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 4 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #128

Mar 012010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 90 miles


This brake problems has occurred many times. During application of the brakes at low speeds on rough road surfaces the car suddenly loses braking power for a brief time then starts to work again if the brake pedal remains depressed. This has almost caused accidents a number of times and is quite frightening. The car was brought in for the recall and safercar.gov states that there are no open recalls. When we bring this to the attention of the Toyota dealer we are told this problem is "normal" and there is nothing more they can do. (however, I understand that they fixed it in the next model year.) in my opinion this is an unsafe condition and it has been complained about online by other Prius owners. I ask the NHTSA to require Toyota to fix this in the name of safety.

- Newton, MA, USA

problem #127

Mar 112015


  • 27,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving at approximately 5 mph, the braking ability seized and the ABS warning light illuminated. The contact came to a complete stop and the vehicle had to be restarted. The vehicle was driven to the dealer who stated that the hydraulic system failed. The hydraulic master cylinder had to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 27,000.

- Halfway, OR, USA

problem #126

Feb 062015


  • 100,444 miles
It was raining and I was existing the I5 Ram, when I bumped the brake, the vehicle speeded up more, I continue to pump the brake, then the vehicle started drifting, then I tried correcting, but it didn't work, the vehicle kept on driving, for about 15 seconds come to stop by the wall of the I5, it then bounced vehicle backwards and finally the vehicle come to stop after the shift broke, causeing a totally crash, meaning, no matter how hared I step on the brake, it didn't stop, it felt like there was no brake system. I only bought the car for 6 days earlier, and it was my third time driving it. I have been a drive for 7 years and I have never had any incident.

- Des Moines, WA, USA

problem #125

Jan 282015


  • 78,000 miles


1 original recall did nothing concerning hitting a pothole and losing brakes for 20 +- feet..result..alway give yourself 20 extra feet and pray. 2 antilock on packed snow or ice results in total lost of brakes..result either drive into a snow bank or go through the red light and pray again. So I guess Toyota accepts the fact they choose to give you steering control to save yourself and hope you are not at a railroad crossing! there is no pulsating like other vehicles. 3 if you are stopped on ice /snow...without traction car does not rock..does not want to move... for study can a metal stud tire be made for priuses"?"would it help or sell car only in Florida..

- Matawan, NJ, USA

problem #124

Jan 232015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 126,990 miles
While driving around 70mph I had to hit the brakes hard but short. About 5 seconds later a bunch of warning lights came on and the vehicle became very difficult to stop. Pretty much had to stand on the brakes to slow down and then the brakes would lock up so I would get off the brakes and start the slowing/stopping process over again. This is the same failure mode (ABS accumulator nitrogen gas leaked into brake hydraulic fluid when accumulator cracked) as other cars (Prius and Lexus hybrids) that Toyota did recall but my car is outside of the current recall scope. If this was not in southern California's dry road a major incident could have taken place, especially with the grabbing/ locking up of the brakes.

- Hemet, CA, USA

problem #123

Nov 232009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 50 miles
Brake pedal loses pressure while braking over bumps in road. Pressure returns after bumps are passed. Recall issued and software fix provided by dealer in March 2010. Software fix didn't help. Similar condition has persisted since then. Bought vehicle new. Mileage and date when first noticed condition are estimates. After software fix, noticed condition again immediately.

- Champaign, IL, USA

problem #122

Apr 032013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles


This has happened several times over the past two years. As I brake at low speeds, the car surges ahead as though your foot is on the accelerator. Sometimes it was so subtle, you wondered if it really happened. Today (11/23/14) there was absolutely no mistaking it. The car surged forward a couple of feet as I was slowing to turn left. If someone had been stopped in front of me, I would have hit them from behind.

- Essex Junction, VT, USA

problem #121

May 082012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
While applying the brakes to stop at an intersection one of the front tires was over a manhole cover and the car skidded over it like I was braking on a patch of ice. As soon as I was past the cover the brakes engaged and stopped the car. I noticed this occurring every time I would brake on an uneven surface where there was space between one of the front tires and pavement. I had bought the same make, model and year vehicle for my son 11 months later and noticed the same problem while test driving it. When I questioned the salesman about it I was told that it was the way the ABS works and that it was normal. On 11/20/2014 while checking the airbag recall list I noticed a recall for the same problem that I was having, recall announced 2/9/2010, NHTSA ref # 10V03900 so I called Toyota customer service 1-800-331-4331 and was told that neither cars' VIN# showed in the recall so it could not be happening and I would not be covered under the recall. They referred me to a Toyota dealer who told me that the fix which was (reprogramming of ABS control unit module) would not covered in the extended warranties of either cars. I should not be financially responsible for the diagnostics and repairs of a known safety problem which had a recall. I understand that it is not the dealers' fault and they shouldn't be held financially responsible either.

- Meriden, CT, USA

problem #120

Jul 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
This is related to report receipt date: Feb 09, 2010 (I bought the car used in may, 2013). NHTSA campaign number: 10V039000 component(s): Service brakes, air - this happens all the time when the conditions are right. I complained to Toyota at the time that this car should have been in the recall list - it does exactly as described in this campaign description...the brakes release when braking over bumps or slippery surfaces. The first time I took it in, they said they could find nothing wrong, and they were 'working as designed'. I called Toyota today after reading more about this recall, and they told me I would have to take to service and give them a ride to show them how it happens. I don't understand why this car wasn't included in the recall. Any suggestions or assistance" are you still getting complaints about this"

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #119

Sep 052011

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
This is a chronic problem with the car: When it hits rough terrain, the brakes do not react properly. There is a hesitation between the time the brake pedal is hit and the time the car slows. (there was an earlier repair/recall for this issue, and the initial problem -- also brake-related -- was helped; but this hesitation problem -- only on gravel or rough terrain -- resulted.) it will cause an accident eventually.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #118

Jul 012014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles


I continue having this issue when braking over a bump or braking while turning. The car speeds up instead of slowing down when pressing the brakes. This is very dangerous issue and an cause an accident. I talked to Toyota who advice me to take it to the dealer. Dealer finds no trouble. I have reported this many times to my dealer and Toyota with nothing really done.

