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 9 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #28

Apr 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 52,300 miles


In the morning I started my car and the ABS light and warning lights came on and started beeping. I reversed my car slightly to check the brakes and noticed my brakes were not being responsive. I put the vehicle into park and called the wondries Toyota dealership and told them my brakes were not functioning properly and my ABS warning light was on. Despite my having informed them of my brake failure, they told me to bring the car into the dealership. I reversed out of my garage, shifted the car into drive, and proceeded down the hill with caution. I did not press on the accelerator. My car began to accelerate down the hill due to gravity and reached a speed of approximately 15 mph, at which time I pumped the brake pedal but the car would not stop or slow down, and it continued moving down the hill. At the bottom of the hill, after traveling approximately 1/4 of a mile, I turned right into a small street with a slight incline in order to stop the momentum. My car slowed and I put on the emergency brake and put the car into park. I called my brother for help. When he arrived, I turned the car on to show him the flashing ABS warning. It flashed for about another 15 seconds before suddenly stopping. My brakes then began functioning again though they felt spongy when I pressed down on it. I turned on my emergency lights and drove slowly to the dealership. I parked the car and turned off the engine. When a representative came by, I turned on the car and she pressed down on the brake to feel them. The ABS lights suddenly came on again and she said the brake pressure did not feel right and there was something definitely wrong with my brakes. After it was assessed I was informed I needed a new ABS actuator assembly and an accumulator pump for the master cylinder. Total cost was estimated as $4600.

- South Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #27

Mar 242013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 59,970 miles
I was driving my 2010 Prius in a congested area and cars in front of me stopped suddenly. As I braked hard, the car seemed to lurch forward for about one second, maybe longer, and then the brakes kicked in. I noticed that the road was rough. The surface was dry. Fortunately, I had allowed ample distance from the car in front of me, and there was no collision, but it was very unsettling. In the previous month, I had three or four less intense sensations of "lurching forward, " which occurred when I stopped at a particular intersection when I had just started the car, but the road was smooth.

- Ardmore, PA, USA

problem #26

Jun 242011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 39,000 miles
I had been hearing a lot of grinding noises that just got worse. When I went to the dealer, they discovered that my brake pads had failed/frozen. They replaced my pads and machined my rotors. They could not explain why a car I had for only a little over a year had this problem. They at first blamed my driving, and then the roads (I.e. too many gravel roads). Now, at 68,300 miles those pads have now failed again. One is completely worn down and the rotor is now rusted through. No one can explain why this is happening. When I demanded an answer, they told me that a "bulletin" had gone out to the dealers only stating that due to the pads failing, they were "redesigning" them. But, they would only replace for free those that fell under the 36,000 mile warranty. I don't understand why, in less than 69,000 miles I have had to have this repair done not once, but twice. They tell me no other owner has had this problem, but I find that hard to believe. Can anyone tell me if there are other complaints of this type, and what can be done to rectify this problem.

- Howe, IN, USA

problem #25

Mar 132013


  • 52,500 miles


Experienced a complete brake failure while driving 2010 Prius. Dealer indicates brake booster failing and leaked nitrogen into master cylinder which should then also be replaced. Dealer insist it is one assembly and estimates replacement to be $5,166 ($1,638 for booster and $2,466 for master cylinder). Due to the complete warningless failure of brakes while in operation it would seem to a critical safety hazard due to the design flaw in the combined brake booster and master cylinder brake assembly causing a brake failure in operation.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #24

Apr 252011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 2,156 miles
On multiple occasions, I have experienced issues with the car suddenly accelerating while I'm pressing the brakes. Specifically, this appears to occur when braking on uneven surfaces (ie construction areas, pot holes, etc.). this can obviously become a deadly situation if one is trying to stop the vehicle and with this problem run into the car/vehicle ahead. Most recently this occurred on the surface streets in low speed, in traffic. It feels like the car lurches ahead while applying the brake. I was told by the service people at Toyota that I was making this up. I can recreate it given the right surface.

- Diamond Bar, CA, USA

problem #23

Feb 022011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
When braking over rough road, brakes fail.

- Hopewell, NJ, USA

problem #22

Mar 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles


Vehicle has no brakes at all, we turned the ignition on and the car start beeping, brake light its on, ABS light on and slip indicator light is on.

- Wichita , KS, USA

problem #21

Dec 202012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
The following event happened twice with this vehicle. Tin both instances, the car was running and in park with no one in the vehicle. It then down the driveway with no one in it. In the second occurrence, it appears to have gone into reverse on its own and rolled into a retaining wall causing damage to the rear passenger side bumper and back panel.

