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 37 of 37)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #19

Dec 272009


  • 2,000 miles


While braking, my car hit a bump and it felt like there was a sudden surge of acceleration. I had to press the brakes extra hard to feel like I regained control of the car. This is definitely a repeatable problem, just drive the car over a pot-hole or a bump while you're breaking to recreate the condition.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #18

Sep 052009


  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. She experiences poor brake functionality during brake application. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for inspection. The technician could not duplicate the failure, so he could not provide a remedy. The failure mileage was 1,000.

- Goffston Town, NH, USA

problem #17

Sep 012009


  • 500 miles
There are times that on my 2010 Prius that the brakes seem to fail. If there is anything in the road (I.e raised lane markers, potholes, raised concrete) that the tire engages in during braking, it takes longer than it should to make a safe stop. Also, when I park on a slight incline there seems to be braking issues where the car 'jerks' when I am in reverse. These two issues continue on a regular basis.

- Carrollton, TX, USA

problem #16

Dec 282009


  • 12,000 miles


Coming up to stop sign, perhaps 25mph, at intersection of service roads leaving workplace. Car coming (also probably 25mph) from the left. There was some light snow (not covering), but nothing unusual. Applied brakes to stop. Brakes worked at first, but then seemed to stop working for several seconds, leaving my wondering if I was going to go through the stop sign and have a slow-speed collision with the car coming from the left. Luckily the brakes eventually seemed to grab, and the car rolled to a stop right at the intersection.

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #15

Dec 282009


  • 4,500 miles
It was snowing and very slippery. I was slowing down and turning into my driveway when suddenly it felt like I had no brakes. This is different from ABS which had gone off occasionally during the trip. As a result I ended up hitting a snow bank at the end of my driveway.

- Contoocook, NH, USA

problem #14

Dec 182009


  • 200 miles
Events leading up to failure: Hitting the brakes and hitting a bump in the pavement of the road at the same time. How often: All the time, if you are hitting the brakes, and hitting a bump at the same time. What was done: Nothing. Toyota claims nothing is wrong.

- Lake Linden, MI, USA

problem #13

Aug 152009


  • 500 miles


2010 Toyota Prius brake failure. Everytime while braking if there is a bump or on even a slight bit of ice on 1 wheel only, the brakes will release completely and go back to accelerating rather than braking. It happens when I exit the highway and there is a change in surfaces from tar to concrete. It happens very often and can happen anytime. This occurs at any speed from 10mph up and I have experienced it from 10mph and as high as 55mph. The problem first occurred around 500 miles on the car and I now have over 8500 miles. This started in August around the 15th. I have a 2007 Hummer H3 and I have compared the braking with the same conditions and speeds and the Prius is not responding correctly. The Hummer brakes even with the changes. I have also compared on a 2006 Volvo S60. These brakes are failing and it will eventually result in a crash or a pedestrian being struck. There is no pulsing of the breaks there is only releasing for ice or for any surface other than perfect. There should be some type of repair or recall immediately. I have noticed this but thought it was only me until I saw the msnbc article. I will not let my wife drive this car since she is pregnant. It is not safe. While sitting at traffic lights the traction control light keeps turning on and blinking and will lock the brakes until the gas pedal is pressed. I have never had an anti-lock or any type of breaking issue in 15 years of driving various vehicles.

- Nanuet, NY, USA

problem #12

Jul 132009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. Occasionally when he drivers over a rough terrain or speed bumps when attempts to apply the brakes, the brakes will not function for several seconds. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealership. The current and failure mileages were 6000. Updated 01/29/10 updated 02/01/10.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #11

Dec 242009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 700 miles
In reverse car speeds and brake stiffens and unable to slow reverse speed. Also, two times while accelerating at 25 miles per hour the car seemed to lift up then settle down. Very frightening. Updated 02/02/10 the consumer stated when the vehicle was in reverse, the brakes froze. The day after the vehicle was at the dealer, the consumer parked on a small incline, the front facing up. When she started the vehicle, she pushed the start button, put the vehicle in reverse, disengaged the emergency brake, and immediately the brakes froze and the consumer started to go backwards without control of the backing up the car. The consumer was unable to control the backwards movement so she immediately shut down the power. She then started the vehicle again, put it reverse, disengaged the emergency brake and everything was normal. Updated 03/01/10 updated 05/05/10.

- Stamford, CT, USA

problem #10

Oct 202009


  • 300 miles
I have a 2010 Toyota Prius (generation 3). Purchased on 10/15/2009. I have experience unexpected loss of braking when decelerating to about 5-10 mph and when the vehicle hits or goes over a bump. This have happened multiple times. There were no property damage, however, the unexpected loss of braking and a feeling of acceleration is unsettling. I feel this may eventually lead to a vehicular collision.

- San Marino, CA, USA

problem #9

Dec 012009


  • 5,500 miles


While braking over a rough surface such as potholes, train tracks or just rough pavement, the brakes feel like they cut out for a brief (well under a second) period. This could be ABS activating or it could be the changeover from regenerative braking to friction braking or something I am not aware of. I would describe the feeling as "floating" or hitting a patch of extremely slippery ice or like my foot has slipped off the brake pedal. I am confident that this event increases stopping distance but I have no idea how much and it may only be inches. I know from reading, this has been reported years ago with the previous generation Prius. Overall, I am extremely pleased with the car but this is something I believe should be investigated. Oh yes, it is fairly easy to reproduce and has happened to me 3-5 times in the 6000 miles I have driven the car. It is not nearly as terrifying now as it was the first time but when it happens it definitely grabs your attention! it has not caused me to get in an accident but I believe the potential is there for an accident to occur.

