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 33 of 37)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #99

Dec 012009


  • 100 miles


My wife and I purchased a 2010 Toyota Prius (new) in July, 2009. We have driven it slightly more than 8,000 miles. I have two safety related complaints to report with the braking system: Complaint #1 - several times (perhaps 10-15) when applying the brakes after coasting a short distance as I prepare to stop, I have momentarily lost all braking. It feels as if I have hit a patch of glare ice with all four wheels. It always happens the moment I first apply the brakes, and then after a moment (perhaps a second or less) the braking system returns to normal operation. For that brief time there is no braking action at all. Complaint #2 - several times (perhaps 8-10) when taking the car from "park" to "reverse" to back out of a parking space, the braking system is so sensitive that it is nearly impossible to control the car's speed. The brake pedal has nearly no "play" or "feel" to it, causing the car to jerk to a stop when the slightest pressure is applied. This results in a pattern of "coast a few feet and jerk to a stop, coast a few feet and jerk to a stop", repeated several times while backing up the necessary 30 +/- feet. I don't recall ever experiencing this problem while moving forward. Since I have experienced each of these malfunctions multiple times over these past seven months, the "approximate incident date" below is arbitrary.

- Berea, OH, USA

problem #98

Feb 012010


  • 3,820 miles
I had trouble braking my 2010 Prius--when I hit the brakes and went over a bump at the same time the car sped up instead of stopping.

- Addison, TX, USA

problem #97

Aug 152009


  • 600 miles
I have a 2010 Prius that is now about six months old. I thought I was nuts when I described to my wife the incident of braking over a manhole cover and feeling the car seem to slip and jerk forward for a second. Seeing an article at cnn.com this morning caused me to write as this appears to be an issue.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #96

Nov 212009


  • 6,000 miles


My wife and I have both experienced rare but scary braking in our new 2010 Prius. Under the right conditions there is a definite lag (less that two seconds)between application of the brake pedal and when the brakes actually engage. I suspect an electronic problem is not telling the electric traction motor to shut off fast enough during these braking events, so the car is braking against its traction motor which is still pushing the car. We've attempted to pinpoint the conditions when this unusual braking behavior occurs and here is our best description: 1. happens when one front wheel hits a slick spot like a wet manhole cover or storm grate during braking and the ABS cuts in 2. it happens during braking on very bumpy roads especially in tight corners where traction may be lost momentarily on braking causing the ABS system to cut in. 3. it happens at relatively low speeds below 25mpg and when the accelerator in not pressed and usually when the traction motor is running. We drive two other cars (non-hybrid)over the same roads in similar conditions and don't experience these braking anomalies. The Toyota dealer can't identify a problem.

- Martinsville, NJ, USA

problem #95

Oct 202009


  • miles
I purchased a 2010 Prius in August 09 and have problems with the braking system. The car "lurches" forward when applying the brakes on a bumpy surface. I was fortunate on a number of occasions that there was distance between me and the car in front of me. After 3 or 4 occasions of experiencing this, I took the car to the dealership in Oct to have them check it out. I was told that the brakes were fine, nothing showed up in computer electronics and there were no recalls. They told me that I had to learn how to drive a hybrid and only drive on smooth surfaces! what city has smooth roads with no seams or bumpy surfaces on it. It continued to happen so I called the dealership a week later and was told that if I could recreate the problem the shop foreman would go out for a test drive with me. Recreating the problem is nearly impossible. I am a realtor and my livelihood depends on my having a reliable car. I am nervous driving my car and find that I drive always anticipating that I am going to have a brake problem...this is not a safe way to drive. The problem continues and I do not feel safe driving my vehicle. I am happy to hear that you are looking into it. Also, check out the Prius chat room for more complaints about the braking problem. Thanks so much for your investigative work.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #94

Dec 122009


  • 1,000 miles
I have a 2010 Toyota Prius iv. On at least two occasions, when I pressed the brake pedal and hit a pothole, the car's brakes seemed to have stopped working for 1-3 seconds. It felt as if I lifted my foot off the brake pedal but I was pressing it about 1/3 of the way down. This increased my braking distance substantially. Luckily there was no car or pedestrian in front of me. If there was one, I would have definitely hit them.

