really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 1
Average Mileage:
28,076 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.

2007 Toyota Prius brakes problems

brakes problem

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2007 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #39

Feb 082010


  • 12,500 miles


I own a 2007 Toyota Prius that exhibits exactly the same symptoms with the braking system that has caused the recall in 2010 models. When going over a bump the brakes appear to fail for about 1 or 2 seconds which gives the illusion that the car is lunging forward. This happens everytime I am applying the brakes while driving across bumps or railroad tracks. I reported this to a Toyota dealer twice since purchasing the car and was told this is just how Prius's are.

- Franklin, TN, USA

problem #38

Feb 112008


  • 15,000 miles
Car failed to stop on hill in snowy day -- antilock brakes froze. Brakes also were weak in snow in general. I took the car into the dealer and asked for snow tires. They said it wouldn't make a difference, and that priuses were just bad in the snow. I traded the car in for a Camry hybrid in the spring to avoid going through another winter with it.

- Brookline, MA, USA

problem #37

Dec 152009


  • 50,000 miles
2007 Toyota Prius. When I am braking and drive over a disruptive surface: Pothole, train tracks, I have experienced a brief loss of control with the brakes. Best description is if during a controlled deceleration, you expect a consistent decrease of speed. However, the rate of deceleration was interrupted by the pot hole, then it would return to braking. This is a consistent event if I am braking while riding over a disturbed surface.

- Bellevue, WA, USA

problem #36

Feb 042010


  • 63,000 miles


While driving on a freeway entry ramp our 2007 Prius' brakes failed to engage when the brake pedal was pushed. No braking action was felt and our car ran into the rear of another car on the entry ramp. Estimated speed was eleven miles per hour according to the police report. This was not a skid situation as the speed was so low. The brakes simply failed to engage. Our car is currently being evaluated by our insurance company.

- Salado, TX, USA

problem #35

Jan 012010


  • 100 miles
The 'brake cut-out driving over a pothole or manhole cover' is >not< restricted to the 2010 Prius. My 2007 has done that since day one [65K miles ago]. there are hills near my house where I have to go out of my way to avoid manhole covers -- particularly the last one near a stop sign. The car just goes into free-wheel mode for a second or so.

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #34

Feb 062010


  • 24,000 miles
My 2007 Prius touring can/does experience braking issues when slowing/braking downhill and coming in contact with a manhole cover, pothole, or other "even" road surface. Thought it was the tires, so replaced the original bridgestones for nokians, but the issue still occurs. The "sensation" is you feel like you've lost control of the car momentarily. As a result, I've changed my commute route home and drive much slower (was already driving slower since Prius mileage is dependent on mph). On occasions, the speed (on a straight away) set with cruise control will increase by itself... by a couple mph.... w/O me doing anything or touching anything. So I'm forced to tap brake........ occurred this weekend with passengers - they said they felt the surge.....

- Enfield, CT, USA

problem #33

Sep 012007


  • 450 miles


Toyota Prius 2007 - antilock brake failure hitting potholes, man hole covers, crossing train tracks, going the speed limit down hills, rain & snow are the worst. Every time car is taken in to dealer for servicing, we inform them of the brakes. They ensured us that nothing was wrong with them and there was nothing to worry about. We contacted our primary dealer who has done most of the services for the car, they conveniently no longer have service records for my vehicle prior to August 2009. The most recent incident that sent us complaining to the dealer was in October 2009, when returning home from work and the brakes needed to be applied in order to avoid hitting a deer, the brakes did absolutely nothing. The car continued to move and narrowly missed hitting the deer. This was reported to Toyota of york in Pennsylvania. The primary dealership that has provided our services is riverhead Toyota in New York. The recent snowfall in Pennsylvania has essentially made my car useless, it cannot handle the snowy roads without sliding all over the place, and we no longer trust the brake system in the event we need them. No physical injuries have occurred as a result of the brakes on our particular car, however emotionally, we are worried about placing ourselves in any potential situations where an accident could occur.

- York, PA, USA

problem #32

Feb 052010


  • 20,000 miles
Transient loss of braking ability when the car encounters potholes, bumpy or uneven pavement. When hitting brakes over these road conditions the car continues to move forward without slowing down; the 'slippery pavement" indicator also lights up onthe dashboard transiently. Has been occurring regularly (every week or so) since car purchased in 2007 but didn't think anything of it until recent description I read in the paper about braking problems in the 2010 Prius (wall street journal article 2/5/10).. when I read that, it seemed identical to what I had been experiencing for a few years with my 2007 priius. Fortunately all incidents have been at low speed on local roads, no accidents.

- Chagrin Falls, OH, USA

problem #31

Jun 012007


  • 5,000 miles
Toyota Prius 2007 braking problem. The braking problem that has been reported in the 2010 Prius is also occurring in my 2007 Prius.

