really awful
Crashes / Fires:
24 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
7 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,900 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.

2010 Toyota Prius brakes problems

brakes problem

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2010 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 3 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #148

Nov 042015


  • 160,000 miles


Loss of brake pressure, with insufficient breaking to hold at a stop while in drive. Warning lights for brake system, ABS, electronic brake system (yellow exclamation point in a circle), and traction control. Diagnosed by brown Toyota in charlottesville va as faulty brake booster, accumulator, and master cylinder. Brown Toyota said it was a recurring problem they have encountered and they have been in contact with Toyota headquarters about it. Estimate was $5800. Toyota customer service was contacted. Was told it is not one of the 2010 cars covered by the recall despite being the same failure and no compensation was offered.

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #147

Oct 212015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
Vehicles brakes are spongy and unpredictable. The dealer recommended to do a brake fluid exchange and now the problem has gone away. This issue seems very similar to NHTSA campaign id number: 13V235000, where nitrogen enters the brake fluid and makes the brakes less responsive. However, the dealer said this vehicle is not covered by that recall and I was charged $150 for the repair.....updated 12/02/15 the consumer stated the brakes felt spongy and were unpredictable at low speeds of less than 20 mph. Updated 12/28/15.

- Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #146

May 062015


  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While attempting to park the vehicle with the brake pedal engaged, the vehicle accelerated independently without warning. As a result, the contact crashed into the curb. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was not filed and no injuries were reported. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, but was not diagnosed. The body damage was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 72,000.

- Monterey Park, CA, USA

problem #145

Apr 062015


  • 130,000 miles


While decelerating due to application of the brake pedal if the vehicle encounters a pothole or other deep road imperfection the braking cuts out and the vehicle resumes coasting immediately even though the brake pedal is depressed. Harder application of the brake pedal is necessary to resume vehicle braking. Subsequent braking power is much reduced compared to normal braking and significantly harder brake pedal pressure is necessary. Normal braking may be reestablished by lifting the food off the brake pedal completely and re-depressing the brake pedal. The severity of the sudden loss of braking (complete loss of braking) is shocking, alarming, and panic enducing and results in whiplash to the vehicle occupants as the passengers, being unconsciously braced for deceleration, are suddenly jolted back into their seats. When another vehicle is located in front of the vehicle the sudden loss of braking and subsequent weak braking power despite strong brake pedal depression is highly alarming. The most reproducible situation in which this happens is on dry pavement while exiting a highway and decelerating on a straight or slightly curved exit ramp with one or more potholes. The phenomenon occurs in other circumstances as well where a pothole is encountered while the vehicle is under braking.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #144

Sep 032015


  • 60,000 miles
When applying the breaks before and over railroad tracks, the breaking will disengage and then reengage. It will also happen with pot holes. You get the feeling the car won't stop. This has been happing for year and the service department gives different answers to the cause.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #143

Jun 292012


  • 12,500 miles
I have had this problem ever since I bought this car used from a Toyota dealership. If I drive over an uneven surface, pothole, etc., my car will skip and then lurch forward. It is worst on wet roads. I have trouble stopping it. On snow I have little to no traction. I got a new set of tires and I wasted my money. No difference. I don't feel safe driving this vehicle. I have been driving for years, had many different vehicles, drive as part of my job, and have never experienced anything like it. Contacting Toyota about it was a waste of time. I have spoken to other Prius 2010 owners and every one says the same thing about how it handles when going over bumps. The skip and lurch could easily result in a rear end collision. I think this is something Toyota just doesn't want to admit to as being a problem.

