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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
35 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
11 / 1
Average Mileage:
40,183 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2007 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 4 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #46

Feb 222010


  • 36,000 miles


This has happened dozens of times, to myself and my wife. We are braking, and whilst braking drive over a pothole or drain. The traction control comes on, and the car disengages the brakes and the car lurches forward. After clearing the pothole, the traction control then disengages, and the brakes re-engage. Several times, I have come close to hitting the car in front. Conditions: Clear, sunny, dry roads. Car: Toyota Prius, year 2007.

- Beacon, NY, USA

problem #45

Feb 092010


  • 88,636 miles
ABS, vsc, brake failure.

- Eagle Pass, TX, USA

problem #44

Mar 012009


  • 14,000 miles
1. safety while driving on a bumpy road in darien (West avenue near the train station) last year the Prius brakes did not stop the car. Although the speed was low (about 5mph), the resultant accident damaged its front end and the car in front of us. 2. drivability and safety the cruise control holds the minimum speed but allows over speed conditions. While returning from danbury on route 7 the cruise control holds 40mph until going downhill. On downhill slopes the speed increases and intervention is required to turn off the cruise control and apply the brakes. 3. drivability during cold weather the main battery accepts a charge but does not return much energy to the drive system. The mileage decreases by 10-15mpg. Toyota of stamford refused to do a free safety inspection.

- Stamford, CT, USA

problem #43

Sep 122009


  • 40,000 miles


Accelerating from a stop light, at about 30 mph the Prius engine felt and sounded like it began to accelerate at maximum rate. Braking had no effect on slowing the vehicle resulting in running through a major intersection at a red light. The car was stopped by shifting into neutral, coasting to a stop, and pushing the power button. After waiting 2 minutes, the car was restarted and ran with a problem. This occurred once in September 2009. Toyota's remedy is to replace the floor mats, however, the floor mat was secured to the carpet and was verified at the time of the incident that it was far from interfering with the gas pedal.

- Hooper, UT, USA

problem #42

Feb 152010


  • 39,965 miles
I am experiencing momentary brake failure while driving over bumpy roads in my 2007 Prius similar to that described by owners of some 2010 priuses ( I have experienced this since I bought the car new and have treated it as a quirk of that particular car. After hearing about the recall and software fix for 2010 models, I inquired of my local dealer about a software fix for my '07 model. They said there was no recall of the '07S and therefore the repair would be at my own expense. I live atop a hill, and the road coming down it is often bumpy, causing the momentary loss of braking. But we are used to it by now and know to begin braking extra early on this stretch of road, but if there is an available fix for this problem, I want Toyota to provide it soonest.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #41

Dec 152009


  • 10,000 miles
I have owed both a 2005 and 2007 Prius and have experienced two problems with both vehicles that are a safety concern, although no accident has resulted from these problems. 1) in snowy conditions, when traveling up an incline, the traction control system can turn off power to both drive wheels with the result that the car can not make it up the hill. Granted this can happen even to a more conventional car, but the Prius does this under circumstances when other cars have no problem negotiating the hill. The owners manual claims that this is to protect the electric engine, however, it seems that there should be an override of some sort that allows the internal combustion motor to turn the wheels when traction is poor. This system has also led to circumstances in parking lots during snow, where it becomes impossible to move the car even though other conventional cars are able to negotiate the snow without a problem. 2) in circumstances where the Prius must merge quickly into traffic for instance when turning into busy traffic at an intersection, if you floor the gas pedal the car initial accelerates, but then the acceleration fades dramatically, before it resurges. This can be circumvented by not pressing the gas pedal so hard, however, the instinct is to step on the gas as hard as possible. This is not only hair-raising when it happens, but also could lead on an accident.

