really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 1
Average Mileage:
33,486 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 5)

problem #83

Feb 102008


  • 21,400 miles


My Prius has always had issues with the brakes making a clicking sound when stopped at a light, etc. I have complained from day one and always been told it was normal. By 2008 the brakes were not working well at times and the pedal would go almost to the floor at times and not at others. The dealership checked this and told me there were no problems. In Feb 2008 the brakes completely failed while I was driving on a city street and the pedal went all the way to the floor and I hit the car in front of me. The dealership again said that there were no problems and that the brakes were fine. I have had numerous incidents since with the pedal going almost to the floor at times and not at others. If I hit potholes or am on really rough streets the traction control light comes on and I lose complete control of the vehicle for a few seconds with the inability to brake. The dealership has repeatable said there are no issues when they check the car. This week, on Monday, the battery died and I took it to the dealership for a replacement. As always, I asked them to check the brakes and now they say there is a major issue with the brake actuator that could cause intermittent loss of braking ability and that the car is not safe to drive. Since the car isn't under warranty now (but was when the accident occurred) they don't want to pay for the repair. They put me in a rental car for the past three days since they said my car wasn't safe to drive. Today they decided they weren't paying for the repair, after talking with "corporate", and that the car is safe to drive without the repair! when I check the NHTSA site I see lots of similar complaints about the 2006 Prius and am even more concerned than ever. If you have experienced a similar problem, please take the time to file a complaint to force an investigation of yet a new issue with Toyota and safety issues!

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #82

Aug 042010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 128,858 miles
"!", ABS, and vsc lights come on and brakes stop working - while driving. Must coast to side of road, turn off vehicle, and restart. Then brakes work for a while until problem recurs. Replaced brake stroke sensor. Fixed problem for 17 months - 20,000 miles. Again, brakes fail while driving. Getting code dtc 1247 - fault in stroke sensor. Told part is out of warranty and must be replaced again. Vehicle shouldn't have a part that fails every 20,000 miles resulting in complete loss of braking while driving.

- Skokie, IL, USA

problem #81

Apr 012006

Prius 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. The contact was attempting a right turn at 25 mph when the anti-lock brake light illuminated. The contact stated that the brake would not engage when applied. The vehicle was taken to the dealer numerous times for the failure. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure and the vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 15,000 and the current mileage was 117,000...updated 01/04/12 the consumer stated the failure has happened numerous times and the replication at the dealership has been unsuccessful. On a recent rainy day, the ABS light illuminated at each brake application and the brakes would not apply for 1-2 seconds. Effectively, leaving the vehicle with no brakes. The ABS related brake failure would also occur on bumpy roads at low speeds with dry pavement. Updated 01/11/12

- Scottsdale , AZ, USA

problem #80

Jul 132011


  • 56,551 miles


Momentary loss of braking while driving over a bumpy surface, over small potholes, rough patches etc., the car lunges forward at the same time my traction control light will flash on and off until the road smooths out.

- Johnstown, PA, USA

problem #79

Feb 242011


  • 100,000 miles
Ever since I got my 2006 Prius, the brakes have briefly stopped working when I try to stop quickly or on a hill when it is wet or icy outside. On February 24, it was very icy, and the car completely locked up when I was going down a hill. I was going very slowly when I started going downhill, but nothing happened when I tried to steer or push down the brakes and I got in an accident. I contacted Toyota, but they only tested it when it was dry outside, and I have never had any trouble when it was dry. They told me nothing was wrong. Since then, I have had increased trouble stopping at stoplights when it is wet. The whole car seems to lock up and I slide toward the light for a few seconds before the brakes re-engage. I am trading the car in, as I am afraid for the safety of my children in this car.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #78

Jun 102011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the driver was operating the vehicle approximately 35 mph. As she applied the brakes, the vehicle would not stop until crashing into another vehicle. A police report was filed, but no injuries were reported. The vehicle was towed to an independent repair shop where the failure was not diagnosed. The vehicle was in the process of having the body damages repaired. The failure and current mileage was 90,000. Updated 07/26/11

- Chapel Hill, NC, USA

problem #77

Mar 012011


  • 75,000 miles


2006 Toyota Prius. Consumer states brake actuator issues the consumer stated noises started to occur while the vehicle was in motion, when parked and after the engine was turned off.

