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 1 of 2)

problem #38

Aug 112016


  • 52,800 miles


The contact owned a 2007 Toyota Prius. While driving up a mountain at 20 mph, the contact stated that the tires lost traction and the vehicle slid off a mountain curve and crashed into a ditch. The air bags did not deploy. The contact sustained injuries to the head and some deep tissue bruising. Medical attention was required. A police report was not filed. Due to the force of the crash, the seat belt remained buckled, but failed to restrain the contact. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was destroyed and towed. The failure mileage was approximately 52,800.

- Bellingham, WA, USA

problem #37

Apr 142011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 58,800 miles
My 2007 Toyota Prius accelerates while braking after hitting bumps on the road. I was braking to come to a stop, the car propelled forward 2-3 times, the traction light flashed twice all why I had full pressure applied to the brake pedal. Luckily the car in front of me had not stopped completely otherwise there would have been an impact as I had no method of making the car stop moving forward. The car will also propel forward when going over rail road tracks or other bumps/potholes in the road. From a driver standpoint, if the car loses contact with the road there is something electronic that causes it to accelerate even if the brake pedal is depressed.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #36

May 252010


  • miles
Whenever I brake when going over a bump, such as a manhole cover, pothole, or cobblestone road, the ABS system engages and for a moment the brake does not seem to be working, the car is not slowing. I am worried it could lead to an accident if another car were close in front of me. When my husband mentioned the problem to the Toyota dealer, the brakes were checked and we were told there was nothing wrong. However, this continues to happen and the moment without braking is too long for comfort.

- St. Paul, MN, USA

problem #35

May 122010


  • 22,130 miles


This failure occurs whenever one wheel looses traction with the road. Instead of the antilock braking kicking in, the brakes on all wheels are backed off giving the feeling the car is accelerating. This happens when you go over a bump or snow. On snow you have to allow additional braking distant. This is the same problem as described for the 2010 Prius.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #34

May 082010


  • 35,500 miles
For approximately the past six months the passenger side headlight in our car has gone out intermittently. This occurs when there is any vibration in the road from, for example, uneven road surfaces. Additionally, our car accelerates after hitting a bump or a pothole.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #33

Apr 122010


  • 45,000 miles
On Monday, April 12, 2010, in the morning, on a rainy day in sacramento, California, I was driving about 15 mph when the traffic in front of me slowed. I was driving over railroad tracks with steel plates between the tracks in my 2007 Toyota Prius. I braked but the car did not stop. I had time to actually look down at my feet to confirm that it was definitely the brakes that I was applying major pressure to. I also noticed that the light was on indicating that the car did not have traction. I hit the car in front of me. The first words out of my mouth were, "I had no brakes, I'm so sorry, but I had no brakes." The initial estimate for my car is over $6,000, I have not heard what the estimate is for the other car. I did everything I could have done, the car failed me.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #32

Feb 262010


  • 48,000 miles


I noticed in the last few months that the "slippery" sign on my Prius 2007 came on many times even under very safe road conditions. For example, when I did a right turn slowly, the "slippery" sign would come on. On February 26, 2010. I was driving my car when it started to sleet. All of a sudden, my car lost control and started to spin until it hit the snow bank on the road side. In the following week, the car slipped twice when I approached stop signs slowly and applied brake lightly. We examined the rear tires which were the original tires with 48,000 miles on and the markings were mostly worn out. I would also want to point out that these old tires passed inspection on the same day of the accident and we just changed the tires hoping to improve the traction. After the tires were changed on March 6, 2010, it slipped once in the following two weeks under the same situation when I approached a stop sign slowly and applied brake lightly. The road conditions were all perfect when these 3 slippages happened after Feb. 26, 2010. I have read some articles(consumeraffairs.com) and chat rooms(priuschat.com) online and found quite a few similar experiences from other Prius drivers.

- Belle Mead, NJ, USA

problem #31

Feb 152010


  • 45,081 miles
I have multiple times experienced a dangerous over-sensitivity of the traction control system on my car. It consistently happens in the following scenarios: A) if I am driving at a low speed, say 20 mph, on a smooth, dry paved road and then "panic break" the trac system kicks in and temporarily cuts power to my car, resulting in a momentary loss of braking. B) if I am waiting at a stop light in the right hand lane, about to make a right hand turn, and there is even a moderate amount of gravel on the road or the road is wet, then I accelerate to make my right turn, the trac system again kicks in, resulting in a momentary loss of acceleration. I have been compensating for these occurrences, however I feel very unsafe in this car yet no one seems to want to do anything about it. When I took my car to the dealer, they literally just said that the car was "operating as it was designed to." Well then maybe it is the design that needs to be re assessed.

