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 8 of 37)

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problem #599

Jul 232009

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles


2010 Toyota Prius software defect in the engine control system. Consumer states while reversing before the start up operation is complete the brakes grab. The consumer parked facing an upslope at the dealer to get his license plate installed. To leave, the consumer put his foot on the brake and pressed the power button. As the dashboard started to light up, he shifted into reverse, released the parking brake and the foot brake and started to ease down the ramp. As the consumer applied the foot brake, the brakes grabbed badly. The consumer released and re-applied them, and again they grabbed. The grabbing was severe enough that the vehicle was not safe to drive and the consumer just stopped. The consumer believed the behavior indicated a defect in the software that controlled the start-up sequence. The control computer should not allow the vehicle to be shifted into drive or reverse until the power-on operations have been fully completed.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #598

Feb 012010

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
2010 Toyota Prius with brake problem. Consumer states that a sudden loss of braking occurs after driving over small potholes, loose gravel, or down a slight hill. The consumer stated it felt as though the vehicle was accelerating for 1-3 seconds.

- Camden, ME, USA

problem #597

Jan 102010


  • 8,300 miles
I have had several problems with my 2010 Toyota Prius. I have found the brakes to be undependable in situations of uneven pavement or anything but perfect road conditions. After applying the brakes, the car continues to move forward as if the brakes were never applied. This continues for several seconds causing a dangerous delay in performance of the brakes. This has occurred several times this winter, and is unfortunately not predictable. One instance led to my car slamming into an snow and ice bank damaging the lower front part of the car. Any other car I have driven would have stopped long before having contact with the bank, as the pavement was dry yet uneven. Another issue I have had is unreliable acceleration, again a hesitation of several seconds after the accelerator pedal is pushed that is dangerous as well making performance unpredictable. Both these situations leaves me uncertain of what kind of performance I can expect form both the brakes and accelerator at any given time. Since I drive my daughter to school each day, I am nervous every time I get into the car and concerned about the safety of my daughter and the other students. I also regularly wake up in the middle of the night fearful about driving my Prius to school and work the following day. So far I have done nothing to correct the situation as Toyota dealerships are so swamped by other recall appointments that it is nearly impossible to get an appointment for anything but a recall. So far Toyota has not contacted me about the brake recall solutions or recall process, so I am at a loss about where to turn.

- Northfield, MN, USA

problem #596

Feb 222010


  • 10,550 miles


Prius 2010 - when I brake going over pothole, there is a sudden acceleration. This happened twice since I brought the car in to the Toyota dealership and they claimed they "fixed" the problem. It happened most recently today Monday February 22, 2010.

- East Setauket, NY, USA

problem #595

Oct 012009


  • 1,000 miles
I have 2010 Prius. I am experiencing an energy surge from my back wheels when I step on my brakes while simultaneously going over a bumpy surface like rail road tracks, pot hole or rough ground. It occurs several times a week. The result is that my car suddenly speeds forward when I least want it to - I am braking. I have it thrust me into an intersection. I reported it to my service dept in Nov 09. They told me they had never heard of this problem before and had no other complaints. With a front wheel drive I didn't understand why the power seemed to be coming from the back wheels. Now I am assuming it is some kind of connection to the ABS system. This happens most notably at lower speeds, rounding a corner. But I think it may also be happening on the highway, but the surge is harder to detect at higher speed.

- Barre, VT, USA

problem #594

Jan 102010


  • 3,000 miles
During braking, my 2010 Toyota Prius would "lunge" forward as though the brakes did not work for a few seconds when "hitting" small bumps in the road. This happened twice.

- Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #593

Jan 272009


  • 9,620 miles


I was driving my 2010 Toyota Prius (which I purchased in July of 2009) around 6:30 pm Wednesday Jan. 27th 2010 in an area with many traffic lights. The temperature was below freezing. I was going between 25 - 30 mph and I was following two other vehicles at a safe distance. The vehicle in front of me came to a sudden stop in response to the vehicle in from of him stopping suddenly for a red light at a traffic light. I hit my brakes and it felt as if there was a momentary pause before the brakes engaged. I hit the vehicle in front of me at less than 5 mph. The accident caused damage to the hood and front end of my vehicle. The vehicle in front of me was a SUV so I caused only slight damage to his rear bumper (the front end of my car went under his bumper). I was folllowing at a safe distance and feel that the momentary pause from the time I hit my brake pedal to the brakes engaging caused me to bump into the vehicle in front of me.

- Longmeadow, MA, USA

problem #592

Feb 152010


  • 2,200 miles
2010 Prius purchased in August 2009. Surge when applying brakes. Occurred 4 times including 2/15/2010. Has occurred in same place 3 times. Each time there were potholes. When they were fixed, did not happen until they returned. Complained to Toyota dealer and was told this was normal when hydraulic and electronic brakes exchange. I suggested it was a dangerous normal. No damage or injury in any case. Was always able to push harder on brake to stop car. Stuns you when it happens because it is not normal. Since first instance, have tried to keep distance when slowing and braking.

- West Lafayette, IN, USA

problem #591

Feb 152010


  • 5,000 miles
When braking if my car hits a bump my brakes disengage.

