definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,000 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.

2009 Toyota Prius brakes problems

brakes problem

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2009 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #10

Dec 122013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles


As I was driving my 2009 Toyota Prius on the service road of I-30 in dallas around 25 mph after previously taking off from a red light, my vehicle's warning lights all turned on and started to beep and I could not brake or really steer. My vehicle...I almost hit the vehicle in front of me. Somehow I was able to turn right into a parking lot and somehow press on the brakes strong in enough to make the car stop. I feared for safety and the safety others as well. It was a very scary situation to be in a car that was not responding when you are trying to break and there's nothing you can do about it. Once I was in the parking lot, I turned the vehicle on and off and the lights were still on and beeping, did it again and it stopped. I took the car to the Toyota dealership and they are telling me it's an issue with the accelerator and brake system and that I have to pay to have it fixed, but I am wondering how can Toyota not be at fault for this safety issue? I'm glad I didn't injure myself or another person this time, but I think Toyota really needs to look into this issue with their Prius vehicles. I do not feel safe driving mine at all now.....they can not get away with not being responsible and liable for their faulty and defective vehicle's safety mechanisms.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #9

Sep 172013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 71,500 miles
The vehicle braking lost braking momentarily when I was driving over small bumps and vehicle slip sign illuminated.

- Flanders, NJ, USA

problem #8

Mar 142010


  • 2,900 miles
2009 Prius - on two occasion recently when I went to make a right turn my steering froze and the engine died. I almost hit a car. I have had it into piercy Toyota on two occasion and they still have not found anything. I am afraid to drive the car. It only ha 3000 miles on it. They have been nice, but no results. If the car is doing this now and they cannot find it what happens next. Not satisfied with there answer. I need your help.

- Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #7

Jan 152010


  • 12,000 miles


The problem with the Prius is the enhanced vsc, not the brakes! I have been reading about the braking problem in the Toyota Prius and they all seem to occur under rough or slippery driving conditions. I own a 2009 Prius and the same thing happens but it seems to be a problem with the enhanced vehicle stability control (vsc). Please look into the enhanced vsc for the problem because I don't think it's the brakes.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #6

Jul 012009


  • 500 miles
I own a 2009 Toyota Prius and when the vehicle encounters a pot hole or any rough road service, it jumps ahead and there is a delay when I attempt to brake. On the dashboard the icy roadway indicataor appears at these times. This siituation has been ongoing since I purchased the vehicle in April 2009

- Staten Island, New York, NY, USA

problem #5

Nov 282009


  • miles
I have a 2009 Prius. I've been complaining to friends and family, since I got it about six months ago, about its instability when I go over small bumps and ruts in the road. The car seems to surge ahead, swerve a bit, and lose contact with the ground. The other major problem is the car's horrible traction on wet highways. If I'm traveling over 45 M.P.H., my car begins to hydroplane. The experience is unnerving. I've never driven a car that feels so unsafe and that makes me feel such a lack of confidence, and I've been driving for 35 years. Plus, during the last snowstorm, when I put my Prius in park on a slight incline on the road in front of my home, the car slid about 20 feet, in park. I had to put on the emergency brake to stop. It slides all over the road, in snow. I hate this car and wish I'd never bought it. I believe that its merits were misrepresented. Despite the chosen date that you've required me to enter, unfortunately these problems are ongoing.

- Swampscott, MA, USA

problem #4

Oct 302008


  • 100 miles


Every day I encounter a large pot hole on my way to work. It is about 20 feet from a stop sign, so at this point I am already driving slow and braking. However, when the one wheel dips into the hole, the yellow traction system light comes on, and I feel what could be a slight loss in braking, as if the car is coasting for a split second (versus braking/slowing) or perhaps accelerating forward. The car/system recovers as soon as all wheels pass the pothole. Not having had a traction control system prior to this car, I didn't know what was normal so I didn't pursue it, but I know I don't like how it feels! this has been happening every time I drive over that pothole since I bought the car. Luckily they just paved the hole last month finally. Otherwise I try to avoid rough roads as a matter of course. Perhaps a related problem is when trying to go up an icy/slushy slope and the traction control shuts off the wheels to keep them from slipping/spinning. Since I live on a hill, this makes winter especially stressful and makes me fearful of driving to from work and encountering even a slight incline that is not plowed or salted --what if the car stopped and I got hit? Toyota says this is "normal" to keep the electric engine from being over stressed or some such thing.

- Mukilteo, WA, USA

problem #3

Jan 082010


  • 26,000 miles
Snow covered road, was braking for stop sign, went over manhole cover, ABS (electronic stability control) kicked in, lost braking for about three feet.

- New York Mills, NY, USA

problem #2

Jan 222010


  • 12,000 miles
When braking on rough road, like when you hit a small pothole, our 2009 Toyota Prius handles improperly. The "slip indicator" light flashes. It briefly feels like there is a loss of control.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #1

Nov 252008


  • 5,000 miles
We brought a new 2009 Prius in September of this year, 2008. I was driving in the snow, and found that this car has a mind of its own; the traction control took total control of the car, and left me in the middle of the road in a curve as I was about to go up a hill. The car came to a stop; I could not accelerate at all! the sheriff, who was driving on the other side of the street had to go off the road to keep from hitting me head on, and the person behind me had to swerve to keep from hitting me. Thank god I didn't have an accident! I contacted the two Toyota dealers in our area, and I was told that the response from the Prius was "normal." When I called the Toyota 800 customer service number, I was again told that the car was designed that way. They also suggested that we try snow tires on the car. In spite of living where we are in johnson city, New York (near binghamton), we have always used all-season tires without any trouble. We had a 1995 intrepid which had traction control, and we had no trouble with it. It had a switch that you could use if you needed to turn the traction control off. I don't know why the Prius has no way to turn the traction control off; I believe Toyota's design is faulty and dangerous. It's a death trap, a serious safety hazard and needs to be changed! please help us in getting the attention of the Toyota motor company to do a recall and make it so that this car has a way to turn off the traction control when it deems necessary. It should not be necessary for accidents to occur and people be hurt or killed to make it compulsory that a bad design be fixed. (please note: We wrote "Camry" on your form under model selection because you did not have "Prius" listed. We had to select some car model in order to proceed with the application). Thank you.

- Johnson City, NY, USA

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