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Toyota Prius Brake Problems



  • I had my first experience with my Prius sliding on wet roads today. I have an 06 Prius with 65,000 miles. I was driving all day in the rain. Car was going about 25 mph on a curve with brakes slightly engaged. The Prius did a complete 360 degree turn as I watched in amazement and fear. The ABS never engaged. By incredible luck, there was no one else in the road at the time (2:00 p.m.) My gas tank was nearly empty (I noticed someone mentioned this in earlier post.) After the 360, the car drove normally. It is a strange coincidence that this occured in the timeframe when all of the publicity about '10 Prius brakes and other Toyota problems has come out. Up until now, I was a strong Prius advocate, sometimes wondering if I should get a paycheck for adverstisement. The advocacy stops now. All advice would be appreciated.
  • I just found this forum. I thought I was insane. I've had two episodes on ice where I've hit the brakes and nothing has happened while driving my prius. No anti-lock kick in, no staility control kick in, no sliding to indicate that I was swerving and no change in speed at all. I was driving at a low speed (about 12 miles an hour) and was very lucky to be alone at the time. I've driven my 2007 for almost three years now. I'm very comfortable with how the breaks feel, I didn't fell any change in pressure when I hit the brake at all. My minnesota driving skills kicked in and I tapped the brake several times and eventually they kicked in again. It worked both times. I know you aren't supposed to do this with anti-lock brakes but it's better than having an accident!!!
  • sleshslesh Posts: 1
    There is definetly a brake problem with the 2010 Prius.I have one that is 3 months old.I like the car a lot but the brake problem is there.When brakes are applied and the car goes over a bump,man hole cover or railroad tie the brakes disengage and the car continues on forward.I had a Chevy Suberban with the same problem and after almost hitting the 3rd car,took it back and turned it in.I would never let my wife drive that car either.There will be a recall I am sure.
  • We purchased a 2006 Prius and on multiple occasions, my wife infomed me of a braking problem. When she would come to a stop, the brakes would not work…and she would end up in the middle of the intersection. This started happening once a month. I would test drive the vehicle, and nothing would happen, for me. Until one day I was driving with the wife and two small children in the car. I was approaching an intersection and the brakes would not work. I ended up rear-ending a truck who was parked at the intersection, causing apprx. $1,500 in damages to our Prius. Luckily, the truck stopped me from getting T-Boned in the intersection.
    I immediately drove the car straight to the Toyota dealarship in North Arlington, TX and left it there. They ended up driving it for minutes and could not get the brakes to fail. I had informed them that they would need to drive it for a month (since it happened once per month). They ended up sending me packing, with a $1,000 rental car bill as well as a damaged Prius that they claimed no responsibility for.
    Somebody needs to check how many people have perished from driving into intersections because their brakes have failed.
    I almost lost my wife and kids on multiple occasions, because of their faulty brakes.
    And yes, I immediately traded the car in on a new car that was not a Toyota.
  • OK, this is weird, because I had the SAME EXACT problem with a 2005 Camry. I brought it to the dealer twice, and they insisted that the brakes "conformed to standards," and was never able to get any satisfaction. Amazed to hear these latest complaints.
  • I have also experienced on quite a number of occasions that when I tried to brake the car surged forward. I brought the car into the Toyota dealer and they said they could not replicate the problem and they said they have never heard of the problem. They were obviously lying. I am glad that the problem is being looked into now. I have a feeling that Toyota is aware of the problem, but is trying to stonewall. Terrible experience and I will have serious reservation of buying another Toyota.
  • Like many others on here I thought that I was crazy. At least a dozen or more times I have tried to apply the brakes while driving on a rough surface with absolutely no brakes. Several times it has occured when approaching an intersection and there are indentations on the road that maybe trucks or heavy traffic have made. There is no indication of the ABS being applied and the pedal is still firm but the brakes just don't work. Once you are past the rough areas the brakes kick in.
  • ssagessage Posts: 1
    I've had 3 occurances of my brakes reacting excessively to the point of being scary. The brakes are designed to automatically increase when you step hard on the pedal, but I have been in traffic situations where I needed to just tap the brakes after merging into highway traffic. Instead of a tap result, the automatic function has taken over and slamed the brakes hard. This has created a serious risk of having the car behind slam into my rear. So far I have not had an accident and I have learned to be REALLY careful about touching the brakes, but I have no doubt there is something wrong. I have an appointment with the dealer to have it checked.
  • chucko3chucko3 Posts: 793
    Believe or not. It happened to my Lexus 07 GS350 AWD as well.
    One time to my wife last year when the road was covered with 3 inches of wet snow.
    Going home from work she told me every time when she tried to brake and make the right turn, the car wouldn't slow down and she missed the turn. She missed a couple
    turns. Luckily there wasn't any body on a snowy road.
    And I thought her driving skill in the winter wasn't that good. She does not drive in
    snow storm often.

