really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,305 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2006 Toyota Prius:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2006 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Jun 012006


  • 2,000 miles


I have a 2006 Toyota Prius hybrid and I want to officially note that the breaking problem being discussed in the media is not limited to the 2010 model. I have experienced this problem consistently since I purchased the car new. I have informed the dealership several times as I brought my car in for service and each time they simply noted that the breaks should be working fine. The issue is that at slow speeds and traveling over uneven or bumpy surfaces, the Prius does not break as it should. Instead, the car seems to jerk and move forward with a sudden acceleration.

- Logan, OH, USA

problem #24

Feb 012010


  • 77,000 miles
My second generation Toyota Prius (2006) has always experienced the same brake slippage that is being reported for 3rd generation Prius'. whenever I go over a bump or pothole, I temporarily lose control over the brakes and a warning light appears on the dashboard.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #23

Jan 302009


  • 30,000 miles
I read about the issue with momentary brake problems on the 2010 Prius on bumpy roads. Have you investigated earlier model years? I have a 2006 Prius and have experienced similar issues.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #22

Feb 062010


  • miles


You need to look at more than just the 2010 Toyota Prius in terms of braking problems. I have a 2006 Prius with the same issue - loss of braking ability over uneven surfaces. Problem has occurred since purchase but I have never reported as I thought it was related to the ABS/hybrid battery relationship.

- Bristol, WI, USA

problem #21

Oct 122009


  • miles
Over the past 1 1/2 years I've taken my Prius to the Toyota service with concern over my braking system three times. Twice the head of service mechanics has driven with me seeing nothing unusual, the third time the service manager took the car out with me. They all vowed nothing was wrong. The reason I've been so concerned was due to the fact that the braking system didn't respond fast enough and more often than not, with wet pavement or raining, pressing the brakes with authority, the car will go into a slight skid with the dash skid light coming on. This entire senario has caused me to be overly cautious when braking anytime and in any situation. If a quick action is needed for speedy braking I question what would happen. It appears the people at Toyota have just tried to appease me not believing nor understanding what's been in error. I don't feel so inadequate now that all the current information has come to light. Was beginning to think I was the complainer without cause. I love my car - but am now even more hesitant about it's safety. Must admit, I'm far more careful than ever, being on the lookout for possible braking situations in advance.

- Hilo, HI, USA

problem #20

Mar 152007


  • 16,500 miles
1. brakes on my 2006 Prius momentarily failed to respond, after a 1 - 2 sec delay they activated. At same time, the traction light flashes, but the car is not losing traction. This happened 4 X, one almost resulted in a crash. It is more likely to happen when braking while going over a bump in the road. There have been other times when the traction light flashes on unexpectedly, but effect on brakes is unknown: Not braking then. 3 different Toyota dealers told me they couldn't find anything wrong. At one dealer, I went for a test drive with a mechanic. During the test drive, I was able to make the traction light go on when there was no loss of traction. The invoice stated "test drove and checked operations. At this time could not duplicate customer's concerns." I wrote on the invoice "I was able to make the traction light go on when there was no loss of traction. I am not satisfied that the problem has been found and repaired." & on the signature line "not satisfied, (signature)" I wanted them to change the computer, but they said if they couldn't duplicate the problem, they couldn't change the computer. I insisted that they replace one component, and if the problem didn't reoccur, I'd know they found the solution. They bled the brakes, which was unlikely to be cause of the problem. When I went to pick up my invoice up 2nd time, the copy on which I had written my comments was returned to me, and a freshly printed copy- without my comments - was given to me & kept for their records. 2. same car: Headlight go out at unexpected times. 2 Toyota dealers told me that the bulb would cost $300, and installation would be well over $100 because they "had to take off the bumper to change the bulb!" I replaced the bulb myself (without taking off the bumper) but now, 9 months later, it is starting to go again. Toyota sent a letter saying it was how hid bulbs burned out & not a pblm w/ controller. If true, how is it that new bulb is also burning out?

- Clarksburg, MD, USA

problem #19

Feb 022010


  • 78,000 miles


I was driving in slick conditions at roughly 15 mph approaching an intersection two stopped cars in front of me, and when I hit my brakes there was no response for the brakes. I tried to pump the brakes and still no response after about 20 seconds my brakes returned. In order to avoid the stopped Audi in front of me I turned my wheel to the right and drove up on the sidewalk, my brakes returned and I was able to stop the vehicle without having to go too far on the sidewalk. This was not a normal slide from slick conditions I have no response from my brakes at all not ABS pump at all, nothing.

