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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
29 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
9 / 1
Average Mileage:
45,156 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 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #54

Nov 012005


  • 100 miles


I noticed very soon after I bought my Toyota Prius there was a little serge while in park as well as while in drive. The surge would actually make the car jump forward a little but I just wrote it off as a strong little car and didn't consider that it could be dangerous. I still own the car but don't drive it anymore. Now I am very worried for the people who do drive the car. I have not been notified about any recalls. Just a notice of two that they might want to change to floor mat and they would let me know, but that day never came. My mats were not hitting my pedal when I felt the car lunge while in park!

- Ortonville, MI, USA

problem #53

Dec 072007


  • 63,000 miles
My Toyota Prius (2005) gas pedal stuck. I was taking my wife to the hospital with a heart attack.we were going down a ramp and it stuck wide open. I kept pushing the start buttton and it quit. I called the Toyota dealer and he told me to remove my floor mats. I do not think my floor mat had anything to do with it. It has not stuck since.

- Battle Creek, MI, USA

problem #52

Nov 242009


  • 27,013 miles
On 11/24/09 I was parked in a san francisco shopping mall parking lot and started my vehicle, put it reverse, released the brake and it, immediately, accelerated out of the angled parking space, across the one-way single lane and crashed into the rear of a car similarly parked on the opposite side of the traffic lane. I frantically hit brakes but the car did not stop and, in fact, seemed to speed up. I am absolutely convinced that the cause of the accident was a fault in the accelerator mechanism. I, at first, thought it was my fault and said so to my insurance company within an hour of the accident. But on reflection, I decided it was the car itself and the following day I called my insurance company and told them that it was a fault with the car that was the cause. I have tried to contact Toyota Corp. Numerous times by email and have not been successful. Finally I contacted the local Toyota dealer who was good enough to relay my email to Toyota Corp. The local dealer sent me an email the following day telling me that I had to get an official case opened with Toyota, S customer experience center and to contact them at 1(800)331-4331 to get a case number. I have been phoning them for weeks and I am not able to get anything but a recorded message. Trying the local dealer again, he called direct and asked them to call me but they told him that they were not able to do so because of their long waiting list. So I am now trying the NHTSA.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #51

Mar 092010


  • 142,000 miles


I drove a 2005 Prius and was behind a semi-trailer. When I accelerated to go, the car lunged forward crushing into the semi's trailer. I didn't have enough time to react because of the close distance, however the brakes were not strong enough to overcome the acceleration power. The Prius ran into the semi for a good 25 seconds while I tried to brake and I then put the car in neutral and turned off the car. There were 3 other passengers inside the car during the incident.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #50

Jan 152010


  • 50,000 miles
I previously reported this problem under ODI # 10304339. I incorrectly reported that "I felt a big thump like I was hit from behind". however, I now believe that this activity could have been caused by "the sudden acceleration" that has been frequently mentioned by the media. Although what I felt seemed like a hit from behind, it could have been a short acceleration burst lasting only a couple of seconds. There have not been any further incidences of this nature.

- Bonita, CA, USA

problem #49

Jul 102008


  • 50,000 miles
2005 Prius - intermittent acceleration problem. On five occasions, but none in the last year, when wanting to slow down by taking foot off accelerator to step on brake, the car accelerated briefly, for less than half a second. But the brake worked normally and there was no problem stopping. Date given is approximate for last time it happened.

- Guilford, CT, USA

problem #48

Jul 102006


  • 12,000 miles


Unexpected acceleration occurred twice in my Toyota Prius 2005 car. Both times I was in the driveway going slowly into the garage and stopped the vehicle by slamming on the brakes. No damage occurred. This was when it was fairly new and I did not report it thinking I had done something wrong. Now that all the news has come out about these problems I realize it wasn't me.

