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 3 of 37)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #699

May 142011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated while driving at low speeds in inclement weather and trying to decelerate the vehicle would not stop moving and it crashed into the rear of another vehicle. There were no injuries from either vehicle. A police report was filed. The vehicle was not towed because it wasn't a major crash. The manufacturer was then contacted and they advised him that they were unaware of any failures in regards to the brakes. The failure mileage was approximately 65,000. Updated 08/31/2011

- Flint, MI, USA

problem #698

May 022011


  • 97,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the brakes were applied but the vehicle did not respond or slow down. The ABS warning light illuminated and the driver had to use the parking brake to stop. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who replaced the master cylinder. The failure continued. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was scheduled for a second repair. The VIN was unavailable. The current mileage was approximately 100,000 and the failure mileage was 97,000.

- Long Pond, PA, USA

problem #697

Apr 222011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 2,600 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated as he was pulling into a parking space, he crashed into a wall because of the brake pedal engaged. The contact stated the accelerator pedal and brake pedal was not positioned properly. The contact tried to stop the vehicle and his foot moved off of the accelerator and under the brake pedal. The manufacturer inspected the vehicle and stated the space between the accelerator and brake pedal meet their specifications. The failure and current mileages were 2,600. Updated 6/8/11 updated 06/15/11

- Redding, CT, USA

problem #696

Apr 262011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles


Sudden loss of braking while slowing down while going over a bump. Apparently the regenerative braking fails, and the car relies on only friction braking when going over a bump. This gives the feeling of brake failure and unintended acceleration, and the only way to prevent an accident is to push hard on the brakes. This happens consistently, and has since the car was new. The Toyota ABS ECU flash was performed, and made little or no difference.this is very disconcerting to say the least, and will lead to accidents. Toyota claims that this is the "normal" operation of the ABS system - in reality it has nothing to do with the loss of traction. Check out these data: priuschat.com/forums/gen-II-Prius-technical-discussion/93233-data-brake-loss-aka-sudden-acceleration-after-bump.html.

- Centerport, NY, USA

problem #695

Oct 152009


  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While the contact was driving approximately 10 mph, the brake pedal was engaged and the vehicle began to lurch forward unexpectedly. The failure recurred whenever driving in rainy weather conditions or bumpy and icy road surfaces. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 10V039000 (service brakes, air:antilock:control unit/module). The recall remedy failed to correct the problem and the failure persisted after the repair. The failure mileage was approximately 1,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Niles, IL, USA

problem #694

Apr 182011


  • 43,000 miles
I travel quite a bit these days and on my way home from coachella music festival, my brakes gave out. I mean to say, pushing the pedal all the way down, no resistance, no slowing, a completely limp pedal....until I repeatedly stomped on it and the car locked and skidded to a stop, feet away from the car in front of me. The brakes returned intermittently, so I took the right hand lane at 40mph and tested the brakes regularly until I got to my dealership. Scariest thing ive ever experienced. Ive had the car since August 09' and currently have 43K miles on it. I know thats a lot, and its unfortunately outside of my warranty now, but I wanted to log it here, as soon as I could. It started one day before the freeway incident, whenever I would depress the pedal, a loud high pitched squeak would come out. I didnt think much of it outside of "better get that looked at" but didnt notice any brake failure. The next morning, I turned on the car and every dashboard light came on and a fast consistant beeping went on for about 5 minutes, during which time the brake pedal had zero resistance. I sat there with a serious wtf look on my face, when out of nowhere, the dash lights went away, as did the beeping, and the car drove as normal with full regular brake pressure (besides the squeak). I received a call back from the dealership. They say it's going to be $3K for a master cylinder replacement and that Toyota corporate wouldn't aid in the cost, despite my hybrid warranty still covering the hybrid ECU (the master cylinder unit includes the ECU). [xxx] (my dealership service manager) said herself that it was not my fault and that the part is not repairable, "it either works, or it does not. It must be replaced". this could have been catastrophic, had I been any closer to the car in front of me. The failure of one part (which failed through no fault of the customer) rendering the brakes nearly useless is too scary not to report here. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Ca, CA, USA

problem #693

Mar 312011


  • miles


Driving on a rain covered road and hit a rough spot in the road. Brakes did not engage at all for about 1 second. Was able to stop after that and just avoided rear ending a car at a stop sign.

