really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
105,806 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.

2006 Toyota Prius brakes problems

brakes problem

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2006 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #17

Nov 232011


  • miles


I was in a 2006 Toyota Prius car accident on the freeway when the steering wheel started jerking (to the point of no control), the brakes stopped working and the car kept accelerating. Car lost control. Car was totaled, two witnesses and a police report. I was sent the emergency room. No responsibility was assumed by Toyota, which completed their "inspection" on March 9th, 2012. Then eight months later on November 14, 2012 they come out with two recalls: A steering recall & an engine and engine cooling, hybrid propulsion system recall, probably as part of what they saw happened to me. I was never notified after about these recalls that my car potentially could've been defective from and part of.

- Bellevue, WA, USA

problem #16

Apr 232016


  • 196,000 miles
Dry, clear day. Driving on a city street.red lightwith bus in front of me and a car next to me. Speed limit was 45mph. I applied the brakes and nothing happened.. it felt as though the car accelerated slightly.I tried to apply the emergency brake and the one on the dash.again to no effect. I managed to avoid the bus by driving on the median strip and missed a large palm tree. The motor stopped and I coasted about 150 feet. This is the second time I have had a problem with the brakes. The first time the brake pedal did not move at all and the engine accelerated. Managed to avoid all vehicles. Took the car to Toyota and was told that the Prius had a little glitch in all of them and my car is ok now. Did not want to check the computer or any part of my car.obviously, there is a defect in the computer system hit a heavy information traffic sign on a steel pole.

- Ventura, CA, USA

problem #15

Jan 302016


  • 86,000 miles
When I driving on a decline and hit uneven ground or a pot hole, while braking, the car will lurch forward and the braking is suspended for a second. This is a recurring event and can be easily replicated with high probability. I have listed the most recent time this error has happened.

- White Plains, NY, USA

problem #14

Dec 032015


  • 134,280 miles


While driving into a parking lot, the brake and the exclamation lights came on followed by a continuous beep. The brakes suddenly failed and I had to apply excessive force with my foot in order to stop the car. I turned off the car and went to do some errands, like 10 minutes later, I turned on the car. The brake and exclamation lights were off and the car was able to brake normally. The next day, while returning home from college, after a 25 minute drive in the highway I went through a secondary road, the same problem showed again, lights and no braking power without any prior symptoms. Once I applied excessive force to stop the car the wheels locked. I pulled the car to the side of the road, turn it off and the on and the car continued to drive normally. I stopped using the car after this. Probably a brake actuator is defective but there were no symptoms prior this problem, the car just suddenly does'nt have brake power.

- Jayuya, PR, USA

problem #13

Nov 042015


  • 128,780 miles
While driving 20 M/H vehicle suddenly eccelerated and I hit the guard rail when experiencing unintended acceleratition

- Westminster, SC, USA

problem #12

Sep 182015


  • 100,000 miles
The combination meter on my 2006 Prius has an intermittent electrical short. This results in the dashboard lights going out while the car is moving. This problem with the electrical system on the Prius can result in the brakes on the car failing. In addition the car often continues to stay on after we turn it off. This is also a safety hazard. Toyota has refused our request to replace the defective combination meter, even though this is a widespread problem.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #11

Sep 022015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 103,000 miles


My wife [xxx] had a serious accident in the parking lot of the victorian on main St in santa monica on Wednesday September 2. from standstill, her 2006 Prius suddenly accelerated to a very high rate on its own and the car's brakes were completely non-responsive. In this relatively confined parking area, after a frightening period of trying to regain control of the vehicle, she made a split-second decision to crash into a tree at a relatively high speed in order to avoid steering the car onto main St. And causing a much more serious accident that would have impacted many people, automobiles and public and private property and possibly resulted in multiple deaths and multiple serious injuries. She sustained a broken foot. Her passenger sustained bruising. Both were taken by ambulance to St. John's hospital. Both airbags deployed. The 2 occupants were wearing seat belts. As a result, and only because of [xxx] quick thinking and potentially sacrificial action, [xxx], her passenger and many other non-suspecting people are alive today. It is apparently well-established that the Prius can accelerate in this manner. In this case, the circumstances would appear to be straight forward: A car parked in a parking lot and started suddenly accelerates on it's own and refuses to allow the driver control. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #10

May 082015


  • 128,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. While driving at 20 mph, the contact heard a warning whistle and a burning plastic odor. In addition, the contact had to apply excessive force to the brake pedal in order to stop the vehicle. The general emergency, ABS and brake warning lights illuminated. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician diagnosed that the relays, front brake rotors, brake pads, and brake actuators needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 128,000.

- Teaneck , NJ, USA

problem #9

Sep 152014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 198,000 miles
While pressing on brake while going low speed to stop at a red light, the car accelerated before braking. A few minutes later, I was attempting to park in a parking garage. While pulling into the parking spot I applied the brake to come to a complete stop. Instead of decelerating, the car aggressively accelerated into the cement barrier at the head of the parking spot.