- Shrewsbury, MA, USA

problem #40

Nov 112008


  • 21,000 miles


First time the Prius surged the car had just left the freeway and the cruise control was still engaged. The Prius surged at 55 miles an hour for a hundred feet till we gained control. The second time several months later we left the freeway with the cruise control still engaged and could not slow the car. We raced through hood river, or at speeds in excess of 60 miles an hour riding the brake through traffic and pedestrian crosswalks- our brakes smoking. Finally the driver found a parallel parking place to slide into and were able to punch the button and turn off the car. The driver having the car in park turned the car on again. The motor was still in full throttle. The driver left the car to find a restroom. I stayed in the car with the engine off. I reached down to the accelerator pedal and with light pressure pulled the pedal up. When the driver returned and started the motor it was at normal speed. We took the car to griffith motors in the dalles, or on the Dec. 10, 2009. The factory rep drove the car ( w/ 21,690 miles on it after he drove it) and on his report wrote "no problem found".

- Mt. Hood, OR, USA

problem #39

Apr 102009


  • 35,000 miles
Sudden acceleration in 2007 Toyota Prius when using cruise control to increase speed in small increments. Canceling cruise control and resuming manual control regained control of the vehicle. This happened twice. I have not used the cruise control since this incident and have told my wife not to use it either.

- Esmont, VA, USA

problem #38

Feb 092010


  • 45,000 miles
Car did not stop and seemed to accelerate when brakes hit during turn into driveway. Hit curb. Lost steering control and car had to be towed because of significant damages to wheel and also possibly steering. Snowy road. I was already driving very slowly. No reason why this much damage to my car or this level of impact unless car suddenly accelerated beyond my current speed while I braked. Car seems to accelerate on slippery, uneven surfaces and evs light comes on, even when brakes applied. Acceleration is beyond that seen with normal slippage. It is not simply slippage but actual brief acceleration.

- Wilmette, IL, USA

problem #37

Dec 182009


  • 59,500 miles
We own a 2007 Prius. I was pulling into a parking space doing maybe 5 mph, and my car suddenly lurched forward and ran into a cement planter approx 2 ft tall. My front bumper ended up top of the planter. I know I did not have my foot on the gas pedal. We had already removed the floor mats. This resulted in over $6K in damages to my car, that my insurers paid for; except my deductible. We also had the problem with the intermittent loss of our headlights; and replaced both of them. We just received a notice from Toyota telling us we will be receiving a 'credit' for the either part or all of the cost of the headlights; which was substantial. We did take pictures of the damages from the accident.

- Walla Walla , WA, USA

problem #36

Jan 052010


  • 50,100 miles


I have a 2007 Prius. I don't know if it is the braking system or a sudden acceleration but I have definitely experienced a surge when braking. This does not happen all the time but has happened on more than one occasion. It feels like the car stops braking for a second and surges forward before re-engaging the brakes.

- Castle Rock, WA, USA

problem #35

Feb 062010


  • 24,000 miles
My 2007 Prius touring can/does experience braking issues when slowing/braking downhill and coming in contact with a manhole cover, pothole, or other "even" road surface. Thought it was the tires, so replaced the original bridgestones for nokians, but the issue still occurs. The "sensation" is you feel like you've lost control of the car momentarily. As a result, I've changed my commute route home and drive much slower (was already driving slower since Prius mileage is dependent on mph). On occasions, the speed (on a straight away) set with cruise control will increase by itself... by a couple mph.... w/O me doing anything or touching anything. So I'm forced to tap brake........ occurred this weekend with passengers - they said they felt the surge.....

- Enfield, CT, USA

problem #34

Aug 022007


  • 1,000 miles
I have owned my 2007 Prius since July, 2007. On an erratic basis, as I am braking (often as I am going over a bumpy road), the car seems to surge forward. It is as if the engine starts running harder. The light that indicates poor traction also comes on - it is as if I am not making good contact with the road. I have had no accidents but it is terrifying for me and I am fearful when someone/family member drives my car who is not aware of or has not become comfortable with dealing with this problem. Fyi: Even before Prius said we should use different floor mats, I had made the change. I am not one to make a complaint but think that this is the time to make my concerns heard.