- Peekskill, NY, USA

problem #93

Jul 012009


  • miles


Infrequently, but repeatedly, while braking at low speeds, the brakes on my 2010 Toyota Prius will briefly cut out. When this occurs, the car will often seem to surge forward for the briefly period; it is hard to tell if this is simply a period of discontinued deceleration, or in fact a brief burst of acceleration. In over seven months of ownership, this has occurred at least 10 times, but certainly less than 50. It typically seems to happen when traveling on wet roads (I live in seattle) or after sudden change in the nature of the road (I.e. a pot hole or change of road surface height/type). So far this has not resulted in any injury or crash, but is concerning.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #92

Dec 122009


  • 3,000 miles
I purchased a Toyota Prius 2010 in October last year. I have had one braking failure incident when the car failed to brake as I was approaching a stop street. The brakes did not respond and then a few seconds later kicked in and the car came to a slow stop. I have also experienced about 6 incidents where my car accelerated while my foot was on the brake. These incidents occurred when I traveled over a bump or variance in the road. I have scheduled a service so that Toyota can review the braking system in my car.

- Forest Park , IL, USA

problem #91

Jan 102010


  • 800 miles
We own a 2010 Prius and several times since we purchased it in November 2009 we have noticed issues with the braking system. On each occasion we were driving over an uneven or slippery surface (e.g., potholes, icy manhole covers) and when the brake was pressed it didn't immediately engage or catch. Rather, the brakes engaged after the car passed the slippery or bumpy surface. The problem seems to result in an acceleration (or perhaps slower deceleration) when one steps on the brake pedal. On at least one occasion, an indicator light on the dash display lit up.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #90

Jan 122010


  • 5,000 miles
Multiple events/failures, here is a summary: 1) while braking over rougher road conditions -- not potholes, but regular roughness/bumps in roads -- brakes feel like they momentarily no longer function/go out. As soon as you return to smooth road surfaces, the problem corrects itself. This has occurred on numerous occasions, the dealership with whom I purchased my vehicle were unaware of the problem when I called them, even thought it has been discussed in the national news. 2) brake malfunction on slippery roads. I was driving to work and going very slow, leaving more than enough space to stop from the car in front of me. I approached a red light and lightly applied the brakes. Having plenty of space to stop, I realized that my car was not slowing as it should. Regardless of the pressure applied there was no change. I ended up stopping by rearending the vehicle in front of me. The damage was minimal, but scary nonetheless.

- Blair, NE, USA

problem #89

Jan 252010


  • 6,940 miles


2010 Toyota Prius has a major flaw in the regenerative / hydraulic braking system. If the car is slowing gradually with regenerative braking active and the road surface changes due to a pothole, uneven/broken surface, or speed bump, the hydraulic braking is reengaged very slowly. This causes the car to appear to accelerate for a second or two until hydraulic braking is engaged by the car's computer or because the driver had to increase brake pedal pressure dramatically to slow/stop the car. I have been able to reproduce this daily on a number of the roads I consistently travel. Speed during these incidents is usually anywhere between 5 and 30 mph. One example: Driving on a road and coming to a stop light... slowing gradually on regen braking, then I hit a part of the road where there is an uneven surface. Regen braking stops and car coasts with no braking, sometimes for up to a second or two. This is a major concern as it could result in a car accident or pedestrian death. I have already had at least two near misses where I have had to slow or stop suddenly while braking in regen mode and the switch to hydraulic mode is severely delayed. This could have resulted in rear-ending a car in front of me. Issue has been observed since I first obtained the car in July 2009.

- East Haven, CT, USA

problem #88

Dec 032009


  • 6,700 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated his brakes are not holding when he steps on the brakes. The contact stated it feels as if he is braking on ice, sliding to make a stop. The failure is intermittent. The contact called the dealer and they stated they had not heard of this problem. The contact will be taking the vehicle in to be repaired.the failure mileage 6700.

