fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,956 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

problem #14

Dec 182008


  • 500 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. When driving approximately 15 mph over an icy or bumpy road surface and depressing the brake pedal, the vehicle seemed to continue accelerating instead of decreasing in speed. The driver had to continue depressing the brake pedal in order to decrease the speed of the vehicle. She noticed the problem on at least 6 separate occasions. The dealer was contacted and stated that there was nothing they could do to correct the failure. There were no recalls on the vehicle. The manufacturer was not contacted and no repairs were made to the vehicle at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was approximately 5,000 and the current was 500.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #13

Feb 082010


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. Whenever the contact applies the brakes while traveling over a rough surface the ABS will activate causing the vehicle to surge forward. The vehicle had not been diagnosed by the dealership and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 65000.

- New Kensington, PA, USA

problem #12

Apr 102009


  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. She stated that three times she has experienced sudden acceleration. Once while turning left on the highway at 55mph the vehicle suddenly accelerated. She also experienced brake failure when pulling up to a stop sign, or red light, or driving over a bump the brake did not respond immediately. She took the vehicle to the dealer. The dealer stated the vehicle is not included in the recall and there was nothing they could do, but they would report the failure to the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 25,000 and the current mileage 33,765.

- Chaska, MN, USA

problem #11

May 052008


  • 2,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that during inclement weather the brakes locked. The contact states while driving 5 miles per hour the contact applied the brakes and went through the intersection while applying the brakes. The contact states that the vehicle was having problems when it was purchased. The contact states that he has taken the vehicle in for inspection and was told nothing was wrong and since the issues could not be duplicated they were not willing to fix the problem. The contact states he spoke with Toyota and was advised that nothing was wrong with the vehicle. The contact states that while going over a pothole or a railroad track the brakes would not engage and the anti skid light on the dashboard comes on. The contact states that the brakes interlock three to four seconds later. The failure miles were 2000 miles. The current miles were 24500. The VIN was not available.

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #10

Dec 062009


  • 14,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While driving approximately 6 mph on an icy road surface; proceeding to make a right turn with pressure applied to brake pedal, there was a three second delay power response. The driver exerted excessive force to the brake pedal and suddenly, the vehicle slowed down. The vehicle was able to resume normal operation. The failure occurred whenever making a right turn on any type of road surface conditions. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and the technician refused to inspect the vehicle. The vehicle has not been repaired at this time. The failure mileage was 14,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Springfield, IL, USA

problem #9

Oct 222007


  • 100 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph and applying the brakes they failed to respond unless she applied pressure. This failure occurred approximately 20 times since she purchased the vehicle. The brakes also malfunctioned whenever she drove over railroad tracks. The dealer stated that she must be doing something wrong to cause the brakes to malfunction. No repairs have been made. The failure mileage was 100. The current mileage was 13000.

- Evanston, IL, USA

problem #8

Feb 082008


  • 10 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that when driving over a rough or bumpy surface and trying to depress the brake pedal, the pedal would depress further than normal and the brakes failed for a few seconds before the ABS activated. The issue was ongoing and occurred whenever he drove over a particular rough surface in his neighborhood. He also attempted to brake before he drove over the rough surface and coast to avoid the failure. He has not seen or spoken to the dealer or manufacturer to-date. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was approximately 40,000. The failure mileage was approximately 10.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #7

Apr 202008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
I have a 2008 Prius that has the same problem as that reported with the 2010. Every time I brake on a rippled or bumpy surface, there is a repeated momentary loss of braking. On a certain downhill stretch of road near me, it happened every time I drove it, until it was resurfaced. Another problem is that if the vehicle is on an inclined surface of crushed rock, there is a complete loss of power. The dealer describes this as an "overly sensitive traction control system" that cannot be adjusted. This is also hazardous because on slick surfaces, each momentary loss of traction results in an overly-compensated period of seriously reduced acceleration; we have been sitting ducks in intersections, unable to quickly accelerate out of the way if conditions are slick, not because of the surface itself, but because of the way the vehicle mis-handles the situation.

- Edgewood, KY, USA

problem #6

Nov 192009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 49,500 miles
I own and operate a logistics company in southern Maine. Part of our fleet is three 2008 Toyota Prius'. in reading the description of your 2010 Prius brake failure investigation, I can say for absolute sure that this same problem exists in the 2008 model year. In all three of our Prius', on several occasions, I have experienced this problem. We aren't known for having the most wonderful roads in the northeast and we also have many railroad tracks. The problem as I see it is that when you hit a large pothole/ railroad track there seems to be a 0.5 - 2 second lag time before the brakes actually respond. We have many different employees drive our cars and in asking them they all, at least on one occasions, have experienced this problem. Please look into years beyond just the 2010. I can assure you that if you sent out a survey there would be a large percentage of people who have had this problem. We drive these cars for a living and we rely on you to make sure that what we drive is safe for us and our employees.

- Scarborough, ME, USA

problem #5

Jul 152008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 850 miles
The NHTSA should widen their formal investigation of the momentary loss of braking capability while traveling over an uneven road surface, pothole or bump in Toyota Prius hybrids, beyond model year 2010, to at least the 2008 and 2009 models. I have a 2008 Toyota Prius hybrid and I've been having the same problem since I bought mine in June of 2008. Please widen your investigation to at least the 2008 & 2009 Prius models as well, if not even further back than that... thank you.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #4

May 312008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 20 miles


2008 Prius brake problem. The same problem described with the 2010 Prius, is exactly the same issue I am having with my 2008 Prius. Please consider extending the evaluation of the Prius back to earlier years of the problem.

- Binghamton, NY, USA

problem #3

Jan 022008


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While driving 10 mph the brakes failed whenever the vehicle was driven over a bump or pothole in the road. The vehicle lost traction and continued to accelerate uncontrollably. The dealer informed the contact that the vehicle is designed with the braking feature that caused the failure. The contact is concerned about the risk of a crash occurring. The failure mileage was 20,000.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #2

Nov 262008


  • 18,300 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. Whenever the brake pedal was engaged while driving at speeds of 20 mph or more over ice or a speed bump, the brakes failed. When the failure occurred, the traction control would activate causing the vehicle to slide momentarily. The manufacturer was contacted via email; however she has not received a response. No repairs were made to date. The failure mileage was under 1,000 and the current was 18,300.

- Charlotte , NC, USA

problem #1

Jun 062007


  • 2 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While driving 35 mph it became difficult to engage the brake pedal and the vehicle felt as if it were gliding. The failure has occurred since the vehicle was purchased and only occurred whenever she drove over a pothole. The contact has not taken the vehicle to a dealer. The failure mileage was 2.

- Fairlong, NJ, USA

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