem and that it was probably the way the anti-lock brake system worked. I now know that if there is a pothole near where I want to come to a stop, I may have to lift my foot off the brake and then reapply the brake when going slow or just press harder on the brake. It does not happen that often, but it does recur; while I have indicated a date in another field of this report, it is today's date because the problem is recurrent, although probably not more often than a few times per year, and I cannot say when it last happened with any precision. I am now reporting this to you because I noticed an article in the NY times regarding what sounds like this very same problem. I have not had any accidents as a result of the problem.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

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