Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
8,126 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.

2009 Toyota Prius engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #5

Nov 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles


2009 Toyota Prius. Consumer writes in regards to hybrid electric water pump recall notice. The consumer stated two weeks after the hybrid water pump was fixed, a red triangle lamp appeared on the dashboard and the vehicle began to overheat. The consumer went back to the dealer and was charged 4202/16 for the diagnosis and informed him the catalytic converter needed to be replaced. The consumer went to his personal mechanic, where the hybrid electric pump was replaced and the codes were cleared.

- Seatac, WA, USA

problem #4

Nov 052010


  • 19,800 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Prius. While driving approximately 5 mph, the vehicle stalled and all warning lights illuminated. The contact was able to restart the vehicle but it stalled again. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer who replaced the short engine block. The dealer stated that the piston rod was bent due to bad fuel in the vehicle. The failure mileage was approximately 19,800 and the current mileage was 20,500.

- Scarborough, ME, USA

problem #3

Jan 122010


  • 17,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that on eight different occasions, the vehicle suddenly lost power. When the contact depressed the accelerator pedal, the vehicle did not respond and speed up. At times, it would eventually increase in speed and then immediately stall thereafter. The failure mileage was approximately 17,000. The current mileage was approximately 20,000.

- Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #2

May 202009


  • 490 miles
I purchased a new 2009 Toyota Prius hybrid (gas/electric) on March 31, 2009. The car worked great, but with only 490 miles on the odometer, I did a routine shut down of the car on May 20, 2009 which turned out to be anything but routine. During this event, I shut the car off using the procedure taught to me by the dealership salesman, which was the same procedure outlined in the user manual. However, at this shut down, a very dramatic power surge went through the system, jolting the engines in their motor mounts (I heard an extremely loud squeal when the engines, both gas and electric, jolted to a stop, which I assume was the motor mounts taking the force of the power surge), and moving the car violently forward stopping with the transmission lock and brake which I had set). This was a very unpleasant and un-natural event. Following this event, the car did start and operate through its functions, but the driving characteristics changed dramatically. What had been a smooth operating synergy drive system was now slightly grabby both in acceleration and deceleration, and I experienced hard ┐clunk┐ shifts when driving. Approximately every 15th gas engine shut down, the gas engine would ┐diesel┐ and have a disturbing long cycling shut down vibrating and jolting the car in an alarming fashion which is not safe. On June 2, 2009, I brought the car into my Toyota dealer service department, was told the car "can't do that" and was told the computer showed nothing wrong. On July 8, 2009, I went to another Toyota dealer service department, they said the car was rough, and tried to re-seat the engines in the mounts, which temporarily corrected the problem until a major gas engine jolting shut down occurred again. I took it in again on 24 September, 2009, and asked to have the engine mounts replaced. They tried to reseat the engines again, with no success, and the random jolting gas shutdowns on the hybrid system continue, which are a safety hazard during operation.

- Vienna, VA, USA

problem #1

Aug 292009


  • 3,340 miles
Noxious fumes inside vehicle. Smells like burning plastic / metal. Fumes burn eyes and permeate clothing, cause light-headedness. Dlr has tried 3X to repair, can not identify source. Dlr's svc mgr confirms it is not a normal odor for this vehicle, agrees fumes give headache. Mfr's tech dept claims it is normal, despite not having examined vehicle. (mfr is willing to send field svc tech in appx 1 month, will not provide loaner or otherwise accommodate me in the interim.) mfr suggested it is a personal health issue and that I "should consider if vehicle is right for me."

- Chandler, AZ, USA

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