- Mclean, VA, USA

problem #47

Mar 032010


  • 92,949 miles
Last evening 3/3 my 2005 Toyota Prius experienced a stuck gas pedal causing me to go in and out a ditch then across the road and hit a sign prior to my finally being able to get it into neutral. Since neither Toyota total care/roadside assistance or the Toyota of bowie dealership would tow it to the dealership I placed a claim with my insurance company usaa. When I got to the dealership they were extremely unhelpful saying I had to make a complaint with Toyota as they were not Toyota but an independent dealership. They did not want to look at it since it looked fine on one side but they didn't even want to hear about the under carriage. The car is there waiting for my insurance adjuster to look at it. They also advised that I needed to complain to since there's nothing wrong -- without even looking at it they said this. I just had the car in the 90K and then for electronics problem since over 7 times if you drove the car then shut it off then try to restart it 5 minutes later all the lights would come on but you couldn't start the engine or do anything until the electronics unfroze. They said it was the battery and the remote but I disagree since they said to make sure everything is off before you turn it off. I ask why and they just said that?S how Toyota says to do it. Today one of the first things they asked was if the defroster was on or other electronics. As you can imagine I am extremely upset!!! to ask me to drive it to see it does it again was an extremely inappropriate response to my situation.

- Shady Side, MD, USA

problem #46

Oct 152009


  • 61,000 miles
I was traveling down a residential street and approaching a pedestrian intersection when a pedestrian on her morning exercise run suddenly ran across my path. I immediately tried to stop, but the edge of the sole of my dress shoes were caught behind the brake pedal, and I was unable to move my foot onto the pedal to depress it. Only by steering away from the pedestrian, and her action to stop, did I avoid a serious accident. The cause of this incident is the fact that the accelerator and brake pedals are displaced by several inches, that is, the brake pedal is closer to the driver than what the accelerator is. This requires one to lift your foot by 6 inches or so before moving it over to the brake pedal to depress it. In an emergency situation your reflexive reaction is to try to move your foot over as quickly as possible. However, the displacement of the brake pedal creates an obstacle than, in the best case, results in a delay, and in the worst case results in an inability to operate the brake pedal in time to avoid an accident.

- Eagan, MN, USA

problem #45

Jun 152007


  • 28,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. Immediately after the vehicle was turned on it lunged forward while his foot was on the brake pedal. When he applied pressure to the brakes again it stopped accelerating and began to perform normally. The failure has occurred four additional times. The dealer was contacted and they stated that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed and no repairs were made to the vehicle. The failure mileage was 28000 and the current mileage was 34000.

- Johns Creek, GA, USA

problem #44

Mar 032010


  • 81,000 miles


Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) 2005 Toyota Prius [xxx] when braking on uneven/bumpy road (even freeway lane divider bumps), skid light come on and braking force is reduced. Has happened at both low and high speeds. No issue on smooth roads. Has occured several times, over several years, have never had the brakes serviced. Last occured 3/3/2010.

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #43

Feb 212006


  • 7,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that on a daily basis, she noticed an acceleration problem. The vehicle would pull back and suddenly lunge forward with no warning. The vehicle was never uncontrollable but she was concerned about it. She took the vehicle to the dealership and was told that they could not diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not notified. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was approximately 50,000. The failure mileage was approximately 7,500.

- Nevada City, CA, USA

problem #42

Mar 012010


  • 70,000 miles
3/1/2010 hid bulb out on the Toyota Prius 2005, told that it would cost $450 to replace the bulb. I can't believe that I spend so much money on this car, to be told that something so simple was costing so much. When I used to do this my self. I also complain about my car accelerating and was told that my car was not on the list. That I would have to wait for the notification to bring it in for the rug replacement. I called to complain about acceleration on my car and was told that I was wrong. I have been driver since my teens (over 30 yrs now) and should know when there is something wrong with my car, I am the one driving it. This incident about the car accelerating happen a few times during last summer and the fall season I never noted the dates down.

- Herndon, VA, USA

problem #41

Jan 052005


  • 5 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. Several months ago she received a letter from the manufacturer to take the floor mats out of her vehicle and what to do if the vehicle accelerates. The contact has experienced the vehicle accelerating multiple times. The contact then took the vehicle to the dealer who informed her that the vehicle had to be repaired at her own expense. She then contacted the manufacturer and they stated that since they did not recall her vehicle there was nothing they could do. The received a recall notice from the manufacturer and they refuse to make the free recall repair. Her state attorney general was notified and they informed her that they were going to mail her a complaint form. The failure mileage was 5. the current mileage was 31000. Updated 04/05/10 updated 05/17/10

- Getzeille, NY, USA

problem #40

Feb 112010


  • 55,000 miles
While braking, my 2005 Toyota Prius sometimes surges forward instead of slowing. This usually occurs on rough or uneven pavement. It has happened between 10 and 20 times since I have owned the car. No accidents or injuries have occurred, and nothing has been done so far to correct problem. A mechanic friend thinks this sounds like the current recall situation with the 2010 Prius, and suggested I report it.

