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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 4 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #67

Aug 142008


  • 3,222 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact was driving into a sharp curve; approximately 5 mph. There was an unexpected increase in acceleration. The vehicle failed to slow down during braking. Suddenly, the vehicle rolled over an embankment and onto the road. There were no injuries. The police was called to the scene. The vehicle was towed to an auto body shop. The failure was mileage 3,222. The contact had concern of the safety risk involved.

- Butler , TN, USA

problem #66

Dec 312009


  • 45,000 miles
On 31 December 2009 my 08 Prius was slowed down prior to turning into a driveway, when it suddenly accelerated. It went out of control and crashed into trees and a powerpole. The floor mat, that according to Toyota is supposed to cause this, was properly attached to the pegs in the floor, and in proper place even after the crash recently, on 6 April, 2010, I again experienced a sudden unexplained acceleration when going about 5/10 miles per hour. It lasted about four seconds and did not result in an accident.

- Lincolnshire, IL, USA

problem #65

Mar 052010


  • 15,334 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact was driving approximately 30 mph on wet road conditions proceeding to make a right turn when the engine made a loud surging sound followed by an unintended brief acceleration, however, the vehicle was able to continue normal operation. The manufacturer and dealer were notified of the malfunction. The current and failure mileages were 15,334.

- Huntington Beach , CA, USA

problem #64

Oct 042008


  • 12,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While the contact was driving 15 mph the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The brakes would not engage during the acceleration causing the contact to crash into a nearby pole. No one was injured during the crash. A police report was filed for the incident. The vehicle was towed to a local body shop. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealership. The current and failure mileages were 12000.

- Surf City, NJ, USA

problem #63

Dec 122009


  • miles
Approximately 2 months ago I received a letter from Toyota re: Recall due to potential for car mat causing accelerator to stick open. Letter indicated they would notify me "as soon as a campaign remedy is available for my vehicle." Letter further indicated that I could submit a complaint to you "if you believe that Toyota has failed or is unable to provide a remedy without charge or within a reasonable time".. I have not received a notice about any "remedy campaign". this is not timely and I do not believe they are able to provide a remedy. As you are aware, since that time, there have been numerous reports of "sudden unexpected acceleration" in these vehicles. It is also apparent that the floor mat has had nothing to do with most, if not all of them. It does not appear that Toyota has any intention of notifying me of any "remedy" as they are not acknowledging any other acceleration problem. Every time my wife or I drive this vehicle we are risking this happening to our vehicle and Toyota is not doing anything in a timely manner.

- Eden Prairie, MN, USA

problem #62

Mar 082010


  • 39,000 miles
Unprompted acceleration - car accelerated on its own Accord. This has happened multiple times and lasts for only a second or so. This complaint is prompted by more severe reports which are very concerning to us in regard to potential hazard.

- Ashland, OR, USA

problem #61

Jul 052009


  • 8,000 miles


Driving home from church July 5, 2009 the beach traffic was bumper to bumper. Stop and go traffic. I was stopped behind an SUV. The traffic started to move and my Prius bolted forward into the SUV which in turn pushed it into another SUV. My car was totaled. The engine was pushed all the way back into the front seat. This should have been just a fender bender. No one was injured.

- Malibu, CA, USA

problem #60

Dec 012009


  • 24,700 miles
Dec 1 2008 Prius - unexpected acceleration in stop and go traffic and with foot on the brake, the car suddenly accelerated and hit the car in from of me... approximately a car length or so away. The motor raced high and I was unable to get the engine to shut down until I held on the power button for an extended period of time. The car in front of me was pushed into the car ahead of them it took Toyota over a month to inspect the car (their legal folks set it up) and we were told we could be present when it happened, but they didn't let us know. Over 5 weeks after the accident we received a form letter from Toyota stating they found nothing wrong. With Toyota's delay, we ended up waiting over 8 weeks to get the car back, at a cost of $15,000.... for a collision where the traffic was moving 1-4 miles per hour. The car is know unsafe and we cannot drive it. Offers from 2 Toyota dealerships are up to $3K under kelly blue book trade in value for a replace car (non Prius). Driver of Prius has a record of driving over 30 years with no accidents.