- Clarkston, MI, USA

problem #8

Dec 112009


  • 8,917 miles
I own a 2010 Toyota Prius, and like many have experienced the brakes "cutting out" when slowing down and going over a rough section of road. I drive throughout the houston, Texas area and have had this issue happen many times, usually unexpectedly. There are a few places I drive regularly that create the issue and I anticipate them and adjust my driving accordingly.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #7

Sep 012009


  • miles
2010 Toyota Prius with 2500 miles. Since purchased on 8/2009, I had more than ten experiences of unexpected acceleration (sudden unintended acceleration) on reverse that feel like two or three time (stronger) faster than normal reverse. Accompany the higher speed reverse, a heavy, abrupt braking with a slight touch of the brake during this event. The big "jerk" (braking) rock the entire car and banged heads again the headrests.this only happened with electric mode and most time with the car parked a slight incline. This unintended acceleration sometime happen a few time a day or it can go two, three weeks without any problem. The dealer can not find anything wrong with my car. And Toyota have no information about this problem. However, if you go to priuschat forum under gen III 2010 Prius main forum-braking in reverse, there are many people with the same problems. I strongly believe this is very dangerous if a new driver get in my car and not know about it. There is one post in priuschat forum that best explain the problem: Just yesterday, my Prius-III backed up with sudden unintended acceleration, with my foot only on the brake pedal.... I recognized what was happening because it happened once before, just over 2 months ago. Just a few days after I got the car. When I was backing out of an inclined driveway... I suspect that some unusual element of the timing of turning the car on and shifting into reverse, and possibly the internal state of the computer and the hybrid power system combine to produce this "abrupt" reverse acceleration as I am gently easing off my foot pressure on the brake pedal... the abrupt braking effect does occur, but only in response to the much more dangerous "unexpected, unintended" reverse power (acceleration), to stop the car motion. No matter how gently the brake is eased further on to stop, the stop is "abrupt" by garygid orange county, ca. I am trying to work with Toyota on this issue. Thank you.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #6

Dec 142009


  • 4,000 miles
2010 Prius "freewheels" if you hit a bump while braking. This occurs every few weeks. Nothing has been done to correct.

- Jenkintown, PA, USA

problem #5

Nov 132009


  • 8,100 miles
I was unable to slow down going into an intersection at a reasonable rate of speed. While I was not accelerating, when I applied the brakes the car did not slow down as I would have expected. This same behavior has occurred in the past several months since I've owned the Prius 2010 model. It seems to skip forward or accelerate while braking on a downhill or uneven surface. By the time I was able to stop I the airbags had gone off and I had hurt my neck and back. It is a new vehicle that now has almost $14,000 damage and won't be fixed for a month. If anything, I'm an overly cautious driver and wondering what I could have done to avoid the accident.

- Cave Creek, AZ, USA

problem #4

Nov 202009


  • 1,000 miles
My 2010 Prius V has very jerky brakes sometimes when starting out. Causes all people in car to be jerked around. Many other Prius 2010 owners report same problem. Toyota denies knowing about problem in spite of many complaints!

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #3

Oct 232009


  • 10 miles
I bought a brand new 2010 Toyota Prius and left the dealer on October 23, 2009. I had to stop short at one of the stoplights on the way home and noticed a disturbing lag before the brakes engaged. Hours later I was driving down a major highway when traffic stopped suddenly and the brakes would not engage. I rear-ended the car in front of me and modestly damaged the car I hit and severely damaged my new Prius. Fortunately noone was hurt. My six year old son was in the back seat.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #2

Oct 162009


  • 440 miles
Please investigate the 2010 Prius and its' braking system. While braking on a wet pavement, going down hill or braking when the car goes over an uneven or bumpy service, the car accelerates or lurches forward. Fortunately, I was a safe distance from other cars or could have hit something with this surge effect. The car only has 400 miles and this has occurred at least 4 times, the most recent today on a hill with wet pavement as the car was heading down hill. The brake was gently depressed and the car surged forward.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #1

Aug 152009

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving over large and small speed bumps the vehicle accelerated without warning. As a consequence his risk for serious injury and crash were increased. He is in the process of having the vehicle inspected to determine the cause of the failure. The failure and current mileages were 1,000. Updated 09/14/09 the consumer stated on 6 separate occasions, with 2 different drivers, sudden, brief and unexplained engine acceleration was experienced when a bump was hit in the road while applying the brakes. The driver could hear the engine rev up and there was a surge of power from the engine despite his foot not being on the accelerator, but being on the brake. In each of the 6 incidents the consumer and second driver were able to stop safely, bit were put at risk of an accident and/or injury due to the erroneous acceleration. Updated 09.15.09. Updated 10/13/09. The consumer stated the cruise control was not engaged and it didn't feel like the anti-lock brakes engaged either. Updated 10/13/09 the consumer also experienced braking problems as well. The consumer stated the problem has greatly diminished. Updated 02/05/10.

- Lansdale, PA, USA

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