Toyota GB statement on Prius brakes

Toyota dealers in North America and Japan have notified Toyota that they have received complaints related to brakes in the current Prius. There have been no reports of any accidents or injuries related to this issue.

With safety as our main priority, Toyota will continue to investigate any customer concerns that are raised. Prius is equipped with two braking systems which are designed to work together, a conventional hydraulic system and an electric system.

Customers have reported that under certain braking conditions, such as when hitting a bump, pothole or low grip surface, they notice a change in the braking feeling.

This change in braking feeling is due to the specific set-up of the anti-lock braking system on third-generation Prius.

However, to deal with the customer comments about the shift in brake feel, a change in software in the brake control was made on Prius production from late January 2010. This change was made to offer a more consistent feeling to the customer.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the above, please ring Toyota GB Customer Relations on 0800 1388 744.

NEW 11/2/10: Further information can be found at

Comments (74)

  1. I have got 2010 prius which has been very good to me. However over the past year it has been making on and off cluncking noise on the front when it goes over the bump. I’ve had front shocks replaced as they were leaking. This matter was resolved by Toyota.

    Now I have new noise that appeared. This one is at the back of the car when the car is parked with parking brake (handbreak) applied, I preformed a bounce test and it made squeaking/cluncking sound as if there is problem with the suspensions. If you take the parking brake off and preform bounce test then noise is no more. I had this checked by the Dealers and they say this is a normal noise.
    I was told by the dealers that brakes needed to be replaced, so I got the brakes replaced. The noise is still there…… so it’s not brakes.

     All I want to do is to get this sorted. 
    Please please please, can anyone guide me on what it could be??????Re

    1. Hi Nikunj. Sorry to hear about the problems you have been having with your Prius. Unfortunately it is not possible to diagnose potential problems with a car like this. We trust that the dealer checked the vehicle correctly and they have said there is not a problem. It sounds like the dealer replaced the brake discs as additional work not related to the noise? They will always check other parts of your car to make sure that it is safe for you to drive on the road. If you are not satisfied with the work done or you think there is a problem with the car that the dealer is not telling you, we suggest that you speak with customer relations. You can do this by pasting the link into your web browser and filling out the contact form:

  2. i have just bought a toyota auris reg aug 2010 from a main dealer in edinburgh the car has just had its first mot at 23600 miles the mot has an advisory that the rear brake discs are worn this has to be due to the calliper sticking as brake discs should not wear at this mileage .i assume the brake callipers and pads including discs would be covered by the warranty.

    1. Hi Robert,
      Thank you for taking the time to contact us.
      It’s extremely hard for us to be able to advise or diagnose brake discs without having direct visual access to your vehicle. Vehicles are driven differently as a result of customer driving style which, can have an impact upon the wear and tear items needing to be replaced during a service or MOT. We advise contacting your local Toyota dealer to arrange an evaluation on your vehicle. When having an MOT this is a visual inspection only without removing the road wheel.
      Hope this helps.

  3. I have a 2010 toyota avensis estate with 52000km or 32000miles on the clock. So far it was recalled once for a minor recall. I’ve had the front wheel bearings replaced today (under warranty). When the car was returned to me I was informed that I needed two new front doors, they have cracks in them and they also said that the front brake discs need replacing,the car was only serviced three weeks ago. whats going on with toyota, I bought the car thinking that I would NOT have these issues after all they are “THE BEST BUILT CARS IN THE WORLD”, I can’t believe that the discs must be replace after only 32000miles and I’m NOT a heavy braker. I don’t think my next car will be a toyota maybe hyundi.

    1. Hi Pat,
      We are very sorry to read your comments and can only apologise here for these issues you’ve experienced. We’d very much like to help.
      Our Customer Relations department would like to investigate this for you and may we ask that you contact them via the following link:
      They will take the time to look into this for you and will be in touch with you soon.
      Many thanks and kind regards.

      1. Oliwer,

        Thank you so much for the apology, I have followed your link. I have also been in touch with Toyota Ireland (its an Irish car) about the same problems as above and as of now have still NOT received any correspondence.

