Toyota Prius Brake Problems



  • cgollihercgolliher Member Posts: 16
    I loved my car before it scared the h--- out of me while taking a turn, lots of rocks on the raod, brakes failed. I am inclined to get it all fixed and sell it immediately. What is know about the cars that have had the recall fix? Any infor would be appreciated. Had a Honda Accord that took that corner almost daily without any trouble, sliding, or braking issues. Darn I wish I had that car back!!
  • PMOPMO Member Posts: 278
    In conversations with the Canadian Transportation Department,strange things happen .I was told a Motor Home was found to have intermittent problems with transmission shift because a cell phone located above the motor on the dog house (engine cover) another truck Three problems when a new garage door opener was installed . I contend Cell Phones have been on crash sites in more than one case,My Question to you could any of this RF do things to Toyota's software? The other thing Toyota has just sent an Experimental reader to read the Black Box with no instructions,what in your opinion would this mean?
  • whitey9whitey9 Member Posts: 138
    edited March 2010
    Many years ago, on a 1972 M-B V-8 w/EFI, an owner complained whenever he parked the car at night, in the morning it would crank over but not start. After a myriad of "adventures" it was determined the EFI control unit under the hood was not "shielded" properly. The electrical utility transformer at the top of the pole next to where he parked the car at night was affecting the control unit negatively with magnetic waves. I know that's not radio waves, but they are not too far apart. M-B ( Robert Bosch ) produced a modified ( shielded ) control unit and everone lived happily ever after. Years later we had a problem with some of our cruise control units that were mounted underdash. We "shielded" them w/tinfoil and off they went.
  • ks2010priusks2010prius Member Posts: 5
    I had my 2010 Prius in for the brake repair a few weeks ago and thought it was fixed but I experienced the same temporary brake failure during a soft stop before a stop sign where there is a rill/bump in the pavement. The road is slightly downhill and the ABS is apparently not working properly. I lose a few feet of braking distance when I hit the bump in the road. It's not of great concern because the ABS sensor seems to be consistent in these situations. However, going around a curve on a gravel road would be of concern. I need to report the fact that the software update didn't fix the problem to my local dealer.
  • margiepriusmargieprius Member Posts: 7
    Ks2010, you are not alone, I have the same problem. I have reported it to toyota, and they tell me the same as they did before, its normal, they can duplicate it on all Prius Models..thats how they work, who wants a car with a defect that the manufacture will do anything but fix it..time for a group to get together..
  • PMOPMO Member Posts: 278
    Go to NHTSA and the information is there. The thing on Fix for recall is You take it in and it is fixed under that recall. The other thing is if it failles for any reason outside the Recall fix ?
  • PMOPMO Member Posts: 278
    I contend Toyota has this problem ,the answer is out there. The thing, some thing ( the UAW GM and other things are causing Toyota to have made up this problem, is dumb at best.)
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    The way I read it the 2010 Prius brake recall does not resolve the issue of the "momentary" (0.20 seconds..?) feeling of "lurching forward" when ABS activation results in a switch from regenerative braking to frictional braking.

    The recall seems to address only the issue of a braking "lurch" of 1-2 seconds or more when the HSD control ECU has other higher priority tasks to perform..

    Driving around a curve on a gravel road in a FWD vehicle under just a bit of acceleration is fraught with PERIL...!!

