Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,500 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Toyota Prius engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #4

Dec 152009

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that upon starting, the vehicle jerked forward. In addition, while attempting to stop at a stop sign, the contact depressed the brake pedal but the vehicle hesitated to stop. The failure occurred on an intermittent basis. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and an authorized dealer for diagnostics. The technicians were unable to duplicate the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 33,000... updated 09/15/11 the consumer stated he/she took the vehicle to the dealer auto shop on August 2, 2011 for the replacement of the electric power steering pinion shaft nuts. They adjusted the gear, accelerator and steering. However, the problem still exists. The vehicle accelerates and moves forward as soon as the consumer starts it. Updated 10/03/11

- East Meadow , NY, USA

problem #3

Aug 012008


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the brake indicator on the instrument panel remains illuminated, regardless if the brakes are engaged or not. The vehicle has been to the dealer three times and they discovered a leak in the brakes. Brake fluid was added to remedy the failure, but the indicator illuminated again a few days later. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer and they informed him not to worry about the failure. There was no attempt to repair the failure. Weeks later, the contact took the vehicle back to the dealer and they discovered that the brake activator failed. The vehicle was out of warranty; therefore, the contact would be responsible for the repairs. He refused to pay for the repairs and the manufacturer will not assume responsibility. In addition, the check engine lamp in the vehicle has also illuminated. The dealer stated that they would have to replace the fuel tank, but was unsure if that would permanently remedy the issue. Both of the defects have not yet been repaired. The failure mileage was 100,000 and current mileage was 120,000. Updated 3/11/09 updated 03/16/09.

- Rio Rancho, NM, USA

problem #2

May 042008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
On May 4th, 2008, at or around 12:30 pm, I was driving my 2002 Toyota Prius normally. The hybrid system gave me a trouble light prior to leaving an auto parts store parking lot; however, I attributed the warning light to a recently replaced charcoal canister and dismissed the warning light, believing it to be related to the recently replaced part. I left the parking lot and proceeded on to my destination, which was my house, about 2 miles away from the store. Without warning, and safely on a street with little traffic, as I was driving up a slight incline, the engine failed to start. The hybrid system is designed to run primarily on the electric motor driving the wheels and use the internal combustion engine (ice) for added power when the electric motors do not provide enough power. However, in my situation, the car needed more power, and the engine failed to start. I tried multiple times to get the engine to start by cycling the gas pedal, but to no avail - the ice still would not start. I had to pull the car over, shut it off, and restart the car to get the ice running again. Normally I would not be this concerned about this problem, but had this issue occurred in heavy traffic, the car would have been a hazard to the occupants as well as other drivers on the road - the loss of the ice in a critical situation could lead to an automobile accident, especially if ice power is lost at a critical time, such as accelerating onto a busy freeway. Because of this potential safety issue it is my belief that any year or model of the Toyota Prius is unsafe to drive on the road as the ice can be unreliable, which could potentially lead to automobile accidents. I did not take the car to be repaired nor did I attempt to resolve the issue; on May 5th, I traded the Prius in for a different vehicle.

- Opelika, AL, USA

problem #1

Apr 152003

Prius 4-cyl

  • 27,000 miles
After parking vehicle and returning back to it later vehicle started up, but then stalled. After stalling vehicle did not restart until the next day. Dealer has examined the vehicle five times and was not able to resolve the problem. Also, gas tank and steering links had been replaced.

- Zebulon, NC, USA

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