- Sioux Falls, SD, USA

problem #20

Feb 102013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 41 miles
Problem with 2010 Prius performing uncontrolled hard braking while driving on interstate at approx 73~75 mph. This happen on two separate occasions, with the first being Feb 10, 2013. The second incident occurred late afternoon on sat. Feb 16, 2013. Both occurrences were in light traffic, whereby preventing potential severe vehicular rear end collisions that could have resulted in serious bodily injures and grave vehicular damages. Vehicle was checked by a Toyota dealer and passes all troubleshooting tests, Feb 18, 2013. Requested additional tests be done on Feb 19, 2013. Toyota dealer could not recreate the problem. No further actions were taken by the dealer.

- Frankfort, KY, USA

problem #19

Dec 012012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
This is a recurring problem. Anytime I am slowing down for a red light and there is a pothole or other rough surface condition, the car lurches forward and jumps, so to speak. Given the condition of the roads in Chicago, this is a pretty regular problem. I usually have to press the brake much harder than normal while this is occurring because of crosswalks and lights. I think this is a serious safety issue; however, when asking the dealer to look into this, they indicated that it was the anti-lock braking system kicking in, and that it was a perfectly common thing to experience.

- Lansing, IL, USA

problem #18

Dec 222012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 34,794 miles


All brakes failed while I was going 69mph on I-75 South just North of the union centre boulevard exit, approaching I-275 at the butler/hamilton county line on sat. Dec. 22.. all warning lights came on and the warning "beeps". I was in heavy traffic but was in the right lane and was able to exit on the union centre exit ramp and roll to a stop. This happened the day after I had the car at performance Toyota in fairfield, oh for the 35,000 mile check/oil change (on Dec. 21).the car had to be towed to performance Toyota on Dec 22; they determined the master cylinder failed (lost its vacuum) causing total brake failure.

- Liberty Township, OH, USA

problem #17

Jan 172013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 29,100 miles
Incident #1 brake: On January 17, 2013 as I was entering the intersection about 20mph, I applied my brakes, but they went straight to the floor and warning light started blinking. I pressed brakes very hard and car almost stop, then, its brakes gave up. There is sudden slight "unintended acceleration" and I almost hit car front of me. But, I am able to manage to drove the car into the center island. Brake was totally out, and the car started drove by itself. I panicked and pressed power button to shut off the engine. Car drove about 15 feet and stopped. After this incident, I tow my car to the dealer, they told me that lost brake is due to short circuit made domino effect to multiple computers malfunction. They will replace whole computer system, but service man would not guarantee it will never happen again. Incident #2 power failed and shut down while driving at highway. On December, 2012 and January 2013. I was driving at highway and trying to merge into the center line, car stalled and prompted "key does not detect" message on the screen. I almost hit from behind by another car. While the car still has a speed about 40mph, I managed to restart the car by depressed brake and press power bottom. It is true this car lose brake and does slight "accelerate".

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #16

Jan 202011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
When driving on an uneven or wet surface the brakes seem to lag for a few seconds and the car hops forward.

- Ellicott City , MD, USA

problem #15

Dec 262012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 33,500 miles
My Prius iv, purchased new in 2010, intermittently had a lunging forward problem when going over speed bumps, pot holes etc. I would have to stop it by braking quickly, so I didn't collide with a car ahead. I informed Toyota of this problem within the first year. They tested it and said they could find nothing. I mentioned this to them on various occasions when I took the car for its periodic maintenance of 5000 mile intervals. On December 26, 2012 I was stopped waiting to go left when I was rear-ended. I went to pull over to the side of the road to assess the damage. When I accelerated to get to the side of the road, the car took off crazily, at a high rate of speed for about 6-7 seconds, zigzagging uncontrollably on the 2 lane road. If there were cars coming toward me, I would have been in a head on crash. I immediately called Toyota service of scranton, pa and asked them to see and assess the car's problem. They made an appointment and concluded.said there is no problem internally, and suggested removing the after market floormat. I then proceeded to show them the same problems many customers are having with the Prius, including an article by steve wozniak, the co-founder of apple company, who had acceleration problems with his 2010 Prius. I called the main Toyota headquarters later, explaining the problem and they too said there is no malfunction, only mentioning the floor mats again.. this is not the case as the car has had acceleration problems from the beginning and to further clarify, I was able to finally stop the car... the mat was no where near the accelerator. I am afraid to drive this for others' safety, my passengers and my own safety. I take care of my cars faithfully. You can view my records. I am also fearful if I trade this car, someone else might get injured or killed. Can you please check and advise.

