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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,627 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.

2005 Toyota Prius engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Nov 272005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,176 miles


I was driving on highway at 70 mph and vehicle stalled. I coasted over to road shoulder, turned off vehicle power and restarted vehicle without issue. Called Toyota dealer and was told my VIN was not part of the software recall for software problem for stalling engines. This could have caused a serious problem if I was not in the right lane and able to move to shoulder, clearing traffic immediately.

- Enterprise, AL, USA

problem #17

Oct 312005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
Toyota Prius; driving on interstate 287 in New Jersey when the engine cut out and would not restart.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #16

Jul 222005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80 miles
Purchased 2005 Toyota Prius - VIN # jtd KB2 OU1 530 793 29 on July 20, 2005 -registered it to my wife krista gottlieb. On July 22, 2005 when this car had about 80 miles on it, I was driving it on the highway in traffic at about 50 mph - when suddenly I lost complete power. By that, I mean that the accelerator pedal was completely unresponsive. I am not aware of what the instruments indicated as I was preoccupied with the traffic (for more details - I sent a very detailed E-mail about the failure to our dealer culligan Toyota, amherst, NY on July 24, 2005 - I have also sent additional follow-up E-mails to culligan since that date. ). as a result of the July 24 message, I arranged to leave the car with culligan Toyota service advisor stephen desotell on Wednesday, July 27, 2005 to be checked out. At about 3:00 P.M. on July 27 stephen called me to tell me that they had checked out the car and could find nothing wrong with it in any way ┐┐ mechanical or computer or anything. He said that it had the latest software and that there were no outstanding service bulletins of recalls for the car and that in his discussion with Toyota, it was suggested to him that I must have inadvertently hit the ┐┐power┐Ł button on the dashboard - or words to that effect. Subsequently I tested the car and found that I could not turn off our Prius by deliberately pushing or holding the power button in. By call to the above service advisor since then, he later confirmed that this was correct - that it was not possible to accidentally or deliberately shut any Prius down by hitting the power button while the car was in motion under power. We have had no repeat of this event. However, the failure happened to us in heavy traffic when I was in the passing lane with traffic on my right and oncoming traffic on my left and a high-speed car approaching me from the rear - and I had nowhere to steer to! it was very frightening and we could have been hit from behind.

- Orchard Park, NY, USA

problem #15

Sep 052005


  • miles


Possibly relevant to current Prius software reliability investigation number : PE05029 I spoke to gilles labelle of westboro Toyota in westborough Massachusetts regarding the Toyota Prius (this was a pre-sales conversation; I do not at present own a Prius though until this conversation I was very close buying one; now I find myself taking a step back to ensure I've done my own due diligence). He mentioned the use of a reset sequence to "reboot" the car in the event of problems as a way to avoid the need to have the car serviced; I asked him how often he had to reboot his own Prius; he didn't answer directly but instead said that he had helped about 100 customers through the reboot process. I am a operating systems software engineer by profession and was alarmed at this "just hit reset" attitude towards systems failures; ideally crashes in the field should be rare enough that each one can be root-caused, rather than shrugged off.

- Arlington, MA, USA

problem #14

Jul 302005


  • miles
I was driving my Toyota Prius on the freeway and the vehicle died at 55 mph. The engine light illuminated and there was no power to the accelerator. Fortunately, traffic was light and I was able to coast to a secure spot on the side of the road. This happened on the approach to the bay bridge, which would have been a potential disaster had it died on the bridge itself. The car did not start again on my first attempt, but it did start 5 minutes later. I took the car to the Toyota dealer and they said they installed new information into the computer. I want to know why, if they know it needs new information, did I not receive a letter asking me to come in for service? this could have been really disastrous, and I fear that it will be for someone else.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #13

Jul 112005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,800 miles
2005 Toyota Prius, when coasting at high speeds, the engine cuts out so it is impossible to accelerate.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #12

