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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
45 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
21 / 1
Average Mileage:
27,758 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.

2008 Toyota Prius engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 3 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #87

Mar 142010


  • 34,001 miles


I was trying to park my car(Toyota Prius 2008) in the farmers market and the car didn't stop and continued to accelerate and went further about 50 feet and hit a wood pole. Later Toyota service fixed the problem by changing the necessary parts in the vehicle. They confirmed that they took the car for test drive and made sure that everything is ok. But I am still scared to drive that car because of what happened. I have been driving for more than 18 years in this country and do not have any traffic violations or accidents. This was the first time anything like this happened. I also own two other vehicles, Honda Odyssey and Toyota Camry.

- Piscataway, NJ, USA

problem #86

Jan 292010


  • 34,921 miles
2008 Toyota Prius. On Jan 29, 2010, I was slowly pulling into a parking stall when the accelerator engaged and the car surged forward. I applied the brakes and nothing happened. I let off the brakes and slammed them on harder and the car would not stop. My car hit the side of a am/pm arco station building. I turned it into my insurance and paid the $500 deductible. My car was taken to dealership and they could find nothing wrong at that time. The car has not surged since.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #85

Apr 212009


  • miles
2008 Toyota Prius. Consumer states unintended acceleration. The consumers wife was driving when she felt the vehicle speed up and pull to the right. She attempted to turn the wheel to the left to compensate, but the next thing she knew, she was hanging from the seat belt upside down. The consumer hit a concrete mailbox and rolled over. The consumers wife suffered injuries.

- Palos Verdes Estates, CA, USA

problem #84

Apr 102010


  • 28,000 miles


Hi, while driving to work this morning, my left headlight flashed and then stopped working. My 2008 Toyota Prius is about 1.75 years old with approximately 28,000 miles. I have heard from other Prius owners that they have had problems with their headlights. I have also heard the replacement cost for the headlight is $300. I find that hard to believe, nonetheless headlights in everyother car I have owned seem to have a life of 10 or more years. This is a safety issue because I drive to work early in the morning when it is dark and I sometimes don't return home until after dark. The bulk of my driving has been in the daylight, however I need my car to get to work. Also on 3 occasions my cruise control accelerated beyond where I set it. For example I reset the control after having hit the brakes. I got back to my speed and set the cruise control at 70mph. I noticed a short while later the car was going 95. I hit the brakes to slow down and the car immediately came out of cruise control and slowed down as it should. I now take the car all the way out of cruise control shutting it off after I hit the brakes. I next turn the control back on and reset the cruise. Using the cruise this way I have not had the problem of the car speeding up. II figure I will continue to use the cruise this way and observe whether there is any problem. However, I don't believe Toyota intended for the cruise control to be used this way. Thank you

- Janesville, CA, USA

problem #83

Mar 092010


  • miles
2008 Toyota Prius. Consumer states unintended acceleration. While driving on the freeway, the consumer let up off the accelerator, but the vehicle continued to speed up. The consumer released her foot completely from the accelerator all together, but the vehicle increased in speed. The brake was applied, but it did not slow it down at first. Finally, the brake began to work. The consumer was able to drive safely to the dealer. The dealer was unable to find anything wrong with the vehicle. The consumer also stated the floor mat was removed months ago.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #82

Mar 302010

(reported on)

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
2008 Toyota Prius. Consumer states brake problems with the vehicle. On several occasions, prior to public notice and the recently announced recall, the consumer noticed an unusual braking incident. The incidents happened while slowing down to make a turn. When she applied the brake, the engine raced for a split second and the vehicle surged for a moment.

- Mahwah, NJ, USA

problem #81

Feb 122010


  • 19,354 miles


Toyota Prius 2008 less serious - frequent release or lapse of braking by ABS (assumed) on irregular roadway small cracks seem to confuse system with significant forward travel of vehicle before brakes reengage. Similar to my earlier 2005 model but more frequent occurrences and longer lapse in pad rotor contact during braking. Most serious brakes failed almost 10 seconds. Travel on wet slushy highway for 2 hours on 55 mph road with uphill grade and slight turn to right driver applied light brake pressure attempting to time deceleration to controlled intersection for green light. Application of brakes slowed vehicle no more then uphill coast, firmer pressure to no effect, full hard pressure no effect, slight release and full slam, no immediate effect, finally ABS stuttered/pulsed and stop vehicle.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #80

Oct 312008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
Vehicle ran off road on curve, driver reported vehicle suddenly accelerated out of control. Updated 06/03/10 updated IVOQ. 06/07/10 updated 9/29/11

- Waconia, MN, USA

problem #79

Mar 232010


  • 32,669 miles
When hitting small bumps travelling at speeds of 25-50mph (such as bumps before bridges) the ABS will activate and the pedals go loose. It seems the car can not be controlled for about 3/4 of a second once this occurs. Luckily I have never been rounding a turn or approaching stopped traffic when this occurs or I would not have been able to stop. I had one close call where the brakes seemed to lag before kicking in, then jolting hard after the delay causing me to almost lose control of the vehicle.

- Asheville, NC, USA

problem #78

Feb 222010

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
2008 Toyota Prius, year not specified. Consumer states sudden acceleration. The consumer put the gear into reverse, with her foot on the brake, when suddenly the vehicle accelerated. She kept her foot on the brake and put the gear into park and turned the engine off.

- Lehigh Acres, FL, USA

problem #77

Jul 062009


  • 22,000 miles


Prius accelerates when brakes are applied going over pot holes and sometimes ridges in the road.

