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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,071 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.

2007 Toyota Prius body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2007 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #80

Oct 212016


  • 100,000 miles


The trunk opener switch on my 2007 Prius no longer works reliably because it is made of a defective rubber which has at this point melted into a goopy mess. This means that the opener switch can become stuck in the closed position, rendering it impossible to open the trunk until the release mechanism of the switch overcomes the tensile strength of the goop. As a cursory google search shows, this is a common problem which Toyota routinely refuses to repair. It is a potential safety issue because a pet or child could be difficult to retrieve from the trunk area if the trunk cannot be opened. An unexpected hazard such as a leaking propane tank or a battery fire in the trunk area could similarly be difficult to mitigate.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #79

Jan 112014


  • 95,000 miles
The rear lift gate latch on my Toyota Prius has stopped functioning. The exterior rubber over the latch mechanism/switch has melted, turned gummy and will no longer function to open the lift gate. In cold weather the latch has been even more difficult to open and the trim piece containing the trunk hatch latch fractured in sub-freezing weather while trying to get the latch to release. The car was parked with light snow falling. I can no longer open the trunk of my car from the outside. This is a safety hazard as I can not access the rear hatch of my car in an emergency and defeats the primary purpose of a hatchback car which is access to the car's interior. The car jack and emergency spare tire located just behind the failed hatch latch. I had to pay over $500+ to have Toyota replace the failed hatch latch switch and surrounding trim piece.

- Severna Park, MD, USA

problem #78

May 202016


  • 127,000 miles
The headlights work intermittently and have needed bulb replacement 3 times so far. Also all the tail light and the tag lights went out at the same time recently and required bulb replacement. When driving we had no idea the lights were out and only found out when we were pulled over by police. This constitutes a very dangerous situation in my opinion. Also the hatchback handle sometimes fails to work due to the rubber cover deterioration.

- Trappe, MD, USA

problem #77

Jan 012012


  • miles


Another complaint regarding the rubber cover of the 2007 Prius hatch release/latch. The rubber covering has deteriorated and degraded in a way that causes it to melt and become sticky in warm or hot weather; touching the cover causes the material to stick to fingers, and is very difficult to remove, requiring the use of a solvent cleaner. In cold and freezing weather, the cover becomes very stiff and not flexible, and is impossible to press, causing the hatch to be impossible to open. This is a basic operational problem, rendering the hatchback non-functional - it can't be opened, or if it can be opened it leaves a substance on the driver's body. Also a safety issue, as when the hatch can't be opened this is essentially being locked out of the trunk where the spare tire and safety equipment are located. Dealer will charge approximately $300 for part and labor to repair this. I've called Toyota customer service, and their response was: "it is no longer covered under the warranty, and there is no recall for this, so Toyota will not be covering this repair." I did a search in the NHTSA complaint database and found 147 owners with the exact same problem. Very discouraging and irresponsible that Toyota will not take responsibility and assist owners with resolving this issue.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #76

Apr 052015


  • 115,000 miles
Back hatch handle melts in hot weather and gets tar on fingers and drips on car body. The only way Toyota has to fix this is to make consumer pay for a new rear handle assembly.

- San Diego, CA, USA

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problem #75

Mar 012016


  • 180,000 miles
The rear hatch latch rubber cover has dissolved over the last couple years to the point you can no longer open from outside. If someone was in an accident you could not open the rear hatch door and you are trapped inside of the vehicle with no time to get yourself out or pull anyone else out, I have seen online complaints about this going back into 2011. This is happening on a lot of cars, especially Toyota Prius's. as of right now I can not open the hatch door on my 2007 Prius. It has just gotten worse until now when it will not open. I used to have to fight by pushing down and pulling up, but it will not open at all now.

- East Peoria, IL, USA

problem #74

Jun 012012


  • 45,000 miles


The rubber cover on the rear hatch latch has deteriorated so severely that the latch handle will no longer work. The rubberized cover has become gooey and sticky, and comes off on your hands when you touch it. There is no alternate trunk release on this vehicle, so with the handle mechanism gummed up by the deteriorating rubber cover, there is no way to access the trunk of the vehicle. This piece has been deteriorating over the past three to four years. We've been trying to hold off for a Toyota recall on this piece, but now we have no choice but to pay to have it fixed.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #73

Jan 202016


  • 200,200 miles
Faulty liftgate handle. The rubber melts in warm weather, leaving a sticky black tar on your fingers that will not wash off. This rubber melts into the mechanism such that the liftgate is no longer operational. Toyota knows about this faulty batch of rubber that was used, but so far refuses to recall the faulty mechanism in the us. The liftgate would only open intermittantly, with a lot of effort about a year ago. Now, it will not open at all, so we are taking it to the dealer for repair.