- Woodbury, NY, USA

problem #87

Jan 262010


  • 60 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the brakes would not respond when she depressed the brake pedal. The failure occurred on an intermittent basis (a total of 6 times so far). There were no warning lights. She had neither taken the vehicle to the dealership nor called the manufacturer to-date. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The vehicle identification number was not available at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was approximately 800. The failure mileage was approximately 60.

- West Bloomfield, MI, USA

problem #86

Jan 042010


  • 4,500 miles
While braking and coming to a stop at an intersection, and if there is a bump on the road, the auto continues to move forward, even if you depress the brake completely, the auto continues to move forward, about another 10 to 15 feet. This has happen numerous of times and dealer says they have no answer to the problem.

- Burbank, CA, USA

problem #85

Jan 242010


  • 7,900 miles
My 2010 Toyota Prius under certain conditions will have a reduction in braking power. It will give the illusion of acceleration, but I believe the problem is a reduction in braking power. This problem has happened repeatedly and I frequently experience it in a location I regularly drive. As I approach a 4-way stop there is a bump that covers the width of my lane. As the front tires go over the bump the car feels like it start to take off just short of the stopping point. It quickly recovers and I am always able to stop, but the feelings is unnerving since it happens so close to the stopping point. I have contacted my Toyota dealer, but they say they have no reported problems and did not even take any information.

- Plainfield, IN, USA

problem #84

Jan 202010


  • 4,500 miles
When braking our 2010 Toyota Prius, the brakes sometimes release while the driver's foot is on the brake pedal. The driver needs to release the brake pedal and re-apply pressure for the brake to re-engage. The problem does not occur every day but it has occurred often enough that both drivers of our car have noticed this on several occasions during the six months that we have owned the car. It appears to occur more at speeds below 15 mph, on downhill slopes, in colder weather and on slippery roads. Given the circumstances, the problem tends to happen when approaching intersections, where most braking takes place, making it a more dangerous defect. We purchased the car at the end of July, 2009. We reported the problem to the Toyota dealership when the car was in for its first 5000 mile service in January, 2010. They road-tested the car but could not replicate our experience, so they could not diagnose the issue.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #83

Feb 022010


  • 2,000 miles
Toyota Prius 2010 failed to stop at stop sign. I got a brand new Toyota Prius 2010 in late October 2009. Most of the time the brakes have been very good however I noticed several times that when I press the brakes the car kept going for a good few seconds before it stops. Yesterday I was in a small local road with speed around 28 mile/hr. When approching the intersection, I pressed the brake but the car was not slow down, I kept pressing the brake very hard and it finally stopped but the car was into the intersection already. Thank god, there was nobody crossing the street. I googled Prius 2010 brake problem and found there were many same complaints out there and since dealers could not reproduce the defect, they can not offer a fix.

- Troy, MI, USA

problem #82

Nov 152009


  • 1,000 miles
Brake problem when on uneven surface or hill, sometimes turning. Car hydroplanes and brakes do not work. Has happened at least a dozen times since buying the car last August. Three times have come close to hitting another car. Reported problem to dealership. Waiting to hear back.

- Radnor, PA, USA

problem #81

Dec 012009


  • miles
While braking my 2010 Prius there are times where the car appears to surge forward. The initial braking occurs fine but near the point of coming to a complete stop (ie less than 10mph) is when the surge occurs. Initially I attributed this to icy road conditions but this has now occurred on dry pavement. The dash light indicating slippage of the car does not appear when this occurs. The problems seems to occur more often within the first 5 miles of starting the car. This surge does not occur everyday nor every time the car is started. It does not seem to be strictly temperature related although it has started occurring only in the winter (car purchased in July).

- Vicksburg, MI, USA

problem #80

Jan 152010


  • 3,000 miles
2010 Toyota Prius brake problem. Brakes do not work properly particularly in snowy day.

- Franklin, WI, USA

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