really awful
Crashes / Fires:
15 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
42,068 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 5 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Aug 302005


  • 50 miles


Applying brakes when going over slight road disturbances causes complete loss of braking temporarily, followed by a brief surge (acceleration). No other vehicle I've owned has had this problem. Additionally slight road disturbances (mild bumps) cause traction control to turn on inappropriately. No other vehicle I've owned has had this problem. The dealer (specifically the sales person) was initially contacted in 2005 about these issues and it was reported back to me that this was normal. Now I am finding out that many other owners are complaining about this problem, some of them in brand new 2010 vehicles. The initial incident date is Aug 2005, but the problem continues to this day.

- Marlborough, MA, USA

problem #17

Jan 272010


  • 61,000 miles
My daughter was driving our 2005 Prius at about 30 miles an hour at approximately 3pm when she saw a truck stop approximately 300 feet ahead of her. She applied the brakes but the Prius did not stop and collided with the truck causing a total loss of the Prius. The road surface was wet from snow and the temperature was approximately 34 degrees. Although the car was heavily damaged the air bags did not deploy. This crash could have resulted from a brake problem or unintended acceleration.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #16

Jan 152010


  • 53,000 miles
I was driving my 2005 Prius on a residential street going approximately 20 mph approaching a stop sign. There were no other cars on the street. As I touched the brake pedal I felt a big thump like I was hit from behind but no other car was present. The weather was clear and the street was dry and smooth. I've owned the car about 7 months and have had no other similar problem. I am unsure what caused the incident.

- Bonita, CA, USA

problem #15

Jan 152010


  • 35,000 miles


Brakes have begun to exhibit unusual behavior: Inconsistent pressure to achieve the same stopping distance. Sometimes, inexplicably, the brakes are extremely sensitive...an extremely slight pressure leads to a sudden stop, almost like the brakes are jamming or grabbing something inside. It's a bit scary when it happens, because the wheels feel like they are going to lock up, and it's hard to control exactly where the car stops.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #14

Apr 062008


  • miles
ABS & stability control lights stay on. Dealer says that systems are faulty. Not a warranty repair!!??!!! N.B.: it would help consumers if your complaint-search function would allow simultaneous searches for model of multiple years; and, for keywords so that results would appear regardless of whether complainant has chosen a different--or, even, an incorrect--category of equipment.

- Lt., NY, USA

problem #13

Dec 312009


  • miles
Sudden acceleration problem when braking in light rain; multiple occurrences * model year: 2005 * make: Toyota * model: Prius * component: Antilock brakes before I bought my car, I went on a test drive of a Prius with the salesman in the car. During the test drive, it began to rain lightly. When I approached a stop sign, I stepped on the brakes, and the car suddenly accelerated for a few seconds before slowing down and stopping. I asked the salesman next to me what that was all about. "that's the antilock brake system; isn't it great?" in fact, it was greatly terrifying. When I bought my own car, I also found that in a light rain, the car also consistently accelerates briefly before slowing down and stopping the car. This happened on many occasions, and now I do my best to avoid driving in the rain unless it is absolutely necessary. I realize that there have been many complaints about sudden acceleration lately, but this seems to be different from what is being looked at in that it only occurs (so far) on slippery roads, it only lasts a few seconds, and it occurs when I step on the brakes, not when I release the gas pedal. I've always allowed plenty of room for braking and so far have not crashed, but I'm hoping you'll find a solution besides luck to deal with this problem.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #12

Dec 022009


  • miles


2005 Prius brakes disengage briefly when going over rough pavement. Happens all the time when going downhill and braking to stop at low speed.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #11

May 012006


  • 20,000 miles
1. multiple events, in order of frequency: A) high speed w/cruise control (65-75mph) B) high speed before braking (65-75mph) C) hitting a bump before braking 2. multiple events: A) car suddenly accelerated on its own and was difficult to slow / occurred multiple times, maybe 12-15 occurrences / gained control by turning cruise control off and firmly pressing on brake pedal B&C) car was initially unresponsive to braking / multiple times, approximately 3-5 / eventually slowed after firm compression on the brake pedal 3. multiple events: A) I no longer use cruise control B&C) I am very observant whenever I brake.

- Poway, CA, USA

problem #10

Nov 282009


  • 97,000 miles
I was in stop and go traffic on the freeway. A minor bump caused all warning lights associated with the brakes to come on, no braking occurred until pedal was pushed to the floor. Then it would brake hard, no gentle braking. Two days earlier the lights completely cut out at 65mph on the freeway in the dark. Turned lights on then off and they came back on. I took it to the dealership and they've reported that they can't replicate the problem, they're suggesting that I take the car back and continue to drive it like normal. Someone could get killed if it happens again, and I don't understand how they could feel that was okay.

