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 1 of 26)

problem #502

Aug 022011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 20,472 miles


Ever since I purchased my 2010 Prius in November, 2009 the brakes have been a problem. When braking while driving over a bump or pothole the car looses braking ability and there is a surge of power. The dealership claims there is no problem and the recall work has not made a noticeable difference.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #501

Mar 012011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
Having problems with the braking on my 2010 Toyota Prius. At slow to moderate speeds while I am braking and go over a pothole the car seems to stop braking and keeps going. I then have to depress the brake harder to make the car stop. I haven't had any collisions because of this issue because I have not been following closely behind a car. But I believe if I was, I would have definitely rear-ended another vehicle.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #500

Sep 152010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
I purchased a 2010 Prius. Within a 100 miles, the brake pedal randomly locked up, the brakes grabbed and brought my car to an abrupt halt. The brake pedal remained locked for about 3-5 seconds. The car would not move forward or backward until after the brake pedal unlocked itself. Initially this happened in reverse mode several times, then it was happening once a week and in forward mode as well as reverse. I took it in for repairs, most recently Toyota had my car for a month. Note that during this month long investigation nothing was done to my car, it just sat there. Upon my leaving the dealership the brake pedal actually lock up! the field representative confirmed the pedal to be locked and would not release for 30 seconds or longer. He took measurements and the engineer took photos of the brake pedal as it was up in the air and not depressed as a normal pedal would be. He instructed the service manager to send me home in a loaner car and not the Prius because of the brake pedal. I was so relieved that someone finally saw the brake pedal locked up and not release. After an additional week, the dealer contacted me and said that Toyota determined that this condition is normal and that the vehicle is operating as designed! when I requested that the photos and measurements of the locked up brake pedal be included in my service report, the field representative refused to furnish that data. Instead, he denied he witnessed the brake pedal lock up. There were no codes, no warning lights or warning sounds, a serious safety defect in addition to the brakes locking up. The dealer informed me that Toyota is aware that 1% of the Prius cars have this problem and are working on a fix! I believe that the design and/or manufacturing defect have resulted in an inherently dangerous product and Toyota is trying to cover it up. Please check into this, I believe many people are at risk. 1% of a million cars is a lot of drivers, passengers and others sharing the road.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #499

Mar 062011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles


2010 Prius. Brake fade during hard braking on rough surface. The brakes suddenly fade then grab hard.

- Norton, MA, USA

problem #498

Apr 032011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 16,674 miles
Backed 2010 Prius up and started to make U-turn in driveway. When pulled forward turning applied brakes and well there were none. Traveled about 15 feet and hit a brick wall. After some delay the engine now had some control as the brakes also did. Waiting for towing instructions to get the car to garage. Maximum speed was maybe 5mph.

- Hawley, PA, USA

problem #497

Feb 152010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 32,204 miles
I have a 2010 Prius, and when I apply the brakes at any intensity and my vehicle hits a defect in the road surface, the ABS system seems to release brake pressure to all 4 wheels completely for about half a second. This makes me question the effectiveness of the brakes in an emergency situation, especially on houston's notoriously neglected roadways. I was told that this was normal by both Toyota motor co. At 1-800-331-4331 and also by the dealer. Tmc informed me that this is the way that the ABS system was designed. Please launch an inquisition and/or investigation into this matter, for the safety of the owners of all Toyota Prius vehicles.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #496

Jan 232011


  • 26,000 miles


My 2010 Prius' brakes did not respond while on the road on 1/22/11. Then 2X again on 1/23/11. As a consumer, I do not know who regulates car companies but I have called the manufacturer and they need to 'duplicate' the problem. In the past, my brakes would accelerate before it would catch and the problem was not 'duplicated' by the dealer. This time the brakes failed me 3X within 24 hours and I am extremely concerned. I would like to know which government Agency to report it to and what better options I have to get a resolution.

- West Valley, UT, USA

problem #495

Dec 222010


  • 30,000 miles
Accident 12/22/10 turned left as I pulled into parking space nearest to handicapped spot. It was very sunny and there was a patch of what looked like ice. As the car went over that spot it started to accelerate. I applied the brake, only to find myself hitting the curb. After hitting the curb the car lurched over the curb and I continued applying the brake. In a fraction of a second my car was on the side walk, just before impact with the wall I took my foot off the brake because the car did not seem to be responding. I didn't know what else to do. It was over in seconds. Bricks dented in the building, smashed glass. I put the car in reverse and into the parking spot. Head spinning as to how this happened. I walked into the store and apologized. There was glass dust still hanging in the air. The woman inside said ¿call the police¿. I thought that was a good idea. I was eager to demonstrated that I wasn't drunk nor using illegal drugs. I offered to take a breathilizer, but they thought that wasn't necessary.

- Southborough, MA, USA

problem #494

Jan 102010


  • miles
The brakes release for a "second" or two when the car hits a bump, especially in cold or wet weather. My car has slid through intersections in the winter a number of times because of this. I have to start braking three blocks ahead in bad weather because I never know when the brakes will release. This is very dangerous.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #493

Oct 152010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 16,558 miles
Even after the brake recall repair has been performed, my car's brakes suddenly and momentarily lose braking power over uneven or rough surfaces. Problem seems compounded when turning.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #492

Mar 152010


  • 2,250 miles


Despite the computer update following the recall my 2010 Toyota Prius continues to have braking problems. Since the update the car accelerates slightly when an uneven road surface is encountered while braking. Toyota says this is normal operation.