- Newton, MA, USA

problem #33

Dec 042009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
On Friday, December 4, 2009 at about 4:15 pm, I had a sudden acceleration incident with my 2007 Toyota Prius. I had not had any prior difficulty with this vehicle in the approximately 34,000 miles I had driven since I bought it new. However at this time when I tried to back the car about 50 feet backwards into a motel parking spot (actually there were 3 open spots in a row), it responded very abnormally. I started the car, put it in reverse and gently applied pressure to the gas pedal. Instead of creeping backwards at ~5 mph as I had intended, the car "took off" at about 30-40 mph. I stomped on the brakes with both feet and initially didn't slow down. I felt an impact as my car grazed a parked vehicle. My car jumped over the curb at the parking lot edge, passed over some short bushes and entered a culvert. Somehow I was able to turn the car and it carved a 180 degree curve and came to a halt about 75 feet after it passed into the culvert. Fortunately I did make this sharp turn since there is a 4 lane highway on the other side of the culvert. There were no injuries and only slight damage to the other car, but an estimated $7000 of body damage to my car. The police were called as well my insurance company. The owner of the other vehicle was located. My car was towed to a local Toyota dealership. Since that time, the local Toyota regional office sent out a representative who inspected my car and "during a road test no abnormal braking or acceleration problems were found." I have since been in contact with Toyota usa in torrance, ca. I have spoken with a "case representative" who has not been helpful. Finally after 5 or 6 phone calls, I was able to get the address of the legal department. I wrote them a letter on January 20 and have heard nothing from them. I also called and left messages on February 2 and 4. as a physician interested in public health I don't want my family or anyone else to drive this car. My faith in the Toyota company is diminished.

- Rochester, MN, USA

problem #32

Feb 022010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 29,997 miles
I have a 2007 Prius the following has occurred any time driving over rough patches of road or over rr tracks: The car loses traction and power for a sort time until smooth pavement returns. The vsc lamp on the dash shows up when this happens. I shudder to think what would occur on a rough mountain road or in wet weather. This type of event sounds very much like what's being reported by the drivers of the 2010 Prius. In 47 years of driving I've never had a car react in this way. I've compensated by driving cautiously and wait for traction to return but it doesn't feel quite right when it happens.

- San Rafael, CA, USA

problem #31

Dec 272009


  • miles
When driving over pot holes, my 2007 Toyota Prius tends to "slip" I.e. goes out of control momentarily until all 4 wheels return to a smooth surface. One of the annunciator panel lights (anti-skid?) also lights up when this happens. I thought this was a peculiarity of the car but now I see many others have experiencing it as well.

- Westford, VT, USA

problem #30

Oct 282009


  • 40,000 miles
I have a 2007 Prius and the accelerator has stuck 3-4 times on the highway.

- Moraga, CA, USA

problem #29

Feb 142006


  • 26,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Toyota Prius. While driving approximately 25 mph the vehicle will lunged forward and accelerated. The dealer stated that the vehicle was responding normally for an electrical engine. The failure continues to occur on a more frequent basis. The failure mileage was 26,000.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #28

Dec 232009


  • 30,000 miles
I am a 2007 Prius driver and I want to report that I too have encountered the brake problem described in the news. I never attributed the problem to the car until I read the article. The problem always happens on ice for me and has always occurred at slow speeds. I press the brake and nothing happens, my stability control doesn't kick in, and my ABS doesn't engage and my speed didn't change. At the time I attributed the problem to ice. I had to tap my brakes several times before the system reengaged and the car slowed down. I've read that some car owners experience a feeling like the car isn't slowing down because of a switch from hydraulic to electrical braking but my braking distance was greatly increased and I ended up past my intersection. Luckily no one was around me at the time and I've been very cautious about brake distances on ice. I live in Minnesota and we've had a very icy winter. The first time this happened was just a few days before christmas and it happened twice since, always on ice. I've had the car for three years and this year is the first time I noticed it but this is also the first very icy winter we've had since I purchased the car.

- Moorhead, MN, USA

problem #27

Oct 092009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Toyota Prius. The contact stated as he was driving his vehicle surged and accelerated forward. The contact stated when he hits the brake sometimes the vehicle will stop and sometimes it does not stop. An independent mechanic test drove the vehicle and stated it does surge and it should be service at the dealer. This happens a couple times a month while driving. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated there is nothing wrong with the vehicle. A claim was file with the Toyota manufacturer. The failure mileage was 37,000. Updated 05/11/10.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

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