- Concord, MA, USA

problem #692

Feb 122011


  • 1,000 miles
2010 Toyota Prius--inconsistant braking and varying brake pedal pressure requirements. When braking, brake pedal travel distance varies. At times no brake action after pedal has been partially depressed requiring more brake pressure to re-engage brakes. Sometimes occurs when gas engineswitches to electric or vice versa, other times inconsistent brake action occurs with either power source. Frankly you never know how the brakes will perform. Taken to dealer-I was told no problem found. They would not keep the car for days to continue tests. This is my fourth Prius and this vehicle has more problems and concerns than all the others combined.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #691

Mar 032011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 4,020 miles
I drive a 2010 Toyota Prius. In the last week I have noticed on several occasions that when braking when coming up to a traffic light, all of a sudden the pressure on the pedal decreases and the breaking power fades. Then in panic I start pumping the pedal which after a split second gets the brakes to kick in again. Luckily the car has so far then come to a halt before I hit the car in front of me. My Toyota dealer has dismissed my claim saying that they checked the car and the computer shows no error code. They told me that everything is fine basically dismissing my claims of a near crash. They say there is nothing they can do and if the computer shows no error everything must be fine. The first occurrence of this was on the same day when I had to brake very hard to avoid a crash. On that occasion the brakes worked fine but driving home the same night I had the first occurrence of the above described situation resulting in a near crash.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #690

Feb 142010


  • 9,999 miles
TL- the contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated while attempting to brake the brake did not respond he had to increase the stopping distance he experienced the failure several times, but the failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer whom performed a diagnosed, but was unable to locate a failure code the vehicle was also test driven, but the failure could not be recreated. The manufacturer was contacted and advised to take the vehicle to local dealership. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure and the current and the current mileage were 9,999.

- Short Hills , NJ, USA

problem #689

Feb 072011


  • 4,000 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact was braking from approximately 30 mph and approaching a traffic stop when the brakes failed. The contact veered off the road and crashed into a snow bank. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and the contact was advised that they would have to turn the vehicle over to the manufacturer and wait for a diagnostic on the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was approximately 4,000.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #688

Aug 012010


  • 100 miles
I purchased a new 2010 Toyota Prius (model 3) in late July 2010. In almost every respect, this car is wonderful. However, the car has consistently diminished (apparent) braking effectiveness when the brakes are applied and the car goes over a patch of rough road, pothole, etc. When the brakes are applied with a consistent pressure, the car "feels" as if the brakes disengage upon entering a rough patch of road. This happens every time. (for example, I notice it every time I slow down at my street corner where there is a long-standing patch of rough pavement.) since 1994 I have owned 7 cars with ABS (Honda, Nissan, and Toyota Camry), I have never experienced a similar sensation in any of these other cars. I have adapted my driving style to this anomaly, but I worry about my kids and friends who may occasionally drive my Prius. It is unnerving to apply the brakes and have them feel like they are disengaging when you enter a rough patch of road. Since this problem occurs consistently, I think it should be possible to test to see if this apparent braking anomaly is actually increasing stopping distances. (for example, test Prius vs. Model without apparent braking anomaly on smooth and rough roads to see if relative braking distances of Prius are more heavily affected by rough roads that comparison model.) P.S. after purchasing my new Prius, I noted that my dealer's service blog, had several reports of similar problems that were not corrected after servicing by the dealer. Some posts noted that the dealer had applied a software fix that Toyota distributed in early 2010. My car was manufactured after that fix.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #687

Jan 202011


  • 22,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving over railroad tracks she tried to apply the brakes and the pedal went all the way down to the floor. The contact mentioned that she waited a couple of seconds before she applied the brakes again and they functioned normally. The dealer said that it was normal for the vehicle to function that way on uneven surfaces. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage were 22,000.

- Vero Beach , FL, USA

problem #686

Jan 052011


  • 8,227 miles
Incident #1 on January 5, 2011 - sudden change in braking performance caused crash. Accident occurred in company parking lot. There was snow on the ground. I attempted to slow down to make a right turn. The car initially started to slow down. But as I attempted to turn to the right the car started to slide. I tried to control the slide with the brakes but the car would not slow down and it slid into a stone curb causing over $1,700 in damage to the car. There was no feeling of any braking occurring. There was no feeling of the ABS brakes pulsing to control the slide. Incident # 2 on January 19, 2011 - sudden change in braking performance created dangerous stopping condition. I was approaching a red light at an intersection going about 30 mph. There was no snow on the ground. The road was wet. I applied the brakes and the car initially started to slow down. Suddenly the brakes were no longer slowing the car down. I thought the car was going to fail to stop at the intersection. I increasingly applied more and more pressure on the brake pedal and the car began to slow down. The car did finally stop and did not cross the intersection. The brake pedal pressure that I had to apply was extreme - it felt like a car with power assisted brakes but that the power assist had failed. There was no feeling of the ABS brakes pulsing to control the braking of the car.

