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 23 of 37)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #299

Nov 012009


  • miles


Every time my car hits a pothole, speedbump while braking the car fails to respond and results in a forward lurch almost causing collisions and safety hazards for drivers with this car. Every single time while braking and hitting uneven pavement, potholes, speedbumps etc.

- Tarzana, CA, USA

problem #298

Jul 312009


  • 200 miles
My brakes quit working if a brake on loose gravel or when I hit a bump at low speeds. Seems like the ABS is trying to work but fails to kick on.

- Clovis, CA, USA

problem #297

Nov 302009


  • 400 miles
I purchased a 2010 Toyota Prius iv in November of 2009. Within a week of driving the car I was making a right turn at an intersection and drove over a pot-hole. Within a second of hitting the pot-hole I felt as if the car slid forward without resistance rather than feeling it being slowed by the brakes. A few seconds later the car seemed to recover and feel normal. I experienced this two more times at the same intersection when hitting the same pot-hole. I also experienced something similar weeks later on a different road. My wife reported similar experiences 3-4 times. We felt this was caused by unfamiliarity with the cars traction control system. The recent news reports on Toyota braking problems is making is reconsider.

- Germantown, WI, USA

problem #296

Feb 022010


  • 4,850 miles


In snowy weather I tried to stop on slippery payment at slow speeds at a four way stop. The brakes let go for a few seconds before reconnecting. This has happened several times before on bumpy or slippery pavement. It never lasts for long, but it does increase stopping distance.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #295

Nov 152009


  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While the contact was driving 20mph the contact attempted to brake and noticed that the brakes would not engage for a short period. The vehicle was taken to the dealership where the contact was informed that the failure could not be reproduced. There were no prior warnings and the current and failure mileages were 5000.

- Brattle Boro, VT, USA

problem #294

Feb 032010


  • 1,525 miles
When approaching a stop sign and applying the brakes over a rough stretch of pavement, the brakes "stuttered" or seemed to momentarily fail and then catch again with continued pressure on the brake pedal. Car lurched forward when this happened. This has happened twice at the same intersection.

- Alexander, AR, USA

problem #293

Feb 042010


  • miles


Like many others, I too have experienced the brake problem with the 2010 Prius. When going over a pothole (while using the brake), the brake fails momentarily and the car lurches forward.

- Old Tappan, NJ, USA

problem #292

Dec 152009


  • 2,500 miles
I have a 2010 Toyota Prius purchased 2 November 2009 that is having the braking problem on an intermittent basis. Sometimes when braking, the car will "lurch" forward when it should be coming to a stop. It happens just before I expect it to stop, and have compensated by braking more slowly in anticipation of stops. I worry about what would happen in a sudden, emergency stop, however. Thank you. (the date below is just to complete the form; you should have a category for intermittent problems that aren't tied to a particular date.)

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #291

Feb 022010


  • 5,000 miles
I bought a Toyota Prius V 2010. I have complained to Toyota about the braking system. I am also filling a formal complaint with NHTSA. Also the back auto dimming mirror doesnt work properly. They cant find a fix. Lane keep assist works really poorly. I would say I doesnt work! also bluetooth systems doesnt work properly. There is a delay in answering the call.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #290

Jan 302010


  • 100 miles
I have had the 2010 Prius for 2 months now. I have experienced the brake failure when going over potholes (which there are many of in los angeles) about 8 times in the last 2 mos. Over a pothole, I step on the brake and instead of braking my car actually accelerates a little, as if the pothole is pushing me forward. It's a loss of control over the vehicle for those 1-3 seconds, and if another car were in front of me no doubt I'd hit it as the brakes fail. I thought it was a problem with just my car until I read the news today.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #289

Jan 262010


  • 3,000 miles


When traveling over a pothole or bump in the road during brake application of my 2010 Prius, I sometimes lose braking power and the car will lunge forward or seem to accelerate. It's scary but thankfully I've been far enough away from the car in front of me that I haven't hit it. I didn't know whether to report this until I heard of the complaints that you were receiving and realized that it was a major problem.

- Mason, OH, USA

problem #288

Dec 052009


  • 2,000 miles
On about 5 or 6 occasions, I have experienced a momentary loss of braking capability in my 2010 Toyota Prius, which I purchased in November, 2009. No injuries or accidents of any kind have occurred and the loss of braking was for only a second or so, but when I read the reports today of NHTSA's investigation I knew that what I had experienced is exactly what has been described by others. This incident has occurred when braking at a relatively low rate of speed (25mph or less) over a bumpy, uneven surface in which both front tires are going over the uneven surface. The brake pedal depresses as normal and the brakes begin to work, but at the moment of contact with the bumpy area the brakes stop working momentarily, causing the vehicle to begin moving forward quickly for just a second. It feels almost like the vehicle is sliding or speeding up for just a second before resuming a descent in speed. I absolutely love my Prius and in all other ways it is a great vehicle, but I did feel it was important to report this incident given your ongoing investigation.

