really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
10,427 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 1 of 2)

problem #37

Aug 142016


  • 141,000 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. When the brake pedal was depressed at 35 mph, the vehicle skipped, jerked, and hesitated to respond. Also, the ABS and traction warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the brake booster pump assembly accumulator was leaking and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 13V235000 (service brakes). The failure mileage was 141,000.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #36

Jul 232016


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving approximately 5 mph, the brake pedal had to be depressed to the floorboard to stop the vehicle. The traction control, ABS, and brake warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the brake pressure accumulator needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 13V235000 (service brakes). The approximate failure mileage was 75,000. The VIN was not available.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #35

Sep 012011

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
2010 Toyota Prius. Consumer states when one of the front tires travels over uneven payment specifically an indentation in the road the braking action fails momentarily the consumer stated the vehicle lunged forward a few feet, before the brakes engaged again. The dealer informed the consumer the issue had to do with the ABS/trac system.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #34

Dec 262010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 33,145 miles


My 2010 Toyota Prius comes equipped with an intrusive traction control system that can't be turned off manually. Due to the restrictive system, the car had been stuck on small inclines in several occasions. If I carry too little speed, the traction control would slow the car to a crawl and prevents me from going up since it doesn't allow itself to spin any tires and therefore all forward momentums are lost. On the other hand if I carry too much speed, it becomes too dangerous as I can't steer the car in snow or ice. Could NHTSA please get Toyota to retrofit a system that would disable the traction control and therefore we can actually get up hills in the winter by maintaining momentum using limited amount of wheelspin. My car is equipped with a set of brand new snow tires in case you are wondering. I have recorded videos of the car getting stuck on small inclines due to the traction control, I can provide it to nhtsb if needed. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Bristol, CT, USA

problem #33

Dec 222010


  • 30,000 miles
Accident 12/22/10 turned left as I pulled into parking space nearest to handicapped spot. It was very sunny and there was a patch of what looked like ice. As the car went over that spot it started to accelerate. I applied the brake, only to find myself hitting the curb. After hitting the curb the car lurched over the curb and I continued applying the brake. In a fraction of a second my car was on the side walk, just before impact with the wall I took my foot off the brake because the car did not seem to be responding. I didn't know what else to do. It was over in seconds. Bricks dented in the building, smashed glass. I put the car in reverse and into the parking spot. Head spinning as to how this happened. I walked into the store and apologized. There was glass dust still hanging in the air. The woman inside said ¿call the police¿. I thought that was a good idea. I was eager to demonstrated that I wasn't drunk nor using illegal drugs. I offered to take a breathilizer, but they thought that wasn't necessary.

- Southborough, MA, USA

problem #32

Oct 082010


  • 2,500 miles
On 2010 Prius, brakes seem to release, generally for a moment, at low speeds when going over a bump on passenger side of the car. Car seems to accelerate momentarily, until brakes are hit again. This has happened a number of times but is sometimes hard to recreate. Car has 3000 miles. Dealer says brakes operating as designed and recall adjustment has been made.

- Port Washington, NY, USA

problem #31

Jul 272010


  • 18,500 miles


Was driving Prius 2010 model II with brake software applied by dealer about 1.5 months ago. Today (7/27/2010) I exited highway and began gentle braking on offramp, as suggested by manual to maximize regeneration. About half-way down offramp, I realized car in front of me was completely stopped and that I had to stop much more quickly than I was planning to. I don't recall being particularly distracted, but I can't rule out I noticed the stopped vehicle later than I should have. In any event, I'm not sure how hard I pressed the brakes, but I recall distinctly thinking "oh, my god. Nothing is happening" and 1-2 secs later I plowed into the car in front of me. The collision was hard enough to cause temporary pain to the driver in front of me, but no air bags were deployed and the Prius appears to not have major frontal damage - hood is bent back and maybe slight frame distortion => the impact clearly was not at the ~40-50 mph I was going when just exiting the highway, so some braking clearly did occur -- but I have the distinct feeling that my previous car (Subaru outbook) would have easily stopped in time. After accident, I tested brakes by going 15-20 mph in parking lot and braking hard. Always stopped quickly, I'm guessing w/100% friction braking. So brakes are probably not "defective" in sense of lost hydraulic fluid, etc... but I have never before experienced the feeling "I'm not stopping" except once when losing traction on icy road with a non-hybrid. The fact had time to think this thought at all probably means maybe 0.5-1.5 sec passed while braking ineffective. Checked for tire/skid marks on road or evidence of strong tire wear and found none, while I have on other cars when I have had to brake hard => Prius not braking hard despite emergency. Seem to have been caught in transition between regen & friction mode" this is still discussed in Prius forums -- software fix not good enough!" this is potentially very dangerous. Btw, car was in "eco" mode.

