really awful
Crashes / Fires:
32 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
8 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,374 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.

2008 Toyota Prius brakes problems

brakes problem

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2008 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 2 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #137

Apr 272008


  • 1,000 miles


I own a 2008 Prius. When braking on an uneven surface, the brakes seem to momentarily fail and the ABS light blinks on the dashboard. It makes me feel as though there is a defect in the braking system. This happens regularly. Incident date is actually date of purchase of the car.

- Orland Park, IL, USA

problem #136

Jun 152009

Prius 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. When braking from speeds of 6 mph, there was an unusual increase in brake stopping time. The contact stated she applied extreme pressure to the brakes before they engaged. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. There were no repairs made to the vehicle. The failure mileage was 20,000 and the current mileage was 25,000. Updated 7/26/10 the consumer stated the brake would start to engage and then suddenly let go. Updated 08/03/10

- Richfield, MN, USA

problem #135

May 182010


  • miles
2008 Prius. Often when I go over a bump the anti-lock braking system kicks in and it feels as if I have lost control of the car. I don't think I could stop suddenly. I haven't had an accident but I am uncomfortable driving sometimes even in good weather. The service department was no help.

- Greenwich, CT, USA

problem #134

Mar 262008


  • 1 miles


Every time I am braking and go over a bump in my 2008 Toyota Prius the anti-lock braking system kicks in. When it does so, it feels like the brakes disengage for a second and the car goes faster, like the braking system is failing before it ends up kicking in. My Toyota dealer tells me this is the way it is supposed to work but it does not feel safe to me. It has been this way since the first day I bought the car brand new from the dealer.

- Fulton, NY, USA

problem #133

May 162010


  • 300 miles
Frequently while driving on dry, clear and clean roads, my car braking system will seem to fail and feel like the car is going into a skid. The ABS warning light comes on as well - although there is no reason for brake trouble. Seems to be happening more and more frequently lately.

- Wauwatosa, WI, USA

problem #132

Mar 122010


  • 12,000 miles
In my 2008 Toyota Prius, when I am braking (using the regenerative braking system) and hit a rough patch of pavement that requires the ABS, there is a short time when no brake is engaged and the car seems to speed up temporarily (just a split second). Please note that this has happened on numerous occasions, not just the date requested below.

- Wauwatosa, WI, USA

problem #131

May 052010


  • 41,000 miles


During a hard braking event, the anti-lock-brakes take over but for a moment before they do, it feels like I have no brakes and the car seems to go faster. It is a scary feeling.

- New Berlin, WI, USA

problem #130

May 052008


  • 15 miles
2008 Toyota Prius -ABS releases brakes while applying brakes over bump or bumpy road surface causing longer stopping distance. Vehicle will stop acceleration in turn if going over bump as thug stability control is activating.

- Sun Prairie, WI, USA

problem #129

Sep 252009


  • miles
I have noticed a seeming problem with my 2008 Toyota Prius. If I am braking when I happen to go over a bump in the road, the brakes seem like they "let up", so that it feels like instead of braking, the car is accelerating. Occasionally, the light will come on the dash that indicates a slippery road, so I think it may have something to do with the anti-lock brakes? it just doesn't seem right, and I'm curious if there may be a defect in the brake system.

- Janesville, WI, USA

problem #128

Apr 252010


  • 9,000 miles
While driving about 65 mph on a smooth interstate, my 2008 Toyota Prius accelerated when I tapped the brake to take it out of cruise control. I stepped on the brake again and it stopped accelerating, and slowed down. I had removed the floor mat a few weeks prior. I took it to Toyota to have the recall work done, which included a software upgrade. They said after they inspected the car that they determined form the log that the brake and accelerator had been pressed at the same time, twice. I am sure I did not step on both. As I said, I tapped the break to take it out of cruise control, and at the time it accelerated my foot was in the air, not touching either pedal. I suggested the cruise control may be erroneously putting flags in the log as it slows and accelerated to maintain a consistent speed. The dealer refused to report this suggestion or since it would be diagnosing, and said there was no place for them to report that I was sure I had not stepped on both pedals at the same time. Thank you, and I hope you are able to resolve this problem.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #127

Apr 272010


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


S10 appropriate handling-letter to the secretary from re Toyota problems the consumer stated the brakes made a noise. According to the dealer, there may have been rust on the rotors, due to lack of driving. The vehicle was not getting proper gas mileage and the gas motor made a lot of noise.