  4. My Toyota Auris needs two rear brake discs and there
    is only 25,000 miles on the clock. I have been told
    that they are not covered under waranty even though they
    badly corroded. Does anyone else have this problem
    and does anyone else think that I shouldnt have
    to pay for discs which are obviouly made out of weak bad
    metal that is not fit for purpose?

    1. I have the same problem with a MKii Pruis, 27K on the clock car under 2.5 years old all discs corroded and need replacement along with pads not covered by warranty. Had same problem with an earlier Pruis but at least they were replaced under warranty. Will think again before buying another Toyota.


      1. Hi Phill, and A Butler,

        Brake discs are subject to wear and tear and as such will only be replaced under warranty if the car is less than 18 months old or has covered less than 20k miles*.
        If you’d like to discuss your situation with a member of the Customer Relations team, please contact them on 01737 367 600, or at – they’ll do all they can to help.

        *note: whichever occurs first (SR amend 29/7/10).

        1. Thanks,

          I’ll chase this with my local dealership since I complained about it at its second service when it had done less than 20K.

  5. Hi,

    We just got our 2010 Prius Tspirit yesterday. I didn’t order the floor mats hoping to get them for cheap online but I cant really find any authentic 2010 Prius floor mats. Is there a good site in UK I can purchase these from? Also, does the dealer charge customers to silence the reverse gong and finally how do I know my car was updated with the new software (to get rid of the braking issue)?

    Many thanks!!!

    1. Saj ,

      You will soon know if you have the latest brake software .

      Try braking suddenly going over Road Calming Humps and if the Car doesn’t shoot forward briefly whilst you are braking , then you have the latest software installed .

  6. Does anyone have the problem that Toyota seem to ignore with regard to squealing, noisey brakes on the Toyota Auris. I have read quite a view forums and it appears to be a ‘design’ fault. Come on Toyota, get your act together. I want a Toyota that doesn’t make a noise when I brake…..

    1. Hi Nigel,

      I’m sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I’ve spoken to the Technical department. They advise that, as there is a number of possible contributing factors, you take your Auris in to a Centre so that your concerns can be investigated. Thanks for your patience.

  7. My previous 2 cars – Mercedes CLS – more than one recall, LR Freelander 2 – recalled due to faulty wiring connection posing a potential fire risk, didn’t hit the headlines. The reason Toyota have suffered at the hands of the media (in the UK at least)is because of their bullet-proof reliability, the lack of sensational competing news stories (it would have been last item on the news if the MP’s expenses scandal was still current and the general election had been called)and the bandwagon effect – i.e. lazy journalism.

  8. I have owned a mark lll Prius since November 2009. No problems whatsoever. Superb drive. I am sick to death of the media hype and suspect it is driven fropm America. General Motors suffered a massive trading loss in the last quarter, despite the US Gvernment bail out. Why does the media wish to kick Toyota? Is it simply because its the biggest manufacturer in the world. General Motors, VW. Ford and Honda etc cannot live with Toyota. My only regret is that Toyota have not responded to the media in a robust manner.

    1. Peter I couldn’t agree more. Toyota were very slow to advise the media hypers that not all Prius’s were the subject of the braking problem as BBC and others led us to believe but only to the 3rd generation models. Toyota should have hit that on the head to help put a stop to the frenzy. Yes one gets the feel that something/someone has been driving the frenzy but what?

  9. Having previously owned a Series 2 Prius for two years from new and currently driving a Series 3 for the last 3 months I hope the current recall for a software change will not alter the way my vehicle behaves. The superb braking performance has already twice saved me from potential injury when I had to brake hard and quickly when confronted with vehicles stopped on bends on what was otherwise a clear road. The Prius simply stopped without any skidding or veering. If it aint broke don’t fix it.

  10. Had my Mark 3 T-Spirt since November and done 2500 miles, including Birmingham to Southampton in all that snow, no braking problems at all, can’t even replicate it. I have no problems with the way Toyota are dealing with it, it’s a “feel” issue not a safety one, I’m happy there is a software update but it ain’t critical in the way the meedja want to portray it.

