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 4 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #97

May 152009


  • 15,000 miles


On my 2008 Prius I applied the brakes over anything other than perfectly smooth dry pavement and the "traction control" light comes on and the car stops all braking force momentarily for approximately a second or so. While this is usually just an annoyance I was driving on the Washington capital beltway I-495 East near the route 50 the car ahead of me slammed on the brakes, I looked away briefly then hit the brakes and the brakes did not apply pressure consistently causing my car to run into the back of a larger truck which should have a far greater braking distance than my Prius. I should have been able to brake in time.

- Potomac, MD, USA

problem #96

May 192008


  • 500 miles
I have a 2008 Toyota Prius and have had brake problems with this car since it was new been back to dealers at least 6 times only to be told "we cannot duplicate the problem". when it is raining and I first start out with the car the brakes will slam on and the tires will skid. My wife had the car out one time while I was in the hospital and she hurt her breast with the seatbelt when this happened to her. Also when I am stepping on the brakes when going over some bumps the right front wheel will lock up and the anti skid light comes on. This car is dangerous to drive and the last time I spoke to Toyota tues of this week the person I spoke to said what would I like for Toyota to do for me and I told him Toyota should buy this car back from me and all he said was that is not going to happen. Just want to be heard at this point that is why I am making a complaint with NHTSA. We need to be heard.

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #95

Dec 302008


  • 200 miles
We own two (2) Prius cars. One is a 2008 touring model Prius; the other is a 2010 Prius V purchased in December 2009. Both cars have the braking issue when the antilock brakes are used on rough roads such as potholes. I have made this known to caldwell Toyota - I was told both cars operate within specifications. Both cars "jump and lurch forward" when the brake pedal is "slammed on". I know that the 2010 Prius should be recalled and repaired. My concern is that the same issue exists in the 2008 Prius. Why is the 2008 year not being recalled?

- Nutley, NJ, USA

problem #94

Feb 082008


  • 50,000 miles


2008 Prius which experiences momentary loss of braking on rough roads or surfaces which cause the feeling of a loss of braking momentarily.

- Raymond, MS, USA

problem #93

Nov 012008


  • 5,000 miles
When applying the brakes, over rough road the car will vault forward before stopping.

- North Jackson, OH, USA

problem #92

May 272009


  • 1,800 miles
I was in williams, AZ on May 27, 2009. At the railroad rv park. Got into my 2008 Prius to return to conress and immediately smashed into a post about 50 feet from my starting point. It happend so fast I don't know how it happened. Didn't even have a chance to apply the brake. Filed an accident report report with the williams police department since there was property damage to the rv post and my Prius. Had moderate damage but was able to limp back home. Repaired my Prius at a local collision shop. Drove down to the phoenix, AZ, area (almost 55 miles from home) about two months ago. After about the last 20 freeway miles I saw traffic stopped ahead at a stop sign. Started to apply the brakes and noticed that I didn't slow immediately. Finally ended up only about 50 feet from the car ahead. Had to aggressively apply the brakes when I saw I wasn't stopping as soon as I thought. Was relieved when I didn't plow into that car ahead this same occurance happened at least once earlier but was not as fightening. Sometimes, while stopped at a light, I have a feeling that someone bumped me in the rear, but I have never been bumped. This identical problem even occurred when I had my 2002 Prius. Most service managers say "it is nothing to be worried about". was hoping to have been able to wait until they produced a "plug-in" Prius but I probably won't ever buy a Toyota product again. I am really worried about a future accident in my Prius and hate to drive it. My 2008 Prius.

- Congress, AZ, USA

problem #91

Feb 052010


  • 17,500 miles


I have a 2008 Prius. I have had several incidents of while traveling on bumpy roads, over potholes, loss of braking power. My speed has been on average between 20 and 35 miles per hour the brakes will not catch for 1 or 2 seconds. I have come close to having an accident on three separate occasions because of inability to stop within. This only appears to occur over bumpy roads and the traction control light flashes in each incident. One incident occurred about September 2009 and the latest incident I have noted below.

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #90

Dec 072009


  • miles
My 2008 Toyota Prius has experienced multiple incidents in which the brakes do not kick in for a second or so when trying to brake going over rough roads. The anti-lock brake light comes on the dashboard, but the brakes themselves do not begin to slow down the car for a second or so.

- Lakewood, OH, USA

problem #89

Feb 092010


  • 61,000 miles
My brakes flash a signal on the dash and feel like they 'release' when I am braking and drive across a rough spot. Also, today my car did the same thing when I went to accelerate from a stop light, the road was wet from rain. This has happened more times than I can count and I didn't realize it was a problem although it is very concerning, until the Toyota recall information about the new Prius. I drive the same road everyday and there is a down hill area that comes to a stop light and my car does this every time if I have to brake going down the hill for the light, unless I take my foot off the brakes when I hit the rough areas.

