really awful
Crashes / Fires:
10 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,856 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.

2005 Toyota Prius brakes problems

brakes problem

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2005 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #28

Feb 052010


  • 5,200 miles


For a number of years I've noticed a strange sensation when going over a bump or ripples in the road while braking in my 2005 Toyota Prius but didn't think too much about it because it is a rare occurrence. After reading about Toyota's recent recall of the 2010 Prius I realized that what was happening is the brakes were releasing while going over the bumps. Recently while driving one of the few times in the snow, I had the sensation that the anti-lock function released the brakes for about 2 seconds during which I could not stop the car and there was no sensation of pulsing or skid marks. There is a rippled spot on a nearby road that I can always reproduce the brake release issue.

- Lancaster, PA, USA

problem #27

Feb 132009


  • 53,539 miles
Feburary 13, 2009, my breaks failed to engage when approaching a busy intersection. No warning lights flashed. My breaks just didn't work. In order to stop my vehicle from slamming into cars waiting at the light and people crossing at the cross walk, I applied the parking break and turned off my car. Thankfully I was able to stop my car in time. I turned my car off, then back on and a warning light came on; indicating something wrong with the ABS system. Toyota diagnosed the problem citing the break actuator and computer skid control.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #26

Feb 052009


  • 87,000 miles
I have noticed the ongoing disturbance with the brakes on my 2005 Toyota Prius, as described in media reports on the newer Prius models. During the braking process, if I encounter any disturbance in the road such as a pot hole or an expansion joint, I feel a momentary loss of braking. The car will regain braking control if I continue to hold the brakes down. I have been told that it was just to be expected with the traction control system. I have noticed this issue every since I bought the vehicle in March of 2008.

- Findlay, OH, USA

problem #25

Mar 012007


  • 20,000 miles


2005 and 2009 Toyota Prius braking problems. I have a 2005 and a 2009 Toyota Prius. On both of these vehicles, I have experienced the same problems which are being described in the news about the 2010 Prius model. I have never had an accident relating to this problem, but the potential is certainly there. The problem occurs when I am moving forward, have the brake slightly depressed, and I hit a pot hole or speed bump. The wheels momentarily speed up, so I react by pressing harder on the brakes and the wheels slow down.

- Lake Jackson, TX, USA

problem #24

Jan 012009


  • 160,000 miles
There were no events leading up to the failure. The failure is of the brakes in my 2005 Toyota Prius. The nature of the failure is intermittent and brief, and only occurs when going over rough terrain or potholes. It is identical to the recent advisories issued on the 2010 model Prius. I called the dealer and was told that it was a normal 'anti-skid' feature on the vehicle, but now I believe otherwise, after reading about the 2010 model issues.

- Pollock Pines, CA, USA

problem #23

Feb 042010


  • 10 miles
Brakes stop working intermittently when applied going over rough surfaces such as railroad tracks and potholes. This results in a brief suspension of braking activity. Occurs each time the above conditions are met and brakes are applied. This has happened since I purchased the vehicle new. Since I always reduce speed in these potential situations, no accidents have occurred, but it does result in an intermittent loss of braking which could result in rear end collisions. Previously my 1999 Chevrolet SUV did the same thing and I was told it was an inherent characteristic of the antilock breaking system.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #22

Apr 162007


  • 45,000 miles


2005 Toyota Prius braking delay on bumpy/wet roads single vehicle accident 04/16/2007 on rt 70 in brick, NJ.

- Brick, NJ, USA

problem #21

Feb 042010


  • 45,000 miles
We have the same brake defect in our 2005 Toyota Prius as the defect that is currently being reported in the 2010 Toyota Prius. In our car, when we go over a manhole cover or similar irregularity in the road while braking, the car feels like it is momentarily hydroplaning and you have lost traction. My wife stopped driving this car because of this sensation that the car is out of control. This has been going on since we first bought the car in 2005 and has happened many times. I thought it was because the car is light weight so I never reported it until I read people's descriptions of the 2010 Prius problem. Our problem is exactly the same thing.

- Oceanside, NY, USA

problem #20

Feb 052010


  • 100 miles
This is an ongoing problem with a 2005 Prius. If you hit a bump or pothole while braking from a normal speed, the car will briefly accelerate on its own. This causes additional braking pressure to be needed and precise steering. Many Prius owners since 2004 have indicated this problem.

- Ewing, NJ, USA

problem #19

May 152008


  • 25,000 miles
2005 Prius brake my brakes failed in the rain. I was driving on a road that has old trolley tracks and I was only going about 20 mph and I decided to stop for a yellow light. I put the brake pedal to the floor and nothing happened. I just kept rolling downhill. No ABS nothing. If there had been something in front of me I would have hit it. After about 20 feet my brakes started to work and at that point the skid light came on. I was really lucky that this intersection has a stop 20 feet before the corner or I would have gone right through the intersection.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #18

Mar 302005


  • 200 miles


2005 Prius that I purchased new loses braking momentarily when going over a bump or a pothole. I noticed this soon after I took possession of the car. I have never contacted the dealer regarding this but feel it is important to mention it after hearing about the problem with the 2010 Prius. This problem persists.