- Oakland, NJ, USA

problem #18

Mar 262006


  • 10 miles
Brakes momentarily stop working while braking on uneven surfaces such as hitting a crack or bump in the road, braking over a manhole cover, etc. I will loose breaking for about 1 full second. I have almost hit multiple people because of this issue, but so far have stopped just in time. This has happened since the car was new. Toyota ignores my complaints, as they say it is part of the antilock brakes and how they operate, or they haven't been able to duplicate the issue when they test it. It is not normal operation of the antilock brakes!!!! I know how antilock brakes work and they don't let the car go with out brake for a full second or more.

- St Cloud, MN, USA

problem #17

May 152009


  • 40,200 miles
My 2006 Toyota Prius has several issues with acceleration, braking, turning car off and on alarm goes off constantly and terrible gas mileage around 30 miles per gallon.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #16

Jan 072009


  • 48,000 miles
I have a 2006 Prius and didn't make the connection until the news stories came out. I drove over railroad tracks and was going to make a right turn into a parking light right after the tracks. The light indicating rough road conditions came on and I pressed the brake peddle to slow down to make the turn into the parking lot and there was a delay in the brakes taking hold. It startled me, but I thought it was a characteristic of the car - this was the first time that I hit rough road and tried to brake immediately after since I bought the car. My reaction was to avoid that scenario by adjusting my driving, but now I'm wondering if this problem with the brakes isn't just limited to the 2010 Prius. I haven't tried to repeat that sequence, but I do think other Prius models should be tested. I recently had to have the ABS cable replaced because the cable was damaged. The repair shop thought the damage may have been the result of driving off-road, but I've never driven the car off-road. Only on pavement. I don't know if the problem that occurred could have been related to the ABS cable or not. I still have the damaged cable.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #15

Oct 012006


  • 4,860 miles


In 10/06, I had an incident where the brakes and steering of my 2006 Prius ceased to function briefly, as I tried to brake at an intersection. I took the car in to my Toyota dealer shortly after -- they checked it but found nothing wrong, so nothing was done. The day in question was drizzly and the roads wet. It was daytime, and I was driving with my children in boston, approaching the forest hills intersection. There were trolley tracks in the road (since removed), which I try to avoid, since I know they can be slippery. As I approached the intersection, going about 20 mph, I put my foot to the brake. At that point, it seemed to me that both the brakes and the steering ceased to function or froze up, so that I couldn't stop the car or keep it going straight. Thus the car kept going, veering to the right, with one wheel banging into and up onto a curb, before the car stopped. The whole thing took only a few seconds. I turned the car off and sat there in disbelief, since I'd experienced nothing like this in 30 years of driving. Fortunately, there were no other cars close by, so I didn't cause an accident, and I had been going slow enough so that neither I nor my two boys were hurt. I have come to know the car better, and have learned that often when the road is slippery or rough, yellow warning lights will flash, and the brakes will seem briefly less crisp. It is possible that the wet conditions and the trolley tracks on the day of the incident contributed to what happened. However, I want to emphasize the qualitative difference of the 2006 incident. IżM not a car expert, but it felt to me like the car's electronic system had seized up, not like there was some mechanical problem. It felt as though there was a brief but complete severing of the connection between my actions with my feet and hands and how the car behaved. It was very frightening.

- Jamaica Plain, MA, USA

problem #14

Sep 012006


  • 5,000 miles
The Prius brake failure has occurred several times since I bought the car in late 06. If I am on a wet road or a gravel road, it seems that when pushing the brakes, they not only fail but the car lurches. When this occurs a light in the dashboard goes off simultaneously. I contacted my dealer about it 2 years ago and was told it was not a brake failure but was just the way the technology for the brakes worked and that the car was fine. I was involved in a 6 car pileup almost one year ago, in which I was the 2nd car in line. The light went off during the accident itself and I believe that the braking might have been the cause of the wreck, now that I am aware of all of this. It felt almost exactly the same. I just assumed the car behind me was pushing me forward, but no at fault party could ever be determined. I called the dealer again today asking (since my car is still under warranty) if this could be repaired since it was now acknowledged and was told that until a recall occurred, Toyota corporate had not informed them of a fix so nothing could or would be done. I find this unacceptable, as I am driving a vehicle I am paying a lot (for my income anyway) and it is so unsafe. I carry my newborn around in this thing! not only are the brakes a concern to me but the Prius is also part of the floormat recall so you couple the two issues with brake and acceleration and you are asking for extreme risk when driving. I am very concerned that the car I am paying so much for is so risky to drive and would like to have Toyota recall the car and repair this problem.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #13