- Bernalillo, NM, USA

problem #30

May 182006


  • 650 miles
This event has occured on a number of occasions with my 2007 Toyota Prius. When I am applying the brakes and go over a bump or pothole, the traction control light appears and the brakes weaken for a moment. The light will go off and the breaks feel like they go back to full strength. I am aware of this issue and have modified my driving becasue of it. Recently while approaching an intersection I had to slow very quickly and hit a pothole while the brakes were applied. I traveled several feet further because the brakes were not reacting at full strength when the light was on. I have heard of other 2007 owners complaining but when I contacted my Toyota dealer they said there was nothing they could do until there is a recall. That was the only time I contacted my dealer because it made me so upset. It is safe to say that from the moment I have purchased the car (within the first week) to current, if I am breaking and hitting a bump or pothole of significant disruptance at the same time - this situation replays itself. The date of incident is around the first date of the first occurance. It has happened nearly 100+ times since then.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #29

Mar 112010


  • 42,000 miles
I am writing to explain two problems I have had with my Toyota Prius. I want to have a documented of report of these problems in the event that they result in a serious accident, as I fear they might. I have experienced these problems on a number of occasions. The first problem occurs whenever I drive over rough or uneven payment. When the traction control kicks in, it feels as if the car is surging and it is necessary to step on the brake, sometimes with both feet, very hard in order to get the car to slow down or stop. I have taken the car in for this problem a couple of times. I have driven cars with traction control in the past and never felt the surging that occurs with the Prius, when driving other cars using other traction control systems. The other issue with the car is that occasionally, when accelerating, my normally silent Prius makes a loud revving noise. Whenever I hear this noise, I immediately take my foot off the gas. Thankfully, so far, the noise stops and the car slows down. The noise does not occur every time I accelerate, but it seems to be happening with increasing frequency. I am not sure if other Prius owners, especially those who have been involved in accidents, have reported this issue or noticed the revving noise prior to their accidents. But, I thought it might be an important piece of the puzzle that should be reported. I hope this information is useful. Quite honestly, I am a concerned each and every time I get into my car. But, with a year remaining on my lease I have little choice but to engage in what I feel is increasingly a game of Toyota owner russian roulette to get to school and do all the things I need to do.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #28

Mar 092010


  • miles


Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6). I own a 2007 Toyota Prius, I have been having the same issues other drivers are reporting in that the vehicle will increase speed when going over bumps, or on a slippery road. I always assumed it was some traction control system and it was normal, however the recent news stories have made me aware that my situation with my vehicle is not normal. I have contacted Toyota about this major issue, however they advised me that because the vehicle is no longer under warranty that they are not held liable for the vehicle. They also stated that due to no recall being issued for this model and year that nothing can be done, unless I am willing to pay to have the issue at hand resolved. I do feel that the braking issue is identical to the 2010 issues. Not sure what to do, and therefore I am writing to you. The incident date would be when ever I drive my vehicle, no crash has happened yet however. [xxx]

- Concord, NH, USA

problem #27

Feb 062010


  • 51,000 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) sudden loss of power when tires lose traction (2007 Toyota Prius - VIN: [xxx] ).

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #26

Feb 222010


  • 48,900 miles
I drive a 2007 Prius. Recently when driving over pot holes, the stability control kicks in and the vehicle lunges forward ( unintended acceleration). This behavior is pronounced on bigger pot holes and less in severity on uneven roads or smaller pot holes.

- Belleville, MI, USA

problem #25

Oct 102007


  • 1,000 miles
I own a 2007 Prius. I have noticed on many occasions that when you go over a pothole, or there is gravel on the road, the traction control light comes on and for a moment, the car loses its braking ability. You accelerate for a bit before the brakes come on again. It is very scary. Thank god nothing has happened, but how many injuries have to happen before Toyota does something?!