    Happened to me twice this winter and I thought the tires don't have enough tread depth.
    On each occasion, the road was covered with 1/2 inch wet snow and on a slight slope.
    The car just wouldn't stop when I applied the brakes.
    I posted this problem on Lexus GS350 board more than ago,
  • I cannot speak for those with 2010 Prius. My 07 Prius has 62K on the odometer now, and no brake failure. I do notice the weird movement(slips?) when I brake going over a pothole, but only momentarily about a second or less. The stability control light lighted up for about a second while this is happening. I take this as a normal function of the car and nothing more. This has never caused I or my wife to get into any accident. Let's not get paranoid and blame Toyota for everything that happens. I know for a fact that Toyota/Honda/Subaru/Nissan/Mazda cars that I have owned have been very reliable, especially Toyota and Honda. I would take these cars over the 4 POS American cars I have owned in the past.
    Sometimes accidents happens due to circumstances beyond our control, poor driver skills or judgment. Those of you that are truly unhappy about your Toyota, trade it in for a GM or Ford. Both these companies are offering $1000 extra rebate for a Toyota trade.
  • Those who have experienced unexplained braking problems should file a complaint with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). If they receive enough complaints they will do something. And from reading this forum, it seems there are a lot of scary failures.
    I have 45,000 miles on a 2005 Prius, with no braking problems until this last month when twice my lady has reported to me that the brakes grabbed hard when she pressed the brake pedal lightly. Someone else reported a similar thing in this forum.
  • Now we know why

    Toyota says Prius had brake design problems
    Toyota says Prius had brake design problems, already fixed on some models but not on others

    that was in the news today
  • SO, according to the news, Toyota fixed the brake problem in some 2010 Prius cars as of late January.
    I am supposed to get delivery on my newly purchased Prius this Friday.
    How do I know which cars were fixed?
    I dont want to relay only on the salesman knowledge.
  • I have 110,000 miles on a 2005 Prius, with braking problems which I attempted to report within a month or two after my purchase but was led to believe there was no problem they could find. Today, I just avoid braking over bumps or pot holes because of the surging it creates. At least now I know I am not losing my mind. Don't get me wrong I love my Prius and will get another real soon however, Toyota should fix these issues for all that are having troubles. I will be waiting for that re-call letter in the mean time. Happy motoring Dennis
  • I was very interested in Juro Osawa’s article in the WSJ yesterday on Prius brake failure. I am an American in New York State who recently (November 13th, 2009) had an accident in my 2009 Prius that totaled the car, though no one was hurt. I had always credited this crash to a problem with my brakes. I was in a situation where I had to stop very quickly and braked as hard as I could. The car slowed to a point than seemed to plateau until my car just cruised right into a truck. I never heard or felt the “ABS sound” or vibration, and had always suspected something was not right with the brakes, but did not know what I could do about it. How interesting now to hear now of Prius brake failures; I can attest to the fact that it is not confined to 2010 models.
  • Thank you for your post. I have 2005 Prius with 73,000 miles on it. I know now that I am not unique and do not do anything wrong. A week ago while approaching a busy intersection, I pressed my breaks, but the car hit a bump, speeded up, and I ended up almost in the middle of the intersection. Luckily, nobody got hurt. The jump like this was not the first one, but this one was very scary. I am going to my dealer, but I do not think they can do much. You cannot really avoid bumps on the road, and we never know when we need to push the breaks. Other than that, I am happy with it, but I will not recommened it to my children.
  • I filed my complaint today with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) through their website. I first noticed the issue when approaching a traffic light that had turned red. I was braking as I hit a small unavoidable pothole, and to my surprise, my car lurched forward nearly hitting the car in front of me. For almost two month I have had to routinely drive that road, and consistently when I am braking as I hit the pothole, the brakes give out for a brief second. I now give myself a rediculous amount of space to stop whenever I approach this intersection - that has saved me from getting into a wreck - but I am now familiar with that intersection/pothole scenario. It's far too easy to get into an upredictable stop scenario. Hit a bump - and you might not be able to stop in time - leading to a possible brake related fatality.

    I called my dealership today - they offered me a rental car while they wait for a fix from Toyota. I am nervous about that - they have no concrete word from Toyota as to when the fix will be released.

    Please! For your own safety, if you have a Prius (especially 2010), do the following test:

    1. Find a street or parking lot with a small pothole or uneven pavement (doesnt have to be huge - just enough to cause a good bump as you drive over it) where you can safely test the brakes.

    2. Drive over the pothole at about 20mph - making sure brakes are applied before you drive over the bump

    3.) As soon as you hit the bump, you will feel your car 'lurch' as the brakes shut off.

    4.) If your car exhibits this behavior - file a report as soon as possible with NHTSA.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Unless you need to make stearing corrections ABS is ALWAYS detrimental. IMMHO ABS should NEVER activate unless VSC indicates a need.
  • Thank you for all the information. I definitely will do the test as you said. And Toyota just announced recall for Prius. Now I am wondering what I should do with my car and the resale value of the car. :sick:
  • I just found this forum, too. I thought I was alone.

    On the morning of June 9, 2009 I was traveling South on I-93 near the town of Medford, MA. I was on my way to Logan Airport to return the 2009 Toyota Prius I had rented that previous Wednesday. It was approximately 9:30 AM; the freeway was still bumper-to-bumper with rush hour traffic. I was in the left-hand lane of the highway and traffic was stop and go.

    A gap opened up in traffic and I accelerated. The car in front of me (approximately 60’ ahead) suddenly stopped. I slammed on the brakes but my car kept going. There was nothing I could do as my car plowed into the car in front of me, at the speed of approximately 10 mph. The impact was sufficient to dislodge my license plate. There was no apparent damage to the car in front of me, however the two passengers were extremely shaken up.

    There was a Massachusetts state trooper on the scene who took all the information but did not file a report. As soon as I could, at about 11:00 AM, I called my insurance company, USAA to report the accident, and I explained all of the details to them.

    It is unfortunate that these problems are just now getting attention. Think about how many accidents could have been avoided if this issue had been brought to light sooner.
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