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.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,549 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.

2004 Toyota Prius electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 7 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #19

Sep 152004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,000 miles


While driving about 55-60 mph the car stalled and came to a complete stop. It was towed into a dealership, they looked at the computer and corrected the problem. The vehicle has not stalled since.

- Milton, MA, USA

problem #18

Apr 052005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17 miles
Omg, omg its so fresh in my mind!. I was terrified. My daughter(oldest) was in a terrible car accident and was taken to the hospital(mary Washington in va.) I was at work and got the horrific call about 1745hrs (rush hour). I jumped in my car(2004-Prius) I I can't tell you how I felt. As I entered the hov lanes from DC to va, my car started pausing..I've felt this before, so I hit the info button and see my battery took over and is on 4 lines! I then see the alert lights illuminate on my dash! this can't be happening?, not now!..I immediately hit my horn and avoid getting slammed into by vehicles behind me. I slowly creep on my last battery line onto the righthand shoulder. My Prius died. I called Toyota' (rap>roadside assistance program) and a tow truck was sent. I broke down in DC and (Toyota' rap) only takes me 50miles from the breakdown. I live 62 miles away! this is not acceptable! I was towed to springfield toyotan and it was closed! (it is now 2130hrs! and I'm still not at the hospital and I'm in tears!) the tow truck driver was nice enough to tell me to call my insurance co. I did and they sent another tow truck to pick me up. It is now 2230hrs! I still don't know the status of my daughter! the tow truck brings me to fredericksburg but to a Nissan dealership, it seems the address was wrong. We figured out that Toyota pohanka was down the street and the tow truck driver was considerate enough to bring me there. I had to drop off the vehicle and lucky I had someone pick me up to bring me home. Toyota pohanka of fredericksburg called me the next day and said they found error code P3191 referred to the tsb and reprogrammed the engine ECM per instructions.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #17

May 212004

Prius 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,137 miles
Purchased a 2004 Toyota Prius on March 2, 2004. On May 24, 2004 the car stopped while I was driving it. I could not restart it for approximately 15 minutes. I sat in the middle of the street during that time. The dealer said they had never heard of this happening. Om June 16, 2004 the car stopped running while I was at an intersection. I had to wait approximately 15 minutes before it would start. The dealer said they didn't know anything about this. On June 21, 2004 the car computers were tested on a recall and found to be out of sync. They were adjusted and I was told that would take care of my problem. In continued to have problems with the car not starting. On Oct. 6, 2004 I was given a new car remote control to fix the problem. I continued to have problems. On December 6, 2004 the car completely failed. I was unable to start or turn off the car. After 20 minutes it started and I was able to leave it with the dealer. The multi display unit was replaced. The car continued to stop intermittently;. on January 19, 2005 the car failed to start. A new small battery was installed. On March 29, 2005 the brakes locked up. The ABS actuator was replaced. On May 21, 2005 the car failed to start. It is presently at the dealer.

- Dover, Delaware, DE, USA

problem #16

May 082005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles


A couple of months ago while driving my 2004 Toyota Prius it lost power and all sorts of warning lights came on. I took it straight to the dealer. At that time they told me it loss it's computer program and went into the "limp home" mode. They reprogamed it and it ran fine. On 5/8/05 after a short drive I stoped and when I tried to restart it, it would not start. All I could get was a lot of warning lights and a wirling sound. I called aaa to have it towed to the dealer. Just as the tow truch arrived I tried to start it again and it started like normal. I drove it to the deal and explained the problem to them. They could not find any trouble codes or problem with the car. It has ran fine sence then. But I now worry when it will act up again.

- Millstadt, IL, USA

problem #15

May 072005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,300 miles
My wife's 2004 Toyota Prius lost power 100 miles away from home. She was with our 3 month old baby and fortunately was not rear ended or involoved in an accident.

- Brick, NJ, USA

problem #14

May 182005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,400 miles
2004 Toyota Prius. The warning lights came on and the vehicle lost power. The vehicle came to stop on the freeway. The consumer was able to get to the shoulder and waited about 10 minutes. After the ten min the vehicle was restarted but had very little power. The consumer drove the vehicle to the dealer. The dealer reprogrammed the ECU as per tsb. No other problems as of yet. This failure was the only incident.

- Evergreen, CO, USA

problem #13

Apr 262005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,800 miles


Consumer stated while traveling 40 mph all of a sudden, the lights illuminated on the dashboard and then everything shut off. The consumer had the vehicle towed to the dealer and they said it was a computer glitch regarding the release of gas to the engine. Just before a loss of power the dvd navigation system went completely out about 2 miles before everything else. The dvd navigation system failed as well.

- Los Angles, CA, USA

problem #12

Apr 082005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,800 miles
Driving my 2004 Toyota Prius home from work, the car suddenly lost power a few miles from my home on a busy thoroughfare. I drifted to the side of the road. All warning lights on the dash were on. I turned off the car and restarted it. It went a few seconds before dying again. This continued several times until I made it home. The incident caused other cars to have to slow down, honk and move around me. I was very scared. It was late at night. I called my husband to come help me but he was not home. The next day the car started and I took it to the dealership. They could find nothing wrong, and said they "reset the engine/battery ratio" so the car would rely more on gas than electricity, and that I would experience a slight decrease in my engine efficiency. I later complained to the service manager, that my Prius has had numerous electrical problems since I purchased it in August OF2005. Twice it would not start in the morning and I had to have it towed. He also told me that what the service person told me was incorrect, that there was no way they can "adjust" the engine/battery ratio. He gave no explanation for my problems and said "no one else" has had any problems with their cars. I want to return the car for a new one, but he says he feels "confident" Toyota will correct any problems I am having. I am afraid to drive the car in case this happens again. Toyota has done nothing since I have complained. I feel they owe me a new car while they figure this out.