- Laredo, TX, USA

problem #24

Sep 062009


  • 9,500 miles
2007 Toyota Prius - braking issue on rainy or slick surface. Upon normal braking on a slick or wet surface the car becomes unstable, the ABS braking becomes irregular and the car goes into a skid and does not stop in a normal fashion or within a normal braking distance. The same braking response occurs if I hit a pothole while braking. The Toyota dealer tells me that this is normal. It is not normal as I cannot drive the car under wet or snowy conditions for fear of an accident. The braking issues noted in the 2010 Prius make me wonder if a similar condition exists for the 2007 model year. I suspect that it is the ECU which is faulty.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #23

Feb 222010


  • 36,000 miles
This has happened dozens of times, to myself and my wife. We are braking, and whilst braking drive over a pothole or drain. The traction control comes on, and the car disengages the brakes and the car lurches forward. After clearing the pothole, the traction control then disengages, and the brakes re-engage. Several times, I have come close to hitting the car in front. Conditions: Clear, sunny, dry roads. Car: Toyota Prius, year 2007.

- Beacon, NY, USA

problem #22

Dec 152009


  • 10,000 miles
I have owed both a 2005 and 2007 Prius and have experienced two problems with both vehicles that are a safety concern, although no accident has resulted from these problems. 1) in snowy conditions, when traveling up an incline, the traction control system can turn off power to both drive wheels with the result that the car can not make it up the hill. Granted this can happen even to a more conventional car, but the Prius does this under circumstances when other cars have no problem negotiating the hill. The owners manual claims that this is to protect the electric engine, however, it seems that there should be an override of some sort that allows the internal combustion motor to turn the wheels when traction is poor. This system has also led to circumstances in parking lots during snow, where it becomes impossible to move the car even though other conventional cars are able to negotiate the snow without a problem. 2) in circumstances where the Prius must merge quickly into traffic for instance when turning into busy traffic at an intersection, if you floor the gas pedal the car initial accelerates, but then the acceleration fades dramatically, before it resurges. This can be circumvented by not pressing the gas pedal so hard, however, the instinct is to step on the gas as hard as possible. This is not only hair-raising when it happens, but also could lead on an accident.

- Shrewsbury, MA, USA

problem #21

Dec 062008


  • 19,000 miles
My wife has a 2007 Prius, on which we run dunlop graspics snow tires, 185/65R15, in the winter, on all 4 corners. We have run the graspics on a Dodge Caravan, Ford mustang, and Acura rsx, with good results, on snowy / icy roads. Anyway, we were in Canada, December 6, 2008, beautiful sunny day, temp about 6 deg. F. roads in the city had 1 - 2 inches of snow, with enough salt to make a nice greasy mixture, (too cold to melt the snow). I stopped at a stop sign before making a left turn. From full stop, and there were some on coming cars but a distance away, I gently stepped on the gas to make the turn - nothing - okay the traffic a little closer, but still a long ways away. I give it a little more gas, and maybe we are moving. Finally it is creeping across, and we complete the left turn with no bent sheet metal. After this experience, and with no one else in the Prius, I did some experimenting. The traction control appears to work too well. It seems to allow no slippage, and there is no feeling of forward progress, or that the tires are even trying. I did find some similar comments on the internet. I called Toyota and they are so concerned about damage to the Prius drivetrain that the traction control is designed to allow no slippage. The person on the phone at Toyota said that if the tires spun and then got traction, there may be damage resulting in a $6000 repair bill. I said, %$#@ the $6000; I had 4 people in a car that was very dangerous at snowy intersections. I asked to talk to some one else and got no different answer, except that they had received similar calls, and the only advice was to use snow tires. No deaths or injuries. No fire no crash. Not reported to police.

- Westborough, MA, USA

problem #20

Feb 122010


  • 35,000 miles
When braking while driving over potholes, speed bumps, manhole covers, or any kind of bump in the road, car lurches forward, and brakes do not work at that moment, in addition, the traction warning light flashes telling driver car has lost traction with road. It occurs every single time the brakes are depressed while driving over a bump, pothole, manhole cover, or any kind of bump in the road. Have come extremely close to rear-ending an individual in front of me at an intersection because there was a bump as I approached the intersection, and was braking to slow down. Have taken to dealer once and told brakes are fine, unable to duplicate problem. Taking back again to have service technician ride with us so we can demonstrate problem.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #19

Jan 152010


  • 29,000 miles
Traction control stability control vsc cuts power instead of gently braking one wheel.

- San Diego, CA, USA

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