- Alhambra, CA, USA

problem #76

Jul 152006


  • 1,000 miles
If you use the brakes and happen to go over a bump, pothole, slippery spot, etc., the brakes stop functioning for a few seconds. This has happened ever since I bought the car in 2006. Because it is a hybrid, I thought it was just something peculiar to the car (the date given is an estimate only). However, when they mentioned the brake fix for the 2010 Prius, the problem seemed to be the same as I was experiencing. I told the dealer and they said the fix would be different for my model because the computers are different and they had gotten no information regarding earlier cars, only 2010S. I might be able to understand the wheel going over the problem spot in the road not functioning, but the other three should not stop working, and that is exactly how it feels. I have since heard of at least one other person with an earlier model that has the same problem.

- Glens Falls, NY, USA

problem #75

Jan 052011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 82,800 miles
While driving on normal, dry straight roads, the skid control activates and the brakes engage. This began happening 1 week ago after the tires were rotated at the dealer. Car is 4 years old. Dealer states that ECU must be replaced.

- Coto De Caza, CA, USA

problem #74

Jun 102010


  • miles
I have a Toyota Prius 06-when applying the brakes, especially over rough roads, they seem to momentarily fail before slowing the vehicle.

- Atlanta, IL, USA

problem #73

May 242010


  • 50,000 miles


Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) I have a 2006 Toyota Prius that has the same braking problem reported for the 2010 model year. The local Toyota garage said they don't know anything about a problem with the 2006 model. They told me to call Toyota but I haven't been able to get through. The VIN number for the car is [xxx]

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #72

May 212010


  • 32,000 miles
Frequently when the anti-lock brakes engage there seems to be uneven application that causes a slippage and the indicator light comes on. The vehicle seems to shudder and shimmy a bit making the braking seem like it is failing and increasing the braking distance. The vehicle has done this from day one and the dealer has assured me that it is normal. I have never had this happen with any other car I have had with anti-lock brakes.

- Evansville, IN, USA

problem #71

Jul 012006


  • 250 miles
While braking harder or more suddenly than normal (usually on downhill) the skid control system kicks in, but for a second or two the brakes feel like the disengage and then go on again. For a split second every time it happens it makes me have a flush of panic.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #70

Mar 152010


  • 80,000 miles
1996 Toyota Prius - (3) things I have noticed when operating car. (1) when braking and going over rough pavement, car will behave as though it is hydroplaneing - the brakes not slowing the car for a brief period until car settles down. This can happen when going as slow as 5 mph. The faster one is going when hitting the rough pavement, the farther the car will travel before braking sensation re-appears. I believe this occurs everytime I travel rough pavement (la city streets, not back country or 4 wheeling). Note that warning light on dashboard does light suggesting loss of control. I called dealer service center and described problem, they assured me that no safety warnings or recalls had been made. 2) when turning off cruise control, car will accelerate slightly for approximately 1-2 seconds. This is most noticeable when trying to exit carpool lane in heavy traffic and spacing is limited. Again called dealership and assured no safety notices or recalls. I now cover brake when turning off speed control. 3) car just eats up hid headlight (9 in 80K miles + 2 original installed) and taillight bulbs (11 + 2 originally installed). Again no safety notices or recalls. I replace them as I notice them. I have never had both headlights go out at once as described on your website. Note that other than the above issues/concerns, this car has been a great car with no service except for gas, oil changes, and replace the bulbs when they go out.

