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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,039 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2008 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #12

Oct 282015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 155,000 miles


On 10-28-15, I was driving at a very low speed in a parking lot. As I attempted to turn left to park, I heard a loud crack sound in the steering wheel. The steering wheel became extremely loose and know longer could control the motion of the wheels. I could move forward and backwards but all steering control failed. Thank god I was in a parking lot! I immediately called Toyota and had the car towed there. They could not pinpoint the cause but said I needed a rack and pinion steering wheel shaft replacement, spiral cable, and steering shaft. Repair cost total is $2298.77. My car is well maintained and has never been in an accident. I'm up to date on recalls so this was very upsetting to me.....updated 12/30/15

- Smyrna, GA, USA

problem #11

Oct 132015


  • 18 miles
I was traveling northbound on the saw mill river parkway. Exited on the northbound taconic state parkway ramp. After crossing the taconic state parkwat overpass. My 2008 Toyota Prius (without any input from my part) turned left and accelerated onto the grassy area. Even though made multiple attempts at correcting my direction by turning the car to the right and to stop the car, neither the steering inputs or engaging the brakes had any effect on the vehicle. After traveling almost the entire width of the grassy area, the car was caught by a branch on the ground, just before the driver side of the car would have slammed into a tree. I then proceeded to turn the car off. When I turn the car back on, everything was back to normal. There was no error message from the ECU during or after the incident.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #10

Feb 022015

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
2008 Toyota Prius. Consumer requesting all recalls associated with vehicle. The consumer referenced recall # 09V388000. He also mentioned information regarding a steering defect.

- Mercer, PA, USA

problem #9

Dec 152014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 130,500 miles


I was driving my Prius with 130,000 miles last night in a residential neighborhood featuring a counterclockwise, (left-hand) moderate curve. The "circle" ended at an intersection where I was to make a right turn. I turned my steering to the right to cancel the counterclockwise trajectory, but my front wheels seemed to be "locked" in the left turning motion. I slammed the brakes, but could not stop the car from climbing the curb and sideswiping a tree, causing my driver's side front wheel to be shoved backward towards the driver door in the wheel frame. My car is now at a body shop with an agreed $5600 in damage, mostly to the steering assembly, suspension, and wheel/axle. The wheel panel above the wheel will be replaced, and scratches on the front bumper and driver door will be repaired. Work is scheduled to be completed by January 5. I believe that the condition which caused the steering to lock in a left-turn condition without warning on a dry road is a serious manufacturing defect for which I should be reimbursed.fortunately, there was no traffic and no injuries, and even the tree seems unscathed. This could have been tragic on an interstate or in congested high speed traffic. I have been pleased with my Prius' performance to this point, but believe that Toyota has responsibility for this matter as evidenced by steering related recalls on similar vintage Prius models. I request full reimbursement for my repair, mindful that these expenses could be a lot higher had this failure occurred under different circumstances. I had previously submitted this information to a Toyota inquiry website and have not received an acknowledgement or response form Toyota.

- Blue Point, NY, USA

problem #8

Nov 032014


  • miles
This is a report of product failure and subsequent refusal by Toyota to replace failed parts post 36 K mi. Warranty. They are a steering wheel compound disintergration and the premature oxidation of the plastic spoiler paint only w/O similarly occuring on the sheetmetal of the body.

- Kamuela, HI, USA

problem #7

Jul 252014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 50,050 miles
Gear shifted into neutral without use of gear shift control. Happened several times and wasn't able to shift into reverse or drive. Kept going back to neutral. Park also wasn't working. Powered car off which did put in park. Restarted and drove home without issue. Tried to recreate at home and same problem occurred. Was able to manually hold gear shift in drive or reverse to move car into driveway. Have left car at Toyota service center today for inspection. Did not occur when tech tried it day after incident at 7am. Initial incident occurred on hot afternoon at 5pm with 100 degree temperatures. Have read online of similar problems related to hot temp. Have had car for 5 years with no problems like this. Just crossed 50000 miles and am covered under warranty until Oct. I hope it can be repaired. And hope it does not happen while I am driving at faster speeds. So far only happens when parked and recently started. Starter battery was replaced around 2 years ago.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #6

Jul 202014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 56,900 miles


Steering wheel seemed to lock, causing me to nearly lose control of the vehicle.

- Watertown, SD, USA

problem #5

May 092014


  • 147,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while traveling 10 mph, the vehicle independently veered to the left. The contact's vehicle was crashed into by a dump truck on the front passenger's side. The vehicle was destroyed. The vehicle was towed to a private mechanic and a police report was filed. There were no injuries. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not inspected to determine the cause of the steering failure. The failure mileage was 147,000 and the current mileage was 147,000. The VIN was not available.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #4

Jan 152014

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
Cpcs:I1410421A. 2008 Toyota Prius. Consumer stated the car was taken in for a wheel alignment. Apparently, Toyota has not allowed any way to adjust the rear toe or camber on the Prius, which can result in steering issues and problems associated with excessive or uneven tire wear.

- Eden Prairie, MN, USA

problem #3

Jan 152010


  • 9,000 miles
Toyota Prius 2008 driving over potholes or wet pavement, it's harder to steer or brake than I've ever experienced in another car. This has happened approximately 15 times since I bought the car in July 2008.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #2

Nov 282008


  • 14,000 miles
After having driven my Prius nearly 15,000 miles in all types of weather (except snow) and on residential roads as well as interstate highways with no steering problems, on a single day on residential streets at 20 to 25 mph and gentle rain, it hydroplaned twice with damages each time to the car and to a fire hydrant once. Each event was while going around a gentle left curve at reasonable speed. The first time, I was able to correct and spin out 360 degrees with the left quarter-panel hitting a roadside garbage container. The second time, the car did not respond to any steering maneuvers nor the brakes when applied. The car stopped only after colliding with the fire hydrant. Significant damage was sustained in each collision. I have traveled this street several times daily, often on rainy days, and never before had any steering problems. It was as though something had changed in the steering control on this day. I was sober and unimpaired.

- Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #1

Aug 222008


  • 2,000 miles
Vehicle is extremely, almost dangerously, sensitive to cross winds and wake turbulence from larger vehicles, trucks specifically.

- Woodburn, OR, USA

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