- Ames, IA, USA

problem #30

Feb 062010


  • 30,500 miles
I was braking to slow down and make a turn. When I applied my brakes over the uneven surface, the brakes were working, then let up for a second. This has happened enough that I have changed my driving habits to account for this slippage in brakes. It's not a sliding issue - I can feel the tension in the brake pedal ease up momentarily each time. I'd say this happens at least once per month since I purchased the car new in 2007.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #29

May 132009


  • 30,000 miles


Toyota Prius loss of electical power, loss of steering resulting in crash in May 2009 while driving in a residental neighborhood at low speeds, Prius lost all power resulting in loss of steering and loss of brakes resulting in crash into a high curb. I had Prius towed to Toyota dealership and filed complaint with dealership as well as with main California complaint center. They said that it would take them 4 months to investigate complaint. They recommended my storing car at dealership for four months if I wanted an investigation. They would not investigate otherwise. They told me there was no cause for concern and that the power loss must of resulted after the crash. They said that Toyota had no safety complaints about power loss or steering or brake loss. I went on line and found same year model recall in australia. They told me the products were dissimilar and not a cause for concern. I disagreed. My routine mechanic at merchants tire and auto could find nothing wrong. I repaired the structural damage and sold the car since Toyota assured me there was nothing wrong. Toyota corporation's methodology of investigation appears to be designed to stifle any meaningful determination of baseline safety fault. The requirement to store a car for months at owners expense and for driver to have no access for transportation would appear to discourage any meaningful investigation of safety concern. Given the current finding of brake and other safety defects in Toyota products, I am concerned that the power loss may have been under-reported because of their unethical business practices. I report it to help you determine if there is a pattern of power loss, loss of steering and loss of braking in the Prius.

- Bethesda , MD, USA

problem #28

Feb 052010


  • 53,490 miles
On seven separate occasions since 2007 (the year of the Prius being reported ) a slight skid occurs, which also results in the skid light coming on, when brake pedal is pressed. Has been increasing in frequency -- three times in last week--and usually occurs within the first mile of car use that day. I reported the last incident below. However, this was first noticed sometime in 2007 after July purchase date.

- Titusville, FL, USA

problem #27

Nov 062009


  • miles
Brakes momentarily disrupted when going over potholes and yellow light flashes. This has been a regular occurrence with our pre 2010 (2007) Prius since purchase. Never considered it a serious hazard, but I am reporting it now in connection with your ongoing investigation of the 2010 models.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #26

Jan 102010


  • 24,500 miles
I think that the Prius braking problem is not limited to the 2010 model. My 2007 Prius often hesitates in braking over bumpy and slippery surfaces including rain wet roads. I slid into an intersection that I feel any other car would have stopped without trouble.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #25

May 302007


  • 300 miles
I've complained -- with no response or help -- to a Toyota dealer about 2 concerns I have with my 2007 Prius that I've always believed were manufacturer/design defects: 1) the brakes skip when I hit a pothole, especially the one I traverse every weekday turning into my worksite. 2) during hard acceleration early in a drive (the uphill left turn leaving my neighborhood), there is a hesitation for about a second or two -- like the engine is going to stall and die (it hasn't yet.) when I 'floor it" to move into a hole in traffic, I get full power for a couple of seconds, followed by no power for a second and then a return of power. It's as if I took my foot off the accelerator, only it hasn't moved. My fear is that some time the delay will cause me to get hit and that some time the engine will just die. I've noticed this from when the car was within the first month old (I took delivery 4/30/07). Stevinson Toyota (golden, co) said they hadn't heard of such complaints. When I took it in about a year ago, they said they couldn't reproduce the problems and did nothing.

- Wheat Ridge, CO, USA

problem #24

Feb 052010


  • 33,000 miles
2007 Toyota Prius braking issue!!!! the issues you are addressing with the braking system of the 2010 Toyota Prius aren't isolated to the 2010 Prius. Please take note that I have a 2007 Toyota Prius and I have experienced the exact same issue with braking system seemingly every time the "traction control" light illuminates... for example when I hit uneven pavement or potholes and moments when the tires lose traction on wet/icy roads. The sensation when driving during the second or two that it feels it takes for the brakes to regain full function leaves me, the driver, feeling slightly out of control of the vehicle and unsafe on the road. Why are they/you not looking at earlier Prius models, too, in this recall?? from what I understand, Toyota has had complaints similar to mine since 2006 with their Prius model. Nothing has been done to acknowledge/correct this issue.

- Santa Monica, CA, USA

problem #23

Jul 082008


  • 1,000 miles
Toyota Prius 2007 also has the brake problem as the 2010 model. We were scared many times when braking and instead slowing down the car momentarily lurched forward. We have never reported it.

- Delray Beach, FL, USA

problem #22

Mar 012008


  • 10,000 miles
Similar to the reported braking incidents with the 2010 Prius, my 2007 Prius loses braking resistance when driving over a rough surface such as pot holes. When I brake over pot holes, the yellow warning light on the dashboard lights up (symbol is a car over wavy tire tracks), and the brake pedal has no effect whatsoever, even when fully depressed. Braking works once I am over the rough surface, but this has happened many, many times. Although lack of braking has not led to an accident in my car, it is a very frightening situation to be in.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #21

Aug 022007


  • 1,000 miles
I have owned my 2007 Prius since July, 2007. On an erratic basis, as I am braking (often as I am going over a bumpy road), the car seems to surge forward. It is as if the engine starts running harder. The light that indicates poor traction also comes on - it is as if I am not making good contact with the road. I have had no accidents but it is terrifying for me and I am fearful when someone/family member drives my car who is not aware of or has not become comfortable with dealing with this problem. Fyi: Even before Prius said we should use different floor mats, I had made the change. I am not one to make a complaint but think that this is the time to make my concerns heard.

- Newton, MA, USA

problem #20

Feb 042010


  • 0 miles
I have a 2007 Toyota Prius, and I have experienced the problem of the brakes not engaging immediately when I am on a bumpy surface. This is exactly the same problem I have heard reported on the 2010 Prius.'

- Mount Pleasant, MI, USA

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