  11. Well at least this explains the somewhat scary behaviour of my Prius when trying to stop a few times recently (slowing nicely then suddenly accelerating). I was putting it down to the road conditions though I narrowly missed accidents twice. Only thing it doesn’t explain is the abismal fuel consumption compared to my previous generation 2 Prius [used to get 50mpg mixed driving easily, now lucky to get 50mpg extra-urban nursing it].

  12. Good post. Interesting read. I honestly think that Toyota are gonna struggle to win the customer over. The whole point of a Toyota was it was Mr Reliable. Not any more!

  13. received my Prius Oct 09 and have now done 10,000 miles . this problem has happenned three times to me .feels like when under braking the aceelerator is suddenly pushed and the brakes release.(about 1/2 a second) bit disconcerting but each time the brakes have re-applied and all was well the car though and will deffinately get another.

  14. I too have a mark 3 Prius on order for delivery in early March.I am assured that the PDI will rectify any potential faults before I take delivery. I hope this vehicle will have the software mod, since it occurs to me that the bumpiest sections of road, recent damage excepted,are at the approaches to junctions,roundabouts etc where the brakes are being applied.Should I cut my losses and look elsewhere?Incidentally all manufacturers are reluctant to own up look at the Fiat fiasco on motorhomes with reversing judder,damaged gearboxes et al.

  15. From the very beginning, our III generation Prius (end Sept. ’09) felt different from the previous model, which I confess I preferred. It ‘always’ jerks when braking, not just on potholes as everyone else says. I brought this fault to my husband’s attention a few times, but he defended his precious New Prius saying that it may have been the way he drove. Well, it had ‘never’ happened with our previous Prius Mk II! As a passenger, I find this jerking movement extremely unpleasant, but in the end stopped mentioning it and kept quiet (my man loves his Prius more than he loves me). However, now that other drivers have admitted to having the same problem – although apparently only on potholes – my husband confessed that he too had noticed this fault but did not like me criticising his beloved Prius. Men!!! Has anyone else experienced the same problem? I am referring to the jerking movement when braking normally, every time, not to my husband’s blind loyalty to his car.

    1. Alba
      I just wanted to say how much amusement your posting gave me! I’m sure my wife would have every sympathy with your viewpoint although, as a bloke, I could not possibly take your side.
      Actually though, I had a Mk 2 Prius for nearly 3 years and never noticed any of the current brake related issues that I experience with my Mk 3 – perhaps it is his driving style as well. Anyway when it is fixed you’ll be able tell…..
      Good luck

  16. As is usual in this country, the whole thing has been overblown.
    Rather than commending Toyota for designing one of the worlds most advanced cars, the “press” in this country have gone on a witch-hunt.
    There are certain companies that have been after the level of success enjoyed by Toyota for many years and all this bad news will be great for them.
    People need to ingore all of they hype and mis-information and realise that all this garbage is just printed because bad news sells better than good news.
    Remember how the media perpetuated the recession?
    They are at it again.
    Please ignore all of the rubbish that you are reading about recalls and faults as it is a normal part of the design and evolution process which any self respecting, customer focused brand will follow on the path to continuous improvement.


  17. I feel left out! Have had a new model Prius since Sep.09 and have yet to experience any braking oddities. I’m off out now to drive over pot-holed speed bumps very fast whilst braking very hard! Excellent car though excepting, obviously, the rearwards vision.

  18. Hi Paul F,
    As far as I am aware no you cannot switch off the traction control in a Gen III Prius. In mine you certainly can’t. This is part of the issue around braking.
    You can however pay the iPhne a bit louder over Bluetooth instead.. 🙂

  19. I have an early Mk III Prius which I am happy with so far apart from the issue of low speed braking on poor or slippery surfaces and some interior lack of fit and finish in the plastics. My understanding is that UK Gen 3 Prius models are made in the same Tsusumi factory, to the same braking system design as the RHD models being recalled in Japan.

    From Japan there are reports of 180 Complaints and 5 Accidents related to the Gen 3 Prius to do with braking. In the UK there are many posts on the Prius Owners club forums identifying the braking issue with the UK Prius. These have been there some time. I sincerely hope Toyota is not waiting for the first serious accident as a ‘complaint’.
    It is difficult for me to accept that there are no ‘complaints’, perhaps the main complaint is that someone is not listening hard enough at Toyota. The Japanese seem to have heard of complaints from the UK but they are yet to reach our shores.