May 202005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,200 miles


Dear nhsta, on May 20 of 2005 I was driving my 2005 Toyota Prius when all of a sudden the gas engine stopped working and 4 dash warning/faults lights came on (red triangle; check engine; brake fault; vehicle stability control fault). I continued driving for 3 miles on the electric motor until the battery charge light indicated near complete battery discharge. I turned off the car, waited 30 seconds and turned the car back on. Immediately the gasoline engine started and the battery began to charge. At this point only the check engine and red triangle lights came on. I drove to the Toyota dealer who said that my problem sounded like the stalling problems with the 33 reported cases of 2004/05 Prius stalling. Toyota upgraded the engine ECU and the car has been fine ever since. However, I wanted to let nhsta know so that they know that this Prius stalling problem affects more than just 33 Prius owners. Also, I worry that Toyota does not know for certain that the problem is fixed premanently. Thanks, gary beaupre

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #11

Jun 102005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,790 miles
I was driving 20mph when a red alert light came on the screen on my Prius; it said gps underneath it so I ignored it, thinking I would be ok since I did not need my gps system. I sped up to about 30mph and suddenly was not able to accelerate although I was pressing down on my accelerator. I came to a stop at the traffic light on a green; luckily there was no collision. The electric mode remained intact for the next 2.5hrs untli the car was towed so I could still turn the car on.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #10

Mar 252005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,100 miles
With approximately 7100 miles on my car on Friday March 25, 2005 I was driving on local roads between 20 to 40 miles per hour when the car began bucking very badly.. shortly thereafter the check engine light turned on. Worried that the vehicle may completely stall and quit on the open road I returned home and called my local arlington Toyota dealer. I brought the car in the following morning (Saturday March 26,2005) to check out the problem.they had the car all day and still could not identify why the car was stalling. Since I was schedule to be away the following week (trip to las vegas). I gave permission for techs to keep car all week if necessary. On Monday of the following week, I recieved a call from tech at my hotel that they had fixed the problem. He claimed it was a misfire in #1 cyclinder. So they replaced spark plug #1. however, he also told me not get the car engine wet. He warned that if I ever returned the car with a wet engine again that my warranty would be voided. I told him that I never open the engine compartment and that I would never intentionally put water directly on the engine. Particullary on such a sophisticated car such as a hybrid. In the past 10,000 miles that I have owned the vehicle I have taken it through the car wash a total of three times.I picked up the car upon my return from las vegas on Friday April 1,2005. I am happy to report that the car has been running fine ever since. However, since the recent rash of news reports of complaints filed around the country of the Prius stalling I am wondering if the tech at arlington Toyota had misdiagnosed the problem I experience this past March.

- Mt. Prospect, IL, USA

problem #9

Apr 072005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,738 miles
Reported incident to Toyota customer support -- incident: 050412-000111 responses received from Toyota was that the computer was fixed based on a technical service bulletin. No recurrence since the fix. To: Toyota customer support sir or madam: I bought my 2005 Prius new from mechanicsville Toyota on December 1, 2004 and generally was quite satisfied with the car and the great gas mileage it provides. However, last Thursday, 4/7/05, with 4738 miles on the odometer, while driving home from work, all the lights on the dash went on including the master warning light, check engine light, vsc light, and the multi information display is showing the red hybrid system warning light. The car lost power and I had to limp it home. The energy consumption display for the battery pack showed one red bar and the fuel gauge had two bars left. I called Toyota roadside assistance which promptly dispatched a tow truck and delivered the car to the dealer. The dealer did a diagnostic test the following morning, Friday, 4/8/05, and could not find anything wrong. The only explanation I got was that this is a known isssue with 2 bars of fuel left and the cause was that the engine sucked in air with stops or turns. Is there a further explanation or fix for this problem? I feel that this is a safety issue. I cross railroad tracks to and from work daily and definitely will not want this car to stall on the tracks or anywhere on the road. My wife and I are a multiple Toyota owners: 95 Camry wagon and 93 previa. I used to own an 83 tercel and my wife and step daughter have and still own a 96 tercel. These cars have been extremely reliable so that my experience with the Prius comes as a shock. I look forward to hearing from you on this safety issue. Sincerely, apolinar ilog glen allen, va email:

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #8

May 242005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,913 miles


My 2005 Toyota Prius failed with engine shutdown at 65 mph on Florida turnpike. After restarting on shoulder, vehicle would only achieve 52 mph, then failed again.