- Swoyersville, PA, USA

problem #14

Dec 142012


  • 30,100 miles
If you go over a bump while braking - the brakes fail, and you have to take your foot off the brake and re-apply in order to stop. This has occurred numerous times - and is a serious flaw on this automobile. This car is a fleet vehicle for my company and I have asked peers if this occurs on their cars - and they have confirmed the same experience with their brakes. With all the Toyota recalls - I am unclear why this has not been addressed...?

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #13

Nov 282012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
I was in the right lane traveling West bound on Tennessee street in tallahassee, fl, and as I was going through the light at the corner of Tennessee and monroe street, the traffic stopped just past the intersection. As I was entering the intersection, I applied my brakes but they went straight to the floor and a warning light started blinking. I had one of two choices; hit the car in front of me or hit the curb for the sidewalk close to where a man was standing with his bicycle. Luckily I had just enough room to go between the back-end of the car in front of me and the man on the sidewalk. Fortunately no one was injured in my accident, I just scared the man very badly, but the repairs to my car are probably going to be more than $4,000.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #12

Sep 062011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 40,581 miles
Ok, this type of incident (loss of braking at low speeds) has happened repeatedly in this vehicle, despite a recall in 2010 and "software fix". the date listed is approximate. I felt compelled to provide this information after having this happen twice in the past week, in the hopes that some permanent fix can be made available, and to warn prospective buyers to be cautious. In all incidents, when traveling over bumps in a road with the brakes engaged, there is a sudden slight "acceleration", but in actuality, probably just the momentary loss of braking. This happens when going over: (1) manhole covers (2) potholes (3) slight dips in the road (from subsiding road patching areas). Does not appear to be worse in wet conditions, and has only happened to me at low speeds (~5 -- ~ 20 mph). Note that original carpeted mats were replaced with ones that fit a bit better, and do not cause any issues with the acceleration pedal. Once the bump is passed over, normal braking occurs. When I feel this vehicle momentarily lose braking, I quickly let off the brake for a split second, and resume braking. I have gotten used to this defect, but I sure would like someone to investigate and provide a quality recall fix. This braking issue has happened in North Carolina (where the vehicle was purchased) and in Massachusetts. Thank you.

- Newton Highlands, Ma, MA, USA

problem #11

Mar 312010

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
When I encounter a bump while applying the brakes in my 2010 Toyota Prius, the brakes fully disengage momentarily. This causes the car to jolt forward unexpectedly. My foot is not coming off the brake at all when this happens, so I know I am not the cause of it. I received a recall notice by mail in February 2010 to address just this issue. I took the car to the nearest Toyota dealership to have the recall work completed. It was intended to fix the malfunction in the anti-lock brake system that caused the brakes to disengage when the car hits a bump. The recall work was completed, but the problem was not resolved. The brakes still do the exact same thing and fully disengage when I hit a bump while braking. This is unquestionably dangerous and a serious safety hazard.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #10

Oct 042012


  • 69,180 miles
On Tuesday October 02, 2012 at approximately 0510 the vehicle brakes went out and the brake, ABS, and stabilization lights came on along with alarm. Vehicle was towed to Toyota dealership for repair - told it was the master cylinder. Vehicle picked up on morning of October 4, 2012 from dealership drove approximately 20 miles and the exact same thing occurred. Brakes, ABS, stabilization alarms came on. Toyota dealership was called and said that the vehicle should be fine - system had cleared with part replacement - "maybe it was a bad part or there could be air in the lines." Vehicle is presently at the dealership awaiting inspection. Fortunately, no accidents or injuries occurred on these dates. However because of the loss of brakes and near accidents this vehicle is now a threat to my safety. So far I have been lucky - I do not want to take a chance with the third being the time that I am in a serious accident.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #9

Sep 202012


  • 20,100 miles
Traveling on parkway when we were approaching a vehicle going South down at approximately 55 we were traveling 72 with cruise control engaged, I tapped the brakes to try and slow and nothing happened I then held the brake pedal down for more than 15 seconds with no success, tried to disengage the cruise by pulling back on the handle on the steering wheel and still it would not disengage, we struck the truck at 72 mph only because we had no where else to go and the vehicle would not disengage cruise. The cruise control light was still illuminated after the vehicle came to rest after impact and the vehicle brakes still did not appear to function, this vehicle was a Toyota lease and was told multiple times by Toyota that the issues was recalled by Toyota and that this vehicle had the recall performed.

- Benton , KY, USA

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