2010 Prius Brakes : The 10-Minute Fix

By Bill Moore

Posted: 10 Feb 2010

Drivers of the 2010 Toyota Prius have reported what feels to them as a momentary failure of the brake system, usually when hitting a bump or icy patch of road. No accidents have occurred, unlike the company's larger problem with faulty accelerators on a wide range of popular models built in the last few years, but Toyota decided to initiate a voluntary recall to address owner concerns.

According to Toyota's Mike Michels, the recall involves reprogramming the vehicle's ABS software so that it is less sensitive to abrupt jars and slips. In response to inquiries from EV World, he explains the, "ABS interprets [these] as a skid and momentarily releases brake pressure to get the wheel turning again.

"The issue is that it takes a split second to re-apply brake pressure and some customers (most don't notice it) perceive a momentary sensation of brake release. The overall braking distance is about the same. But to improve the braking feel and reassuring feeling, we are reprogramming the computer. In most cases it takes less than a half hour."

He adds that this is a problem unique to the 2010 Prius and that "previous generations have different systems and different calibration," so they are not included in the recall.

The Priuschat.com video below demonstrates the software update process.

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