    So VSC or TC will be highly sensitive in that case. Anyone having previously driven a FWD car without VSC or TC would undoubtedly quickly note the difference in handling dynamics.
  • dasnakedasnake Member Posts: 1
    I just had my 2010 Prius at the dealer for the brake problem recall. Got the car back yesterday afternoon and this morning on the way to my child's day care....bam! same loss of brakes over the same bump that brought this problem to my attention when I first bought the car (current mileage only 4600). Called the dealer and they are suggesting that this is normal (???) and want me to come down and replicate the problem on the other side of town. Where am I going to find a bump in the road that will cause this problem to reappear in an area that I am not familiar with??? absolutely ridiculous....I have placed Toyota far behind me now and will not purchase another one of their vehicles... I have driven Mercedes, BMW, Chevy, Chrysler...with ABS systems and none had these issues.
  • cgollihercgolliher Member Posts: 16
    Dear Dasnake,
    Wow, when and how is this all going to stop!!! My advice to you is not to transport your child in this VERY UNSAFE VEHICLE!!! It is so frightening when your loose control of your braking, it is indescribable. Mine is going to Toyota tomorrow for the recall, straight from the auto body shop. I am going to have an intense conversation with the general manager. I plan on having the conversation on the showroom floor. I want all those people considering purchasing a Pruis to STOP and rethink this purchase. I am an RN and I am an advocate for all people!!!! I too have had many vehicle with abs breaking systems without any problems. The problem here is the computer. I believe the brains get "scrambled" when the surface changes on the road. I have driven Fords, Chryslers, Volkswagens, Mercedes, BMWs, and Hondas. Would take any of these over a Toyota. This was my first Toyota and will be my last!!!!! I will gladly pay the high price for gas if it offers me and my family safety. THE 2010 PRIUS IS NOT SAFE! TOYOTA HAS KNOWINGLY AND WILLINGLY PUT UNSAFE VEHICLES ON THE ROAD! TO ALL DRIVERS, BE CAREFUL IF A PRIUS IS BEHIND YOU, IT MAY NOT BE ABLE TO STOP!
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    edited March 2010
    When ABS initially detects an impending wheel lockup due to braking or even a wheel slowing inordinately in comparison to other wheels, it will INSTANTLY disable regenerative braking (braking on ONLY the front wheels) in favor of more evenly distributed frictional braking. In many cases a brief period, 100-200 milliseconds, of a feeling of loss of braking is unavoidable during the transition. It takes a finite period of time to actuate the brake fluid pressure distribution control manifold solenoids and then another period of time, sequentially, to move the caliper pistons into FIRM frictional contact with the brake rotors.

    The recall was to fix the more rare times of 1-2 second transitional periods.
  • PMOPMO Member Posts: 278
    What you are saying is in fact what the dealer told them it is normal, Live with it or get a car that suffers from this lack of Technological Engineering.This sounds as though Toyota really needs to see Tiger Wood's Dr.'s ?
  • ks2010priusks2010prius Member Posts: 5
    I had the recall repair done as well and the problem was repeated last week, It's not fixed so I'll add this information to my case number on the NHTSA web site. I suggest you do the same. My brakes only fail on rare occasion and under certain conditions, ones that I can avoid. Toyota will eventually figure it out but until then I'll just drive with caution as I have since I purchased in in June 2009.
  • jacquescjacquesc Member Posts: 13
    You,Sir, are stepping way off topic with your comparisons and either are confused or work for Toyota
  • masterpandamasterpanda Member Posts: 19
    Explain your accusation, please.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Yes, please, Toyota will be truly upset at the thought that I work for them.
  • 07prius07prius Member Posts: 10
    I hope I am not too off topic here...but it seems that what adds fuel to the fire in regards to this issue (Prius braking/ABS/TRAC failures, etc.) is that Toyota is not responding to the issue in a way that conveys a true concern for people's safety and a true desire to RESOLVE this issue. It's a matter of perception; I don't work for Toyota nor do I know anyone that does; for all I know Toyota execs are so concerned about this that they won't sleep until they can guarantee the safety and consistency of their product. But the fact (if I may make such a presumption) remains that people are feeling blown off and like their concerns are not being heard. I am still driving my Prius, but I will not give anyone rides in it as I don't want to jeopardize anyone else's safety (even though I still do being that there are other people on the work, however, is a long way from my home and I have been struggling find a solution for myself in between being at work...I completely rely on my car as it is the only way I can get to work). I think we have all experienced at least one instance as consumers whereby we were not satisfied with a product and therefore have had to address a company with a concern or complaint...we all know that how a company responds makes all the difference in whether or not we decide to remain/return as customers. At least that is the case for me. For example, I switched cell phone providers a couple of years ago because the former provider had terrible customer service even though the actual performance and coverage is the same with my new provider. My new provider offers great customer service on a consistent basis and that means I will be a customer with them for a very long time. :mad:
  • cgollihercgolliher Member Posts: 16
    I believe you are right on! I will never purchast another Toyota! Got it out of the auto body shop Friday, took it immediately to Toyota dealership where I purchased it to get the recall fix! Everyone was there to meet me except the GM. I asked to talk directly with him and was told he was out of the dealership for the day! The salesman, customer relations person, and head mechanic were all at the desk waiting for me. All went as expected. My Pruis break issue should be completely fixed per the mechanic. Howere, one slight glitch, when the service writer was checking me out, I think he was trying to be funny, and asked me "do you know why you were here today?' I said "yes, do you know why you are here?' He didn't quite know how to respond. Not a funny thing to ask someone who had exp the Pruis break problem, who is still anxious about driving the car. Good luck with yours. Mine is a goner asap!
  • biomanbioman Member Posts: 172
    In 1999 I purchased a Ford Explorer. Soon after the purchase the stuff hit the fan about the Firestone tires and Explorer rollovers. After the media hype and hysteria calmed down the problem involved Firestone tires that were blowing out during the last third of their lives and the subsequent rollovers of the Explorers. The hysteria about how unstable Explorers were had some truth to it, but the laws of physics that caused the Explorers to roll over when driven like sports cars applied to all SUVs. Ford's mistake was designing a cheap tire that created problems when they got older. After a while the hysteria died down, the Firestone tires were replaced and I got ten good years out of that SUV. In fact it is still going strong. I sold it to my neighbor when I purchased the Prius.

