Latest UK position on Prius braking system

Press speculation continues today regarding the 3rd Generation Prius braking system. On Friday, Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation, gave a press conference, and below is an extract from his statement:

“As Toyota revealed yesterday, new Prius now in showrooms include an improvement. For Prius in the hands of customers, I have instructed that consideration be made as soon as possible regarding the way to address such units. Once a decision is made we will inform the public.”

Toyota GB awaits the outcome of this investigation, and will make an announcement to its customers shortly.

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


  1. Simon, I have to say, the particular “trait” in brake pedal feel doesn’t bother me, but if offered a fix I would probably go for it, with one proviso: does the fix involve the hydraulic brakes cutting in earlier, thus reducing the amount of electricity generated during a given stop? If so I’ll keep my Prius as it is, thanks very much


  2. I received my prius during the snow in January. I must say that the car was very assured in the ice and snow even while braking.

    I’m enjoying driving the car and I can assure you that my confidence in Toyota remains as strong as ever.


  3. Throughout the history of automotive development, it has been possible for mechanics and engineers to analyze and scrutinize all parts of a car, including critical systems such as the brakes.

    However, with software now becoming such an integral part of a car, it is currently impossible for the relevant experts to analyze and scrutinize the software, in the way that mechanical engineers always have.

    Simon, do you think this problem may have been discovered sooner if the software was available for public scrutiny?

  4. Daniel, it seems to me that the problem was known to Toyota – judging from Mr Toyoda’s statement. How else would the “Prius in showrooms now include an improvement”? Things don’t happen overnight.

  5. Forgive me for being a bit vague … I am unsure whether my Prius is 3rd generation. I bought it last year (09 registration) but it is not the newest model currently in showrooms, so I assume it’s second generation?

  6. I have a 3rd generation Prius that was purchased September 09. We experience the brake feel that is explained in the majority of the press as brake failure. In my opinion it is the ABS doing it’s job & helping to control the car & actually like the feedback of what the ABS is doing.

    Like Peter G if a fix is offered I would also probably go for it, but I am in no rush!

    Until my first Prius (a second gen one) 3 years ago I swapped cars every 8-12 months. I kept my last Prius for 3 years and only swapped it because the new model came out.

    I am very happy with the New Prius & have every confidence in the car & toyota.


  7. I believe the 3rd gen Prius came out in August 09. The new model has 3 driving modes, Eco, Power & EV. The gear lever is now in a central console which also has storage space under the gear lever. The 2ng gen had no storage under the lever and the gear lever was mounted in the front console next to the steering wheel.


  8. I have to agree with the comments above. My 3rd gen Prius behaves in exactly the same way as my previous 2nd gen one. To illustrate: when crossing a wide metal expansion joint near my home, if wet, the ABS momentarily releases the brakes before the wheels lock – as I would expect and hope. The 2nd gen one did the same. My previous 3 cars – all Mercedes estates – did exactly the same. This seems to me to be the correct behaviour.

    I remain very satisfied and confident in my car. If Toyota feel it necessary to make a software change, then I am likely to be as satisfied with that.

    If only the media would cease this scaremongering!

  9. I have driven a Prius 2nd generation for two years, and have noticed two things;

    1) In the wet, if you try to accelerate too fast and you lose traction, you lose power completely for a moment. This is a bit of a worry if you are turning out of a junction etc.

    2) When braking, if you hit a bump or wet patch, the brakes stop for a second and the ABS flashes, leaving the car coasting without control for a moment.

    If either of the above issues are related to the stories in the press, then the 2nd Generation suffers with this issue as well.

    I tend to leave more time in the wet and take care when braking as I know what the Prius will do.

    As stated in a previous comment, the Prius handles very well in the snow, and as long as you drive carefully in different weather conditions, and you havea good understanding of how your car handles, then I don’t see this as an issue.


  10. One concerned purchaser. I am taking delivery of a new co car – prius on 1/3/10. For the first time moving away from main stream models like BMW / Mondeo etc. This will be my first Toyota – Have i got anything to be worried about?

    1. Not at all Nigel, before buying my 2nd generation Prius I had owned 3 Mercedes cars (2 E-class, 1 C class). The Prius has saved me a fortune, its reliable and Toyota understand what “customer service” means. I bet you have never walked into a BMW dealer and been greeted on first name terms – you will at Toyota.

    2. I have a 2nd Gen Prius T5 Spirit and 48k miles on have been very pleased with it, having come down from larger cars and people wagons. A bit hairy-scary in the snow at first with it being my first auto, but otherwise great. Servicing has been the real surprise – my local dealership in St Ives Cambs can’t do enough, even when I called them at 4.30 pm to book the last service, they called me back and offered me a booking the next morning. Thats never happened to me before! The approach taken by the company has bee first class and knowing how my dealership works, they will be very efficient at rectifying the problem.

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