Third-generation Prius brakes recall: your questions answered

Toyota (GB) has provided official answers to some of the questions you’ve been asking about the third-generation Prius recall in the UK.

1. What is the problem with the third-generation Prius?

Customers have reported that under certain braking conditions, such as when hitting a bump, pothole or driving on a low-grip surface, they notice a change in the brake feel (the sensation transmitted to the driver during a braking action).

This change in brake feel is due to the specific set-up of the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). Prius braking ability is not compromised.

2. How is Toyota responding to this Prius issue?

To deal with the customer comments about the change in brake feel, an update in the software in the brake control system was made on Prius production from late January 2010. This change was made to give the driver a more consistent feel when applying the brakes.

The recall will involve this same software upgrade in the anti-lock braking system. The procedure will be carried out free of charge and will take approximately 40 minutes using standard test equipment in use at all authorised Toyota service centres.

3. Why does this only impact third-generation Prius models?

First-generation and second-generation Prius vehicles use a different ABS system and are not involved in this campaign.

4. How many vehicles are impacted?

This recall involves approximately 8,500 cars in the UK.

5. What should third-generation Prius customers do if they experience this braking issue?

If a Prius owner were to experience this condition, pressing hard on the brake pedal will stop the vehicle safely. Prius braking ability is not compromised.

6. Are these vehicles safe to drive until they get their update?

Yes, the vehicles are safe to drive. At no time are drivers without brakes.

7. When can I get my vehicle fixed?

Toyota will begin sending letters to Prius owners included in this recall by mail next week to let them know when to bring their vehicles into a dealership. Owners will only receive a letter if their vehicle is involved in the recall.

8. How long will it take for a dealer to repair my vehicle?

The software update should only take approximately 40 minutes to install.

9. Is the repair covered by warranty? Will drivers have to pay any money out of pocket for this work?

Toyota will cover all repair costs associated with this work.

10. Is the Prius recall related to the ongoing Toyota accelerator pedal recall?

No, it is not related.

If you have any questions or concerns that have not been addressed here, please contact Toyota GB Customer Relations on 0800 1388 744, open Monday to Friday (8am – 8pm), Saturday (8am – 4pm), and Sunday (10am – 4pm).

Further information can also be found at

Comments (16)

  1. hi,
    recently had software upgrade on mt tspirit and noticed a couple of “problems”.my iphone will no longer link with the hands free voice control dial-even though it says blue tooth was successful.also when i swithch to climate control the air con does not come on even when a cool setting get the air con to work in auto i have to press the a/c button aswell.surely this defeats object of climate control auto?

  2. My dear
    I have some innovation about automobil and I like to submit them,but I don”t know ” How can I submit and where?
    Please guid me
    Best regard

    1. Hi Mosleh,

      Any questions or comments you have about Toyota vehicles can be left on this blog. If you have a complaint, please contact Toyota GB Customer Relations on 01737 367 600. Many thanks.

      1. Hi Melissa coulton
        Thanks a lot for your answer,
        I have an innovation for tyre ,when a car is moving in the road ( special in a hi speed ),and then if the front tyre burst ,as you know it will be very dangerous.In any case, I can solve for about 80% cases of this problem by a new design for tyre.I can submit it to Toyota company.
        Please guid me more for this subject.
        Best regards

  3. I have a Prius, I noticed a strange sensation when braking and going over speed humps here in the UK – enough to mention it to two different dealers. Now there is a recall – fantastic – However – my Prius is a second generation !

  4. Several Toyota web sites WW have detailed the Vehicle Identification Numbers(VIN) involved and/or enabled 3rd Generation Prius Owners to input their VIN to see if their car is impacted by the recall. Both U.S. and Australia Toyota web sites for example offer this facility. Will the UK Toyota web site be posting the VINs involved or provide an opportunity to enter their VIN to be checked to see if a Brake Recall applies?

  5. Although experiencing no problems with my Prius III, I received notice of recall from Toyota by post at 11.00 am on 15 February. At mid-day my dealership (Toyota Premier at Llandudno Junction, some 32 miles away) rang to arrange matters. At 7.00 pm, I delivered the car as requested. At 8.30 pm I arrived back home – upgrade completed, car checked generally for safety, and washed. So much for journalistic panic and snide remarks. What a pity that all companies don’t give such excellent after-sales care. Things can go wrong with anything from time to time; it’s what the manufacturer does about it that matters then. In my book Toyota has enhanced its already fine reputation, and I’m grateful.

  6. Non fault on latest Prius brakes fixed by Jim Walton (Penrith) immediatly.
    Having had about 20 Toyota cars in the past 20 years I had no worries about getting things sorted with the Prius.
    I will be buying Toyotas in the future from Jim Waltons.
    Thanks for a great service.

  7. Mike asks

    Toyota have today announced that all cars from this point on will have a brake system override added. This is in addition to the software upgrade already within the recall (still awaited). Is this override also going to be retrofitted to existing third generation cars? If not they will suffer a catostrophic loss of value and may be unsellable, even by part exchange through a Toyota dealer!

    1. Mike, my reading of Melissa’s link is that the brake overide is to address the sticking accelerator problem, not the Prius brake issue. When the brake pedal is pressed, this will cut the throttle setting back to idle, regardless of whether the accelerator pedal is pushed down.

      I think the Prius already has this- in the early days of the sticking throttle publicity before it was clear if the Prius is involved I experimented to work out how to stop the car if the throttle stuck.

      I can confirm that even if the accelerator is fully depressed, pressing the brake pedal will cut the engine and bring the car to a halt.

      Other ways to stop a runaway Prius- push the selector lever in to neutral, or indeed in to reverse. If those measures fail give the start/stop button a long press which shuts down the engine and hybrid synergy drive altogether.


  8. Instant response from Border Toyota who loaded new programme today for the non-existing problem and got rid of the silly reversing bleep all in less than one hour. I’m a very happy bunny!!

  9. I think this problem is not a problem at all.
    There are many difrences in “brake feel” of Toyota and for example Ford. Which is proper?
    I suppose it’s a political issue. US force forein producers to enhance state of domestic producers.

  10. So the 3rd Gen Prius has different ABS to 1st and 2nd? Really?

    Since Toyota Europe has managed to get US oil capacities in European cars technical specifications so that every Prius in Europe is overfilled with oil I don’t pay much attention to them.

    Listening to customers has never been Toyotas strong point, hopefully this will change now.

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