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Toyota Prius Brake Problems



  • Have been searching for someone who has the same problem I do.
    My 2010 Prius has performed well, but a new wrinkle started last year. While going down hill on the 405 freeway, the gas pedal did not engage. I coasted down, pulled over, turned off the engine, restarted and was on my way.
    It has happened 3 more times.
    I took it to the dealer and they tell me that it is driver error-that I am putting on the gas and the brake pedal at the same time. That is physically impossible and I have never driven with 2 feet! They have referred me to customer relations- their response so far is for me to go to the dealers so they can test drive. Seeing how this has happened only 4 times in over a year, the dealer would be driving forever.
    In any case, their ‘diagnostic’ tools spotted this error, but they say there is nothing wrong with the car; it is my driving.
    Customer service has not returned my calls for the last 2 days.
    Is there hope for this sad story?
  • betsyrbetsyr Posts: 5
    I finally gave up and traded my car in. We took a huge loss, but we considered the liability to be greater. Had I had a wreck in it with the computer reading that I constantly driving 2 footed, I would have taken the blame. No matter how many times I assured them that I was not driving with 2 feet, they did not believe me. They told me the computer was correct thereby removing all blame from Toyota.

    I tried the customer relations, but got nowhere. All they will tell you is that you need to take it to the dealer.

    I hope you get some resolution. I miss my Prius, but I don't miss the worry that it brought about.
  • ivgivg Posts: 1
    Prius 2009.
    Came home on January 29- no problems.
    Next morning- high pitch system whistle; ABS, brakes and VSC lights are "on" and brakes are working terribly.
    Went to the Toyota dealer- they told me that they never heard about a problem like this before and wanted me to pay $180 just for inspecting the car. I did not trust "never heard about a problem like this before" talk and went to an electric specialist. After the computer reset my car, it was working normally again.
    Up to this point really liked the car. Hopefully it will work properly from now on.
  • For those of you that don't know, Toyota changed the brake system for the 2010 model year to a completely new design. You can't compare it with previous model years as the system works differently. I have driven the 2010 Prius before and after the software "fix" and agree the problem was not fixed. I also think it is interesting that there are over 800 brake related complaints filed at NHTSA for the 2010 (over 600 after the software recall) and yet there are 0 complaints for the 2011 model year. Obviously, Toyota knew there was a problem and fixed it with the 2011 model year. With all the customer complaints, I don't understand why NHTSA has not taken action. Maybe a class action lawsuit is needed.
  • I read that they redesigned the braking systems for the 2010 Prius. That appears to be Toyota's response to the fact that the U.S. Generation 2 Prius (2004-2009) has had low-speed brake failures reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at 31 times the rate of such failures reported for the 2004-2009 Corolla, which of course has traditional brakes. reliable cars
  • So....what's your point? The Prius 2010's alleged brake failures are well known in reports, but not proven by any skeptic or compromised party to be "electronic" or software.

    And then there was the software patch for 2010's "surge" issue that does not work for me or many others.

    The interesting thing would be if the "Prius 2011" brakes are any different than the 2010s.
  • The basic design of the 2011 brake system is the same but you don't know what they may have done internally to the parts or software. The Toyota service part number for the 2011 is different than the 2010.
  • 625k_inc625k_inc Posts: 5
    edited February 2011
    How do you recreate this brake problem? ... speed, road surface, weather, braking force (heavy, medium, light)

    It took over a month of trying before I was able to recreate the original brake pause. After the flash, I was unable to recreate it. This doesn't mean the flash cured all brake problems so I'd like to try and recreate any current symptoms.

