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

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2006 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #45

Jun 302011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 33,000 miles


When braking quickly usually on rough surfaces, wet roads, slopes brakes temporarily fail as if no control over the car giving me an adrenaline rush. I have been driving like this for 4 years thinking is the characteristic of Prius. June 30th 2011, I steered into the parking lot and was parking on the first spot at the right immediately after entry to parking lot at the speed of 5 mph. Approximately half way to curb I withdrew my foot off the gas pedal and put on the brakes slowly. I was expecting the car to halt prior to the curb line as usual. But it did not stop on the contrary it accelerated and went over the curb and right on the fence. The fence was approximately 2 feet from curb; before it went on fence I looked at my feet and made sure it was on the brakes as could not believe what was happening to the car and yes I am 100% sure it was on brakes. I also applied parking brakes and put car in neutral and shut off the power, when it stopped over the fence. I have reported this to dealer as the car had been serviced 4 weeks prior to this incident at 32,431 miles. The dealer did health check scan twice taking 6 hours for each scan. After first scan I was told the car had front speed sensors codes and a low or abnormal high battery voltage. And advised to detect sensors in details and replace them at next appointment. Second day after the manager did another health check for 6 hours, I don¿T know why another scan; and reported codes for low battery and speed sensors and ECU. None have potential to cause customer concern. They finally blamed the floor mat which was definitely not the problem. Surprisingly when I asked how did they take care of the codes? if sensors need to be replaced, they told me the codes are gone now. There were no details provided inspite of me asking several times why the car moves after applying brakes. Being a doctor I am concerned with safety and prevention more than anything.

- Summit, NJ, USA

problem #44

Oct 172010


  • 66,000 miles
For the second time in the last several months, the braking system on my 2006 Toyota Prius completely failed to function, despite the pedal being fully engaged, and I rolled into the car ahead of me at low speed. The first incident took place in stop and go traffic on the freeway, the second while approaching an intersection, again, in heavy traffic. On both occasions my front bumper was seriously mangled - costing me several thousand dollars to repair and increasing my insurance rates considerably - while the other vehicle suffered little to no damage. My neck is extremely stiff and I no longer feel safe driving my car.

- Vallejo, CA, USA

problem #43

Nov 152007


  • 30,921 miles
In November of 2007, I was driving my wife's 2006 Toyota Prius to take the family to lunch. I approached the intersection, I was on the cel phone, and the brakes failed to work and I crashed into a truck who was out in the intersection, causing damage to the front end of the Prius. My wife had been complaining for months that the Prius had brake failure incidents once a month. I would test drive the car, and could not get the brakes to fail. That is until the incident mentioned above happened. I immediately drove the car to the Toyota dealer. I informed them that the brakes failed. I informed them that they would need to drive the car every day for a month before they could get the brakes to fail. They kept the car for a month, but did not test it as I recommended......and informed me that they could not see any problem, forcing me to pay out of pocket for the damages to the car $1,566.57....as well as for the $1,440.38 rental car bill. I immediately picked up the car and drove it to another manufacturers dealership and traded it in on Honda Accord. There was no way I was going to risk my families lives, driving that car another day. State farm claim number #[xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Burleson, TX, USA

problem #42

May 102010


  • miles


When I go over a bump or uneven surface or grate or slippery surface while braking in my 2006 Toyota Prius, the ABS (antilock brake system) and/or vehicle stability control/traction control activates. The problem is that when these systems do so, it feels like I lose all braking power and it seems as though the car accelerates. It is most apparent when it is wet out, but I've had this happen even in dry conditions. Toyota dealership says that this is normal operation for the ABS, but they seem to be correcting this same problem for 2010 priuses through a software change--but not any other year models.

- Bellevue, WA, USA

problem #41

Jan 272006


  • miles
Whenever the brakes are being applied at the time I go over railroad tracks or rough road such as potholes, the brakes feels like they disengage for a short time on my 2006 Toyota Prius (purchased new in 2006). Sometimes the anti-lock brake light comes on momentarily but not always. This has been occurring since I bought the car in 2006. I reported it to my Toyota car dealer's service department and was told "the anti-lock brakes are supposed to do that." Not in any of my other cars that have anti lock brakes. Too bad Toyota just cant tell the truth ever. This is abnormal braking behavior.

- Queen Creek, AZ, USA

problem #40

Apr 302006


  • 500 miles
Whenever brake is being applied at the time I go over railroad tracks or rough road such as potholes, the anti-lock brake light comes on and it feels like the brakes disengage for a short time on my 2006 Toyota Prius purchased new in 2006.. my husband's suburu forester does not give this unsettling feeling, as if losing control, when in anti-lock braking mode. This has been occurring since I bought the car, on an occasional basis. I reported it to my Toyota car dealer's service department before my warranty was up and was told "the anti-lock brakes are supposed to do that." I suspect it may be related to the regeneration of the electric battery while braking since this is a difference from other vehicles.

- Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #39

May 092009


  • 28,432 miles


2006 Toyota Prius brake failure when exiting freeway (101) onto off ramp at rengsdorff ave., in mountain view. Roadway was slightly moist from light morning drizzle and accumulated oils on road but otherwise nothing unusual about road conditions... exited freeway at approximately 30-35 mph and applied brakes but brakes did not engage and car skidded off the off ramp into a swale... car became stuck in swale and suffered body damage to left side of car...a tow truck had to be called to drag it out of the swale...the brake problem was reported to dealer who did not acknowledge the problem and stonewalled me...also reported brake problem to Toyota corporate headquarters (carlos a. garcia) in torrance, ca and he would not acknowledge the existence of a brake problem in the 2006 Prius. Total cost of repair, rental car, towing, etc. Was approximately $5,400.