- Saint Charles, MO, USA

problem #59

Mar 052010


  • miles
2008 Prius regularly thrusts forward after about 30 seconds from starting the car. Then, car looms back into position. It has always scared me and makes me insecure to drive the car. This has been going on since I bought the car in December 2007, so the date of the incident below is inaccurate. I felt I should report this in light of the recent reports of defects, etc. Thank you.

- N. Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #58

Feb 252010


  • 185,000 miles
Second accident caused by brake failure with acceleration. 2008 Prius in stop and go traffic driving in battery (brake)mode about 10-15 mph. Car in front slowed down, I hit the brake and the car accelerated slightly. I look to be sure my foot was on the brake pedal and it was and then rear ended the car in front. Car in front move forward but Prius wouldn't stop and started to accelerate again so I pushed on the parking brake with my left foot and slowed it down for the second impact. Car in front then drove slowly to a parking lot and the Prius kept moving so I drove it into the parking lot and when it slowed going up the ramp I pushed the parking button stopping the car. I then restarted it and released the parking brake to move further into the parking lot. 4 people injured, 3 seriously. A similar incident occurred 29 September 2008 when driving on cruise control at 26 mph the Prius suddenly turned left hitting a parked car. The video shows I was trying to counter steer hard right. Skid marks showed the left front wheel stopped and the car pivoted on it with acceleration marks from the right front tire.

- Keenesburg, CO, USA

problem #57

Feb 242002


  • 33,000 miles


On 2/24/2010 I was driving my 2008 Prius, slowing to stop for a red arrow signal. When I was at about 2mph, the car revved, shooting forward into the car ahead of mine. My foot was on the brake, I was not on the phone or distracted with any other activity. As a result, my car suffered minor damage, and there was little to no damage to the other vehicle. There were no injuries and no police report was filed. It was raining. The accident occurred in roseville, ca. My car was supposed to have been recalled for the floormat, but the dealer in my area sent a letter stating not to come to the dealer for the fix until they contacted me. The never have, and after this incident did not ask me to bring the car in to fix that issue. On 3/2/2010, when trying to start the car, I was depressing the brake and hit the start button, however, only the electrical power came on, not the engine. Depressing the brake and pressing the button again started the engine.

- Lincoln, CA, USA

problem #56

Feb 102008


  • 400 miles
I bought a Toyota Prius 2008 and within 2 months of purchase I experienced sudden acceleration twice. I mentioned the issue to a Toyota dealer service agents, but he took it no further nor did I. it has never happened again.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #55

Feb 182010


  • 30,800 miles
I have a 2008 Toyota Prius which has a surge problem upon start-up. My wife and I are concerned because this has occurred several times in the past. We honestly believe that the problem lye`S in the computer and not in the gas pedal getting stuck, due to the fact that we do not have to compress the pedal on start-up. In fact, we usually keep our foot on the brake in case it lunges again.

- Pomona, CA, USA

problem #54

Mar 072009


  • 11,500 miles
Toyota 2008 Prius sudden acceleration, removed the mats prior to the recall, as we figured out by looking at other cars clearance below the gas pedal. I accelerated backwards when trying to park my car. Hit a parked car. After removal of the mats, my car has accelerated on two other occasions. I turned the car off after stomping on brake and applying parking brake. I informed john ellway Toyota dealership in manhattan beach ca and they were dismissive. This happened long before sudden acceleration was in the media. There is something wrong with my car and they refuse to acknowledge it. The first time it happened, my mother watched me zoom down our alley in reverse as I was attempting to park my car. I have a witness. One two other occasions this has happened, the dealer says that my car is not effected by the recall. I had the all weather car mats in my car that I purchased at the dealer. I removed them, but this still has happened. If something happens to me I want this to be a record of my complaint.

