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 34 of 37)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #79

Nov 152009


  • 8,362 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the brakes failed when driving over uneven pavement at low speeds. The contact also stated the vehicle lurched forward when braking under normal road conditions. The failure happens when driving over a speed bump or a pot hole. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the contact was told to remove the floor mats but the problem persisted.the contact stated that the dealer was unable to duplicate the failure because it happens randomly. The manufacturer was contacted but the contact did not receive an acceptable answer from them. The failure mileage was 8,362.

- Garrettsville, MD, USA

problem #78

Jan 242010


  • 10,000 miles
I have a 2010 Prius and saw an article about there being possible brake problems with the model. I have had this problem probably about 6 times since I got the car last July and, when I mentioned it to the dealer, they said there wasn't anything wrong with the brakes when they ran the diagnostic. When it happens, I'm in the process of braking, and there's a "push", almost like the brakes didn't "take", followed by a loss of steering for a second or two. It's also happened to my husband one time. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to when it happens (wet road vs. Dry road, turning or going straight, flat or hill). I originally associated the problem with the brakes because I also have the "sliding" icon come on the dashboard when I'm completely stopped and lean forward in my seatbelt. However, I'm now wondering if it's not the brakes, but the transmission, since it sort of feels like it's not downshifting when it's supposed to, or it shifts back into a higher gear for a second while braking. I came to this conclusion after waiting in the car while it was running. With the car on, emergency brake on, but not in park, there was a definite "jolt" when the gas engine would turn on and then off again a few minutes later. Although there hasn't been a crash yet, there were two times when it came really close to that, as I was turning and almost hit the cars on the side street that were in the left turn lane waiting to turn onto the street I had been traveling on.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #77

Jan 282010


  • 3,000 miles
On Thursday, January 28th my wife drove our 2010 Toyota Prius to work. The was a slight coating of snow on the ground. Less that one block from our house, driving at no more than 10-15 mph she applied the brakes to stop at a stop sign. She reported that the brakes seemed to lock (not the normal ABS feel) and she lost control of the car, which then slid/skidded into a curb which punctured the front passenger tire. The car appeared to have only a punctured tire which was changed by a aaa service truck. After the tire was changed and the service truck left, I attempted to drive the vehicle to a nearby tire dealer. As I tried to drive the car, I heard and felt a loud scraping noise that sound and felt like the brakes were still engaged. Even though I was now on clear pavement if I at all tried to apply the brakes, the ABS went on, but in an aggressive manner. The ABS also went on a couple of times even without me putting my foot on the brakes. The tire dealer said he thought we might have been the frame and told us not to drive the car. The car was towed to a nearby body shop to be inspected by our insurance company, state farm. As of February 2, 2010 no inspection has taken place. It is our contention that something malfunctioned with the brakes which caused the accident.

- Peekskill, NY, USA

problem #76

Jan 292010


  • 5,000 miles


When braking at low speeds, if the car hits a manhole cover or uneven, bumpy road, there is a split-second loss in braking (which feels like acceleration since the driver expects to be decelerating at the time). Other priuschat site users have complained about the same problem with the 2010 Prius - some users claimed this was "normal" when the regenerative brakes switch over to hydraulic brakes and that there was really no loss in braking. It may be "normal" but it's scary as heck when it happens and if a pedestrian crosses in front of the car or a car in front of a 2010 Prius stops quickly under just the wrong circumstances, I suspect an accident would result.