- Peoria, IL, USA

problem #72

Oct 112015


  • 69,000 miles
I got unintended high speed and I could not stop the car. It stopped because the wheel was hit by the curbe

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #71

Dec 012015


  • 59,000 miles
Read hatch door latch switch failure due to rubber cover that has deteriorated and melted into sticky goo. The switch now is intermittent. Black tarry rubber gets on my hands when I try to use it. The price to repair was quoted as $350

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #70

Nov 182015


  • 70,000 miles


Liftgate handle latch mechanism deteriorated (inside the exterior handle, not the actual connection down near the bumper). This is a known 2007 Prius problem both within this database and in online forums, if you search. Probably part of the 'rubber parts / gasket turning into goop' problem discussed elsewhere. Should be a dealer warranty repair as it is expensive defect to fix, $600 or so, entailing removing panels from the inside etc and replacing the switch. I called Toyota and they gave me a case number but that is all thus far. Lexington Toyota dealer (mass.) said they had never heard of it, which seems unlikely.

- Wayland, MA, USA

problem #69

Nov 052013


  • 86,000 miles
The rubber cover over the rear hatch latch got soft and would stick onto my hands. I had to pay to have it replaced. Also my breaks grab especially when the weather is damp.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #68

Nov 062015


  • 77,544 miles
Trunk release hatch button degraded. Turned sticky, felt like, tar. To open the trunk took considerable effort. This is a safety issue, not being able to open the trunk or opening with difficulty. Trunk release hatch button "melted" then the entire garnish broke off when trying to open it.

- Beverly Hills, CA, USA

problem #67

Nov 012015


  • 120,000 miles
The rubber cover on the rear hatch handle is defective and melting. This causes the rear hatch to stick, not allowing access to the rear hatch when the vehicle is parked. This happens multiple times when trying to gain access to the rear hatch space.

- Vienna, VA, USA

problem #66

Oct 012015


  • 50,000 miles
The black rubber on the hatchback latch has melted and makes opening the hatchback difficult. The black goo sticks to the hand and is very messy because it gets on anything touched including clothes, door handles and children. The melted rubber interferes with the latch such on some occasions, the hatchback does not open.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #65

Sep 032015


  • 47,100 miles
The rear hatch release on my 2007 Toyota Prius has begun to deteriorate and turn into a rubbery and sticky black mess. This issue interferes with the use of the hatch as the rubber not only gets on your fingers but appears to be blocking the release mechanism. The deterioration started during the summer.. the issue has worsened and today I was unable to open the rear hatch whatsoever.

- Columbus, IN, USA

problem #64

Aug 012015


  • 71,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while the vehicle was parked in the sun, the dashboard melted and left a shiny substance which caused a reflection on the windshield that obstructed the contact's visibility. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 71,000.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #63

Jun 012009


  • 25,000 miles
The rear hatch handle assembly has melted completely into a gooey mess. This handle was replaced by Toyota under warranty in 2009.. and the replacement melted completely as did the original equipment. But now this will cost appx. $300 to replace. There is other way to open the rear hatch. This part is clearly defective and results in no way to access the spare tire and other safety equipment in the hatch. Update 9/15/15

- Hollywood, FL, USA

problem #62

Jul 302011


  • miles
For about 3-4 years off and on it has been difficult to open the hatch back door. Over time this problem has gotten worse. At this point even my husband is having trouble opening the door. Non of the other doors is having a problem. The rubber cover on the hatch opening switch above the license plate is deteriorating and causing the problem. Apparently we are not the only one having trouble with this. We will have to take this in to have it fixed. My husband just called our local Toyota dealer and they said it would be $110 to diagnose the problem. What gives?

- Damascus, OR, USA

problem #61

Feb 162015


  • miles
The gas tank design Toyota Prius from at least 2007 and until 2010, contains no actual fuel gauge. In the northern states with severe winters this results in owners frequently running out of gas when they think they still have ample fuel as shown by multiple complaints found on the internet, and for us on a trip in February to March 2015 we were in serious fear of running out of gas when in fact if the specification for capacity has any meaning we still had over 4 gallons of fuel. We got so worried, we stopped at a brothel in Nevada so my wife could ask how far to the nearest gas station. When we got to the gas station the fuel pump indicator was even blinking to indicate we were in danger of running out of fuel, yet the car filled up with only 65% of its rated fuel capacity. Running out of gas unexpectedly is especially dangerous in the Toyota Prius because so much depends on electricity including the steering to get the car off the road. There is no guarantee it cannot happen when the battery is already at maximum depletion or the main battery itself has failed but not yet been replaced in which case the car is totally dependent on continuous fuel flow. It certainly came as a shock to me to learn that what is displayed is no better than a grossly inaccurate estimate of remaining fuel, or about to run out fuel level. Toyota should be forced to recall all of these vehicles for fuel system replacement in the interests of safety and keeping people from being killed for running out of gas at the wrong time and stopping dead on the highway. As these cars age, they become more dangerous because it is only a matter of time before they will be driven with a bypass of a defective main battery, but epa regulations preventing alteration of anything emissions related will make these cars road hazards across the nation if the problem is not dealt with.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

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