really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,445 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 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Feb 092010


  • 77,000 miles


Toyota Prius 2007. Will not move when on any slippery surface. The traction control has no override. This could get someone killed when they are trying to merge into traffic and the traction control shuts the power to the wheels when it is severely needed. This only happened in my driveway, my other vehicles went through the snow with no problem, the Prius kept losing power and there was no way to shut it off. Some one is going to get killed when the traction control doesn't know what to do and sits there while the vehicle is smashed by the oncoming vehicle. To reiterate once the traction control takes over the driver has no control over the vehicle.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #17

Feb 102010


  • 100 miles
This is not one incident, it happens whenever the road is slick (rain, or even sprinkler runoff!) or if I drive over a pothole--the power to the wheels is cut and the engine feels like it is going to stall. It is extremely difficult and nervewracking to drive while it is raining. The most dangerous times that this happens is when I am at a signal, making a right turn I need power to the engine to merge into traffic, and make sure that oncoming traffic is not interrupted. There have been times that I feel like my car won't "go" or hesitates when I need it to go! and if it's this bad in wet conditions, I would never even consider driving the Prius in snowy conditions. I have read that this is all due to a problem in the traction control system. Very unsafe!!

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #16

Jan 282010


  • 1,000 miles
I have an ongoing problem with my 2007 Prius with braking and traction control in slippery conditions (rain, snow, ice), and on slippery or uneven surfaces (railroad/trolley tracks, manhole covers, etc.). I have reported it to the Toyota dealer several times starting in the summer of 2007 and have been told there is no problem. The car seems to lurch or slide under these conditions which is alarming even at very low speeds. The traction control light flashes, and there is a momentary inability to brake or stop the car.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #15

Feb 082010


  • 40,205 miles


I have a 2007 Toyota Prius and have experienced the same braking issue that is being reported about the 2010 Prius. I have noticed that when I am driving or braking while going over pot-holes, railroad tracks, or very bumping roads I can feel a sudden and momentary loss of braking and/or acceleration. I also noticed that the traction control indicator light on the dash always turns on when this happens. I took the dealer just after I purchased the vehicle and was told that everything was normal. This has been happening for the last 2 and a half years. It has happened 3 or 4 times this week alone. I have gotten used to this happening but have also been very concerned that it will cause a rearend collision, or something even worse. This needs attention asap. Thank you

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #14

Dec 012007


  • 7,500 miles
Date: 02/09/2010 time: 10:01:20 creation date: 02/09/2010 creation time: 09:58:43 I would like to report a braking/traction control/loss of engine power safety problem with my 2007 Toyota Prius. The problem happens while driving on snow covered flat road surfaces (1 inch of snow), snow covered hilly roads (1 inch of snow), and bumpy road surfaces. When the traction control system (trac) engages on these road surfaces, I lose the ability to brake and also lose power to the engine simultaneously. I have had four (4) near-accidents due to this safety problem. 1.snow covered (1 inch of snow) going downhill (slight hill)- lost brakes after trac traction control system engaged was unable to stop car - went through stop sign. Car went onto busy highway (50 mph zone) and would not stop. Luckily no cars were coming and I avoided a very serious accident. 2. snow covered (1 inch of snow) going downhill - lost brakes after trac traction control system engaged and almost crashed into cars that were slowing down ahead of me. 3. snow covered (1 inch of snow) going uphill - trac traction control system engaged and I lost all engine power as I was turning left up a steep hill. I almost crashed into large rocks at the roadside. I was able to avoid a crash. 4. snow covered (1 inch of snow) driving on flat road surface. I turned off of snow covered road into a parking lot area. Trac traction control system engaged and I lost the ability to brake. My car went at least 15 feet in the parking lot area before stopping. Luckily there were no parked cars there and I did not have an accident. A recurring problem with trac and loss of engine power also occurs on the hilly road leading up to my house. When the road is snow covered (1 inch of snow) or icy the trac traction control system engages and I lose all power to the engine. It makes it nearly impossible to get my car up the hill due to the loss of power when trac engages!