- Crown Point, IN, USA

problem #75

Sep 052006


  • 1,600 miles
Brake on my Toyota Prius 2010. A few month ago, I was driving on a street with many potholes in san francisco. I was coming to a stop on a red light. I applied the brake to slow my Prius. As I was applying the brake, the car's front wheel hit a pothole. I suddenly feel a total lose to brake on the car for a slight second as the car seem like/feel like surge ahead. A fraction of second later, the brake went back to normal. It was a very scary feeling. I did feeling unsafe. I talked to the master mechanic in the Toyota dealer. He said the it is normal as the ABS kick in when the car hit the pothole. It is doing it job. However, I had driven more than 5 cars with ABS and vsc and never have the kind of issue. This only happen once.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #74

Jan 252010


  • 8,750 miles
My 2010 Toyota Prius has a serious braking problem, the car lunges forward after apply my brakes over a bumpy surface. This is very unexpected and luckily no one was in front of me otherwise I would have hit them. This already happened several times, took my car to the dealer and no solution, I don't know what to do with a brand new like this.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #73

Jan 232010


  • 300 miles


I had my new Toyota Prius about 4 days. On Saturday morning, 1/23/10, I was backing out of my driveway. There was ice, but when I gently put on my brakes, I felt nothing. Two seconds later after sliding to the end of my driveway, the brakes caught. I was concerned that the feeling was quite odd, but chalked it up to the ice. Then the next morning, it happened again when there was no ice, but wet roads, first coming to one stop light and then about 15 minutes later at another stop light. The same feeling--putting on the brakes and hitting air--then 2 seconds later the brakes grabbed. I immediately drove it to the dealership and left it, citing brake failure. They had it about 2 days and no one believed me. Said it was fine. Yesterday, 2/1/10, and again today, 2/2/10, it did it again to and from work. I do not feel safe in that car. Something is wrong with the brakes.

- Bloomington, MN, USA

problem #72

Feb 012010


  • 5,300 miles
When backing up the 2010 Prius, the brakes grab. I release the brake pedal and reapply and each time the brakes grab.

- Leesburg, FL, USA

problem #71

Jan 152010


  • 2,300 miles
I have been driving my 2010 Prius for 6 months and have experienced the following nearly 10 times: When braking, if a pothole or bump in the road is hit, the car seemingly jerks forward/accelerates for a split second. This results in less control over where the car comes to a complete stop. The most unnerving instances of this occur when approaching the end of a road or a crosswalk. I nearly hit a child because of this unpredictable reaction to a pothole. Also, the brakes are less effective in snow than any other car I've ever driven. No matter how slow I'm going or how hard I hit the brakes, I've found that I'm guaranteed to skid several feet, oftentimes into intersections/traffic. Perhaps unrelated to the pothole issue, but maybe not. Both issues are extremely dangerous.

- Cambridge, MA, USA

problem #70

Feb 012010


  • 7,400 miles
While braking if I hit potholes the car speeds up from loss of braking action even thou I am still pushing on the brake pedal. I have to quickly let up and apply brakes again to stop vehicle. Has happened three times now, twice in the last two days. First time thought it was my imagination, but now I know that I was pushing on the pedal and the car just took off until I reapplied the brakes.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #69

Sep 102009


  • 46,000 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the brake failed to engage when he drove approximately 25 mph on rough road surfaces. The dealer stated that the ABS engaged and that was a normal brake function. The failure occurred several times intermittently. The Toyota manufacturer has not been contacted. The failure mileage was 46,000.

- Croton On Hudson, NY, USA

problem #68

Jan 312010


  • 1,321 miles
This is a complaint about a recurring event that has serious implications in the wrong situations. For five times now, since driving our new car, our brakes have released after going over a bump in the road. This bump can be as small as a crack caused by a nearby tree's roots, or larger like a pothole. It has also occurred when driving over slick sewer covers. It typically happens when braking, then hitting the bump, then brakes release, and the car is no longer breaking. This is especially dangerous in hilly cities like san francisco, where if this happens going downhill, the acceleration accompanied by the lack of braking going downhill can result in crashing into the next car, or worse, hitting a crossing pedestrian at a cross walk.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #67

Dec 192009


  • 2,000 miles
My 2010 Toyota Prius brakes fail ( disengage or release) when braking on icy surface or while braking and a bump or pot hole is hit. I fist noticed this issue on Dec. 19, 2009 after a snow storm but it continues to happen even on dry road when a small bump is hit. I reported it to Toyota and they told me they could not find any issues with the brakes. Nothing was done to correct the problem. The car actually goes faster when you hit a bump while braking. The brakes release and it feels like you have no brakes at all for a few seconds. This is not right! it happens very unexpectedly and you can not judge your braking time correctly. It happened to me recently when stopping at stop sign before entering a cross road. I hit a patch of rough road and it drove me to stop passed the stop sign and was lucky there were no on coming traffic.