- Asheville, NC, USA

problem #287

Jan 152010


  • 10,000 miles
I have a 2010 Prius. On at least three occasions, in the last six months, the following has occurred. When I am traveling and I apply brake pressure the vehicle begins to accelerate. No matter how hard I press on the brake pedal it does not slow down or stop the vehicle. It actually begins to speeds up while my foot is pressing down on the brake pedal. The acceleration has only lasted approximately 5-6 seconds. However, it is very frightening when you are traveling at a high rate of speed and trying to slow down especially off a freeway off ramp. The last thing you want to do at that time is accelerate even if it is momentarily. This has occurred in various places. It has happened while I am getting off of the freeway and on city streets. There was nothing I did in particular that corrected the failure. The Prius just stopped accelerating on it's own.

- Oxnard, CA, USA

problem #286

Sep 012009


  • 3,000 miles
My 2010 Prius hybrid has a problem in certain instances when I apply the brakes. The first time it occurred was when I was applying the brakes to stop in front of my home. There were wet leaves in the street and when I applied the brakes, there was a moment when nothing happened. Then it felt as if the ABS system actuated and momentarily the brakes locked up and the car started to skid, then the ABS took over and the car came to a stop. Truthfully I was frightened. I have owned the vehicle since September, 2009 and this has occurred several times. I was lucky one time when it happened in traffic when the vehicle in front of me stopped suddenly. I was sure I was going to hit the other vehicle but it moved forward far enough so that I did not hit it. I have noticed that it occurs most often when the street or highway is rough or bumpy in the area where I am braking. It is especially treacherous here in minneapolis when the streets are slick from snow or ice. I certainly have learned to give the other car plenty of room so that I will have time to brake. However there are occurrences, such as 4-way stop signs, where it is almost impossible to allow enough space.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #285

Feb 042010


  • 451 miles
My 2010 Toyota Prius brake problem: To begin driving my Prius from a stopped position one releases the brake pedal before pressing the accelerator pedal. Quite often when attempting to release the brake pedal on my Prius there will be an instant jerk and any vehicle movement appears to be dead locked. After several attempts it will then appear to straighten out and then driving is ok. Considering my driving habits, this is very much a safety problem for me, and also I don't trust the car.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #284

Jan 282010


  • 1,800 miles
2010 Prius did not stop even though I pressed brake hard enough to make my foot sore. Brakes had been squealing slightly since I purchased car on 12/30/09, but I thought it was the cold.

- Wake Forest, NC, USA

problem #283

Aug 152009


  • 200 miles
2010 Prius - confirming reports about brake failure. At the company I work, there are rumble strips leading to a gate when departing the grounds. I have learned to slow way down before hitting the rumble strips because I almost hit the bar that rises at the gate the first few times after purchasing the car last summer (2009). The brakes briefly fail then kick in again. Have not been on rough terrain but I'm sure this would occur similar to the rumble strips.

- Middlefield, CT, USA

problem #282

Dec 172009


  • 5,000 miles
We purchased a 2010 Prius in June and took it in for servicing in December. At that time we reported exactly the same problem that is now in the news -- when braking at low speed the vehicle occasionally lurches forward for an instant before slowing down. At the time we reported it, the dealer said that it was just the transition from electric to gas at the moment we applied the brakes. It now appears to be a more serious problem so I am writing to add our experience to your files. This problem does not happen often, but it is unsettling when it does since the driver does not expect the car to accelerate, even momentarily, during braking. In a tight situation or heavy traffic, this could easily cause an accident. So far when it has happened, there have been no consequences, but it is something we worry about. The date below is the date we reported the problem to our Toyota dealer.

- Piedmont, CA, USA

problem #281

Nov 132009


  • 5,000 miles
Three separate occasions of momentary loss of braking going over rough surface (two different locations) on dry asphalt. Each time the braking resumed after a short moment, as the brake pedal was kept pressed. When the brakes went out, it felt as if the car started lurching forward, causing momentary panic with the driver and the passengers. Luckily there was still time to get to a complete stop before impact.

- Moraga, CA, USA

problem #280

Feb 042010


  • 3,000 miles
2010 Toyota Prius brake problem. This occurs when hitting a brake when on some sort of rough road area, like a pothole or a bump. It feels like either the brake isn't engaging or it's speeding up. It's hard to tell. Either way, it's scary and it can cause an accident. For instance, if you're driving in manhattan and you hit a pothole as you brake with a car in front of you. (I was lucky when this problem kicked in and I hit that pothole as there was no car in front of me at the time.) this problem has happened to me close to 10 times now. Please note that this has happened numerous times. It happened within a couple days of when I got the car. I didn't see "brakes" on your list of parts that were defective. I did see "service brakes" in 3 categories, but I didn't know if "service brakes" was some special meaning, nor did I know which kinds of brakes had the problem (or even which kind the car has).

- Belleville, NJ, USA

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