- Coral Gables, FL, USA

problem #7

Dec 142004


  • miles
I was driving the vehicle to a gas station on a major road when the engine died and the vehicle shifted to battery power. I was able to get to the gas station and it was clear I had not run out of gas. The vehicle has been fine since so I didn't think about it until the media reports came out.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #6

Jun 022005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,600 miles
While driving 2005, Toyota Prius hybrid at speeds between 15-20 mph on a 2 lane road the engine died. After a short time it did restart.

- Royal Oak, MI, USA

problem #5

Apr 242005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105 miles
Without warning the check engine light keeps coming on. Consumer has taken car to dealer four times for the same problem. Dealer replaced different parts and the problem was there after three attempts to fix it. Consumer just got vehicle back for the fourth time. Manufacturer will be called today. Consumer was told they have never seen this problem in any other car.

- Culver City, CA, USA

problem #4

May 272005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,013 miles
The consumer had the vehicle for 2 weeks and had an episode where the engine stalled on the highway. The consumer believed it may have been caused by a momentary event to shift it incorrectly from the braking mode. When the consumer first attempted to put it in reverse, it wouldn't take then, and it would not take into the proper drive mode either. The engine had stalled, and would not go into drive. The consumer stopped the vehicle, and was able to restart it. The consumer had not experienced problems since then. The consumer called and reported the problem to Toyota. Gasoline engine on hybrid vehicle failed to kick in or stalled.

- Jamesville, NY, USA

problem #3

Apr 192005


  • miles
Gas motor stalled while driving on highway at 55 mph. Electric motor continued to operate until the battery was depleted, about 1 or 2 miles. I was unable to pull the car over because I was in a construction zone. It was difficult to turn the car off, because of the lack of a key, but once I did restart it, it worked fine.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #2

May 252005

Prius 4-cyl

  • 10,500 miles
I was traveling at about 70 mph on the interstate, when the engine stalled. I was close to an off-ramp and was able to coast off of the exit. At the bottom on the exit I was able to start up again by shifting into drive.

- Missoula, MT, USA

problem #1

Apr 272005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,134 miles
I had been driving my 2005 Toyota Prius at 40mph when I accelerated to pass a car and then had to stop briefly at a traffic light. When I pulled away from the light I noticed that the car felt very sluggish and wouldn't accelerate over 40 mph. I then realized that I was driving on the hybrid system only and that the engine had stalled. A big red exclamation point lit up on the dash and I was able to coast into a parking place off the highway. When I attempted to restart the car it did nothing. I called Toyota service and explained my problem and he arranged a tow truck pick up my car but told me that since it was 5pm they wouldn't be able to look at it until the morning. The next morning they told me that the car started without incident and although they ran extensive testing they could find nothing wrong. They wanted me to come and pick it up but I refused stating that there definetly was something wrong with this car and that I was just glad that it didn't happen earlier in the day when I was on I-95 going 80 mph with a semi in back of me. I also told them that I had done some research on my own at priusonline and yahoo Prius forum and found that there were more people who had the same problem and in most cases it was found to be due to a few codes that needed to be updated in the cars computer. I then asked them to check these specific codes. When I called back the next day they said that they ran the codes and found nothing and had taken the car for a long drive but had no problems. They released it to me and it has driven just as perfectly for me as it did up until the 1 second before it's engine quit without warning. I know that something potentially dangerous happened to my car that day and that there is just as much chance that it will happen again since nothing was fixed. I hope that you can help to avoid something potentialy tragic happening to me or someone else.

- Sebastian, FL, USA

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