really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,922 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.

2012 Toyota Prius v brakes problems

brakes problem

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2012 Toyota Prius v Owner Comments

problem #20

Aug 212015

Prius v

  • 75,000 miles


Brakes sometimes grab very sharply when touched while in motion, causing forward momentum of body to slam on brakes. Almost caused accident when I touched brakes with someone tailgating too closely. Also traction is interrupted when hitting the metal abutment to bridges.

- Norwalk, CT, USA

problem #19

Oct 122013

Prius v

  • 14,000 miles
Brakes release and car accelerates when braking over potholes or uneven pavement at low speeds.

- Bracebridge, MI, USA

problem #18

Mar 172015

Prius v

  • 40,251 miles
Took car in for service at 40,251. Was told brake pads are at 1mm for both rear brake pads, and that rotors were rusted. Told for safety it should be replaced at this time. There had been no indication that brakes were faulty. No warning lights, no noise, no change in braking sensation. Prior service at 35,397 indicates brakes in good condition with both rear pads at 7mm. Also, no mention of rotor rust. Service done at 30,109 also indicates brakes in good condition with rear pads at 7mm. Multipoint inspection paper for 40K service was not attached to bill. Requested inspection paper for 40,251 service, and all other inspection papers. Car was bought at Warren Ohio Toyota, and was always taken there for service. Was told no inspection papers are kept longer than 6 months, and they could not provide any information about this cars previous inspections results. The most recent inspection paper was mailed to me. It indicates the rear brake pads were at 0mm and 1mm. A 0mm pad. There was nothing that occurred during driving to indicate the pad was down to metal. I have contacted the Warren Ohio Toyota general manager and service manager with my concerns over this rapid decline in the braking system with no warning in less than 5,000 miles of driving. Most of the driving I do weekly is highway miles. I have not received any response from the general manager or service manger despite repeated calls and emails. This rapid decline in my braking system with no warning is a serious safety concern. Either my 2012 Prius V has a faulty braking system, or the brakes were fine and Toyota of Warren Ohio lied about the condition of the brakes.

- Austintown, OH, USA

problem #17

Dec 052014

Prius v

  • 4,500 miles


I owned this vehicle since brand new. It had happened more than a dozen times. When going over bumps or uneven surfaces, with the same pressure applied to the break, the 2012 privus failed to stop and lurched several feet before stopping. We had an incident that we almost ran into pedestrian yesterday when this issue occurs. This is very concerned to my family. We bought this vehical back to the dealer ship where we purchsed it.(expressway dorchester Toyota in masschusettes) they said they could not fix it because they could not reproduced at the dealship. The service of manager claimed this is working as designed from the (tracking control). I feel this is a false statement, this does not happened to my other cars that has traction control. Toyota should really starting fixing it before someone gets killed!

- Quincy, MA, USA

problem #16

Jul 092013

Prius v 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
There are two things that occur with my brakes. One is a consistent and very loud groan with braking after any length of time sitting idle. The other is when the brakes are applied and I may be over a bump in the road or a pot hole or rocks the car lurches forward quickly as if I have lost control of breaking. Almost like hydroplaning without water present. I have taking the car to the deal consistently since the noise began and yet to have a fix for it. They say there is nothing wrong with the brakes. However I specifically had someone sit in my car to hear the groan because they said they were unable to duplicate it. They heard the noise and again could do nothing to make it stop.

- Santa Rosa , CA, USA

problem #15

Oct 012012

Prius v 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
On multiple occasions when braking if I hit a bump in the road or pothole the cars speeds forward for a few feet. It feels like the brakes release causing the car to stop slowing down. This is very discomforting. So far I have not been in any accident though I fear that this could contribute to an accident if I had to stop suddenly.