    I hope Toyota UK will now follow Japan’s example and make our cars safer with the appropriate modifications or replace them with January onwards 2010 models if they cannot do so.

    As an owner of not one but two 2009 Toyota’s I am feeling a bit battered by all the quality issues and concerned for my passengers, family drivers and other road users.

    Toyota GB now needs to work hard and deliver fixes to increase customer confidence and restore faith. Other wise it is likely customers will try to return their cars as unfit for purpose or sell the cars and move away from Toyota ownership.

    Effective positive action now will retain residuals and protect the customer and Toyota’s good name in the UK.

  20. I took delivery of the new Prius just 3 weeks ago, and must confess to being a bit sceptical about the braking problem as reported in the US. That is of course until I experienced it myself!

    I don’t believe I was put in danger by the momentary release of braking (after my left front went over a dropped manhole cover approaching a roundabout), luckily there were no cars directly in front of me, however, it was highly disconcerting and of course could have been dangerous.

    My wife was very concerned and she called the local dealer. There response was quite annoying – they firstly said that the UK Prius did not have the brake problem reported in the US, and suggested we should take back the car to the lease company for supplying faulty goods!

    I appreciate that dealer employees can’t say too much ahead of an official policy statement, but this response reflects badly on the company at a time when they need to win round customers.

    It seems that a simple software update will fix it, and if there was a way for owners to do this then I’d be happy to do that. Otherwise they should recall them back to the dealer to resolve asap.

  21. If the only issue with the brakes is that they feel different when the traction control kicks in – then I’m off to buy a Prius now. Having driven quite a few cars in my time they all felt different when the traction control is activated. This was unique to individual cars and was part of the ‘Learning’ process.

    If you don’t like the ‘feel’ can the traction control be switched off?

  22. Prius driver for 2 years T4 has the problem if it is actually a problem, I believe this has happened on other cars I have driven.
    Can anyone recall this being a significant problem being reported by these same Prius “drivers” in the recent snow? The Prius’performance in the snow is not the best, but if the braking issue were such a big problem in normal conditions why are there no reported incidents relating to these conditions should have made their cars almost undrivable and appearing like bucking broncos?

    Anyone had to endure the embarrasment of a holiday when serial claimants were on board, deja vu!
    Great company Great car.

    Satisfied customer.

  23. Took delivery on the 2010 Prius T Spirit on the 14 Jan 10. This is my first Toyota and it is a very impressive vehicle. I do suffer from the problem detailed in previous posts. The feeling is a little strange and it is something to be aware of. However to date it has not spoilt the driving experience of this impressive car. Hopefully a software update will improve the feel of the brakes and restore confidence to drivers. Would throughly recommend and Prius to anyone.

    1. Hi Ian,

      Great to hear that you’re getting on so well with your first Toyota. If you’re in any way concerned or want to discuss the braking further, please do call our Customer Relations team on 0800 1388 744.

  24. Actually, it’s a Gen 2 issue too and has been for at least a couple of years with exactly the same ‘feel’ whilst braking over, say, a pothole, bump in the road, greasy surface. Priuschat and Priusonline have been posting about this for over 18 months. It’s not pleasant when it happens especially going downhill with the traction light flashing away.

    1. I’ve experienced this too – when driving my husband’s Prius (2nd generation tho’ not third).

      I find it more annoying than worrying.

  25. Also taking delivery early March of a car that is apparently in transit so am interested if this software upgrade will be made part of the PDI by dealers.

    1. I have a Prius purchased late 2009 which I purchased from Toyota Purley Croydon
      Please advise when you can arrange for it to be dealt with.


  26. I get my new Prius on 4th March. Will it definitely have the software update? I do get a little worried with all the media frenzy but unfortunately the Toyota helpline is not very helpful other than saying there is no problem!

    1. I purchased MkIII Prius on September 2009, this is my second Prius. I have also experianced, on four seperate occasions, this braking problem where the car lurches forward. I believe that a fix is required urgently.

      In general the MkIII is a very good car with one exception, that is the awfull reversing gong, which is much louder than the MkII. Can the loudness be reduced or better still turned off? Since it is not a legal requirment.