- Great Meadows, NJ, USA

problem #13

Feb 012010


  • 20,000 miles
I own a 2007 Toyota Prius and have experienced occasional momentary loss of braking (my foot firmly on the brake pedal) while driving over a bumpy surface. While braking over small pot holes, railroad tracks, rough patches, etc., the car seems to lunge forward apparently as the brakes release for a split second (approximately 1/4 to 1/2 second). The road conditions can be wet or dry. At the same time, my traction control light will flash on and off until the road smoothes out. That split second is enough to cause an accident with the car in front of me if I don't give myself extra room or slow down prior to the bumpy condition (1/2 second at 20 mph = 15 feet of unwanted travel). I drive over the same railroad tracks just prior to a traffic light every day and I have had to adjust my driving habits to keep this dangerous, additional stopping distance from recurring. This has occurred approximately 15 to 20 times in various bumpy conditions since I bought the car over 3 years ago. I have had some close calls, but no accident yet. I have not complained to Toyota, but due to all the complaints I have read about online, I assumed they would do something eventually.

- Seabrook, NH, USA

problem #12

Jan 312010


  • 39,500 miles


I have a 2007 Toyota Prius and have experienced the same braking issue that is being reported about the 2010 Prius. I have noticed that when I am braking while going over pot-holes, railroad tracks, or very bumping roads I can feel a sudden and momentary loss of braking. I also noticed that the traction control indicator light on the dash always turns on when this happens.

- Melrose, MA, USA

problem #11

May 312007


  • 100 miles
I just wanted to let you know that the braking problem associated with the vsa icon in the Toyota Prius is not isolated to the 2010 model year. My 2007 Prius does exactly what I have seen described in the media. It has done this ever since it was brand new. I had never driven a hybrid before, so I thought it was just the nature of the beast. But it is very unsettling when the car lurches forward when I drive on a road with an uneven surface.

- Weston, MO, USA

problem #10

Jan 102010


  • 52,000 miles
1. first time occurrence event: Icy roads, around freezing point, lasted one or two days. A few days ago recurred. 2. failure: Car brakes very abrupt opposed to the gentile brake that is applied 3. done: Nothing yet, waiting for recall info.

- Plymouth, MN, USA

problem #9

Sep 242009


  • miles
I believe my 2007 Toyota Prius has a problem similar to the recent media reports regarding the braking system in the 2010 Prius. I have on several occasions over the past few years observed a lapse in braking power when going over a bump. A few times, this lapse resulted in my vehicle coming uncomfortably close to the vehicle in front of me.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #8

Jan 042008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 8,416 miles


I was driving my Toyota Prius up my long and fairly steep driveway over about an inch of snow when the power suddenly kicked out because of "the trac" system and I slid backwards into a tree. It happened a second time with just a small dusting of snow. I guided it into the mountain but damaged the exhaust system running over a rock. I never had a problem with my previous car which was a Saturn sedan. The Toyota dealer said it was a safety feature where the engine cuts out if there is any wheel spinning and to get snow tires which I did (with studs). Still I rarely go out in the snow anymore. It still slips on occasion even with the studs. It would be especially dangerous if another car was behind me. Luckily the tree stopped me or I would have gone into a ravine. Other owners have complained to Consumer Affairs but Toyota has not acknowledged this safety problem.

- Berkeley Springs, WV, USA

problem #7

Feb 012010


  • miles
Obviously there has been a lot of media coverage over the past day or so over the third generation Prius and brake issues. While I have a 2007 Prius (second generation), I can say that my car also suffers from the same issue while braking on an uneven road, going over a bump, etc. (this has happened on dozens of occasions). With my foot on the brake pedal, my cars feels as if it momentarily lurches forward before the brakes once again react. My traction-control light momentarily flashes on my dashboard when this happens. This comment from a poster on your website exactly describes my problem: "when braking, if a pothole or bump in the road is hit, the car seemingly jerks forward/accelerates for a split second." Since my car is not a third generation Prius, I find it interesting that it is suffering from the same problem that apparently only involves the newest model.