    Now I am living through another recall issue. I picked up my Prius in August of 2009. The car has met or exceeded my expectations. I had the software upgrade of the ECU and I am confident that in years to come I will enjoy the Prius as much as I enjoyed my Explorer. My wife and I drive our Prius keeping in mind that it is not a Corvette or a Mustang. We have adapted our driving styles taking in to account that the Prius accelerates slowly, but can keep up with most cars driving at highway speeds. We have adapted to the moment of “anxiety” when braking on bumpy roads while the car switches from regenerative braking to hydraulic braking. The recall has improved the “anxiety” inducing switchover. Hopefully, in time this issue will go the way of the Explorer-Firestone issue and we will get back to discussing MPG’s and how we can convert the current generation of Prius to a plug in hybrid.
  • pweiss1pweiss1 Member Posts: 2
    I have taken this to the next level. Here is my filing with the NTSB, please reach out to them if you have the same issue. We need to act in numbers to get a response.

    Notification of Case Registration (All times are GMT-0500)

    Project: NHTSA Hotline Center
    Case Number:

    Date: 03/03/2010 Time: 14:41:43

    Entered on 03/03/2010 at 14:41:43 EST (GMT-0500) :

  • whitey9whitey9 Member Posts: 138
    GMT-0500??? What are you? Some sort of astronaut? James Bond perhaps? COME ON people. PLEASE, keep it real. Man, oh man! When the going gets tough, the squirrels come out of the woodwork. I just cannot believe this is actually happening in 2010. Little Orphan Annie SECRET decoder rings now available.
  • cgollihercgolliher Member Posts: 16
    I also filed a complaint with the NHTSA, I want everyone to know how unsafe these vehicles are. Oh what I would do to have my 2006 Honda Accord back. it was very safe, reliable, has ABS brakes and a complete brake system that worked. Never skidded or stopped breaking in the middle of breaking, or lunged forward during breaking. I had my recall done on Friday, 3/19, 2010. Have already exp several episodes of brakes having intermittent episodes where they do not seem to work. I told the GM where I purchase the car, that if one more critical thing occurs due to the scrambled brake system, I will sue not only Toyota but the dealership as well. Lets hope this does not happen. Anyone out there want a good buy on a 2010 Prius with 1300 miles on it. I am willing to deal!!!!
  • pweiss1pweiss1 Member Posts: 2
    Good news is that they have a fix for the braking software for the 2010 model available now. Head to the dealer.. The issue that others like myself is that they are claiming that my 2007 is not on the list.. but there is no proof that the hardware and software is not the same as in the 2010!!
  • rickpoolerickpoole Member Posts: 27
    When we were researching purchasing a 2010 Prius last December I talked to three Toyota service managers in the Dallas area and all said the 2010's braking system was redesigned from the prior Prius models. However, none of them new what the differences were, only that they were different.
  • margiepriusmargieprius Member Posts: 7
    Is that a second braking fix- I have already had the system flashed- as the first braking recall for the 2010 Pruis Warranted..However the fix generated a whole host of of new and unresolved braking issue's. Are you making reference to Toyota acknowledging a second braking issue? Please Advise
  • masterpandamasterpanda Member Posts: 19
    Please describe for us current brake problems OTHER THAN the ABS disconnect issue which the recent recall was supposed to correct. I have been driving my 2010 since early December, got used to the ABS disconnect-on-bump problem, but have had no failures whatsoever. Frankly, all other 2010 and earlier Prius owners that I know or strike up a conversation with have had no failures. So what is happening to you--in what circumstances OTHER THAN the ABS disconnect issue is of interest. Thanks.
  • jacquescjacquesc Member Posts: 13
