really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
85,950 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2009 Toyota Prius:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2009 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #10

Oct 082016


  • 174,000 miles


Driver went to park and the brakes did not respond! in fact the vehicle went from 2-5mph to approx 30+ & kept picking up speed and went into storefront. Driver was able to wrestle vehicle into reverse and it went equally fast back into a parked car where it finally came to a stop. Hugely frightening and potentially lethal.

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #9

Apr 142015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
I was driving 10-15 mph in the middle of my small town, coming up a slight hill on a street that leveled out shortly before the site of the accident. As I drove up onto the level part of the street, I saw that there was a long line of cars stopped ahead of me, waiting for a traffic light to change. I was about 2-3 car lengths from the last car in the lane of traffic, when the last car in the line of cars ahead of me braked very suddenly, and as I was coming up to that car, I also stepped hard on my brakes - and - my brakes completely failed! I will have nightmares for the rest of my life of those next few moments of pressing on the brake and seeing my car ignore me and continue forward, right into the car in front of me. And, I felt that my car accelerated, as the brakes failed, which made the situation even worse. My car hit the car in front of me (car #2) which hit car #3, which hit car #4. my car was declared a total loss, the car in front of me was badly damaged and had to be loaded onto a flatbed truck of the collision company. Cars #3 and #4 could be driven away; car #3 had some damage to the front and back of the car, while car #4 had some scratches on the rear bumper. I was never notified of any safety recall for the brakes of this car, but I was often alarmed when the brakes seemed to slip or not work for a few seconds each time that I drove over a small bump, pothole, manhole cover, etc. During the six years that I owned and drove this car. There are many other Prius drivers that have written to the edmund.com and other websites to tell of their similar accidents or near accidents. Please warn the public and particularly Prius owners of this danger. These cars are not safe!

- Amherst, MA, USA

problem #8

Dec 162014


  • 98,500 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Prius. While driving various speeds, the brake pedal was depressed and failed to respond. In addition, the brake, the vsc, and the ABS warning lights illuminated. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 98,500.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #7

Jun 142014


  • 77,000 miles


Coming out of the grocery store I started my 2009 Toyota Prius and I notice that it lost braking power and the ABS, vsc, (!),and emergency brake lights stay on. I did some research and there is a recall for 2009 Prius concerning this problem, but only on vehicles manufactured between 3/2009-10/2009 mine was manufacture on 10/2008. I think the recall should be on all 2009 models regardless of manufacturing date. There are many owners online complaining about this issue. My wife and children where scared, and I could of easily hurt someone walking in front of my car at the grocery's store parking lot. I can't drive this car anymore please extend the recall to all 2009 models regardless of manufacturing date. Thank you.

- Harrisonville, MO, USA

problem #6

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 #5

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 #4

Jun 042013


  • 95,000 miles


Since I purchased the Prius in early 2012 with less than 60,000 miles, I always noticed that when braking over rough surfaces, the ABS would kick in and would delay the braking by at least 1/2 second per ABS/stability control event. While I had never had an incident initially, there were many close calls. After talking with the local Toyota dealership, they said it was performing as expected and that I was not used to the car's handling characteristics. However, on 6/4/2013, the braking system performed its usual delay and did not allow me to stop in time, thereby rear-ending another person in a construction zone over a rough roadway. This needs to be something that NHTSA looks into for a recall situation. There are too many complaints already for them just to ignore this when there already has been a recall of the 2010 Prius for the same issue.

- Mount Gilead, OH, USA

problem #3

Feb 152013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 66,500 miles
I purchased my 2009 Prius 3 years 4 months ago. I noticed a strange new sound coming from the engine. It was a rattling noise every 15 seconds or so lasting approximately 3-4 seconds then starting over 15 seconds later constantly repeating this cycle. It continued when the car was off or on. I brought it in to my Toyota dealership. They called me the next day with very unsettling news saying it was the "brake accumulator" as it was losing brake pressure and the noise was it trying to build the brake pressure back up but it wasn't holding. He said it would cost $2,700 to repair. My service representative said this is a part that should not fail and has never been replaced before at this dealership. It was a first for them. I was very upset as this shouldn't be happening in a 3.5 year old car with only 66,500 miles on it that has been impeccably maintained. The more research I did, I saw this was occurring quite often in Camry hybrids along with the Prius. This is a part that should not be failing at all especially in newer cars. If this part is not replaced it can lead to catastrophic break failure. This should be investigated and added to Toyota Prius's never ending recall list! this is the last Toyota I will own.

- Medford, NJ, USA

problem #2

Jun 242012


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while exiting a parking space, the brakes were applied and the vehicle did not respond. The vehicle instead accelerated while the contact had the brake depressed. The contact crashed into a truck. The contact did not sustain injuries. The passenger did sustain some minor cuts and a minor hit to the head. The vehicle was towed to a repair shop. The vehicle was not inspected or repaired. The police department was present and a police report was available. The vehicle had previously been repaired under the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number: 09V388000 (vehicle speed control: Accelerator pedal). The failure and current mileages were under 15,000.

- Ambler, PA, USA

problem #1

Apr 102012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
I was approximately 8 or 9 car lengths from a vehicle that slammed on her brakes before hitting the car in front of her, so I stood up on my brakes at about 30 -35 mph. The cars brakes did not grab for about a second, then started to grab right before impacting the car in front of me.

- Conroe, TX, USA

Not what you are looking for?