- Oroville, CA, USA

problem #88

Feb 042010


  • 34,250 miles
The car's anti-lock brakes fail to engage when the traction control kicks in. Thus, the car slides forward uncontrollably. I have avoided accidents only by swerving. Additionally, the traction control will activate when on dry pavement. Thus, normal stopping can be difficult if the car's traction control is activated (typically due to a bump/pothole).

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #87

Nov 282009


  • miles


2008 Toyota Prius. Brakes seems to "lose hold" when driving at slow speeds and hitting a bump in the road. The loss of braking seems to only last for a fraction of a second but is very disconcerting. Also, driver's side headlamp kept malfunctioning, going off periodically when driving. Dealer could not replicate problem in shop, so stated there was no problem. Took car back three additional times for same issue. Finally dealer said there'd been numerous complaints and changed out the headlamp at a cost of $250. ($150 for the headlamp and $100 for labor) later got a letter from Toyota acknowledging the faulty headlamp issue, but said Toyota had given us a discount by only charging $150 for the headlamp instead of the regular $300 cost. $300 for a headlamp seems excessive and if it's a common issue why is Toyota not issuing a recall for this matter.

- Midway, KY, USA

problem #86

Jun 072008


  • 0 miles
With the brake pedal engaged, the brakes shut off temporarily while the traction control light is on. This failure occurs daily when I approach the stop sign in my neighborhood. As a approach the stop sign (brakes engaged), the road dips slightly which turns on the traction control. At this point the brakes turn off (with my foot still on the pedal) until the traction control light goes out indicating that the traction control has disengaged. So far I have been lucky and have not hit anyone after rolling through the stop sign. This is not a new problem as it has happened basically every day since I bought the vehicle. I have been dealing with it until I saw the notice about the 2010 Prius with exactly the same problem. I would like to submit a formal complaint so that the 2010 Prius brake investigation can be expanded to include the 2008 Prius.

- West Kingston, RI, USA

problem #85

Jun 012008


  • miles
2008 Toyota Prius hybrid - braking problem since purchase of car. Son remarked frequently when he drove vehicle. I noticed it only when hitting a bumpy surface that caused car to respond as if it had lost traction and seemed to engage the ABS system. No consequences to date, but risky if bumpy conditions occur on icy patches. I mentioned at last vehicle checkup at Toyota dealership where I go for service, but was told problem could not be duplicated - so no rememdy suggested. I feel confident Toyota will address, but since I am a pre- 2010 Prius, I wanted to bring this to your attention.

- West Roxbury, MA, USA

problem #84

Feb 082010


  • 20,000 miles
2008 Toyota Prius - when braking over an uneven surface, the deceleration momentarily disappears - this is usually less than a second, but is very noticeable. This has happened for as long as I've owned the car (late 2007) - and I can reproduce the event. A road was just worked on near my house and a part of the pavement near the intersection has been removed and filled in with gravel - when approaching the intersection, the braking suddenly releases, then reapplies. I always thought this was related to the traction control.

- Bainbridge Island, WA, USA

problem #83

Jan 012009


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius hybrid. While driving 10 mph he experienced a delay whenever the brakes were applied unless he continued to apply pressure to the brake pedal. He will take the vehicle to the dealer to diagnose the failure. The failure mileage was 40,000 and the current mileage was 45,000.

- Urban , OH, USA

problem #82

Jan 302010


  • miles
Brakes momentarily fail and/or the car lurches forward when applying the brakes while driving on top of a pot hole or other similar obstruction.

- Stamford, CT, USA

problem #81

Jan 152010


  • 33,000 miles
There are two issues with my 2008 Toyota Prius. When trying to accelerate rapidly, the engine cuts out and hesitates. I think it's related to the traction control, but this happens way too easily. I have new tires and it happens on dry pavement. The second issue is related to the brakes. When braking and encountering small bumps in the road, the car appears to leap forward. There is a sensation of accelerating when this happens, although I'm certain it is just the ABS system. It is a very uneasy feeling.

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #80

Sep 102008


  • 45,000 miles
Braking fails when going over rumble strips or rough road surface. 2 accidents in this car both on city streets with somewhat poor surface. Both a speeds less than 30 mph but whole system shuts down utill bumps stop only accidents I have had in 40 years of driving. I work in 3 states avg 60K /yr I asked dealer to disable the anti skid feature as manual said could be done dealer said they had trouble disabling feature it kept reseting itself to

- Westminster, MD, USA

problem #79

Jul 142009


  • 16,000 miles
The brakes on my 2008 Toyota Prius disengaged for a second or two while attempting to stop on a road that was bumpy

- Valley City, OH, USA

problem #78

May 152009


  • 15,000 miles
When my 2008 Toyota Prius moves on a bumpy surface at low speed I feel a pause in the braking - same problem that is being reported on the 2010 models.

- Strongsville, OH, USA

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