- Exton, PA, USA

problem #8

May 312014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 81,689 miles
I am requesting that NHTSA investigate expanding/adding-to the recall of Toyota Prius coolant inverter pump failures* to include coolant storage pump failures blowing a main fuse causing dangerous loss of all power and control. On May 31st, 2014, while traveling at about 60mph, without any warning, the car instantly shut down: No drive power, no power steering, no power brakes, no front panel display. This was a dangerous situation. After diagnosis, the Toyota dealer with assistance from Toyota corporate concluded that the "coolant storage pump" (not the coolant inverter pump as in the recall) was the cause of this blown "am-2" 15-amp fuse which shut down the hybrid system, power steering, brakes, etc. They indicated that the coolant storage pump fault was a known cause. This car is well-maintained, dealer maintained. It had all the recent recall updates installed. It was a mild day ~75deg. We'd been driving about 10 mins after a 30 minute stop. Vehicle load was not a factor -- two slim adults, no cargo load. No electrical charging loads. I am very concerned with the safety implications of immediately losing all power, power brakes, power steering, without warning, because of a single coolant pump fault. Can you please investigate this. I hope they fixed my vehicle. And I hope if anyone else has this problem its not deadly. Thank you, * recall of inverter coolant pump 12V536000: "...open fuse, creating a stall-like condition of the hybrid system while the vehicle is being driven. This may increase the risk of a vehicle crash." Ps I found another complaint that might be related (..shut off in traffic, similar VIN, NHTSA id number: 10567158). Though this complaint seems to be focused on the costs replacing additional pumps.

- Poway, CA, USA

problem #7

Apr 182014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 123,000 miles


The assisted hydraulic brake pump seems to not be working correctly, there's a pump noise that keeps coming on in the cabin, like the brake pump cannot keep pressure. It's a rattling noise that is coming on and it's every few seconds. Like it's trying to build pressure to assist braking.

- El Monte, CA, USA

problem #6

Feb 282014


  • 48,219 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius hb. The contact stated that while attempting to start the vehicle, she noticed that the emergency brake light would not disengage after releasing the brake. The contact continued to drive the vehicle however she noticed there was an increase in braking time when applied. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, who stated that the stroke sensor retention logic failed and the speed control ECU would need to be replaced. The manufacture was not contacted. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 48,219.

- Bakersfield , CA, USA

problem #5

Sep 102013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 92,020 miles
On Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at about 8:10 a.M., I was driving on holcombe in houston. There was traffic. At one point, I needed to stop from a fairly low speed (perhaps 10 mph), as the car in front of me had stopped for a light. I brake using the floor pedal. But the brakes did not engage at all; it was as though I had not even touched the brake. The car didn't hesitate or die; it just continued moving until it hit the car ahead of me. Fortunately I was not traveling at a high speed and neither the driver of the car I hit nor I have apparently been injured. But had this happened at a higher speed the outcome could have been quite different. My Prius has been the subject of several safety recalls, all of which I've had performed. And only a few days before the accident, the car had passed its annual state safety inspection. From this and because it was clear that the brakes did not engage at all when I braked before the accident, it appears to me that this accident was a function of a brake defect in the Prius, perhaps a short somewhere in the system.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #4

May 102013


  • 119,000 miles
The vehicle unexpectedly shutdown while driving. There was no power and the brakes were boggy. The red triangle warning light came as well as the ABS and engine warning lights. After pulling over the car restarted and drove fine but the red triangle remained on. The next day it was working fine. Toyota was unable to find anything except a low voltage warning.

- Arcata, CA, USA

problem #3

Oct 152012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 91,710 miles
I found that there is malfunction on the buttons on steering wheel, especially info button and buttons for climate. I researched the problem on internet and I found the problem is caused by a bad clock spring. Also, I found the clock spring is related with air bag module. There are a lot of owners have the same problem (such as priuschat.com). I think that it could be a recall issue. And I experienced another problem. The accelerator pedal of my car was repaired by the recall service before. But when I release the accelerator pedal and try to push brake pedal, there is difference of height between both pedals. The height of brake pedal is higher than the accelerator pedal, even if I released the accelerator pedal. So it is dangerous to operate both pedals. When I tried to push the brake pedal after I released the accelerator pedal, my right feet was stuck with the brake pedal. I think the recall service for the accelerator pedal of my car was not successful. Or there is another problem on the brake pedal of Prius.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #2

Jul 202012


  • 122,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the brakes failed, causing the contact to crash into another vehicle. The contact was reported injured however a police report was not filed of the incident. The contact had the vehicle towed to a repair shop for inspection but the cause of the failure was unknown. The manufacturer was notified but advised the contact to speak with his insurance company. The failure mileage was 122,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #1

Jun 142012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
I needed to wait for a service person to arrive and open the door to their business. After several minutes, while gear was set in park outside a building with the motor running and radio on, the car suddenly jumped ahead by several inches. It stopped just as suddenly. Very scary. I have left the car in park with the motor running a few more times to see if it would do it again. No repeat incident so far. It moved a short distance, but would have been enough to hit a curb, person, or container who/that was near the car.

- Durham, NC, USA

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