- Bellevue, WA, USA

problem #9

Aug 142009


  • 63,174 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. While driving 20 to 30 mph the brakes started to fail cause the contact to use the emergency brake to slow down the vehicle. The dealer has stated that the skid control ECU needs to be replace on the vehicle. Contact feels the manufacturer should be responsible for the repairs because the brake failure can cause the vehicle to crash. The current and failure mileages were 63,174.

- Upland, CA, USA

problem #8

Aug 122009


  • 90,000 miles


The contact has a 2005 Toyota pruis. She stated while driving home all warning lights on the dash board illuminated and within eight minutes there was brake failure. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The dealer had the vehicle for a week but was not able to locate the failure. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #7

Feb 272009


  • 62 miles
On 2/27/09, my 2005 Toyota Prius' brakes completely failed. I was going downhill in an highly transited urban road (rte 123 in va, close to tysons corner). Thankfully I was only going about 40mph when the light changed to red. The 2 vehicles in front of me stopped. I pressed the brake pedal and my car accelerated initially, and then nothing. Brakes are meant to work. Always. I kept pumping the pedal hoping to engage the breaks, but they did not engage. What stopped me was the rear of a BMW X5. Thankfully I was the only injured party, and my injuries are mostly muscular. I could have died or I could have killed someone. In January, I had taking my car to the dealer because all the alert lights on the dash would sporadically go off. They kept the car for a week and claimed that the secondary battery needed to be replaced. I got my vehicle back and on 2/23/09 the issue restarted. I was due to take my car back to the dealer the day of the accident. I called a lawyer to see if I had a case, and was told no. I am still researching the issue because someone should be held accountable and future tragedies should be avoided. If anyone has started a class action suit, please do let me know as I would like to join you.

- Burtonsville, MD, USA

problem #6

Feb 272009


  • miles
Coming to a stop at less than 10mph I depressed the brake pedal only to have it go to the floor without any results. I quickly engaged the emergency brake but not before hitting a service truck. This resulted in a small dent in my front bumper. The light turned green the truck moved off but for me to release the emergency brake I had to reach with my hand to find the release lever. I went to a Toyota service department immediately. They spent a couple of hours trying to find the problem this included driving my car for 30 minutes. They did not find anything to explain the problem. Reading in discussion formats online I have found this to be a problem others have experienced. My incident, as many online, happened in the rain.

- Due West, SC, USA

problem #5

Feb 032009


  • 53,000 miles
While I was driving down the street, suddenly an ABS warning light and a beeping sound engaged. To investigate the abrupt occurrence I attempted to pull over. However as I applied my brakes they wouldn't work. My brakes completely failed. I'm extremely fortunate that I was afforded the distance to allow my car to slow down on its own. To make a complete stop I applied my parking bake. I was lucky to avoid crashing into the car just feet in front of mine. I can only imagine the devastation if this was to happen on a busy intersection or a freeway off ramp. Thankfully, there are no injuries to report. My car is currently at a dealer/service center. They said the brake actuator and speed sensor needs to be replaced. I've opened a case with Toyota to investigate the failure.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #4

Dec 042008


  • 37,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. While attempting to park the vehicle at 5 mph, the vehicle failed to stop when the brake pedal was depressed. The contact crashed the vehicle into a gate. The vehicle eventually stopped and nearly crashed into a garage. The vehicle sustained damage on the passenger side. There were no injuries. The vehicle was towed to a body shop to repair the damage on the passenger side. The manufacturer and dealer were not notified. The current and failure mileages were 37,000.

- St. Gabriel, CA, USA

problem #3

Jul 212008


  • 16,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. While driving 25 mph, the contact had to depress the brake pedal very hard to avoid crashing into the preceding vehicle. The brakes did not respond when they were applied, which caused the contact to rear end the vehicle anyway. There were no injuries and the contact did not notice any prior warnings. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 16,000.

- Beverly Hills, CA, USA

problem #2

May 102007

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,799 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the vehicle began making unfamiliar noises while parked. While driving 30 mph, the noise continued in intervals. The service brake and the ABS warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that the brake actuator assembly (part number 4450047090) needed to be replaced at an estimated cost of $2,600. The year before, the brake actuator assembly was replaced under warranty by an authorized Toyota dealer. The manufacturer confirmed that the part was previously replaced in may of 2007. The failure mileage was 18,799 and current mileage is 32,016. Updated 10-07-08 the tire showed unusual wear patterns. The vehicle pulled to the right. Updated 10/07/08.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #1

Dec 182006

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
We kept hearing a sound which appeared to be coming from the drivers side and sounded like a light horn or alarm sound. It seemed to be connected with braking and yet at other times my foot was on the brake and the sound would occur over and over. We took the car to the local dealership who diagnosed the problem as a brake actuator and has informed us that it will cost approximately $2500 to repair the problem. This seems excessive. It would be nice to know if anyone else has experienced this problem. This is a 2005 Prius.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

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