    I am confident that the 2nd Generation Prius needs a fix too! My accident was due to complete loss of braking for a couple seconds. Keep on writing in your complaints to NHTSA - the more that we accumulate the less Toyota can ignore the issues they ignored.
  • cgollihercgolliher Member Posts: 16
    After the recall, was completed on my car, I continue to feel brake failure. I call it brake failure when I am pushing on my brake pedal and braking in not occurring. This seem to be a common occurrence on rural roads. I live out in a rural area and feel like my car does not handle well at all on these road. Seems like the braking systems works great in town and on the main highways. I am very unimpressed with this Toyota. Again for all of you out there that seem to think this is nonsense, make me an offer on my car. I am looking to sell it!
  • bwilson4webbwilson4web Member Posts: 80

    The ZVW30 model had the advantage of a brake fix already being applied on the assembly line. The problem it fixes are a momentary pause in the braking:

    You'll notice there was brief pause in the braking approaching the gate entering Redstone Arsenal. In more detail:

    Unfortunately, I have not heard of a similar fix for the NHW20 models, 2004-09. But there may be some relief coming ... not soon but eventually.

    The new CEO of Toyota has formed a quality committee that he chairs with representatives from every continent. It doesn't mean things will change instantly, he is having to rebuild the quality institutions that seemed to have waned in the past. But the direction is clear. Steve St. Angelo it the North American officer. I would recommend sending him a letter and giving him and Toyota a chance to 'do the right thing.'

    Bob Wilson">
  • whitey9whitey9 Member Posts: 138
    APRIL FOOLS!!!!!!
  • dwolfcoachdwolfcoach Member Posts: 2
    I had a similar problem. Turned out to be a faulty skid control computer-$2200 and scared the [non-permissible content removed] out of me! I also am looking to dump mine. Loved it to this point, but just feel unsafe now. Anyone else had this experience?
  • masterpandamasterpanda Member Posts: 19
    Please describe the incident. Many are probably curious. Thanks.
  • fraz1fraz1 Member Posts: 1
    I have had the automatic acceleration problem 3 times. Two times when I was driving it and 1 time when my husband was driving it. We do have documentation on this from toyota. The brakes would not work in normal driving conditions and the accelerator would not stop accelerating. this was not a floor mat problem. I tried to pull the accelerator up but it made no difference. The documentation was about a year before anyone mentioned it in the media. Toyota did not want to document this for me but my husband went back and insisted. Some of their salespeople are telling people that this is basically a hoax. Beware.
    I have always had success with our other toyotas but would not even want to sell this prius to anyone for fear of them being in a serious accident. I do not want someone else's death on my conscience.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 26,803
    You should post your experience in

    toyota on the Mend in 2010

    toyota halts sales

    Many people there are debating whether the problem with acceleration and braking failure is real or not.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • masterpandamasterpanda Member Posts: 19
    Yours would be a first -- a combo of "automatic accel." and nonworking brakes. I can't figure the probabilities, but they have to be on the way to infinite, as I think those two systems are not linked. What year Prius? Could you please tell us more detail on both the acceleration and braking incidents. I don't mean to pry, but it is always helpful to see if there are any parallel's w others' experience. Also, the self-serving dealer aside, have you reported this to Toyota Motor Sales USA, Toyota corporate (Japan), NHTSA? I think at all three of those, you would get maximum attention and they would want to inspect your car. I appreciate your concern about selling it to anyone.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 26,803
    >Toyota did not want to document this for me but my husband went back and insisted.