    Bob Wilson
  • lovedove41lovedove41 Posts: 3
    edited June 2012
    I am currently in the process of arbitration process with Toyota, concerning my 2010 Prius. It has been fixed during that recall, but the problem is still occurring. Has anyone actually been through this process with them and can share with me? The main issue is the break problems and acceleration. I have since taken it in and they can find no problems. If anyone reads this and has advise about how to process in the arbitration process with Toyota, please contact me or reply to this. I have a few questions about the process. I will write more about my specific problems soon, also. Any help would be greatly appreciated :cry: :confuse:
  • I went through New York's Lemon Law arbitration back in 2010 shortly after the recall and lost my case, primarily due to the arbitrator who was completely incompetent. I too had my car "fixed" but still experience the braking issue when I brake over a bump, manhole cover, etc. It's hard to replicate, especially during an arbitration case. I would check out the latest information on this issue on the NHTSA Web site to see what others have continued to report on this issue. But I would say it's going to be a longshot to win your arbitration despite your continued concern about the safety. What I have come to learn is that most cars have recallable issues and it's just a matter of how well a company addresses it.
  • cgollihercgolliher Posts: 16
    I was lucky, I guess! A few months after getting my Prius fixed after my off road event, a huge 4x4 pick up ran right over the little car. The driver never even saw me sitting behind him. The car was totaled, and I was okay except for a few bumps and bruises. I am just thankful to be rid of that car and to still be alive. It was a "death trap!". Good luck! My insurance company is still involved in a suit against Toyota! Go out and buy
    an American made car! Support your country and be safe!
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    The car is obviously NOT a "death trap" since you obviously SURVIVED!
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    Please learn how to correctly spell "brake'. It will lend to your credibility.
  • lovedove41lovedove41 Posts: 3
    edited June 2012
    ...I just paid off my car. If I had any money right now to spend on another new car or rental to drive, then there would be more options. ....I kind of bought a Toyota Prius (new) because I thought it was safe and would keep me safe. That is not what has happened in this case and the car should have had no problem to begin with. At least, I thought I was buying a good car from a good company. This also was not the case.
  • Is is strange that they were the ones who wanted to start this whole arbitration process? They were the ones who mentioned it first and the conversation prior to that wasn't about going to court at all??
  • cgollihercgolliher Posts: 16
    Well Whitey, I consider that car a "death trap" because the braking system was the worst I have ever driven and I always felt like I was on the verge of not stopping and at any moment being at high risk for being involved in a collision that could end my life. I NEVER allowed either of my teens to drive the car because of this fact. So please don't tell me what my car was or was not. You would certainly feel like an jerk if someone out there today or tomorrow in the same car exp brake malfunction and dies as a result.
  • I have a 2010 Prius IV and with the exception of the brakes it has been a safe and reliable car. I have not had any problems with unexpected/unprovoked acceleration. The cruise control has performed flawlessly. I have had problems with the brakes under certain conditions but not near as bad as some of the reports I have read. I tend to believe some of these are exaggerated.
    I first noticed a braking problem the first winter after I purchased the car, in Nov 2010. During a soft stop when one wheel went over a pothole or drop in pavement, such as after a bridge where the asphalt was lower than the concrete on the bridge, the brakes would fail for a split second. This happened sometimes when I slowed down before a stop sign or stop light and hit a pothole with one tire. It also happened if I braked when one front wheel was on pavement and the other passed over a patch of ice. In these cases would lose brakes for about for about 6 feet, then they'd catch. I took the car in and the dealer couldn't find any problems. After it happened several more times that winter I took it back again. They said there was a software update that should correct the problem. It didn't. Sometimes the brakes fail, for a short distance, under the same circumstances. It has never occurred during a hard stop, only during a soft stop and under 30mph. I believe it has to do with the regenerative braking and ABS systems not working together properly. I've learned to live with it and always leave plenty of stopping distance, and avoid potholes when I come to a stop.
  • biomanbioman Posts: 172
    I too own a 2010 Prius 4 and I too went through a similar process of learning to live with the switchover from regenerative barking to ABS. It is not a "flaw" it is the way the systems are designed, to date. Toyota is not the only manufacturer using a similar regenerative-ABS barking system. The other manufacturer's hybrids are experiencing a similar barking response during the switchover. So I've taught myself and my wife how to respond when barking systems causes that moment of "anxiety". We still have faith in the car and we are still happy we made the move over to the Prius. We have over 42K miles of low maintenance costs and no problems except for adjusting to driving a hybrid vehicle.
  • I have a 2010 Prius, about 26500 miles. Just two weeks ago, I experienced very bad accident by unintended acceleration. I was backing this Prius slowly towards the left direction ( I needed to go to right direction) in a flat and dry surface, my foot was on brake--like we all do when we are backing. All the sudden, it started accelerating, in a few seconds, it turned >360 degree clockwise. I then passed out because of the fast turning and because I was so scared. The car kept going wild, passed two curbs and hit a truck backward and bounced back, then stopped by itself—because two tires on driver side got exploded when the car passed two curbs.

    Fortunately, no one was in the truck. Since the tires go flat before it hit the truck, I guess it was not as fast as it began accelerating, so I didn’t get injured.

    The local Toyota collision center checked the car and told me there was no problem with brake and gas paddle. They didn’t believe me and said they never heard of Prius unintended acceleration problem.

    Insurance said it’s my fault.

    I claimed the problem to Toyota. They said we can inspect your car, but it will take up to 3 months. And I need to pay the parking fee in the collision center. Is this crazy? Anyone has a suggestion as what I need to do? Thanks a lot!
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