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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,273 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2009 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #14

Jan 242013


  • 50,000 miles


I pulled up to the gas pump and could not put gas in my car. It had a little gas in it, but the pump cut off before I could get started. The car has had a problem with the bladder since its inception. I can never fill up the tank. The dealer wants me to pay an elaborate amount to get it fixed. I went out on the internet and other people are having the same problem with not being able to fill up their tank.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #13

May 062011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the fuel gauge would provide inaccurate readings of fuel levels. While driving 20 mph, the vehicle completely shut down without warning due to a bladder fuel tank problem. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who replaced the bladder fuel tank under warranty. The manufacturer was contacted who offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 43,000. The consumer stated Toyota paid for the repair. However, the gas gauge continues to be inaccurate and the consumer is unable to put no more than six gallons of gas in the vehicle. Also, at times, the vehicle would not shift into gear. Updated 06/30/11

- Port Orange, FL, USA

problem #12

Oct 102010


  • 153 miles
2009 Toyota Prius, car has had a bad fuel gauge, drove off the lot new and have had fuel tank replaced once. Fuel gauge failed again this is the second time. Dealer unable to repair, told me it was a design flaw and it could not be repaired, I am running out of gas and I can not use this new car on a long trip. I do not know and I am guessing on how much fuel I have. This is unsafe and uncalled for. Running out of glass on freeway and it is dangerous.

- Sierra Vista, AZ, USA

problem #11

Jun 262010


  • 18,500 miles


While driving a 2009 Toyota Prius at 50-55 mph on a single lane highway outside of prescott AZ, the drive system suddenly shut down and no response was felt when depressing the accelerator pedal. Lots of indicators came on and my wife was able to steer the car to the side of the road where there was just sufficient room for following traffic to go past. After spending a few minutes going through the owner's manual and finding no easy answer to explain this condition, we tried and were able to re-start the car. It must be noted that the fuel gauge when recently checked had indicated slightly less than 1/4 full and that we were proceeding up hill when the event happened. No add fuel indicator light nor low fuel alarm had occurred prior to this event. When the car was restarted it was on a more level but not flat surface. We proceeded on our travel with the flashers on and at a speed no higher than 30-35 mph. Soon thereafter we did observe both an add fuel indicator light and then a flashing light on the fuel gauge itself. We stopped at the nearest gas station and added fuel. The next day we took the car in to the Toyota dealer to have them look at the fuel gauge and electronically recorded history. The report showed that the car responded to an empty fuel tank by shutting if the engine and then the battery drive when its charge went too low (to protect the battery). We were told the this car has a bladder type fuel storage device and that it can act funny when it gets low. The car was checked out fine and returned to us with the words no wisdom to not let the car get too low on fuel. My concern is that the engine and drive systems shut down under high speed driving conditions without any low fuel warning indicators being activated.

- Prescott, AZ, USA

problem #10

Mar 102010


  • 36,000 miles
I just bought a 2009 Prius & there are so many issues with unexpected acceleration & vehicle not going into park or reverse just stops in neutral, I was at a heb sore trying to park, all of a sudden my car sped up an hit a pole in front of me, I was trying to park, with my foot on break, so as to slow down, yesterday I had my wife drive the Prius & the car suddenly stopped would not go into reverse or drive, that was very dangerous then they pull into a target parking lot I had to drive out there to meet them, it took almost 1hr & 3mins to get the car in reverse, off course I called my Toyota sales guy this being the third time I have reported this incident & the keep down playing it saying there is nothing wrong, not really looking into it.

- Richmond, TX, USA

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problem #9

Mar 232009


  • 1,500 miles
Collapse of fuel bladder cause the Prius to run out of fuel with 2 gallons of gas in the vehicle while on freeway. Caused towing to dealership. When fuel was added to car only 8.9 gallons could be added to a reported 10.9 gallon tank capacity.

- Auburn , WA, USA

problem #8

Nov 012009


  • 9,000 miles


Fuel bladder seems to have collapsed. When I am showing 1/4 tank left I can only put 6 gallons in the tank.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #7

Aug 172009


  • 22,000 miles
I have written Toyota on several occasions and they have failed to respond. I own a 2009 Prius. First, navigation system is very poor and sends you to wrong addresses. On Aug 17,2009, the fuel gauge was at one bar and a red triangle came on dash and car started pulling and dragging. I pulled off of the road on the shoulder and tried to restart car. It started again and then it pulled and dragged and I got back on the shoulder. It would not move.I tried to place the vehicle in neutral but it would only stay in park. This created a dangerous problem especially not being able to move the car and then the tow truck had to make arrangements because car would not leave park. As I waited for 2 hours for the tow truck, the hazard warning lights I turned on and then they only would blink on the right side of the vehicle. This is very dangerous since it was my left side that was exposed to traffic. I was later told that the car ran out of gas. This does not explain the nonfunctional hazard light system, the vehicle being frozen in park and the pulling and dragging on the highway. Was the gas gauge malfunctioning? I have written Toyota many times and completed surveys explaining these concerns and they fail to acknowledge or respond. I think a safety issue is raised.

- Corpus Christi, TX, USA

problem #6

Jun 222009


  • miles
I own a Toyota Prius. On June 22, the fuel gauge started to act up. I took it to the dealership after having my car for almost 2 weeks they claimed it was fixed. They replaced almost everything to do with the fuel. I then took it back less than a month later with the same problem. They told me there was nothing they could do and just to never let my tank go below 1/4. to me, this is a danger. I never know how much gas is in my gas tank or when I may run out of gas. I then took it to another dealership and they explained to me this is a problem with the Prius, yet Toyota does nothing to fix this. Every few days I have to stop and get gas because my gas gauge does not work properly. I am driving around an accident waiting to happen.

- New Castle, PA, USA

problem #5

Nov 012008


  • 320 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Prius. During the winter months, the vehicle became difficult to add fuel. The dealer has provided the contact with several options to avoid this problem which included turning the nozzle sideways and taking the nozzle out from time to time while adding fuel. The contact found that these techniques are difficult to perform. She also stated that the safety risk is higher since the limited amount of gas could cause the engine to shut off without warning. The current mileage was 9000 and the failure mileage was 320. Updated 09/08/09 updated 09/29/09.

- Middleton, WI, USA

problem #4

Dec 192008


  • 300 miles


Prius bladder tank is a bad and flawed design leaving the consumer with inaccurate tank and mileage readings.

- San Marcos, CA, USA

problem #3

Mar 202009


  • 4,900 miles
2009 Toyota Prius ran out of gas when it "should" have had 3 gallons left (based on stated fuel capacity of 11.9 gallons, and on fuel gauge). Apparently the fuel bladder does not contain a reliable amount of gas when filled, and the gas gauge warning (which the manual says goes on with about 3 gallons left) may not come on until less than a half a gallon remains. This is dangerous.

- Ft Collins, CO, USA

problem #2

Jan 142009


  • miles
Fuel tank capacity dangerously variable in Toyota Prius. Our 2009 Prius routinely is unable to fill to full capacity of 11.9 gallons. Worse is cold temperatures. Was not told of this issue at time of purchase. Have since learned more about the fuel bladder from consumer chat forums, but Toyota needs to disclose the range of fuel capacity in their manuals, or improve the design

- Elkins Park, PA, USA

problem #1

Dec 282008


  • 150 miles
Unable to properly fill the fuel tank. The fuel bladder collapses.

- Lexington, KY, USA

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