    That resistance to documentation is what many people seem to have experienced through the years. That's not a good trait in a car company.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 26,803
    >Yours would be a first -- a combo of "automatic accel." and nonworking brakes. I can't figure the probabilities,

    I believe the two are related. The computer controls the regenerative braking just as it controls the acceleration or doesn't control the acceleration in this case. The computer controls the switch from regeneration braking to applying the hydraulics brakes. That switching process with its noticeable, and dangerously long in some cases, lag is what a few people have complained about and has been reconfigured on the newest of the Priuses.

    However, the computer gone crazy and giving full acceleration probably isn't goiing to be a computer also correctly apply regenerative braking nor will it apply the hydraulic system correctly.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • 07prius07prius Member Posts: 10
    edited April 2010
    "I had a similar problem. Turned out to be a faulty skid control computer-$2200 and scared the [non-permissible content removed] out of me! I also am looking to dump mine. Loved it to this point, but just feel unsafe now. Anyone else had this experience?"

    Yes many times...don't like the TRAC control on my Prius one bit.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    edited April 2010
    " I think those two systems are not linked..."

    Not linked...??

    Without any doubt even closer than indentical twins still in the mother's womb.

    More like a "deadly embrace" between the two systems.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    "...don't like TRAC control.."

    And yet it has probably already saved you from at least one accident or injury.

    No one should ever drive a FWD or F/awd vehicle without these life-saving "nanny" features fully active. If you're an inexperienced wintertime driver, or an idiot, they might even be of great help with a RWD or R/awd.
  • 07prius07prius Member Posts: 10
    "...If you're an inexperienced wintertime driver, or an idiot..."

    Really? Funny, in my 1982 Mercedes 240D, I never had any of these issues and there were no computers in that car, nor was I ever in an accident in that car. Having the TRAC control kick in when driving 25 mph on perfectly dry, smooth pavement is NOT the kind of "nanny" feature I want. Save your patronizing for someone else. I don't respect people who use the autonomy of a forum to belittle others.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Mercedes doesn't build FWD vehicles.
  • whitey9whitey9 Member Posts: 138
    Your '82 made 60Hp and revved like a freight train. If you had a manual trans, you were better off in the snow. Altho' shifting down to low helped on the auto. trans.
    There can be little doubt that today's car/engines can easily overcome the average driver's "skills".
    We are learning more and more about faulty algorithms instilled in control units on our cars/trucks/SUVs. ( Lexus GX 460 )
  • smadisonsmadison Member Posts: 3
    Definitely hitting an oldie but goodie here. Not to beat a dead horse, but this thread came up as I was investigating a problem my daughter had recently with her 08 Prius and wanted to jump in with our details:

    First off, a few caveats - I'm an Engineer, and have approached this in a typical engineering fashion. I'm not an automotive engineer, but I did do quit a bit of MechE studies and earn my living as a Software Engineer, and I've got a pretty good handle on both the mechanical and electrical diagnostics. In addition to the Prius, which my daughter drives, we've got a VW Bora, an Audi Q7 and a Porsche 996, and I'm constantly tinkering with all of our cars to find out what makes them tick and how to make them tick better.

    On Saturday, 24 April 2010, my daughter was driving over Hwy 17 to Santa Cruz, CA when she rounded a corner and executed a panic brake due to completely stopped traffic. She was able to keep the car under control and avoid collision. ABS likely was engaged. It's likely that the Stroke Sensor failed at this point. One or more calipers continued to be engaged after she stopped stepping on the brake pedal. She drove another several miles in this state, and experienced brake fade when she tried to come to a stop at a traffic light. When she finally pressed fully on the brake pedal, secondary braking was engaged and the wheels locked. She fishtailed, but was able to maintain control of the vehicle and avoid collision. She immediately parked and called me. Vehicle was towed to nearest Toyota dealer. Diagnostics indicated a DTC C1247 Stroke Sensor Malfunction, but upon electrical reset all mechanical functions resumed normally.