- Manhattan Beach, CA, USA

problem #53

Nov 222009


  • 15,000 miles
At 15K miles the car started to lurch when applying brake. Called dealer and was simply told that is how the Prius is. This action continued and every time it happened we called the dealer and got the same answer. At 60K we were on our way to service for regular maintenance and 2 blocks away the car lurched into traffic. That was the most aggressive the car had ever got and it scared us to the core. When we arrived at the dealer we told them about what just occured and the manager said he wanted to go on a test drive and we were happy to hear it. The manager sat in the car and then decided against the test drive. We were then told that they could research the problem but it would be at a cost to us unless we get the service done as well. We were bothered and couldn't understand why we were being treated this way. We left that dealer frustrated and angry. We then took it to another dealer whom inspected the car and said everything looked fine and by the way we show brake and gas being applied at the same time. The tech said "you should stop driving with 2 feet." We left that ridiculousness and called Toyota complaint dept. The call was in Dec. 2009 and they didn't see out car until Feb. 2010. And after inspecting the car was given the exact same diagnosis. We avoid driving the car as much as possible. We told the master tech that our dash board shut down while driving on the frwy at 65mph and has the new added problem of lurching while already in motion and we are afraid of our car and for our safety. The master tech said it was all operator error. That appears to be the end result with Toyota and we are highly disappointed. We have been Toyota customers since 1992 and now pay for a car we avoid driving whenever possible. We just want to be in a safe car on the road and feel secure not fear.

- Patterson, CA, USA

problem #52

Oct 182009


  • 36,616 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. She stated that while the vehicle was parked with her foot on the brake pedal, it accelerated on its own without a warning. She then put the vehicle in neutral, it slowed down, and stopped accelerating. The dealer stated that nothing was wrong with the vehicle and they could not duplicate the failure. This problem has occurred 2 additional times. No repairs were made to the vehicle. The failure mileage was 36616 and the current mileage was 37000.

- Rawson, OH, USA

problem #51

Feb 222010


  • 23,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While driving 60 mph with the vehicle speed control on, the vehicle accelerated without warning. The contact had to shift into neutral gear in order to slow the vehicle down. The vehicle will be taken to the dealer today. The failure mileage was 23,000.

- New Lenox, IL, USA

problem #50

Jan 152009


  • 12,000 miles
Accelerator sticking on 2008 Toyota Prius - 5 to 10 times. I took it to the dealer (beaver Toyota - Santa Fe, nm). The first time they said they did not know what it was since they could not reproduce it. The second time they said it must have been because of the floor mats. The third time I called they said the floor mats even though I had removed them. I am unsure of the first date although it should be in their records. It has not happened in about 6 months. When it happened I would put my left foot on the brake and "pry" up the accelerator with the front of my right foot. The floor mat never seemed to be involved. My dates in this report are approximate.

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #49

Apr 102009


  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. She stated that three times she has experienced sudden acceleration. Once while turning left on the highway at 55mph the vehicle suddenly accelerated. She also experienced brake failure when pulling up to a stop sign, or red light, or driving over a bump the brake did not respond immediately. She took the vehicle to the dealer. The dealer stated the vehicle is not included in the recall and there was nothing they could do, but they would report the failure to the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 25,000 and the current mileage 33,765.

- Chaska, MN, USA

problem #48

Jan 072008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 300 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While making a U-turn she drove over some tracks under normal road conditions. The vehicle suddenly accelerated and when she applied the brake, the brake would not respond. The vehicle stopped when she turned the engine off. She took the vehicle to the dealer. The dealer stated nothing was wrong with the vehicle and her VIN was not included in the recall. The failure mileage was 300 and the current mileage was 5,000. She wrote a letter to the manufacturer but has not received a response. Updated 03/19/10. Updated 05/13/10.

- Brookline , MA, USA

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