- Kettering, OH, USA

problem #126

Feb 122010


  • 19,354 miles
Toyota Prius 2008 less serious - frequent release or lapse of braking by ABS (assumed) on irregular roadway small cracks seem to confuse system with significant forward travel of vehicle before brakes reengage. Similar to my earlier 2005 model but more frequent occurrences and longer lapse in pad rotor contact during braking. Most serious brakes failed almost 10 seconds. Travel on wet slushy highway for 2 hours on 55 mph road with uphill grade and slight turn to right driver applied light brake pressure attempting to time deceleration to controlled intersection for green light. Application of brakes slowed vehicle no more then uphill coast, firmer pressure to no effect, full hard pressure no effect, slight release and full slam, no immediate effect, finally ABS stuttered/pulsed and stop vehicle.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #125

Mar 192010


  • 21,147 miles
I have a 2008 Toyota Prius that we purchased new in April of 08. On March 19th I was driving in heavy stop and go traffic on a street with construction panels on parts of surface. I was leaving a car length in front of me. When the car ahead stopped, I applied the brakes and nothing happened. The car kept going and crashed into the rear end of the car ahead. No one hurt but damage to bumper and hood of my car. Took the car to the dealership next morning. Toyota rep looked over it, ran diagonstic codes and said nothing was wrong with the car. I know the brakes failed. We have lost confidence in the car and Toyota service.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #124

Mar 092008


  • 52,500 miles
I have a 2008 Toyota Prius that experiences the same hesitancy and shaking while braking that the 2010 recalled models have. I initially took the vehicle to Toyota within the first year of ownership and they claimed to not be able to duplicate the problem. They also told me last week at the dealership they have had other 2008 owners state the same problem, but since the vehicles are not under recall, there is no recourse for these cars. I have never had a crash due to the problem, but it makes handling a bit difficult when the brakes shake. I feel the recall fix should be made available to other model years as well.

- New Braunfels, TX, USA

problem #123

Mar 012010


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While traveling at a speed of 25 mph the contact attempted to apply the brakes and noticed that they would not engage. When the brakes failed to stop the vehicle the contact crashed into a curb which caused the vehicle to stop. The VIN was not available. There were no injuries or need to file a police report. The failure mileage was 15,000 and the current mileage was 15,500.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #122

Oct 192009


  • miles
Vehicle did not stop as expected in stop and go traffic. I bumped the car in front of me in the morning. And then on the way home I almost rear ended another car. This never happened before or since. I thought something was wrong with me that would make my timing be so off that I would hit another car! I told the dealer about it and they said it was probably "brake fade". I disagreed and stopped driving the car recently while the braking/acceleration concerns are investigated. I have a 2008 Prius.

- Point Of Rocks, MD, USA

problem #121

Mar 152010


  • miles
Consumer is concerned with braking problems with the 2008 Toyota Prius. The consumer believed the braking problem was related to weight of the vehicle, due to it being so light.

- Lumberton, NJ, USA

problem #120

Jan 112010


  • miles
2008 Toyota Prius brakes failed while driving causing and accident. The consumer stated the vehicle in front of him began to brake and he thought he had plenty of time to brake. In fact, his foot was already on the brake pedal, with the system he believed was already in regenerative braking. In fact, it actually seemed to decrease significantly for about a second while exhibiting none of the foot pedal vibration characteristic of anti-lock brakes. Only after the second long period of no braking capability did any braking force seem to occur which the consumer believed was when the system's mechanical braking took over.

- Marlborough, MA, USA

problem #119

Mar 092010


  • 24,000 miles
My 2008 Prius has an unacceptable level of ABS false activation. I have been waiting for an software update to be developed and deployed, but it seems Toyota only acknowledges the issue on the 2010 model. I am a former brake systems engineer and I know how the ABS should operate. This tuning is too sensitive on rough surfaces and results in temporary reduction in braking force that is disconcerting and potentially dangerous. This occurs anytime braking on rough surfaces (chatter bump).

- Novi, MI, USA

problem #118

Mar 012010


  • 1,000 miles
I own a 2008 Toyota Prius and I have problems with my brakes after going over bumpy roads or potholes. I notice this when I am applying constant brake pressure through bumpy road conditions as my brakes will simply let go. I personally believe that there is a software problem regarding the ABS system and the system believing there is wheel lock up when there is none. This would cause the ABS system to engage. It should not be so sensitive that is goes off when no wheels are slipping. I have experienced this in many instances and it has almost lead to me crashing into a toll booth arm/pole. Or once driving too far into an intersection at a red light. Toyota says the braking problem only affects the 2010 Prius model but this is simply not true. I have been experiencing this since I first took possession of my model 2008 Prius in early 2008.

- Miami Beach, FL, USA

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