- Barto, PA, USA

problem #142

Jul 132011


  • 25,000 miles


Car seems to lurch forward before stopping when braking on a rough surface. This is an ongoing problem. Despite NHTSA notice that there is a software fix available for some 2010 priuses, Toyota maintains my car is not included in the batch that was to receive them. Update 9/15/15

- Oakton, VA, USA

problem #141

Nov 052009


  • 500 miles
As many previous owners described, I am also having problems with the brakes at low speed since the beginning of owning this vehicle (October 2009). Dealer couldn't replicate the problem. Although the car went through the recall for the break system is still having the same issue ever since. The other issue with the brakes happens after rain. It makes a screeching noise without performance being effected. It goes away usually within a half an hour. This has been an ongoing thing too for few years by now. The other issue I had as well as others is dimming of lights that has been occurring since last year. We needed to switch the lightbulbs more frequently than seems normal. Didn't even think it was out of the ordinary until I read the comments here about it. The other problem I started to have is with a stereo display system and the voice activation for the bluetooth. The display had some weird lines on it after a very cold or a very hot day (radio was working fine just the display was not working properly). Eventually goes back to normal but this started happening the last year or so. The same time also had a problem with the voice activation unit which turned on unexpectedly and turned back on in 10 seconds after each time I turned it off. This was happening for a good 30 min at that time. This only occurred twice but both times was after a hot day last summer. This year so far haven't happened yet.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #140

Jan 012011


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving at 20 mph, the contact drove over a pothole and the vehicle veered to the right. In addition, the vehicle accelerated in excess. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who was unable to diagnose or repair the vehicle. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The contact was aware of NHTSA campaign number: 10V039000 (service brakes, air). The failure mileage was 15,000.

- Olney , MD, USA

problem #139

Jun 252010


  • 0 miles
We have experienced inconsistent break feel after ABS actuation during slow and steady application of the brakes on rough or slick road surfaces. We noticed also that there was a recall on this issue in 2010 but our particular car (by VIN number) did not qualify. We think that the recall should have included a broader sample of same year and model. We have brought the problem to the attention of the dealership several times but they have dismissed it as normal operation of brakes. We feel very unsafe in the vehicle.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #138

Jan 052012


  • 56,000 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving 10 mph, the brake pedal was depressed and failed to respond. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 56,000.

- Dublin , CA, USA

problem #137

Sep 012009


  • 1,000 miles
I read the complaints & found one listed recently dated 5/22/15 that describes the exact problem I have. My Prius is a 2010 purchased in 7/09 & shortly thereafter, I noticed the braking issue. The following info in quotes is copied from the other complaint which is the same issue I have - (other complaint stated) "when you are at lower speeds and hit a pothole or big bump while breaking, there's a sudden 'jolt' and it feels as if the breaks have been completely released momentarily. It almost feels as if the car lurches forward. I feel it heightens the chance of a crash due to increased deceleration time." It sometimes feels like you are sliding on ice & have no control over the car. (and it is scary when it happens!) I had Toyota check my vehicle a few times, but they were not able to duplicate the problem, so nothing was fixed. I thought it was just my car this was happening to. Now I find that I am not alone in this. The complaint I referenced stated that there was and a "previous investigation & partial recall but it didn't affect all of the 2010 production vehicles, just a portion." I never heard about any recall or investigation on this. I agree with the other complaint that "this needs to be re-investigated as my car and countless other cars (both involved and not involved in the last recall) are (still) malfunctioning when it comes to the breaking system at slower speeds when on rough roads / encountering potholes / bumps." My car still has this problem even as it is now 5 years old. What needs to be done to correct this issue?

- Florence, KY, USA

problem #136

Aug 012012


  • 30,000 miles
Experience inconsistent brake feel after ABS actuation during slow and steady application of the brakes on rough or slick road surfaces. Stopping distances increase.

- Hillsborough, NJ, USA

problem #135

May 212015


  • 68,000 miles
I have owned two Prius and both of them have had the same breaking issue. When you are at lower speeds and hit a pothole or big bump while breaking, there's a sudden 'jolt' and it feels as if the breaks have been completely released momentarily. It almost feels as the car lurches forward. I try to avoid potholes, etc anyways, but I am extra vigilant because of this issue as I feel it heightens the chance of a crash due to increased deceleration time. Last night, I was coming up to an intersection that had a yield sign. The car in-front of me stopped. I hit my breaks, but while breaking, I hit a pothole (it as dark so I couldn't see it) my breaks suddenly behaved as described above - they let go for a moment and the car somewhat jolted forward. I was unable to stop in-time and rear-ended the driver ahead of me. I was always afraid that because of this breaking issue that this would happen - and now it has. I know there was a previous investigation and a partial recall but it didn't affect all of the 2010 production vehicles, just a portion. I feel this needs to be re-investigated as my car and countless other cars (both involved and not involved in the last recall) are (still) malfunctioning when it comes to the breaking system at slower speeds when on rough roads / encountering potholes / bumps.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #134