- Hastings On Hudson, NY, USA

problem #17

Feb 042010


  • miles
When braking on bumpy roads or potholes my Prius lurches forward before the brake finally engages. I put today's date as the "incident date" but this has happened numerous times since I've owned the car. There is a bumpy road near my home where I frequently experience this.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #16

Feb 042010


  • 40,000 miles
Just heard a report about brake issues with the 2010 Prius. My 2005 Prius does the exact same thing - sometimes accelerates when pushing the brake pedal on bumpy roads or streets with potholes. This is an ongoing issue that has happened on numerous occasions.

- Mpls, MN, USA

problem #15

Jun 012007


  • 5 miles
My Toyota Prius 2005 has the same braking issue as described in the media today for the 2010 model. In addition, the skid control causes a sudden power loss during acceleration in similar situations to the problems described with braking failures in the 2010 model (potholes, even small bumps in the road, rapid acceleration around curves, in addition to when there is ice on the road) that reportedly has been fixed. Although the complete power loss lasts less than a second recovery of power is slow enough to have stranded me in front of oncoming traffic waiting for acceleration in a number situations where there was no risk associated with loss of traction. I contacted Toyota several years ago and tried filed a complaint (I was really persistent), but they refused to recognize this as a design flaw saying only that the vehicle was functioning as designed. When I pointed out that the vehicle, as designed, was dangerous, they only reiterated that it was functioning properly and refused to take further action. It felt to me that they were concerned that admitting the problem could Avalanche into a problem similar to what they have now. Please note that this is a recurring and persistent issue that has occurred numerous times since I have owned the car (four plus years).

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #14

Dec 112009


  • miles
I own a 2005 Toyota Prius and I want to report that there is a problem with the anti-lock brake system in that model as well. During the 4 1/2/ years that I have owned the car there have been three incidents where the ABS system took too long to kick in. In two of those incidents, if there had been one more second before the brakes worked, I would have been in an accident. All these incidents occurred on smoothly paved freeways. I want it to be known that the ABS failure is occurring in 2005 models and on smooth pavement. During my ownership of the car the brake pads have been replaced but this did not prevent the ABS failure from happening again. The incident date I am including is the most recent time this happened on the North 5 freeway in los angeles in December 2009.

- Diamond Bar, CA, USA

problem #13

May 012009


  • 57,000 miles
I was driving approximately 35 mph and braking upon approaching a curve and a metal plate on the road about 40 feet before a stop sign. The car accelerated momentarily (surged) on the uneven surface, for less than 1 second. As I drove this stretch of road once per week, I then approached it more slowly. At lower speeds, the braking problem did not occur, but weeks when I forgot to drive more slowly, the braking problem recurred (not sure of the hit rate - perhaps 40% of the time at ~35 mph). I am uncertain of the dates: Very roughly, April 2009 - September 2009, while the metal plate was in place. // I have experienced a braking problem on one other occasion on a straight stretch of uneven road, going about 35 mph and over a pothole. This was approximately January 1, 2010. Once again, the car accelerated/surged for less than 1 second.

- Stanford, CA, USA

problem #12

Feb 022010


  • 85,200 miles
I bought a new Toyota Prius in 2005. When the vehicle rides over uneven pavement the stability control makes the car quickly lurch forward. This has happened dozens of times over the past five years. Recently, I have had a problem with my brakes in icy conditions. I was cruising at about 15 mph to a stop sign, not on snow, it was just below freezing that day, when I applied the foot brake I felt no resistance in the pedal. I could feel the ABS system disengage for about 3 seconds. I could not stop the car using the brakes so I rolled to a stop. This happened again a few minutes later.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #11

Oct 102009


  • 24,000 miles
Pulling away from the curb, on a slope, my 2005 Prius did not respond to the brake pedal and the engine continued to accelerate. At the bottom of the slope (hundreds of feet), the brake stopped the car just at a very busy, fast moving intersection. I told this to the floor mat recall desk (as my floor mat was fine) and they insisted I call a different number, which I neglected to do.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #10

Jul 012005


  • 1,000 miles
This morning's ap story about the NHTSA looking into allegations of momentary loss of braking capability while traveling over uneven road surfaces, potholes or bumps in 2010 priuses jogged my memory about this having happened several times to me in my 2005 Prius. I can't state dates, but I'd say that every 3 months or so, I will brake where the road is uneven, the slip indicator lights up on the dashboard, and I feel a loss of control just for a moment until I feel the car regain control. Maybe that's just the antilock brakes kicking in, but it is an uneasy feeling.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #9

Jan 152010


  • 0 miles
I just read about the 2010 Prius braking complaints. I have a 2005 Prius and constantly experience what is being described. Every time I hit a bump or a pot hole, the Prius lunges forward especially if I'm braking at the time. Also, when I brake on slick roads I often experience the Prius' brakes not engaging as they should. Once I tried to make a right hand turn, going a proper rate of speed, on a snow covered road. The Prius' brakes did not engage enough to slow the vehicle in order to make the turn. I was forced to go straight through the intersection in order to avoid a collision. This "problem" has been present since we purchased the vehicle in 2005. I knew it was the computer system causing the anomaly, but I figured that I just needed to get used to it. Now, after reading the media reports, I believe this is infact a problem with my vehicles sensors and software.

- Springboro, OH, USA

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