    Brake failures are pretty frightening, especially when it's your inexperienced teenage kid behind the wheel. However, I suspect that failures of this nature are fairly endemic to all regenerative braking systems. No extent of mechanical controls would be capable of balancing the engine and brakes, so you've got to trust these things to a computer. And I can guarantee you that all software has bugs, especially around edge conditions. It's simply impossible to test for everything, all you can do is document and learn from your field data.

    That being said, I would certainly hope that these situations have been heeded and improved by Toyota. I'm reading stuff here that's five years old, which what appear to be ample field reports. Toyota needs to step up to the plate and take immediate action on this stuff, and stop dismissing it as Edmunds/GM propoganda.
  • betsyrbetsyr Member Posts: 5
    My prius is still surging even after getting the fix. It spends most of it's time in my garage since I have two young children and don't feel like it is safe. Today I sent yet another complaint about yesterday's surge to the NHTSA and decided to search to see if others are still having the same problem. I found many complaints post fix.

    We tried arbitration, but got nowhere. We have taken it in multiple times. I know Toyota maintains that it is safe, but I don't agree. I have had several people explain the way the brakes work, but a surge is still a surge. I drive slowly and take my foot off gas way before stop light, but what I can't control is when on a fast road and am cut off and then the person slams on their brakes. I tried to trade it in, but I will lose more than $12,000 on a car that is less than a year old. I know cars depreciate about 20% in the first year, but that is almost a 40% depreciation. Now I am stuck with a car that I don't think is safe! I am calling everyone from media to senators and hope that I get some traction. From NHTSA and other forums I know that I am not the only one experiencing this problem. One way or another this issue must be resolved!
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Life is a series of compromises.

    You wanted a hybrid, highly fuel efficient, car. That can't happen without regenerative braking to recover energy that would otherwise be lost to heating of the brakes. So the frictional brakes MUST be disabled at times, random times insofar as you are concerned.

    As far as I know there is simply no way to make an easy and smooth transition, certainly not in all circumstances/situations, from pure/only regenerative braking to partial or even full frictional braking.

    And by the way, what you are experiencing is NOT a SURGE but a slight lessening of braking effort. I just drove a 2010 Sienna for a full week and the forward lurch/"surge" due to the coastdown upshift after the engine fuel-cut period is just as noticeable in the Sienna as in the Prius.

    My '01 F/awd RX300 has very much the same coastdown "upshift" lurch/"surge" as the speed declines below ~35MPH or ~10MPH. I noticed it at first, shortly after I purchased it new, but nowadays I find I must pay close attention in order to take note that it remains.
  • stevegoldstevegold Member Posts: 185
    I have a 2004 with 60,000 miles and have never had anything but a very slight surge.
    The 2010 has disc brakes frond AND rear but that should not cause your problem.
    Bring it to Don at Bighorn Toyota in Glenwood Springs, Colorado and he'll fix it for you.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    edited June 2010
    The 2010 Prius had a serious firmware design flaw wherein the ABS would "signal" the regenerative braking system that since wheelslip had been detected only frictional braking could, was to be, used. The problem was that somewhere in the back and forth communications between the two ECU's a disconnect occured and although regenerative braking would be discontinued accordingly frictional braking would sometimes be delayed, sometimes indefinitely, coming online.

    Not just a slight lurch but seconds or more of virtually no braking effort.

    Scary moments resulted.

    Once you have endured a few of those moments even any little bit of brake "fade", "slight surge", common to the Prius, becomes a heart in throat event.
  • agnostoagnosto Member Posts: 207
    Not a single issue after over 1000 miles in ODO and I am enjoying every bit of the smooth and safe driving of this real cutie... 2nd tank with over 610 miles and 68.5MPG computer calculated... wow, what an awesome vehicle Toyota has built...
  • john1701ajohn1701a Member Posts: 1,897
    >> Not just a slight lurch but seconds or more of virtually no braking effort

    700 milliseconds.

    Stop exaggerating.
Sign In or Register to comment.