really awful
Crashes / Fires:
49 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
8 / 2
Average Mileage:
4,680 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 18 of 37)

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problem #399

Feb 032010

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles


Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) I am a retired colonel, usaf, but continue to work for the af as a civilian attorney. I purchased a 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid, [xxx], on 9 Nov 09. Since that time, as recent as last evening when I pulled the vehicle into our garage, between my wife and I we have experienced on approximately six occasions the problem you have received other reports about concerning the vehicle's brakes. The "release" as I call it, occurred primarily when we hit irregular patches of roadway, such as potholes, washboard-type surfaces and the like. Last evening, as I mentioned, it actually occurred as I was entering the garage. I approached a little faster than usual and was braking as the front tires encountered the elevated cement beyond the base of the garage door. The braking action was lost just for a moment after the impact with the cement. It's not that the engine speeds up when it happens, it's the forward momentum of the vehicle that increases with loss of the braking action. That has been the case each time it has happened. In fairness to the dealership, I have not notified it yet because I read not too long after the first time this occurred that other owners were beginning to report this problem and that Toyota was developing a software fix for it. I assumed shortly there would be something in the nature of a recall and owners would be notified to bring their vehicles in for the modification. I do intend to notify the dealership tomorrow, but thought it necessary to report this to you now given the spotlight put on it today.

- Floresville, TX, USA

problem #398

Feb 032010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 8,630 miles
When the 2010 Toyota Prius goes over a pothole or over an ice patch is looses braking ability for one or two seconds. This has happened numerous times, the last time on the morning of February 3, 2010.

- Potomac, MD, USA

problem #397

Feb 042010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
Our 2010 Prius sometimes lurches forward on hitting a bump or driving on rough terrain. This happens predictably at certain locations. Both my wife and I have observed this behavior, maybe a couple of times/week. Not certain whether it's momentary acceleration or loss of braking but we think it's loss of braking. We have not yet taken any corrective action. I read in the paper that Toyota is planning a recall.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #396

Jan 202010

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles


2010 Prius loses brake force when regenerative braking is used over potholes or other uneven surfaces. It appears that when wheel slip occurs when braking in such instances, the regenerative system is disengaged causing loss of braking until the friction brakes are engaged by depressing the brake pedal farther. This has occurred on multiple occasions and can be replicated.

- Ridgewood, NJ, USA

problem #395

Feb 042010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 4,641 miles
I've owned my 2010 Toyota Prius for 5 months now and frequently (at least twice a month) experience problems when braking on uneven ground. When I am hitting the brakes and run over a pothole or sudden bump, the car stops slowing down and almost shoots forward (feels like I'm hydroplaning) for a split second then resumes braking. This happened most recently today and could have caused an accident if I were closer to the car in front of me when it occurred.

- Sandy, UT, USA

problem #394

Jan 202010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 400 miles
I was driving my 2010 Toyota Prius (which I'd taken delivery on about January 6), and I noticed what seemed to be a power surge or a momentary brake failure when I went over a pothole while I was slowing down after exiting a highway. The car seemed to lurch forward, so that I had to take my foot off the brake and re-apply it. This happened first on January 20, but has occurred three times since then. I've been trying to figure out what it was; at first I thought it was a power surge. But when I saw the article in the New York times on February 3, I knew that was exactly what had happened to me. Every time it's happened as I was braking over a speed bump or pothole. I have made an appointment with my Toyota dealer but have not gone yet.

- Rutherford, NJ, USA

problem #393

Nov 152009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 4,000 miles


As I was going downhill, the road surface was uneven. I attempted to apply the brakes. The pedal went almost to the floor as if there was no brake fluid. The car continued to go forward as the brakes did not engage. As I pushed the brake pedal further, the brakes engaged.

- Syracsue, NY, USA

problem #392

Feb 032010


  • 8,900 miles
2010 Prius surges forward when I hit a bump with the brake pedal depressed. I have had a few near misses but no accidents to this point. Last occurred yesterday.

- Rolling Hills Estates, CA, USA

problem #391

Jan 212010

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
My 2010 Toyota Prius has the same problem that are listed on this site with brakes. When trying to stop immediately after a bump or pothole and during minor slick condition the brakes don't react immediately. A couple of weeks ago I slid into an intersection with my brakes fully engaged before the brakes kicked in. Thank god no car was in front of me. The car behind me saw what was happening and slowed down. This brake problem occurs weekly since my purchase of the vehicle in September 2009.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #390

Oct 012009

Prius 4WD 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
I own a 2010 Prius, purchased 7/22/09. I have experienced a sudden surge when traveling over a bump or large pothole. The car momentarily surges and feels slightly out of control. This has happened about a dozen times in the 6 months I have owned the vehicle. I am concerned about my safety and this is why I am writing to you.

