really awful
Crashes / Fires:
20 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
3,694 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 25 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #22

Dec 282009


  • 100 miles


2010 Prius has jerky brakes! when backing down a slope like our driveway with my foot on the brake or when going down a small incline with my foot on the brake, the car often jerks. Basically, as I start to back up it will jerk and then the car stops and then it releases again and then in a few more inches it jerks again and then releases and then jerks again. It does this going forward too. It doesn't happen every time I drive the car but it has happened maybe 20 times or so in the past couple months. My car is 6 months old with 3000 miles and this started happening within the few 100 miles of having the vehicle.

- Lafayette, CA, USA

problem #21

Nov 202009


  • 1,100 miles
Bought new car less than 10 days. Drove 10-15 mph in downtown la following a car. Thought it was me since car was new but I step on brake but it didn't respond quickly enough..result...rearended another vehicle. Head similar complaints from wife's coworkers about Prius brake responses so I thought I should file complaint. Love the car but brake needs to be fixed if defected. Lost $500 in insurance deductible. For all I know, it may have been Prius defected brakes. $2000 approx. Damages to Prius.

- Arcadia , CA, USA

problem #20

Nov 202009


  • 1,500 miles
Occurring several times since purchase in October 2009, I experienced a slight burst of acceleration when hitting a pothole or sizeable bump in the road. During an exit onto a highway access road (20-30 mph) and a slowing for a 90 degree turn (10-20 mph) the car either disengaged the brakes or accelerated causing a very brief and unexpected lurch forward. After passing the road imperfection normal breaking returns. Comparing this experience to other complaints filed, I believe my problem is the same and poses a potential danger to both the driver and traffic around the car.

- Hoboken, NJ, USA

problem #19

Jan 012010


  • 8,900 miles


Sometimes when going in to reverse the brakes grab aggressive resulting in a jerking motion.

- San Marcos, CA, USA

problem #18

Oct 012009


  • 2,000 miles
On numerous occasions the car seems to surge when slowing down to stop at an oncoming intersection, stop light, or stop sign. This only occurs if the car comes to a pot hole or "washboard" surface in the road while in the process of normal braking. I don't believe the traction control is responsible because the traction light does not come on when this happens. It also does not seem to have anything to do with the ABS because the car seems to surge for about a second due to the tire or tires loosing traction for a split second. I have duplicated this event multiple times in the same area and have learned to anticipate it when driving this route. However, when it happens unexpectedly, it certainly gets your attention.

- Garner, NC, USA

problem #17

Oct 302009


  • 2,000 miles
I own a 2010 Toyota Prius II. I have experienced a feeling that, while braking hitting a bump or pothole, the brakes completely release for about 1 second. This can be quite alarming if another vehicle is in front of you or worse, pedestrians are crossing in your path. I've been an employee of General Motors for 25 years and worked in a department that made anti lock brakes for 8 of those years. This is not a normal function of that feature by any manufacturer. Otherwise my Prius is a technological tour de force except some dash buzzing and rattling.

- Englewood, OH, USA

problem #16

Dec 232009


  • 1,150 miles


Brakes did not appear to hold car when applied as car went over a bump in the pavement. Seemed like the car briefly accelerated but then braking did return and slowed car properly. Momentary apparent loss of braking control was frightening.

- Lexington, MA, USA

problem #15

Dec 292007


  • 1,000 miles
When I brake it sometimes seems that the car jolts forward for a short while, before I reapply the brakes.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #14

Dec 012009


  • 1,200 miles
I have a 2010 Prius. I have noticed that when I go over uneven ground (like potholes or bumps) or slick surfaces (especially train tracks and sewer covers) my brakes don't seem to work. It feels like I am not in control of my car, and for 2-3 seconds the car is not braking even though my foot is pressing on the brake.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #13

Dec 122009


  • 2,700 miles
My new 2010 Prius has a brake problem. I have owned the car about 2 months, and have put about 3000 miles on it. On three occasions, I have experienced a situation where the brakes suddenly released, and I had to slam on the brake pedal to prevent an accident. Two of the situations happened when I was coming to a stop near an intersection (I was moving into a left turn lane, and suddenly the brakes released). The third time was while exiting a freeway, when I hit a pothole, and I felt the brake release. After the third experience, I recalled that, perhaps, the car ran over a small bump when I was moving into the left turn lane, and that may have helped trigger the release of the brake pedal. I took the car to the Toyota dealer where I purchased it, but they were unable to find anything wrong. I subsequently read (via an msnbc news story that came out on December 29, 2009, and which is available at the link below) that others are having the same problem that I experienced. Link to the news story: www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34611930/ns/business-autos/.

- San Anselmo, CA, USA

problem #12

Dec 292009


  • 540 miles


When I brake my Prius where the surface is very rough or broken, the brakes seem to engage initially but then release. I have to press down again very hard to get them to engage to the point of stopping the vehicle. Yesterday, for example, while completing long slow braking at the bottom of a steep hill, I encountered some rough pavement just before the stop sign and suddenly the brakes seemed to release. When I forcefully pressed them again, they re-engaged and stopped the car, but not before it had nosed into the intersection.