- Revere, MA, USA

problem #14

Jun 222013

Prius v 4-cyl

  • 22,961 miles


I stated to the dealership on june24,2013 that the car feels like it runaway when I brake and hit a pothole in the road. They road tested my car and couldn't duplicate any abnormal issues with the braking. They visually inspected the brakes and they found nothing. There have been incidents where I brake and hit a pothole and jut forward either almost passing a red light or almost hitting a car in front of me. It is a very scary situation. I would have done this complaint sooner, but I was not aware of this website. I just happen to search to see if anyone else has the same issue with their 2012 Prius V. this scary dangerous situation still continues till this day.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #13

Feb 012013

Prius v 4-cyl

  • 4,000 miles
I began experiencing what I described to the dealer as a "hiccup" in my brakes. I complained of this problem the two times I took the car in for routine maintenance (first and next six months), and each time they found "no problem" with the brakes. It was not until this snowy rough winter with all the attendant pot holes in the street that I correlated this braking problem with uneven pavement. I know this happens when my right front tire hits a pot hole, and it may happen when any tire does, but if I'm apply the brakes - especially hitting the brakes at the moment one tire dips into the hole -they do not engage and in fact there's a slight lurch forward, almost an acceleration. The car is going to the service department tomorrow with the hopes that the problem can be located. This truly feels dangerous to drive.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #12

Dec 192013

Prius v 4-cyl

  • 15,800 miles
I bought Prius V in February 2012. I've noticed few times issues with brakes. While decelerating with my foot on the brake pedal to slow the car to a stop and if the car goes over a pothole or slight bump on the road then car accelerates forward before coming to a stop. This is safety hazard since it almost led to hitting the other car's rear bumper. Also, I've gotten into an accident in December 2013 where there was another brake issue. I stopped my car in the incline road by putting my foot on the brake pedal. Then, I changed the gear shift to rear and slowly took my foot off the brake pedal so that I can back into the street parking which was only about 4 to 5 feet away. Suddenly, car sped down the road going rear direction to the directly opposite street and hit two parked cars. I had put the foot down on the brake pedal when I noticed the car going rear fast but it would not stop the car from going down the road. I had no control over the car or the speed. This is major safety hazard since someone could have been seriously injured with losing control of the brake and acceleration. I've owned other Toyota car (Camry) before but never had this issue until this Prius V. my car has been in body shop for over a month with repairs. I plan to take the car to the Toyota dealer to check out this brake issue.

- Santa Monica, CA, USA

problem #11

Jul 252013

Prius v 4-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
The car was parked on a steep incline while I closed a gate behind me to a gated driveway. When I got back in the car and put the car in drive, I took my foot off of the brake and before I could get it to the gas pedal the car immediately rolled back and into the gate. The car released as if it was a standard shift car that needed a clutch and slammed into the gate. I have taken the car to other safe spots that are on hills and found that this car can not hold a stopped position on an incline.

- Pebble Beach, CA, USA

problem #10

Oct 262013

Prius v 4-cyl

  • 16,004 miles


Driver was making a sharp left turn into a parking space at low speed and attempted to brake to a stop. The vehicle did not slow down at all despite hard pressure on brake pedal but instead accelerated, jumped a curb in front of the vehicle and hit a wall which stopped the car. No one was injured but front bumper badly gouged and front door slightly dented. Driver was able to put the car in reverse and get off the sidewalk. Vehicle is now at Toyota dealer for inspection. Upon reflection 2 other incidents occurred where what felt like a momentary speedup occurred again at low speed while turning and braking. But these 2 were while moving forward and not attempting to bring the vehicle to a complete stop.

- Elmsford, NY, USA

problem #9

Oct 132013

Prius v

  • 13,882 miles
I was in stop-and-go traffic. I had accelerated to about 25 mph when I needed to slow down, I stepped on the brake and at about the same time hit a bump in the road. The car not only was not braking (I was stepping on the brake at the time) but indeed seemed to accelerate briefly before the brakes re-engaged (I had my foot on the brake--depressing it--the entire time). This has happened from time to time with my vehicle--it has happened when backing out of my garage, and also when breaking while driving over road bumps or potholes. This is a safety hazard that needs to be addressed.

- Dyer, IN, USA

problem #8

Aug 292012

Prius v 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
Brake noise when pulling forward in am. Dealer said fix is coming for months, service bulletin never came out. Worried that may lead to brake failure.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #7

Dec 062012

Prius v

  • 14,281 miles
My 2012 Prius V has been making a groining, howling noise since I purchased it. Noise comes from front and rear brakes. Has taken the car for repairs but they have not been able to fix it. It is very annoying and can be very loud. People inside and outside the car can hear it, so its quite embarrasing. Noise comes and goes its not constant. Toyota says they are aware of the problem but have no repairs at this time. I drive my family in this car and its scary to know there is an abnormality with the brakes. Beware the dealer will tell you to follow through with a third party arbitration service. I did and my case was denied.