Sep 142007


  • 14,000 miles
I am contacting you to tell you what happened to me in my 2006 Prius on September 14, 2007. I drove home and stopped at my mailbox to get the mail. The car shifted off of gas and onto electric. I was going approximately 3 to 4 miles per hour to make a Y-turn to back into our driveway and when I pushed down on the brake the car thrusted forward while on electric with great force through the neighbor's six foot wooden fence where the car stopped (I don't know if it stopped on it's own or got hung up in fence and also stuck from hill decline.) I never had a chance to try pushing down on the brake a second time due to the fact it happened that fast and force full. The car was running on electric and barely moving. My gas pedal was not stuck and the mat had nothing to do with it. My husband checked the mat and actually kicked at the mat to see if it would move and it did not. Our mat was not even under the gas pedal. It was suggested that maybe my high heels made the gas pedal stick. I do not wear high heels and my foot was not on the gas pedal. It thrusted forward when I put my foot on the brake. It is clear to me that you have more of an electrical malfunction of some type. We contacted Toyota who sent a representative who checked our car out while at the body shop and the repair guy said he was in the car for over an hour the computer appeared to be cleared. Toyota told us there was no problem? we hope that you can figure this out and reassure us that our vehicle is safe. I am thankful that this incident happened at home due to the fact the day this incident took place I was at a local college campus and could of run over a group of young adults. Someone could of been injured or killed that day! it scares me that my car might do this again!

- Minnesota City, MN, USA

problem #12

Nov 232009


  • 55,000 miles
1) Toyota Prius, 15mph, engaged brakes, hit small bump in road and anti-locking mechanism disengaged brakes. 2) failure is braking mechanism in Toyota Prius will disengage. Seems to be due to how the antilock system works. It causes the brakes to quit functioning. 3) nothing. Toyota would not admit to issue with braking. On 02/03/2010 Toyota admitted to brake issues with Toyota Prius from my year. This is the reason for my complaint.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #11

May 222009


  • miles
When pulling into a parking space in a parking garage, my car surged forward and crashed into the concrete wall causing over $8,000 worth of damage and hurting my neck. A few months ago, I got a letter from Toyota stating that the floor mat was the problem, so I removed the mat. However, last week while I was pulling into a driveway the car surged forward again. I was going slow and pushed on the brake hard and was able to stop before I hit anything. The car actually feels and sounds like it is accelerating. Also, about 3 years ago when I first brought the Prius in for routine maintenance I informed the Toyota dealer at 5727 S 27th St. Milwaukee Wisconsin, that the car feels like it is skidding when I apply the brakes while driving on a bumpy road. The skid light in the dash actually comes on. They said that there was no recall for this problem so they didn't even look at it. This is an ongoing occurrence. I haven't had an accident yet from this problem but I think that you should look into this also since I see that they are saying that only the 2010 priuses have this problem. My car is a 2006 Toyota Prius.

- Milwaukeer, WI, USA

problem #10

Aug 202006


  • 6,500 miles
Brake failure in Prius 2006 model. Car did not stop near a signal light, and would have hit another car infront of mine. Finally ended up driving into another lane fortunately there was no opposition traffic. In the second incident car did not stop for 15 ft near a stop sign, where there was a little snow until ABS acted. In both cases we got lucky. This needs to be investigated not only for 2010 model Prius but also for previous models.

- Exton, , PA, USA

problem #9

Apr 152007


  • 12,000 miles
I own a 2006 Toyota Prius. I read today's news about Prius brake issues and I would like to point out that the same has happened to me several times in the past. I never thought this would be a defect, and did not file a complaint. When I brake, and there is a bump or pothole on the road, the cars tires seem to skid for a second or two. The vehicle skid indicator light comes on a while the car jerks forward.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #8

Aug 102009


  • 40,000 miles
This is in response to what I read in the nytimes: "in the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has logged at least 136 complaints about the brakes on the 2010 Prius. Many are from drivers who say the vehicle surged forward or temporarily lost braking after driving over a pothole or other uneven surface, and many say it is a recurring problem." Until I read this, I thought that it had been my imagination, because it was temporary, mildly disturbing, but didn't result in any damage. I own a 2006 Toyota Prius and my husband and I have experienced this sporadically since we bought the car March 15, 2006, probably no more than a dozen times in more than 100,000 miles logged.

- Auburn, NY, USA

problem #7

Feb 032010


  • 50,000 miles
When my 2006 Toyota Prius hits a bump or hole in the road while braking the car will surge forward. I have on many occasions almost collided with vehicles that have stopped in front of me after these "surge" episodes. It occurs at least once a day from or to work.

- Mazomanie, WI, USA

problem #6

Feb 032010


  • 5,000 miles
I read news coverage of Prius brakes problems. I own a 2006 Prius, and have noticed this problem throughout the last 4 years that we've owned it. So it is not only a 2010 problem. I did not report it in the past, because it never put me in danger (yet). However, whenever the car goes over a pothole or an uneven surface or a slippery patch, it seems to accelerate momentarily - it's sort of a "flying" sensation - not very pleasant, but short enough, so that control is quickly regained. I am not positive if my foot is on the brake every time it happens. I can follow up and pay more attention if there is follow-up with this complaining. Thanks.

- Chicago, IL, USA

Read the next 5 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?