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #117

Oct 152014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 40,590 miles
I continue to have a problem with braking when going over a bumpy surface. This has happened numerous times. Most recently, while driving over a bump in the road, I applied the brakes and the car lunged forward. Luckily, there was enough distance between my car and the car in front of me (which had also applied the brakes). I am afraid this will cause a serious accident someday. This has also happened at stop signs. I have complained to the dealership a few times and they act as if they donżżT know what I am talking about, which is ludicrous. I even mentioned the ECU recall/fix regarding the braking system and told them that my vehicle had the fix applied and they told me that the fix was not to address the problem I am describing. They insist that no one else has complained about it. I told them that I assume that they have been directed to tell customers that they know nothing about it. I see so many complaints regarding this issue and I don't understand why nothing is being done about it.

- Elmhurst, IL, USA

problem #116

Oct 142014


  • 148,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving down a hill at approximately 20 mph, the brake pedal was depressed and the brakes failed to respond without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, who diagnosed that the brake booster pump leaked nitrogen into the master cylinder brake booster assembly that caused the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and informed that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign: 13V235000 (service brakes). The approximate failure mileage was 148,000.

- New Milford , CT, USA

problem #115

Dec 222010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
I purchased this car in 2010 after the 2010 brake malfunction recall. I was told the recall software update had been performed to my car. Despite that recall, my car continues to have the following problem on a consistent basis. Whenever braking at slow speeds, if I go over a bump or pothole while braking, the brakes disengage, the car lurches forward, and I have to slam on the brakes to get the car to slow down/stop. My understanding is that this problem was supposed to have been fixed by the prior recall.

- Somerville, MA, USA

problem #114

Sep 022013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Braking power is not consistent. Car is hard to stop. Need to push the pedal really hard to stop at speed. This started to get worst after the recall.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #113

Sep 022014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
Master brake cylinder and booster, $4700 repair.

- San Benito , TX, USA

problem #112

Sep 122014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
Even after having my vehicle repaired under the recall for the ABS braking issue in 2010, I continue to have braking problems when braking on uneven roads. 9/12/14 was my most recent incident when I came to a stop on a dirt road at an intersection and my vehicle lunged forward when I went over a hole in the road while braking. I was not going fast, maybe 15 mph, and there were no vehicles in front of me, but it could have resulted in a crash if there had been another vehicle in front of me at the intersection. Again, my vehicle has been serviced under the previous recall, but I continue to experience braking problems related to the ABS. Please re-open this investigation and issue another recall on this problem.

- Belleville, MI, USA

problem #111

Sep 032014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 64,900 miles
Upon braking if on a bumpy road or happen to hit a pothole the brakes feel like they are disengaged for a few seconds.

- Burbank, CA, USA

problem #110

Jul 162014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 91,965 miles
I would like to file this claim as the same incident described below happen two times in less than two years. This is a big safety issue which could have been fatal. -- first event occurred on 8/17/2012 (odometer 55899). Brake totally failed on a freeway and almost lost my life that day. Towed to the dealer and they replaced 1) break cylinder assembly pn#47050-47060, 2)gasket, break boost pn#44785-02060 & 3) break fluid. When asked to the dealer what the reason for the failure was, we were told that they do not know the cause and failed part was sent to the manufacturer for investigation. We requested to tell us the findings from the manufacturer but never heard back and soon after this incident Toyota had a recall for breaks. -- the second incident occurred on 7/16/2014 (odometer 91965) and same brake failure occurred again as described above.this time dealer replaced 1) break cylinder assembly pn#47050-47140, 2) gasket, brake boost pn#44785-02060 & 3) break fluid. Please note that the second time the brake cylinder assembly pn# is different. We asked the dealer again what was the reason for failure of the same part again but did not get a clear answer from them. We wrote several emails to the dealer but no response yet as of today (8/19/14). I am a very unhappy customer. What will Toyota do if this happens again" soon our warranty will expire and if this happens again which is a Toyota's existing problem, how it will be covered" -- hope to hear soon from Toyota.

- Dublin, CA, USA

problem #109

Aug 082014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 50,260 miles
Vehicle continued forward with no braking for 2 seconds after applying the brakes. Vehicle did not stop in time to avoid striking the vehicle in front. Front bumper was dented and punctured by striking the trailer hitch on the car ahead. No damage to other car. Brake booster was replaced last year under recall for same problem. Repair has done nothing to correct the problem. The same problem has occured intermittently before and after the "fix". brakes momentarily fail to activate every so often, with no particular pattern or frequency. Dealer was notified, and stated that unless we can duplicate the problem for them, they cannot provide any repair or assistance. Becoming uneasy about using the car. Will probably trade it in for something different, which is not what we really want. Would like to get it fixed, as we like the car. Not trying to be difficult, but felt that it should be reported.

- Hallowell, ME, USA

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