- Pittsford, NY, USA

problem #76

Mar 182010


  • 36,179 miles
My 2008 Prius suddenly accelerated as I pulled over to park at the curb 2 hours ago. My foot was on the brake, not near the accelerator, and I long ago replaced my floor mats so I know there was no mechanical interference. This is the 2nd time I have had this experience with the car. Circumstances were identical in the first occurrence. No damage resulted as the acceleration seemed to pulse for less than 1 second and I did not lose control of the vehicle. I did notice some gravel in the road as I approached the parking spot but I am confident that the vehicle did not skid.

- Waltham, MA, USA

problem #75

Mar 182010

(reported on)


  • miles
S10 appropriate handling re sudden unintended acceleration incident fm owner of a Toyota vehicle. 2008 Toyota Prius. The consumer experienced several acceleration surges while driving on the freeway and using the cruise control. The vehicle suddenly surged forward from 68 mph to 74 mph.

- Tehachapi, CA, USA

problem #74

Jun 252008


  • 5,000 miles
I was parking my car head in first, in an apartment parking lot, I had just pulled into the space, put my foot on the brake and depressed the park button, I then began to reach for the power button when the car uncontrollably lunged forward going up a slight incline, hitting a chain link fence pole and coming to a stop damaging the front bumper. I don't know if it was the brake, or electrical system but, on occasion since this incident, I have accidentally turned the cruise control on and felt a surge of speed but the car was slowed/stopped by using the brake. It's so easy to turn the cruise control on without knowing it and I wonder if it could be a contributing factor to some of the Prius problems.

- Waashington, DC, USA

problem #73

Oct 192009


  • miles
Vehicle did not stop as expected in stop and go traffic. I bumped the car in front of me in the morning. And then on the way home I almost rear ended another car. This never happened before or since. I thought something was wrong with me that would make my timing be so off that I would hit another car! I told the dealer about it and they said it was probably "brake fade". I disagreed and stopped driving the car recently while the braking/acceleration concerns are investigated. I have a 2008 Prius.

- Point Of Rocks, MD, USA

problem #72

Apr 142009


  • 20,000 miles
On two separate occasions my 2008 Toyota Prius has done the automatic acceleration problem. These were both long before recent reports in April of last year. The first time was on route 84 between the white plains and carmel exits. My vehicle accelerated to between 80 -85 mph. I was in some traffic and flashed my lights at other vehicles in the passing lane because I could not stop! when I regained control of my vehicle several minutes later, I called my dealership and they had me bring the car right in and then told me nothing was wrong with it. They told me it was a brake problem. I had two witnesses my 16 and 19 year old children. A few months later, the acceleration happened again with my 49 year old finance in the car. It was an in town acceleration on the road in front of my house (hooker avenue). Again, I regained control in a few minutes, but partially went through a red light because of inability to stop. Again, I had it checked at the dealership. Again, they put it down as brake related instead of acceleration, they checked the car and said it was fine. I called them after this 2008 Toyota incident and they are saying this doesn't happen on my model. It does! they ran another check this morning and again nothing wrong. Please do something before someone is killed!

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #71

Mar 122010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact was driving approximately 5 mph into a grassy field to park the vehicle. When the brake pedal was applied the vehicle surged forward and struck a pedestrian. The contact engaged the automatic ignition off button for an immediate response. The vehicle came to a complete stop. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The vehicle has not been repaired at this time. The failure and the current mileages were 27,000. Updated 5/3/10 a police report was not fied. Updated 05/17/10.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #70

Jan 132010


  • 18,500 miles
I have a 2008 Toyota Prius. Coming up to an intersection I went to go through the yellow however there was a police car beside me so I thought better stop and wait. I pressed on the brakes only to find my car skidded forward. I couldn't stop the car, I could only slow it down with the brakes. My fastest speed was 60km/H. I turned the car through three lanes of traffic into a parking lot and in the middle of it I just turned the car off. When I turned it back on it skidded forward again and when I checked the battery it was empty. I sat there for a while and eventually was able to turn the car on without it accelerating. I removed the mats after the mat recall in this vehicle. The Toyota Prius should be added to the accelerator recall list.

- Victoria, Bc, 00, USA

problem #69

Feb 272010


  • miles
Throttle malfunction - 2008 Toyota Prius. Driving 50-55 M/H on North 280 near millbrae, ca in heavy rain. Vehicle accelerated without pressing the gas pedal. Engine revved 3 times in succession (sounded like: Vroom, vroom, vroom) while accelerating to 65 M/H. all this time I was stepping on the breaks. Acceleration eventually stopped went back to normal after a few minutes. I drove the car directly to the nearest Toyota dealership in daly city but was told that there was no problem with the car. This malfunction only occurred once.

- Campbell, CA, USA

problem #68

Aug 102009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 10,210 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While driving 5 mph into a parking space and slowly depressing the brake pedal, the vehicle abnormally accelerated and crashed into a shopping cart. The vehicle proceeded, crashing into another shopping cart and then into a brick wall. The vehicle sustained moderate damage to the front end bumper. The vehicle was repaired by his insurance company. The manufacturer advised the contact to have the vehicle inspected by the dealer. The dealer could not duplicate the failure and found no fault in the throttle system. A diagnostic test was performed and the dealer stated that the computer code indicated that the driver was "depressing the accelerator and brake pedals simultaneously." The contact verified that neither he nor the other driver of the vehicle had ever operated the vehicle in such a manner. There were no additional repairs made to the vehicle. The failure mileage was 10,210 and the current mileage was under 11,000. Updated 5/6/10 updated 05/24/10

- Scotts Valley , CA, USA

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