- Rockaway Beach, NY, USA

problem #590

Dec 152009


  • 2,000 miles
We have experienced engine surges/lack of braking with our 2010 Toyota Prius on 5 different occasions during Aug 2009 - Feb 2010: -1: hit pothole with right front tire and experienced surge. -2: hit exact same pothole on another day and same result (surge). -3: while driving on paved road hit some ice and experienced surge. -4: while approaching stop light, applied brakes, when front right side of car hit gravel, experienced surge. -5: while preparing for left hand turn on busy street, when car went over a large drainage grate in the turn lane, experienced surge.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #589

Oct 202009


  • 2,500 miles


Temporary loss of braking on 2010 Toyota Prius on uneven pavement. One occurrence on 10/20/2009. An earlier occurrence also occurred on uneven pavement - probably in September 2009, but I do not have a record of the date. The dealership performed the recall maintenance today (02/16/2010). Please note that the car also exhibits extreme braking immediately after a cold start under wet conditions. This extreme braking is unlike any other cars previously owned over nearly 40 years. The extreme braking does subside after a short distance if the brakes are lightly applied while driving accelerator is depressed to maintain speed.

- Walden, NY, USA

problem #588

Jan 132010


  • 1,500 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated under normal conditions as she was driving at 45mph and coming to a stop with her feet on the brakes the vehicle lunged forward before stopping. The contact call the dealer and inform them of this and was told there is no problems with the vehicle and they never heard of this failure. There had been no prior maintenance performed on the vehicle prior to the failure. The failure mileage was 1,500.

- Fairfield, IA, USA

problem #587

Feb 012010


  • 2,100 miles
Brakes on my Prius have momentarily failed on two occasions - both times happened after going over a pot hole/rough patch of road.

- Reston, VA, USA

problem #586

Dec 282009


  • 200 miles
We have a very long steep driveway. I apply some braking when descending and then more as I reach the bottom before I enter the street. There is a water diverter bump about ten feet before the end of the driveway. It is about an inch or so tall and about six inches wide, crossing the full width of the driveway. Several times when I have rolled over the bump and I am applying more brakes, the brakes stop working for a second or so and then regain power. At first it felt like I was accelerating, until it happen a second time and I was more aware of what was going on. Applying heavier braking before the bump, seems to stop this sensation. The last time the brakes did this was when pulling to the side of the road to let faster traffic by, onto a rough gravel driveway entrance. Initially the brakes worked then for an instant they are gone, then back again. Before the recall we called the dealer who said we were just not used to anti lock brakes! we have had anti lock brakes for many many years in many different vehicles. We know when the anti-lock brakes are doing their job. This is not the same type of pulsing upon heavy breaking. This happens in the 2010 Prius when using normal braking pressure.

- Etowah, NC, USA

problem #585

Jan 202009


  • 1,500 miles
Have a 2010 Toyota Prius purchased in Dec. '09. Wife was approaching an intersection, braked, proceeded straight through the intersection, and as she crossed the crown of the street (for drainage), she experienced a momentary loss of braking. It has occurred one time so far. Nothing has been done to correct failure.

- Highlands Ranch, CO, USA

problem #584

Aug 192007


  • 250 miles
2010 Toyota Prius sometimes has very grabby brakes when reversing and applying slight force on brake pedal. Brake response is almost like a panic stop. This happens occasionally when starting car and putting in reverse. The remedy is to put car in park then put in reverse.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #583

Jan 152010


  • 5,000 miles
On two distinct occasions our 2010 Prius brakes appeared to disengage with the car continuing forward without slowing. This occurred regardless of how hard the brake pedal was pushed. This is not related to the accelerator pedal. In each instance, our local Toyota dealer was contacted and they insisted there was no problem.

- Huntington, NY, USA

problem #582

Jan 022010


  • 350 miles
Brakes dropped out completely on several occasions while driving over a wet metal road plate, and while going over very bumpy terrain.

- Hastings On Hudson, NY, USA

problem #581

Sep 192009


  • 1,200 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the brakes failed while driving approximately 25 mph on a normal road surface. There was minimal hesitation when the brake pedal was engaged. The failure mileage was 1,200 and the current mileage was 9,700.

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #580

Dec 182009


  • 280 miles
On December 18, 2009 at 4:40 pm in the still-light late afternoon we struck a deer in the road with our 2010 Toyota Prius.  the car was less than one month old and still on its first tank of gas. We have lived in a semi-rural area of New Jersey for over 30 years.  deer in the road is a frequent occurrence here.  but in 30 years, though we have had countless sudden collision-avoidance stops in other cars including our 2007 Prius, we have never had an accident. On December 18, traveling at approximately 35 mph on dry, but aged asphalt we observed a deer entering the road.  to avoid a collision, the brakes were jammed on.  but this time the braking event seemed to occur in slow motion.  it was the first sudden stop required of this new car.  eventually the ABS system engaged and the car came to a stop, but only after striking the deer with such force that the car sustained $2500 worth of front end damage.  lights, the bumper and front panels needed to be replaced.  the airbags did not deploy.  police and insurance reports were filed. Toyota has recently acknowledged a software-based delay of one second in transferring braking from the electronic regenerative system to the hydraulic brakes.  at  35 mph, that is an extra 51 feet traveled in that one second before the hydraulic brakes engage.  that 51 feet would have provided more than enough distance to avoid the collision. Until this unsafe condition is resolved, we have taken our 2010 Prius off the road.

- Gillette, NJ, USA

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