      1. Hi there Henry,

        The reversing gong can be changed to a single gong rather than a continuous one. This is easily changed by your dealer, who will also be able to tell you whether the volume can be reduced.

        If you’d like to discuss braking, please call our Customer Relations team on 0800 1388 744. They have the most up-to-date information.

        1. Melissa,
          many thanks for your feedback regarding my Prius brakes & reversing gong. Today my Toyota dealer has changed the setting so that the reversing gong only sounds once when reverse is selectd, then silence is golden.
          Tomorrow the car will be back with the dealer to have the the software patch for the brakes applied.

          Thanks again for your and Toyota’s quick response to my concerns.
          Regards Henry Marro

  27. Dear Melissa

    I took delivery of my 2010 Toyota Prius T Spirit just before Christmas and too have experienced the Car lurching forward whilst braking going over speed bumps . It was a little frightening the first time it happened and I kept thinking that I must have done something wrong like accidentally putting my foot on the accelerator ?

    In a way I have now got used to this feeling and know that it only happens when I brake suddenly over bumps .

    I am quite confident that I can wait until my first Service for the Software to be updated .

  28. Seems strange to me that all of a sudden a whole range of Toyota vehicles have a problem, is there someone trying to bring Toyota to their knees?
    I have a Prius and have no problems so far with it and this latest news on Toyota cars etc wont stop me from continuing to by from them.

  29. Hi Melissa

    I have talked to my dealer in Gilford which could not tell me any news about my Toyota prius Mk.3 59 reg ,

    The Service dept told me . keep your fingers crossed. And wait for Toyota to investigate .

    So is my CAR safe ?????????????

    1. Hi Elia

      I hope I can clear up a few points and offer some reassurance to you and to other customers on the blog today (I also left a message similar to this on

      Firstly, no matter what you read in any press or hear on the TV and radio, there is currently no recall on third-generation Prius anywhere in the world. Toyota has received customer complaints about the way the brakes work (i.e brake feel). There is no evidence of brakes failing.

      Some customers have reported that, under certain braking conditions, such as when hitting a bump, pothole or low grip surface, they notice a change in the braking feel of their third-generation Toyota Prius. This change in braking feel is due to the specific set-up of the anti-lock braking system on third-generation Prius. At no time are drivers without brakes.

      However, to answer customer criticisms and in line with Toyota’s traditional Kaizen (continuous improvement) philosophy, a change to the software was introduced in production from late January 2010. This change doesn’t alter the effectiveness of the brakes but gives a more consistent braking feeling.

      Safety and customer satisfaction are paramount to Toyota. We continue to investigate any customer reports on braking issues. We are also investigating how and when we could offer customers with third-generation Prius built before January 2010 the same software upgrade as has been applied to production. We will be in contact with customers shortly on this matter.

      Finally, please contact your Toyota Retailer or our UK Customer Relations free-phone line on 0800 1388 744 if you would like to discuss this – they are open tomorrow (Sunday) from 10am.

      Scott Brownlee
      Toyota (GB)

        1. I disagree Paul,

          Read the Above statement!

          The Brakes feel different because of the ABS kicking in on different surfaces.

          Again the Media is doing everything in its power to hit Toyota. Why are we not hearing about the Honda Issue at the moment. Ah Because they are not top of the tree and so the story will not sell.

          BTW interesting how this has all come out while the government is quitely letting the Expense scandle pass!!!


          A Happy Toyota and Lexus Owner for years!!!!
          Keep making the cars! They are Great

          1. Of course you are entitled to you opinion Adrian and I do not disagree with you about media hype . Neither am I suggesting that Toyota are unreliable ,just the fact that scott suggested that the wasnt any accidents related to the prius brakes or that there was any re-call immenent. All this less than 24hrs after his statement , and I quote from the BBC website if you havnt bothered to read it

            ‘The US Transportation Department said last week it was investigating braking problems in the 2010 Toyota Prius after Toyota admitted brake problems with the model.

            The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received 124 reports from drivers about the braking issue, including four of crashes.
            There have been no reports of any such accidents in the UK.’