- Hayward, CA, USA

problem #38

Mar 042010


  • 78,500 miles
Brakes failed temporarily and momentarily when braking over potholes while approaching an interstate on-ramp. This is not at all the first time this happened. When braking while going over railroad tracks, especially double sets of tracks, it has been common that it would feel as if I was sailing over the tracks -- definitely not slowing down (even though I had my foot on the brakes) but maybe even speeding up. That too was the feeling I had, albeit momentarily, last week when I was braking over potholes.

- Jonesborough, TN, USA

problem #37

Feb 102010


  • 57,300 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) to:NHTSA.webmaster@dot.gov from:[xxx] subject:2006 Prius brakes comments: I have a 2006 Prius and have had intermittent brake problems(I bought the car new from the Toyota dealer in 2007). The brakes do not always engage immediately when pressing the brake pedal. It feels as if the brakes are slipping before actually stopping the car. In light of the recent Toyota brake recalls, I now have concerns that my car may also have brakes that may fail. [xxx]

- Duncanville, TX, USA

problem #36

Jan 232010


  • 20,000 miles
My 2006 Toyota Prius loses braking when trying to brake on uneven surfaces. The dash will light up the icon which displays uneven ground and when I apply brakes there is a momentarily lapse when the brake pedal does not respond. Also my left headlight and left taillight go on and off periodically.

- Newhall, CA, USA

problem #35

Jan 142010


  • 40,000 miles


On a number of occasions, when I have applied the brakes while driving on a bumpy stretch of road, the brakes have not applied properly on my 2006 Prius. The dashboard light indicating a skid would come on and the car would not handle properly. I have reported this to the dealer, who said it was a common feature of ABS systems. I have compensated by not applying the brakes when hitting a bump or pothole, but it seems like the brakes should work in any such situation. This has happened on a number of occasions, most recently several weeks ago. In each case, the road surfaces were not wet, just bumpy.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #34

Jan 012007


  • miles
I have a 2006 Toyota Prius. If I hit a pothole while I am braking, it feels like the brakes slip for a second and I lose my ability to brake while the car lurches forward. A second later everything is back to normal. The vsa light flashes concurrently with the incident. The first couple of times it happened, it really scared me, and I could have easily been in an accident. Now I make sure to leave more than the normal space between me and the car in front of me in case this happens. I just assumed this was something the car did that I would have to get used to, but now that the 2010 Prius recall has been publicized, the issue being described there seems very similar to the problem my car has always had.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #33

Jan 152010


  • miles
I have a 2006 Toyota Prius and for years I've had the same problem described in the news. At times when I drive over bumpy terrain, the car will lurch forward with sudden acceleration and the ABS light will come on. I can re-gain control by hitting the brakes hard and/or pumping the brakes depending on the circumstance. This has happened many times since I bought the car new in January 2006. In these circumstances, my foot was off the gas pedal. I'm not sure if the brakes were being applied or not, but if they were, they were applied lightly. This happens regularly.

- Plaistow, NH, USA

problem #32

Jan 012010


  • 70,000 miles
I experience surging when braking.

- Marion, IA, USA

problem #31

Feb 082010


  • 24,332 miles
We own a 2006 Toyota Prius and have experienced the same loss of braking problems that are the subject of the model year 2010 recall. On February 8th, my wife (with our infant in the back seat) was proceeding through a bumpy intersection and for a split second lost brakes on the vehicle. This is scary. I experienced the same condition more than once last year during snowy/slushy conditions.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #30

Jan 012007


  • 1 miles
I have a 2006 Prius. I have experienced the braking problem that is reported for the 2010 Prius for the entire time I have had this car (since 2006). Occasionally the brakes will fail for a fraction of a second when braking over an uneven surface (train tracks etc). By now I am used to the problem though it does seem to occur more frequently over time. This problem is obviously not confined to the 2010 model. I reported the incident date below, but this is a frequently recurring problem.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #29

Oct 152009


  • 75,000 miles
The ABS has caused the brakes on my car to disengage when they should be engaged. I notified the Toyota dealer a number of times over the past few years and they advised me that it was not a problem. In light of recent information that has come to the public awareness, I thought that it would be important to look further back into the origin of this problem.

- La Canada, CA, USA

problem #28

Jan 122010


  • 18,570 miles
When I gently apply the brake to stop and the car lurches forward. In surprise, I apply greater force and the car comes to a stop. There is some problem with the electronics in the hybrid drive train that does not fully disconnect the drive when stopping. This occurs intermittently and I reported it to the dealer several years ago, thy could not duplicate or find any problem. They would not report or escalate it further, just dismissed the problem.

- Pscific Palisades, CA, USA

problem #27

Feb 072010


  • 46,100 miles
My concern is with the braking capacity in my 2006 Prius. I have noticed since I purchased the car (I am the original owner), that when I go over bumps, rough roads (including ice /snow), and my foot is applied to the brake, there is a jerking sensation and the car fails to stop. In fact, it lurches forward. I have discussed this phenomenon with other Prius owners, but not until the latest safety recall for the 2010 Prius, have I taken action. Thank goodness there was never a car or a pedestrian in front of me when this occured. I am putting yesterdays date as the date of incident, however this happens on a regular basis.

- Williamsville, NY, USA

problem #26

Feb 072010


  • 0 miles
When I drive over pot holes or uneven surfaces and apply my brakes, they disengage for a second or two before re-engaging, causing my vehicle to surge forward momentarily. This has happened since I bought the car new, and occurs at all speeds. I asked the Toyota service department to fix it, but they said they couldn't recreate the problem, so had no way of fixing it (even though I explained in detail what was happening). Again, this problem happens on a daily basis, and was reported to Toyota.

- Arlington, TX, USA

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