May 142012


  • 50,000 miles
Have owned the car since new in 2010. Brakes exhibit the same issue mentioned in other complaints I.e. when going over bumpy roads, brakes "release" and re-engage causing the car to not stop quickly. Had software recall done but did not significantly affect. Have just been living with it but after seeing all other complaints, thought I would weigh in with the same problem as it appears to be a common issue with a design flaw of some sort that needs to be addressed for safety reasons.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #133

Jan 242015


  • 92,228 miles
Car came out of the car wash and as I got ready to pull out the brake light came on and there was a rapid beep. Pushed on the brakes and felt no resistance like brakes did not exist. Had the car towed to the dealer (right Toyota on frank lloyd - scottsdale AZ) - dealer ran a software to fix it (part of a recall) but that did not fi X the issue. Dealer asked me to have hydro booster pump and the assembly replaced - they charged me $4200 for parts and labor. I was forced to pay as they said they tried to fix it throught he software but it did not. I feel that Toyota is repsonsible for the system failure - the brakes are critical - they suddenly stoped working. It could have been fatal if I was on the road when it happened. The failure should be gradual and there should be a certain warning if the pump was malfunctioning. I need your help in resolving this. Toyota should be responsibelf ro paying the invoice.

- Fountain Hills , AZ, USA

problem #132

Dec 182014


  • 92,000 miles
I have notice a definite release in braking action when my 2010 Prius goes over a patch of bumpy road, within 1 minute of leaving my home and going down the block. I experience this "release" of braking as a sudden brief acceleration that occurs while there is pressure on the brake pedal to slow down while going over the bumpy patch of road ( a 20 foot stretch of road with numerous shallow potholes). I bough this car used in September 2013. (it had 80,000 miles on it and a history of travel over gravel roads). On March 20, 2014, the local dealer did the E0E recall repair on the motor generator ECU and the power management ECU, to correct issues related to hard acceleration. At the same time, the dealer did the older Toyota recall repair on the brake pressure accumulator issue. I have not noticed this braking release issue later in the day. It seems to be most noticeable first thing in the morning, in the first minute or two of driving.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #131

Apr 302015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
I had just pulled into the garage and was at a complete stop when the car surged forward and slammed into to the back of the garage, I would tip overattempted to stop the car with the brakes and they were not working so I shifted the car to reverse and it speed out of the garage up an embankment into a fence. It. was up on it's side and I was afraid that it would tip over so in an attempt to bring it down level I shifted to drive and it speed off forward it then jumped a row of bushes into the front yard and did a large circle in the front yard missing three large pine trees and hitting a small tree that ended up stopping the car and deployed the air bag.

- Evans , GA, USA

problem #130

Mar 182015


  • 27,892 miles
The Toyota dealer diagnosed a brake master cylinder and booster failure on our 2010 Prius at 27892 miles. Toyota declined to extend the brake recall that covered 2010 cars with a production date before November 2009. Our car has a March 2010 production date. Clearly Toyota was assembling cars with faulty brake master cylinders and boosters and they should extend the recall to cover those cars. The cost of the repair was $2760.

- Halfway, OR, USA

problem #129

Apr 012015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
As I was coming to a complete stop at an intersection, the car jolted as if I was hit from behind and the brakes lost pressure resulting in me having to press the pedal all the way down to the floor. The brakes would not respond and I had to put the car in park to get it to stop. The same thing happened after I first got the vehicle in 2010. In Sept. 2010, the brakes did not respond, causing me to slide into the row and resulting in an accident. The car will also jolt when the brakes are pressed while driving over a pothole or bump. I took the vehicle in to have this check on 4/2/15 at Toyota of lewisville, in lewisville, tx. They claim that everything checks out fine on the brakes and they can not get it to replicate the jolt or pressure failure. Per Toyota of lewisville, the car did have a recall for the brakes, which was repaired at Toyota of irving, but the brakes are still exhibiting problems.

- Flower Mound, TX, USA

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