- Nesconset, NY, USA

problem #66

Aug 062009


  • 8,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving approximately 15 mph over a speed bump or pothole the vehicle accelerated for a few seconds while her foot was on the brake pedal. Although the surge lasts for a few seconds and occurred consistently she doesn't have control of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the accelerator pedal was operating normally. The failure mileage was 8,000.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #65

Jan 282010


  • 9,536 miles
1. traffic came to a sudden stop so I hit the brakes. 2. vehicle hit a pothole while I was trying to stop and the brakes felt like they released. I had to hit the brakes again in order to gain control of the vehicle and bring the car to a stop. 3. I was told by the dealership that nothing could be done.

- Renton, WA, USA

problem #64

Jan 162010


  • 4,300 miles
There is an apparent momentary loss of braking ability that we have experienced several times. Going over a rise in the road, or bumps, and beginning a descent to an intersection, pressing the brake pedal seems to have no effect for about 500ms. This seems somewhat more pronounced when the road is wet, although possibly the explanation for this is we brake earlier in the descent as a precaution in less-than-ideal circumstances. We have made our local dealer aware of this at the 5K mile service appointment, and they acknowledged other complaints, and contact with Toyota. They report that Toyota is looking in to a fix. We are concerned about the ability to brake in an emergency situation with no safety margin. This seems reproducible.

- Brooklin, MA, USA

problem #63

Nov 032009


  • 500 miles
When I am braking and my car hits a pothole, it surges forward and the brakes do not work for a few seconds. This problem occurs every time I hit a pothole or bump in the road.

- Quakertown, PA, USA

problem #62

Jan 252010


  • 6,000 miles
At a right turn I encountered a pothole and applied the brakes. When my car actually hit the pothole I felt, for a very brief time, that the brakes didn't work and the engine rev up a little bit. I was driving at low speed. I could have hit the car in front of me.

- Snellville, GA, USA

problem #61

Sep 272009


  • 25 miles
I have a 2010 Prius purchased in September of 2009. It now has just over 5000 miles on it. Since the beginning, probably the first weekend I owned the car, when braking if I hit a bump in the road, uneven surface, or a pothole or something, the car often feels like it lurches forward and I have to immediately release and rebrake. The car feels out of control. I have very often felt like I narrowly missed lurching forward into the car in front of me. The Toyota dealership service department insists they only know of recalls regarding the sticking accelerator pedals, nothing about this braking issue. Yet I read plenty online about this problem, so I know it isn't only happening to me. What can you do"? I've listed all three types of brakes in the equipment area of this form, because I don't know what it is - something about the hybrid braking system also charging the engine" also I listed the date as the day after I bought the car but this is ongoing, not a single incident by any means.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #60

Dec 152009


  • 7,000 miles
1. events leading up to failure: Moderate braking (~0.2 - 0.4 G) at moderate speed (~20 mph) while driving over choppy pavement such as might exist where road work is being done. 2. failure: As the car passes over the choppy pavement, braking force declines sharply without a change in brake pedal pressure. The consequence of this is that the car stops farther down the road than expected despite reflexive increased brake pressure on my part. This has happened three times in 7500 miles of very moderate driving. So far I have not had a collision or other accident from this unexpected behavior. I have never experienced this behavior in any other car including dozens of rental cars. 3. what was done to correct the failure. Nothing. Tw*

- San Pedro, CA, USA

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