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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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
1,150 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2005 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #2

Feb 072006

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,200 miles


2005 Toyota Prius: In slippery conditions, when a front wheel slips, both wheels stop rotating and then the wheel that did not slip is given power. This takes about 1 second. During that time the motor has shut down, losing substantial forward momentum. If the second wheel slips, the process is repeated giving the original wheel power. The 1 second time interval occurs again and more forward momentum is lost. On a slippery hill, this basically stops the forward motion of the auto very quickly. If both wheels continue to slip, the auto just sits there, with the electric motor starting and stopping as the power is switched between front wheels. If there are cars behind yours, then backing up is impossible. If the wife and kids are in a bad neighbor hood and this happens, that could mean real trouble. The condition is totally unacceptable. All the Prius' should be recalled and the traction control reprogrammed to allow reduced power to the slipping wheel, not zero power. This will tend to maintain forward momentum and keep the motor from shutting down. I spoke to the original dealer and they claimed no knowledge of the design flaw.

- Southbury, CT, USA

problem #1

Sep 302004

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
The shift-by-wire transmission selector in my 2005 Toyota Prius ignores my shift if I move the shift lever too quickly. This has almost led to several accidents. On my first day driving my Prius, I was parked in a diagonal, on-street space. My view of approaching traffic was blocked by the vehicle beside me. When I backed out far enough into the traffic lane, I realized that traffic was coming. I needed to move forward quickly to avoid getting hit. I quickly moved the shift lever to "D" and accelerated. The car lurched backwards instead of forwards. I hit the brake and quickly but carefully shifted to "D" again. Approaching traffic was now almost at my location. I accelerated again but the car lurched backwards, not forwards, again. The car had ignored both inputs from me and remained in reverse. Luckily the approaching traffic slowed to avoid crashing into me, giving me time to slowly and deliberately move the shift lever to "D." this time the car moved forward. I can easily shift the lever too quickly, which results in no gear change. Toyota said this dangerous condition is normal for the Prius. Also, there is a column-mounted stalk too close to the dash-mounted gear shift lever. It is easy to momentarily put your hand on the wrong stalk when trying to shift gears. Finally, the car loudly beeps whenever reverse is selected. This is inside, not outside I assume to let you know that you are in reverse. That loud, distracting interior beeper is a safety hazard. I was not aware of hearing it when I had the backing incidents described above but I am very aware of it when I am carefully backing up and trying to watch and listen for pedestrians, cars, etc. Behind me. My Toyota dealer told me that it cannot be disconnected. All drivers from owners to valets, expect the gears to change when they shift. The public should be warned about the Prius until Toyota makes a transmission fix such as retrofitting the cars with a conventional shift mechanism.

- San Diego, CA, USA

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