- Penfield, NY, USA

problem #685

Aug 062010


  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving approximately 15 mph and applying pressure to the brakes, the vehicle would not stop. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but the technicians were unable to duplicate the failure. The manufacturer stated that they could not assist with repairs if the failure could not be duplicated. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 1,000 and current mileage is 6,000.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #684

Oct 232010


  • 28,000 miles
I had taken an exit after having driven about 15 miles on hwy 85 & had my foot off the accelerator as there was red signal ahead. Before coming to a full stop the light turned green so put my foot on the accelerator but than had to brake almost within seconds as I saw a car ahead at the next green light not moving. The car felt like it surged & drove what I believe was abnormal distance with my front crashing under the back of an old Buick. I had 3 other family members in the car who felt the same jerk. The road was wet from prior rain. There was not much damage to the car I crashed into but my car was considered total loss, 15 months old with 28K miles. No air bags were deployed. Ironically I had picked up the car from the dealership just that morning because my daughter had complained about the jerking when applying brakes when she drives 20 miles to work in a stop & go traffic on hwy 280. This was not the first time she had complained to dealership about this either. The dealership like before reported nothing wrong. The car had the sw upgrade done when it was recalled in Feb/Mar. Post the crash incident Toyota had their expert examine the brakes who reported, brake reservoir fluid level 5mm above the max level & some white substance suspended in it near the surface, but still brake system to be in good condition.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #683

Nov 272010


  • miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While stopped at a traffic light, the vehicle was hit from the rear by another vehicle. After the vehicle was hit, it accelerated to a high speed. The contact engaged the brakes but the vehicle continued to accelerate; the contact attempted to turn off the ignition but that did not stop the vehicle. The vehicle changed directions and crossed over a grassy area and crossed over three lanes of traffic and crashed into a concrete median. The contact stated that all the lights failed. The two passengers were injured. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The VIN was unavailable. The current and failure mileages were unknown.

- Suffern, NY, USA

problem #682

Dec 072010

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,654 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the repair for recall 10V039000 (service brakes, hydraulic) was performed February 2010. The contact attempted to stop at a traffic light and when they hit rough pavement, the vehicle would not stop properly and went through an intersection. The dealer inspected and stated that there was nothing wrong, the failure mileage was 18,654 and the current mileage was approximately 19,000. Updated 02/09/11 updated 03/03/11

- Northeastham, MA, USA

problem #681

Apr 152010


  • miles
2010 Toyota Prius. S10 appropriate handling- letter from regarding Toyota problems the consumer stated when he went to start his vehicle, the brake pedal went straight down to the floor and the vehicle would not start until pressure was applied to the brake. After trying several things, the brake finally came on. The consumer took the vehicle to the dealer, but they were unable to find anything wrong. On April 27, 2010, the incident happened again with the brakes. A notice appeared on the dash to put the vehicle in park. When he did, the brake came on. Updated 12/22/10.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #680

Sep 302010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 17,000 miles
Loss of braking effectiveness. Happens when going over bumps while applying the brakes. You don't lose braking power completely, but it would be like you had lifted your foot off the brakes partially. It has happened about a dozen times since I have owned the vehicle (a little over a year). I am unable to determine what factors make it happen. I don't know if it is speed, severity of the bumps, or braking pressure, or combination. I know that temperature makes no difference, as it has happened in winter and summer. The last incident happened when a bicyclist moved in front of my car to avoid bumps. I applied the brakes (it was not severe), and as I went over the bumps, I lost braking power. My speed was approximately 15 mph. Toyota has done a recall on the brakes, but I continue to have the problem. I have talked to other owners, and they are having the same problem, even after the recall. The consumer stated when he drove over a bump in the road, the braking decreased significantly for approximately 3 seconds. He also stated the engine raced briefly, but the vehicle was not in gear at the time. Updated IVOQ 03/01/11

- Edina, MN, USA

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