          2. Spot on! BBC = Government Back Media
            US Recall for Prius, NOT UK!
            This is!
            Do you drive an American Prius?? If so I would agree, But you dont you drive a UK one.

            Which takes me on to the point of the BBC! The issue has been in the USA and Japan NOT the UK! Thus why are they slamming it here about the Recall.

            Wow I getting started now! The Lexus That Crashed in America. (May there soles Rest in piece) The Crash was because of a Matt (aftermarket) getting stuck under the pedals. Not because of the Pedal Recall on either the Accelerator or Brake. So Why do the press have to put it together with the recall! Its called Media Hype and they do it to take the sting out of something else!!

            Finally Recalls dont just happen, There has to be a catalist to start them, Problems have to be Diagonsed and then accessed to confirm they are not Driver error. The fact that only 29 cars/cases have been document shows that there is not that many. The speed at which Toyota have got a recall together and plan to have all Effected cars modified within 30days shows the Size and organisation of the company.

            Tell me what other Car Manufactures can do that! (Have Honda started theres yet? reported at the same time?)

            enough Ranting! Im off to drive my GS450h!!!

  30. Like Peter, I have a Sept 09 Prius and have noticed the jerk on braking when going over a pothole. I find it unnerving. Is any modification to be offered to owners of 3rd generation Prius purchased prior to Jan 2010?
    If Toyota and their dealers were really serious about preserving customer relations, they should have been more transparent some months ago and been in contact with individual owners to reassure them or offer support at a time when media hype can be unsettling.

  31. I have Mk III Prius purchased in Oct 2009, with which I am absolutely delighted.
    I haven’t experienced the problem described in the previous posts here (yet), but I have read reports of situations in the USA and Canada where the braking is intermittently slow to respond under normal driving conditions, such when slowing for traffic lights, so that there is a risk of colliding with stationary traffic ahead.
    Is that the same problem, or is there another fault still to be diagnosed?

  32. I get my new prius on 1/3/2010. Will my car be affected or will it come with a new upgrade to the brake problem?

  33. Thank you for confirming that “only” the 3rd generation is involved in the possible brake problem. Might I respectfully suggest please that you make this very point to the likes of the BBC who give the impression on their news bulletins that all Prius’s are involved. Thank you.

  34. I’m glad to hear I’m not alone, have experienced a sudden lurching when braking on lumpy roads and manhole covers. It’s a bit worrying but at least I now expect it. Is there any recognised forum for reporting concern or is the dealer network the best place to mention the issue?

  35. Can Toyota please confirm if the ABS change made in the US is to be fitted to UK Prius III as a service update?

    I have experienced “the lurch” during gentle (regen) braking in the wet – when going over a metal plate in the road.
    I am also of the view that the ABS is not very aparent on the Prius under heavy braking so any improvement will be good.

  36. As an owner of a 2008 regd Prius, can you confirm for me that it is not affected by this brake problem and that it is only likely to refer to the current (3rd generation) model which was launched in 2009.

    1. Why did you re-design the breaking system for Gen3 in the first place if the Gen2 version was working fine? Sounds dodgy!

      I was very close to buying a 58 reg Gen 2 Pruis last week (less pricey) before the Gen3 Pruis issue came to light – but on hold now.

      I have always owned Toyota (currently IS220d) entire life but feels like you have let me down by not admitting it up front and coming up with unhelpful statements like

      “”This change doesn’t alter the effectiveness of the brakes but gives a more consistent braking feeling.””

      You’re close to losing a loyal Toyota owner.

    1. Hi Peter,

      This is the what we are investigating now, and we hope to have more news next week. Toyota can confirm that the software update makes no difference to the effectiveness of the brakes, but it does affect the feeling. If you have any concerns please do call our Customer Relations team on 0800 1388 744.

    2. Hi Melissa,

      I would be very keen to have my new T3’s software upgraded. Even though as you say, the upgade fixes only the “feel” of brakes, this is still critical as it affects our reaction to emergencies.


        1. Hi Ed
          Thanks for your post.
          If you are concerned regarding the performance of your Auris then we would recommend that you return to your local dealer about this. They will be aware of all the latest technical information and will be able to check your car and make sure this is performing within the manufacturer specification.

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