- San Anselmo, CA, USA

problem #11

Apr 122005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,700 miles
An article in yesterday's L.a. times (5/17) detailed a problem with the 2004/05 Toyota Prius, where it mentioned that 13 Prius owners reported that their vehicles stalled suddenly, often at high speeds. On April 12, 2005, the exact same thing happened to me. While slowing from 65 M.P.H. on I-10 in West L.a. onto the I-405 interchange, easily one of the most congested highway interchanges in the country, my Prius stalled and I was extremely fortunate to make it to the end of the interchange where the shoulder began. Had it occured a mere two minutes later, I would have been in the fast lane of the 405, triggering a potential disaster and certain sigalert, as it occured at 8:15 a.M.--rush hour. My car had approximately 8,700 miles and was purchased new in August, 2004. I had it towed to Toyota of santa monica where I purchased the car, and was dismayed at their nonchalance. A brand new car should not break down for no reason, and it could've resulted in a serious accident. More tro ubling, the Toyota service department's technical assessment of the problem was that it was a "computer glitch, " and that their repair service was to "reprogram the computer." I have been a loyal and vocal supporter of this hybrid vehicle, pleased in every way with the performance of the car. Now when people ask, I give them much the same answer, but verbally insert an asterisk and tell them about the time it broke down without warning, and how I have no guarantee it won't happen again. You can count me as the 14th owner to report this identical problem. And you can be sure that we are only a percentage of the ever-growing Prius owners who have experienced this. I hope your findings and the article will make their way to Toyota's receptive and responsive ears. Thanks.

- Santa Monica, CA, USA

problem #10

Apr 092005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles
The car stopped in the middle of the road just after all the warning lights came

- Nevada City, CA, USA

problem #9

May 052005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,400 miles


5/6/05 my 2004 Prius with 20,400 miles without warning loss all power and shut down while driving hazard light came on warning to take to Toyota dealer. The vehicle would not start. The battery meter level was completely dead. The vehicle had to be towed to maita Toyota 2500 auburn blvd, sacramento, ca 95821, 916 481-5353 for repair. The work order stated the cause was the ECU which was reprogramed which cleared stored codes. Code pulled P3191. Is this a new finding in the Prius?

- Carmichael, CA, USA

problem #8

Sep 302004

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The consumer owns a 2004 Toyota Prius. He says that he is having problems with the vehicle because it will shut off while in traffic. Also the park mechanism will disengaged and the lock button does not unlock the doors as specified in the owners manual. Also the start button does not consistently start the vehicle properly. The vehicle experienced: Inoperative brake light, the fuel door spring was replaced, dome light remained on, engine would disengage, lights would remain lit after the vehicle was started, vehicle would not move until the vehicle was shut off and restarted to get the brake light to go out, rattling as if it were going to stall, the alarm sounded on one occasion when the door was opened, fuel door spring malfunctioned and fuel door would not open. The technicians were unable to verify the door lock malfunction. The consumer would like the vehicle replaced with a 2005 model equipped as detailed on the original invoice including aftermarket items paid for.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #7

Feb 042005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
Have a 2004 Toyota Prius. Less than 40,000 miles on the car. Was driving on the freeway and it suddenly died for no reason. Toyota dealer said it was a computer malfunction and could not guarentee it would not happen again. Very upset about this as it is a new car I paid a lot of money for

- Pearblossom, CA, USA

problem #6

May 112005


  • miles
2004 Prius slowed, then stopped on a highway due to a software problem. Towed to dealer. Dealer corrected the next day.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #5

Feb 222004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,500 miles
While driving at approximately 35 mph the vehicle completely shut down. The vehicle was hybrid. The owner had the vehicle towed to the dealer, and was informed that the battery was charged, and there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. There were a series of these events. The vehicle also stalled while in motion. The consumer was informed that the charging system was tested and nothing was wrong with the vehicle.

- Fernandina Beach, FL, USA

problem #4

Apr 172005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,500 miles
My daughter was driving our 2004 Toyota Prius in fast traffic when there was a complete failure of the computer system and the car shut down. Her life was in danger - but a policeman happened to be passing by and diverted traffic and called a tow truck. The car was taken to morristown Toyota in morristown New Jersey where it was determined that there was a computer failure. The computer stayed overnight at the dealer and they said the "refreshed" the computer and that "this should solve the problem." I am reporting this incident because of the dangereous situation that developed due to a computer failure - ad may fit in with other reports you are receiving.

- Mendham, NJ, USA

problem #3

Nov 012004

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,900 miles
While driving vehicle will just stop. Consumer states there is a software problem with engine being faulty from the computer. Consumer receives a dozen warning lights. Vehicle was towed to a dealership so that the vehicle could be diagnosed. Consumer is aware of other similar complaints.

- East Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #2

Oct 292004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,008 miles
While driving the vehicle at 60 mph. The vehicle completely shut down. The consumer pressed on the accelerator pedal for speed, however the vehicle continued to lose power. The consumer had the vehicle towed. The vehicle is still at the dealership. The problem was due to a computer glitch per tsb. The battery had gone dead.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #1

Jul 182004

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,653 miles
2004 Prius- warning lights--including master warning-- appeared on dash and computer. Vehicle lost power and could not be shut down or restarted. Towed to dealership which informed me that no fault could be found and car appeared to be operating normally. Car now runs normally except for "ready" light that appears on dash.

- Cold Spring, NY, USA

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