- San Rafael, CA, USA

problem #11

Aug 152009


  • miles
When driving my new 2010 Toyota Prius III model, I have experienced sudden loss of braking when the car hits a bump while braking. For example, when approaching a stop sign, I press down on the brakes, at which point the car begins to brake, and then the car hits a small bump or pothole and the brakes let up suddenly and it feels as though I lose control of the car while still approaching the intersection. I have to press down again hard on the brakes in order to stop before going through the stop sign after the brakes failed me. Luckily, each time it has happened I have been able to stop in time, however I have to brake very hard in order to stop and it is not smooth. The dealer has so far ignored the complaint and has not repaired or replaced any parts.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #10

Jul 102009


  • miles
My Prius stops braking and almost feels like it is accelerating if I apply the brake just as I hit a bump or hole in the road. This feels very dangerous--if I were needing to stop suddenly to avoid a potential accident and my brakes did not work due to a bump in the road, it could lead me to crash into the object I'm trying to avoid. This has happened multiple times in the months since June 09 in which I bought my car.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #9

Dec 012009


  • miles
2010 Prius brake lag.

- Hartsdale, NY, USA

problem #8

Dec 282009


  • 1,000 miles
I have a 2010 Prius which I bought in August 2009. On several occasions, approximately 8-10 times, I have been braking at slower speeds when coming to an intersection. When I put my foot on the brake and the car happens to hit a bump or hole in the road and the car noticeably surges. My foot is not on the accelerator and this has nothing to do with the floor mats because my floor mat is pinned to the floor of the car. The most recent time this happened was 12/28/2009.

- Laytonsville, MD, USA

problem #7

Nov 102009


  • 4,000 miles
Momentary brake failure.

- Wellesely, MA, USA

problem #6

Dec 092009


  • 2,500 miles
I have a new 2010 Prius II with only 2500K miles on it. Now three times for me and once for my husband we've had problems getting the car to stop/slow down while applying the brake on wet railroad tracks and prior to approaching a patch of ice in the road. You press the brake expecting it to slow down. Instead a helplessness takes over as you feel as though the car has suddenly gone into auto Pilot and you go sailing on as though the brakes never engaged and you instead hit the accelerator. Thank god I'm a cautious driver and have never in 44 years had an accident of any kind but, even my defensive driving skills would be useless if the car does not do what I'm telling it to! I use this car daily to Transport myself and two small children and now I'm scared to death to drive it. I was glad my husband had it happen too. I had not told him when it did it to me and the look on his face as he turned to me going over wet railroad tracks and said "did you feel that"" I felt validated knowing that it wasn't just me. Today while with my mom and the kids I slowed down to navigate over an unavoidable patch of ice in an intersection. Thank goodness no one was in front and the oncoming car attempting to turn left didn't go because I applied the brake and we just sailed on through, barely making the turn that I needed to make just beyond the intersection. My poor mother said, "did you mean to do that"" had any car or person been in the way I have no doubt I would have hit them. This is my first new car in years and now I'm petrified I'm going to crash it and hurt my family and others. This has to be investigated asap. Please help!

- Terre Haute, IN, USA

problem #5

Dec 072009


  • 10,600 miles
I bought my 2010 Prius in July 2009. Since then there have been several incidents in which my car seemed to surge forward while I was in the process of braking and hit a bump, railroad tracks or pothole. Initially, I convinced myself I must have been letting up on the brake when I hit the bump but when this same thing happened 3 days ago on slippery, icy roads, I knew for 100% certain I had not let up on the brake. My car surged as I was slowly pulling up to a stop sign and gently braking. I came very close to hitting the car in front of me, had to push down on the brakes very hard, which activated the ABS. The ABS had not been activated in any of the previous incidents because I had not needed to push hard on the brakes as I was in no danger of hitting anything. I have been driving Toyota since 1992 and am stunned that this problem is happening with no fix in sight. The dealership in my town assures us they've never heard of this before, although it is obviously happening all over the country. Please investigate this. I have a 5 year old and I no longer feel safe driving my car with (or without) him in it.

- Sylvania, OH, USA

problem #4

Nov 122009


  • 4,000 miles
My 2010 Prius is only 2 months old & when applying the brakes, at times, it feels like I have been hit in the back by another vehicle and the entire car jumps forward before coming to a full stop. Some what like an engine surge or that the brakes have not applied properly. I have reported this to my Toyota service department & they have suggested that maybe it is due to the gas engine turning on or off at that exact moment. I find this to be very dangerous as there is a definite surge forward before the car stops. It has happened on different road surfaces, smooth, uneven & bumpy when both wet & dry. They did not find any solution to this problem & told me to continue to monitor it. They also advised that no recall has been issued or other complaints received.

- Thornhill, 00, USA

problem #3

Nov 022009


  • 8,000 miles
A couple of times when I have applied pressure to the brakes on my 2010 Prius, the car has accelerated momentarily instead of braking.

- Newport Beach, CA, USA

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