- Wauwatosa, WI, USA

problem #491

Jun 042010


  • 1,000 miles
Squealing noise from brakes/wheels when I press brakes on my brand new 2010 Toyota Prius. It's literally causing me headaches after drives and is a big health hazard. I have taken the car twice to my dealership that sold the car and they are recognizing the noise but telling that it is normal for all Prius. If that's the case then it's a defect in Prius as squealing noise that causes headaches should not be normal. Also, I am not the only one facing this. Please check hundreds of similar complaints on priuschatforums through link: priuschat.com/forums/gen-III-2010-Prius-main-forum/68563-squeaking-sound-wheels-during-rolling-start-brake-noise-merged.html.

- Roselle, IL, USA

problem #490

Aug 222010


  • miles
2010 Toyota Prius occasional loss of brake performance immediately upon start-up of vehicle. On 4 separate occasions, there was noted loss of braking capability after shifting into reverse immediately after turning on the ignition. This caused the brake pedal to feel hard, and allowed the car to slowly move against the operator's intentions. After about 5 seconds, the brakes begin to function normally. A Toyota dealership told me it takes a few seconds for brake pressure to come up after starting the vehicle and that I should wait before shifting into gear. This instruction seems counteractive towards safety, and the vehicle should not be allowed to shift into gear until brake pressure is present. A simple software update should be able to address this concern.

- Muskego, WI, USA

problem #489

Sep 012009


  • 100 miles
My 2010 Toyota Prius has always had problems braking over bumpy roads. At certain speeds firm braking over bumps causes the wheels to feel like they are slipping. Toyota recalled the vehicle, and performed software upgrades that I feel did nothing to improve the situation. I recently brought the car back to be serviced and mentioned that it was still slipping over bumps but they claimed that they could not replicate the problem. This is not one specific incidence but multiple instances.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #488

Aug 112010


  • miles
2010 Prius when attempting to stop if vehicle hits bumps, potholes, manholes, etc., the vehicle braking systems lets go for a moment and the vehicle will keep moving forward. I have had my Prius into my service department for the "recall" but the problem continues. My service department has been in contact with Toyota who tells them it is a characteristic of the vehicle and to advise owner of such. This is a clear safety issue with the vehicle. My family will not drive the car and my friends won't get in the car because of this problem. I was told to either live with the vehicle or trade it in. Not an acceptable answer in my book. This can happen with the vehicle 5 or more times a day depending on where I am driving.

- Bethel, CT, USA

problem #487

Feb 182010


  • 6,000 miles
I have been experience momentary loss of braking power while driving my 2010 Prius on rough road surface or potholes more than 30 times since I own this vehicle. I filed a complaint (ODI #10304434) back in Feb 3rd. 2010 before the recall from Toyota. My Prius was included in the recall, so I brought the vehicle back to Toyota service center for the recall. Toyota updated the ABS ECU software on my Prius on Feb. 2010. Since Toyota updated the software for the recall, I still experience the same problem multiple times, and it is not only happen during slow and steady application of brakes, also happen when I use the brake in more sudden fashion even at moderate speed (30-40mph). I brought my Prius back to the Toyota service center again in May 2010 to recheck the ABS ECU software, and they said the software is the latest updated version, and my braking system is meeting the manufacture specification. However, this problem is still exist as of today, and my concern regarding safety of this vehicle is growing because this problem lead to increase vehicle stopping distance and thus raise the likelihood of a crash or accident.

- Oakland Gardens, NY, USA

problem #486

Jul 142010


  • 4,400 miles
Toyota Prius accelerates suddenly when driven over bumps, such as speed bumps or other bumps in the road, usually when going under 30mph, and often with the brakes being lightly pressed.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #485

Jun 302010


  • 9,900 miles
Toyota Prius braking problem; I had the "recall" fix applied; I have noticed in the last two weeks that the car has started to have brake failure again when going over bumpy surfaces. It had been fine for a while, but this started happening again. I have contacted dealership regarding the same.

- Hermosa Beach, CA, USA

problem #484

Jul 012010


  • 9,950 miles
When attempting to stop our 2010 Toyota Prius, the car lurched forward, and continued to move. I let off the brake pedal, and reapplied the brakes, but they did nothing for about 30 seconds - at which point the car stopped. After contacting both our Toyota dealership, and the Toyota customer service department, they will not look at the car until next week.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #483

Jun 132010


  • miles
Like all other 2010 Prius complaints, when I apply the brakes and go over a bumpy surface, the brakes release causing the car to jolt forward. I took my 2010 Toyota Prius in to the dealer due to the recall. The service manager stated my car would be fixed in less than thirty minutes. Whatever they were supposed to do to fix the brake problem did not happen or did not work. My car still jolts forward when I am pressing on the brakes and I hit a bumpy surface. I am scared for my own safety. In addition, I cannot help but wonder what this problem does to my tires. I have had the car since July 2009 and have gotten two flat tires in the past 11 months! I have put so much time and money in to this car, and I haven't even had it for a full year.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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