- Madison, CT, USA

problem #30

Apr 142010


  • 8,400 miles
2010 Prius engine accelerates when braking over bumps/gravel. Brought car back to Toyota dealer for recall modification and problem still exists, in fact, seems worse.

- Toluca Lake, CA, USA

problem #29

Apr 282010


  • 11,000 miles
The problem still exists. The car when going over uneven terrain and braking jumps forward. I can replicate the problem almost 100% of the time on my ride home from work. The problem also happens in random areas where the road is sub-par. Took the car to my Toyota dealer and they basically said we are going to see if any error codes come up but most likely we cannot help the problem. Very very very dissatisfied with this answer. They also could not guarantee my safety if the sudden/abrupt acceleration happens while driving on snow/ice/rain. Please advise.

- Euclid, OH, USA

problem #28

Mar 192010


  • 1,805 miles
2010 Prius repeatedly exhibited the braking defect at issue in recent recall (sudden lurch forward upon encountering bump while braking to stop)--recall service performed 5 weeks ago. Although the sudden lurching stopped (until today) after the recall service, the braking behavior then had a consistently odd feeling requiring increased pressure to fully stop (though no more sudden lurching forward when encountering bump). Then today the old lurch forward suddenly recurred when encountering bump while slowing to a stop. Dealership contacted and says they have no further remedy beyond recent computer adjustment performed as part of February, 2010 recall--basically totally disinterested.

- Bloomfield Hills, MI, USA

problem #27

Mar 132010


  • 5 miles


My prior Prius was repurchased by Toyota 09/09 with severe electrical issues which only escalated. I believe the man in ca because that happened to us on the highway, and our car behaved as if it were 'possessed'. now my 2010 is having intermittent issues, including an anti-skid/ braking light that we'd thought was remedied by resetting an ABS actuator Friday-it was on since test driving the car-but I was told many excuses, and eventually they were aware but did not know how to correct this. (?) I'm concerned about driving this vehicle as my 2007 trapped us in the car twice-911 called in a panic-plus my small daughter's safety was at risk just by owning that crazy car. Please see if you can locate that car and inspect it-you will see this is not some chance situation-and now I am extremely concerned about our new car 'performing as designed' when brake warning light comes on when applied! feel free contacting me on this!!

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #26

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 #25

Sep 052009


  • 500 miles
Approximately five times while driving my 2010 Toyota Prius I have experienced problems with stopping when one of my tires either is on a manhole cover or on uneven road(one tire in a pothole). When this occurs I am usually going approximately 30 mph. I apply the brake slowly to start to slow down for a stop sign. My right front tire rolls over a manhole cover and while my foot is still on the brake my car accelerates, lunging forward. This lasts for 1-2 seconds when I have no control over the vehicle. After this 1-2 seconds my brakes stop the vehicle. The entire time my foot has been on the brake. I know that if a car was in front of me at the time, I would have rear-ended it. Every time this has occurred my traction control light goes on. I have had my car to the dealer 3 times with the same complaint. They even took the car out for a drive with me and of course we could never recreate what has happened to me. I was never told that other people were experiencing the same problems. However, in talking to people at the dealership, they said it may be the traction control because it is supposed to make your tires spin slower if you loose traction. It seems as if it does the opposite and speeds the tire up. I asked if there was any way they could check my traction control system to make sure it was working properly, but was told there is no way to check it. I am not sure if anyone has thought about the traction control system. It seems like everyone is pointing fingers to the braking system. It might be worthwhile to check into the traction control as well. It seems like a short amount of time to not be in control. But for that 1-2 seconds my heart always drops because I have no control over my vehicle.