- Cypress, CA, USA

problem #69

Jan 032010


  • 52,000 miles
When I go over a rough patch on the pavement while braking in my 2006 Prius, the skid light comes on briefly on the dash and the car lurches forward even though my foot is on the brake. It feels like the computer is perceiving the possibility of a skid and is compensating by accelerating until the pavement is smooth. Fortunately no one has been in front of me when this happens and I haven't hit anyone. But it has happened repeatedly and it takes a time before the car responds to my own handling and brakes again. This is more than just what you might expect and want from electronic stability control.

- Slingerlands, NY, USA

problem #68

Jan 012009


  • 44,000 miles
I have 2006 Prius and I have brake failure frequently if I hit a bump, pot hole, manhole cover, railroad track etc. It is un-nerving as I feel as if I am airborne for a while as I know I have no contact with the road.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #67

Feb 252010


  • miles
Almost immediately after purchasing the vehicle, I went over a pothole and the car lurched forward briefly. Unsure if an acceleration issue or a braking issue. It has happened numerous times, but has been minor. I have reported this to Toyota, but they ignored most of my emails to my surprise and disappointment. Today, I turned the corner and hit a small pothole. I felt it lurch, but the brakes did not work. I pumped them and no brakes. I pushed the on/off button and held it for the 3 seconds they recommend and it did not turn off the car. It took over 5 seconds before finally turning off and I coasted to a stop. It was terrifying!!! once I calmed down and tried to start the car, it would not turn on and then once it did, it would not go into drive... only neutral. This happened 4 or 5 times before I was finally able to get it into drive to get home. I immediately called Toyota on amherst dr. In springfield, va and spoke. He said it was not under warranty and that I would have to pay for a rental car. I let him know how displeased I was and he was kind and said he'll talk to his boss in the morning. I have told Toyota that I am afraid of my car........ upgrade that to terrified! this was a very scary event. The 2010 car owners should not be more important than those of use with an earlier model of this car. It's not the floor mats. It's not the sticky accelerator pedal. It's their computer system and I need to have Toyota respect my safety too and support this dangerous car that I'm stuck with. I would appreciate your help.

- Lorton, VA, USA

problem #66

Jul 192008


  • 49,000 miles
I am a rural mail carrier with well over 350,000 miles driven on my route without incident. I drive in all road conditions on gravel and paved roads. I was driving my 2006 Prius on a wet but not muddy gravel road at about 38 mph. The back end began to slide a little. I let up on the gas with no response. I pressed the brake pedal with no response. I went into a deep ditch filled with 3 ft tall grass. I steered to drive the center of the ditch and continued with the brake fully depressed for about 15-20 ft, ripping the tall grass out by the root as I went. The car traveled over a driveway approach, still at 35 mph, striking the approach with the left front corner with enough force to bend the frame and do other serious damage, but with no airbag deployment. I continued over the approach and down the ditch, still at 35 mph, for another 30 or more feet. I was pressing and holding the brake and lifting the gas pedal with my toe. The gas pedal was not stuck and the engine's rpms were low. Only when I put the car in neutral did it slow to stop. It took several attempts to get the car out of this ditch as the traction control kept lurching and stalling. I was able to drive the car out and home without incident. It had to be towed to a dealership for over $4000 in repairs. This was in mid-2008 and I don't know if any corrections made or were even known at that time. This was an absolutely terrifying situation. The car did not respond to any action I took. I had no control what so ever. The car is no longer driven..

- Madison, SD, USA

problem #65

Feb 222010


  • 18 miles
When driving over a bumpy road or a pothole while braking there is a sudden loss of braking feel before it returns, seems to be a slightly less than a second delay where the brakes just cut out. This sounds to be related to the issue Toyota and NHTSA are investigating with the 2010 Prius, but mine is a 2006 and seems to experience the same symptoms.

- Cibolo, TX, USA

problem #64

Oct 012008


  • miles
We have a 2006 Prius and have had several times that the brakes feel that they give out when a bump is hit. Our dealer says that Toyota says to push harder on the pedal. This has happen about 8 or 10 times in the last year. The car does stop but your aren't sure it will.

- West Oneonta, NY, USA

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