- Lake Forest, CA, USA

problem #6

Oct 102012

Prius v

  • 5,000 miles
Brake is having groaning/ grinding/OWL hooting sounds. The grinding sound appears when you applied the brake, and when the car almost at complete stop, is the worst. Groaning and OWL hooting sound are always there, specially in the morning. In the afternoon is not as loud as in the morning, but still noticeable. Been to Toyota dealer and they inspected the brake and said there is nothing wrong. Also saying that the sound is normal for a regenerate brake system. But I don't agreed to it. Toyota need to find a fix for it, and we don't know is the brake really safe!

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #5

Dec 022011

Prius v 4-cyl

  • 1,200 miles
My car has an issue I first noticed soon after I bought it, and that now happens at least twice a week. The date I've entered is the approximate first date I noticed the problem occur. I describe below a more recent instance of the same behavior, the time when it felt the least safe. /// the recurring behavior is that while decelerating with my foot on the brake pedal, if the car goes over an obstruction like a rock, a rough patch of road, or a pothole, it sometimes lurches forward before resuming deceleration. The sensation is of accelerating, but even if it's only that the car momentarily stops decelerating it's disconcerting and in a few instances has gotten me close to an accident. /// the time it came closest to causing an accident was on 3/21/13, when I feared the car was going to roll into a crosswalk as people crossed. With my foot on the brake, coming to a stop at a stop sign, we went over uneven pavement and the car lurched forward while only a few feet from the crosswalk. Several people waited close to the edge of the sidewalk at a bus stop. One of them seemed ready to step out to cross the street, and I braced for the worst. /// ultimately I stopped a few feet before the crosswalk, but the situation felt completely unsafe since it involved losing stopping power while coming to a stop sign with pedestrians present.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #4

Mar 302013

Prius v 4-cyl

  • 7,500 miles
Slowed for red light that was visible for a great distance so coasting and applied brakes and they weren't there....I hit the car in front of me, he hit the car in front of him....mostly dings in fenders....my hood was up on one side, and front panel moved....nobody was hurt police came and sat in the car and applied brake and it went to the floor. He said "you have no brakes; do not drive the car, have it towed".

- Hudson, FL, USA

problem #3

Jun 062012

Prius v

  • 300 miles
When you start to drive it makes a loud howling sound, it is getting louder as time goes on. People look at us like we are crazy for driving with bad brakes. We have had it in to the dealer many times to just be told it is the way it is. No repair is necessary. It is getting more and more annoying to listen to. It lasts longer as time goes on. Come on Toyota lets get this taken care of before there is a fatal collision due to this! it is getting scary to drive and feel safe.

- Ames, IA, USA

problem #2

Sep 012012

Prius v 4-cyl

  • 4,000 miles
Loud scraping noise coming from rear of car---had the car in to Toyota 5 times. The noise continues to get louder as time passes.-- its now loud enough to drown out the radio.--Toyota service says it is just rust on the rotors.--this is the 4th new Toyota I have owned, -- but this the only one I have ha D this problem with.-- which leads me to believe that there is a fix for this problem.--II was told by the service manager that Toyota knows of this problem and are working a recall to fix it.---so where is the recall"????"

- Rockford, IL, USA

problem #1

Jun 122012

Prius v 4-cyl

  • 9,761 miles
Purchased Prius V in March 2012, June 2012 took vehicle in for service and to have dealer look into noise coming from rear brakes. Dealer stated they could not hear the noise and saw nothing upon inspection. Noise became more frequent and louder, took vehicle back to dealer and they could hear the noise. Upon inspecting the rear brakes they found rear rotors had abnormal markings in them from improper machining. Brake pad friction material glazed. Rotors and pads replaced. After a week the noise returned. Took vehicle back to dealer and was told this was a problem which Toyota has been experiencing for months but has found no solution too. Was told I would be informed when a solution was found and I could bring the vehicle back then. I feel this is a safety concern which needs to be looked into.

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

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