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #24

Feb 092010


  • 8,189 miles
While applying moderate pressure to the brakes on my 2010 Prius and while driving over a bumpy road, the brakes seem to momentarily, but completely fail. Then the car seems to briefly accelerate (or at least free-wheel) before the brakes feel like they're starting engage and work again. This has happened with this new car since the day I purchased it in July of 2009. It does it every single day, as I drive over the speed bump while driving out of the parking garage near my work.

- Federal Way, WA, USA

problem #23

Aug 062009


  • 30 miles
I bought a 2010 Toyota Prius in August 2009. In addition to the braking problem I describe below, I also have an acceleration problem. I questioned my Toyota dealership about the fact that when I am braking over metal (manhole cover, repair lids, etc.) the car is quickly pushed forward about 3 to 4 feet. Several other new owners said they had the same experience. The dealer said that when they checked with Toyota, they were told that the hybrid battery motor used a magnet and the braking system to recharge it. And that the push forward was from the repelling action of the magnet. My sisters own a 2008 Camry hybrid and 2008 Prius, and they both have experienced this propelling motion when on metal surfaces also. The problem with the dealers advice to "not brake on metal surfaces" doesn't help in snow or water situations. Will this problem be fixed by the ABS brakes software change?? I also had several instances where the brake pedal would suddenly go to the floor and produce very little braking power. The problem was intermittent and the dealer said they found nothing wrong. Since then I have had several other instances where the brakes didn't work well and I almost hit the car in front of me. So I now drive with a lot of distance between me and other cars because I don't know when it will happen. I should say that I've had other cars with ABS brakes and this car does not feel like I have them. On slippery surfaces (snow, water) the brakes do not pump themselves like other ABS cars that I have driven. I have dropped it into low gear to help brake. These things have happened many times since I bought the car. I have been very careful and not had an accident yet.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #22

Jan 282010


  • 400 miles
New 2010 Toyota Prius brakes fail briefly when car passes over bumpy surfaces at low speed. This feels like a surging forward, or sometimes as if the car has been bumped from behind. No corrective measures yet being offered. Car purchased 1/7/10.

- Fort Lee, NJ, USA

problem #21

Feb 062010


  • 870 miles
While driving 2010 Prius III today, as approaching stop sign at about 10mph, with right foot depressing brake pedal for gradual stop, car made sudden lurch as passed over slight depression in pavement. There was no ice, but the sensation was like sudden slide on ice spot. Same thing occurred three weeks ago while approaching stop sign. Vehicle has 870 miles and is three weeks old.

- Bloomfield Hills, MI, USA

problem #20

Jan 152010


  • 5,000 miles
I have noticed on a few occasions that my 2010 Prius lurches forward for a brief second in the middle of braking at a stop sign. I have noticed this happen occasionally, but was more frequent in the last month, about 3 times. I made a written complaint to Toyota service a week ago, but was told it was not unusual. However, I just read in the news about the issue with braking in this model car and am alarmed and thought I should make a note of my observation to NHTSA. I will call Toyota service again to have them take a second look at my car. Thanks

- Ellicott City, MD, USA

problem #19

Dec 102009


  • 1,000 miles
Bought a 2010 Prius in October 2009. It currently has 3500 miles on it. At least three times the car felt as if it slipped on ice when applying the brakes (weather conditions were perfect - no ice, snow or rain). Their is difficulty in clearing fog from the windows and one time I had trouble setting the cruise control.

- Delaware, OH, USA

problem #18

Oct 152009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
I purchased a 2010 Toyota Prius in mid-June. I am writing to report that I have also experienced the loss of brakes while traveling over uneven surfaces three separate times. It is quite unnerving when you are in mid-brake and it momentarily stops working. I am a very safe driver, keeping a good distance between my vehicle and the cars ahead of me; however, sometimes you do need to stop suddenly and I am concerned that if there is a pot hole between me and the car, the Prius will not be able to stop in time. This problem has not resulted in any crashes but I hope that Toyota takes these complaints seriously and does everything possible to fix the 2010 vehicles manufactured before January 2010. On that note, I was extremely surprised to hear that Toyota knew of this issue and fixed it mid-year but did nothing to notify the owners of the initial 2010 model of their findings or offer a fix. That is bad business practice, something I did not expect from Toyota.

- Davis, CA, USA

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