- Stamford, CT, USA

problem #6

Jan 162010


  • 52,000 miles
During turns at times my 2007 pruis will bog down and have no power. I have reported the problem to the dealer and they believe it my be a sensor problem where the ABS senses to much spin and cuts power to the transmission. It takes about 5 to 10 seconds to get the power back to the transmission. During this time the car cannot move.

- Derwood, MD, USA

problem #5

Feb 032010


  • 44,000 miles
The complaint involves a 2007 Toyota Prius. Since new this vehicle exhibits a momentary loss in braking when suddenly encountering bumpy or slippery surfaces. The events are typically accompanied by a flashing warning light indicating a slippery surface. These events result in a slight but noticeable decrease in braking force. Both my wife and I can detect when this occurs. No parts have been replaced and we have not visited the dealer. We thought that this was normal operation for our car until recent Toyota news releases.

- Wauwatosa, WI, USA

problem #4

Jan 292010


  • 0 miles
When braking, if the car hits any kind of pothole, speed bump, or imperfection in the road that causes the traction control light to illuminate, all braking power is lost and the car glides (as if neither the brake or gas pedal are depressed) until the traction control light goes off, at which point braking power is returned. The traction control is very sensitive and many small bumps or imperfections can set it off, and the lack of braking power has caused me some close calls in the past.

- Woodland Hills, CA, USA

problem #3

Oct 312009


  • 62,000 miles
I had a 2007 Toyota Prius that seemed to have issues whenever I would hit the brakes on slick\wet roads or sometimes when I would hit a bump. It felt as if the brakes would not apply and the car would feel like it accelerated forward instead of stopping. Usually the brakes would kick in after a second or two of this kind of slipping. However, in early November of this year while taking my son to karate on a wet day we hit a spot of repaired road that caused this to occur again, instead of correcting itself it felt like I had no control of the car and the car veered off to the side of the road, went up an incline and flipped the car onto its side. Fortunately in this case no one was injured at all as I was going fairly slow and the car quickly came to a stop when it went on it side. I always thought the issue was with the anti-lock brake system but I recently saw an article about 2010 Prius having this issue and I thought I should report that this happened to me on an older version of the Prius as well.

- Dayton, MD, USA

problem #2

Jan 182010


  • 60,000 miles
2007 Toyota Prius breaks fail to work for a split second when the car hits a bump and brakes are applied. With the car slowing down and the brakes are applied, if I hit a bump, the brakes will stop slowing the car for about 0.5 seconds and the low traction light will blink.

- Rochester, MN, USA

problem #1

Dec 042009


  • 27,741 miles
I am writing to report transient failure of the anti-lock braking system in our 2007 Toyota Prius. Since May 2008 we have noticed episodic accelerations during light braking (at intersections for instance) when the car encounters pot holes, grates, railroad tracks or slippery pavement. We seem to lose control of the vehicle momentarily. Only with heavy brake pedal depression does the vehicle come to a complete stop. Until January 2010 we thought this was a unique feature to our vehicle and we were hypersensitive to its idiosyncrasies. Unfortunately, in January 2009 this defect lead to a low speed motor vehicle collision wherein my wife was unable to stop the vehicle when another driver abruptly pulled in front of her. No one was hurt, thankfully, but both vehicles were damaged. All other nearby drivers were able to stop in time and no other collisions occurred. On December 4, 2009 this same vehicle was involved in another low speed motor vehicle collision when a driver ahead suddenly stopped to avoid a pedestrian. The Prius was unable to stop in time (even under heavy brake pedal pressure) and collided with rear bumper of the car ahead. More than $5,000 in damage occurred to the Prius alone; though no one was hurt. In both instances nearby and subsequent vehicles experienced no problems stopping. There were no signs of ice or slippery pavement either time. Furthermore, neither my wife nor I have ever been involved in accidents in the past or with other cars. We didn't recognize that this could be a manufacturer's defect until complaints to the NHTSA became public and widely discussed in December 09 & January '10. Please note, however; our affected vehicle is a 2007 model year and we have experienced symptoms including loss of control and inappropriate acceleration just as described by others in the online community for 2010.

- Evanston, IL, USA

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