- Toluca Lake, CA, USA

problem #39

Mar 082006


  • 8,000 miles
I own a 2005 Prius and have 3 unintended acceleration incidents in 5 years, two separate drivers. City driving at 35 mph. Pedal did not stick, it was sucked to the floor we turned of engine before speed got to 50mph. No accident or injury, note this: Each time I asked the dealer repair shop about it, they dismissed it as floor mats and "could not reproduce it ". interestingly, the repair request did not show up on dealers action list (2 different dealers) even though every time I asked about a squeak or rattle did show up on the records.. did Toyota give instructions to dealers on how to downplay it and not record the complaint?

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #38

Sep 012009


  • 68,250 miles
I was stopped at a stop light in my car, a 2005 Toyota Prius. When the light turned green I took my foot off the brake. This is when my car quickly accelerated into the car in front of me while my foot was not on the gas or the brake. After the initial impact my car drove into the car in front of me again. While this was happening I applied the brake but nothing happened. The car stopped moving after the second impact and came to rest on the front car's bumper. The damage to the car I hit was $1000, the damage to my Prius was $7000. Toyota had contacted me in a form of a recall about floor mats being the cause of this problem. When I called Toyota of orange tell them what happened they looked up my VIN number and assured me my car was not a part of any recall. They said I could bring my vehicle in however nothing would be done if they could not recreate the problem. Since the initial crash my Prius has mimicked this same situation a handful of times. None of the times after resulted in a second crash. I have not taken my Prius to a dealer to have the problem looked into. I do not have any other mode of transportation and Toyota does not offer loaner cars.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #37

Feb 102010


  • 20,000 miles
My 2005 Toyota Prius feels like it "jumps" or accelerates when I am braking on bumpy roads. It does not happen often, and only for a second. It has happened rarely since I have owned the care, but it has occurred more than once in the past 4 years. It always happens at one intersection, and so I am especially careful there. I thought that I was imagining it, but then it happened in another place.

- Lambertville, NJ, USA

problem #36

Oct 032007


  • 30,699 miles
When I was pulling slowly into my regular parking space at work, my 2005 Prius suddenly surged forward and smashed into a cement wall that was about 4 - 6 feet in front of me. There were cars parked on each side of me; I didn't hit either of them. I went straight into the wall at the font of the parking space. No water or ice or bad conditions were present. The surge was much faster than would have occurred had I mistakenly hit the accelerator rather than the brake. Over $3300 worth of damage was done to the front of my car. My ankle bone was chipped, my wrist was sore, I had minor whiplash. I was alone in the car. I feel strongly that this was not a result of driver error on my part, nor do I think it is a result of the floor mat catching the accelerator. What I experienced matches much more closely with descriptions of a fluke computer error causing the car to surge forward when I touched the brakes. It was a strong, fast and sudden surge; much more powerful than what I experience when I use the accelerator. I reported the incident to Toyota (reference #200710181201). They sent someone out from the Chicago regional office to inspect the car in minneapolis. They claimed everything was working fine and refused to do more. After I explained the situation and my fear about driving my car, the local walser Toyota dealer did another very thorough check and reset all of the electronic components. It has worked fine since. Prior to this 2007 incident there were a couple of other times when the car seemed to surge rather than brake at stop signs. None caused crashes. And once, also prior to 2007, the antilock brakes did not deploy when they should have. I narrowly avoided a crash that time.

- Minneapolis , MN, USA

problem #35

Jun 152009


  • 40,000 miles
The problem is engine surging when I am braking. The regenerative brakes seem to send power to the motor that the computer does not handle properly and the engine surges, making it difficult for me to slow the car down to make turns or to stop. The car feels out of control. This problem seems to be random. I have contacted the Toyota dealer several times about the problem over the years since I purchased the car in January of 2005. They said they had received no other complaints of a similar problem. It happens more frequently in the summer than in the winter. I talked to the service manager at my Toyota dealer last month and he again said that there were no other complaints of a similar problem and that it might be the fault of the ethanol in the gasoline. I think it is a problem of the electronics and that the shield protecting the electronics is not capable of protecting against electro-magnetic problems in the area or in my car.

- St. Louis Park, MN, USA

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