- San Marino, CA, USA

problem #389

Nov 082009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles


I was going down a fairly steep hill, applying my brakes evenly as I approached a stop light. There were no cars in front of me, and the road was dry. Suddenly, I thought that I had been struck from behind because my car lurched forward (as though I had been struck). My 2010 Prius was only about two months old at this point. The brakes re-engaged after a second or two, but I was afraid that I would have hit someone if I hadn't been alone on the road. The same thing happened when going down another steep road about three weeks later. Again, there was no property damage and no one was hurt. But I was startled. I do not know if the road was uneven or if there were potholes. I have not reported these incidents to the dealer, the car company or the police because (although they scared me), I did not think much about them. Now that I know that others have experienced this, I have become fairly worried.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #388

Jan 132010

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
My 2010 Prius accelerates over bumpy road conditions irrespective of whether or not my foot is on the brake or not on anything at all.

- Calabasas, CA, USA

problem #387

Dec 202007

Prius 4-cyl

  • 4,400 miles
Brake failure on our 2010 Prius. Updated 02/17/10 the consumer also stated he experienced sudden acceleration. Updated 03/05/10

- Pompano Beach , FL, USA

problem #386

Jun 152009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
I own a 2010 Toyota Prius and am experiencing the exact problem that was just announced about the brakes. When I brake over a bumpy surface the brakes go almost to the floor before I am able to stop. Also happens on snowy/icy surfaces. I had Toyota look at my brakes on 10/27/09 at Toyota Scion of oak lawn, il. I was told by them that my brakes checked out fine.

- Munster, IN, USA

problem #385

Feb 042010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 5,159 miles
My 2010 Prius lurches when I go over pot holes or rough patches. I can control the lurch, but it does not feel right. It does not happen all the time. I am not sure what makes the difference between it happening and not happening. I received the title to the car in 8/27/09.

- Englewood Cliffs, NJ, USA

problem #384

Jan 202010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
I bought a 2010 Prius in October. I live in Maine where winter driving conditions are not great. I have had three incidents now of driving at a low speed on plowed but snowy roads where the brakes did not catch when I applied them. Once was going around a downhill curve which was scary. Each time they eventually catch but not until I have skidded for about 3-6 ft. Fortunately, I have not hit anyone yet. I called my dealer yesterday and was told there had not been a recall and there was nothing to be done about it yet.

- Rockport, ME, USA

problem #383

Oct 022009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 1,500 miles
Prius 2010. 1. when stopping and one of my front tires goes over a pothole, stick, or any other markedly uneven pavement, the brakes release propelling the car forward. 2. I notice most when I am going down hill. So far it has only happened when I am going slowly and braking hard enough to stop the car. It has not happened at higher speeds in traffic when I am merely slowing down in traffic. 3. I brought it to the attention of the service department at the local Toyota dealer. I was told that it is the way the brakes are supposed to operate. I pointed out that I have owned 11 cars over the years and rented far more and never experienced this before. The complaint fell on dead ears.

- Tarrytown, NY, USA

problem #382

Feb 042010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 0 miles
Toyota Prius brake loss of control - when the vehicle goes over a bump (e.g. pothole, manhole) when the brake is being applied, it doesn't immediately stop but instead seems to lurch forward with the sensation of loss of control. This especially happens on city streets or in icy conditions. If there was a person or car in front of the vehicle, the Prius would have hit the person/car. This happens every day at the same stop (bump in road when turning), as well as random places at least weekly since purchasing the car in September 2009.

- East Aurora, NY, USA

problem #381

Jan 152010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 200 miles
When driving I sometimes momentarily feel a pause in the braking system of my new Prius. This occurs every time I drive on a certain street at a fairly high speed. While I am braking my right front tire goes through a pothole while my front left tire remains on flat tarmac. As my front tire comes out of the pothole I feel as if the brakes stop working for half a second and then they start working again. I estimate that I am driving through the pothole around 20-30 miles an hour. I drive this way every day from my work to house and I am always braking on this stretch of road as I turn a corner right after the pothole. There is a traffic light right after the pothole so whenever the light is green as I approach the pothole this happens to me. This has happened to me around 50 times - ever since I bought my new Prius in September 2009.

- Princeton, NJ, USA

problem #380

Sep 102009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 150 miles
Braking problems with 2010 Toyota Prius. Since the purchase of this car on August 22, 2009, under the cash for clunkers program, my wife has repeatedly described the situation in which the brakes release unexpectedly. Specifically, when braking at low speeds while driving over a rail crossing (single track), the brakes release momentarily as the car experiences the bumping motion induced by the tracks. This can be replicated at will. In addition, she has noticed a similar momentary release of the brakes when approaching a stop sign on a slick road when the anti-lock brake mechanism was engaged. In these few cases, the car rolled past the stop sign and partially into the main travel way. Note this was not the result of sliding on slick pavement or the pulse-release of the anti-lock brake system but the release of brakes. None of these cases resulted in any physical impact or property damage--just the disconcerting feeling that the momentary loss of braking engendered. When my wife first noted this, I went to priuschat.com/, the Prius owners forum (which I think is sponsored by Toyota). The braking issue was noted by other forum members.

- Freeport, ME, USA

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