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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
74,944 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.

2010 Toyota Prius engine problems

engine problem

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2010 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #10

Sep 182013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles


I was driving 15 mph and all of a sudden the car stalled and stated, "check hybrid system". stopped the care right away called aaa and took it to a Toyota facility where they diagnosed the problem as a failed inverter, which is part of the hybrid system. This is a safety issue and must be addressed.

- Westland, MI, USA

problem #9

Aug 302013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 49,312 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving approximately 15 mph, the engine stalled without warning. Upon restarting, the vehicle resumed normally but the failure later recurred. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis where the volt battery was replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 49,312...updated 10/30/13 updated 10/31/13 the consumer stated the dealership did not put the engine guard on the vehicle properly, the engine cover detached, the tires went flat frequently, lights needed to be replaced, and the battery completely powered off. A separate dealership informed the consumer that the vehicle was defective. The consumer stated that the second time the vehicle shut down was at 60 mph the vehicle powered off 10 within 10 minutes on the same day during rush hour. Updated 11/4/2013 the consumer stated the vehicle powered off twice while driving on the highway. The first time it happened, she was driving 15 mph and the second time it happened she was driving 60 mph and she lost power all together.

- Burtonsville, MD, USA

problem #8

Jul 272013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 37,189 miles
Driving on the highway in albany, NY area, slowed down to go through tollbooth as I began to accelerate to continue on highway, check hybrid light came on and engine abruptly stopped. I was able to coast the car from left lane over to the breakdown lane. Turned off car and was unable to restart. Toyota dealership found that the power inverter had failed and needed to be replaced. Error codes listed by dealer: P0A94 DC/DC converter performance.

- Wellesley, MA, USA

problem #7

Feb 152013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 125,000 miles


At about 125,000 miles, the engine warned me of low oil. It was the first such warning ever with this vehicle. At that time I could secure only 2 quarts of the required synthetic oil and it was still over 1 quart low. About 500 miles later I took the vehicle to Toyota chula vista and explained. They added 3 more quarts of oil and suggested a series of oil consumption tests. I called Toyota motor usa consumer relations and opened a case indicating that I was consuming (burning not dripping) 1 to 2 quarts per 1,000 miles and my mpg had decreased from 46 avg to 35 avg. The oil consumption over the next 3 months averaged 1 qt/600 miles and my avg mpg deteriorated further to 29 mpg. In July Toyota chula vista performed a teardown and ended up replacing the lower engine, cylinders rings, and valves. I was informed that other 2010 Toyota Prius engines exhibited failure/wear of the cylinder walls at about the same mileage. Field techs were contacted again by the chula vista service mgr and I contacted Toyota national seeking some assistance in the $6,400 repair bill. Both local field rep and national declined those requests. What good is a 10 year hybrid battery with a 3 year engine?

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #6

Oct 012010


  • 1,000 miles
Car occasionally unintentionally accelerates when hitting a bump for maybe a second. Dangerous when it happens as approaching a stop sign or traffic signal. Happens maybe once every two weeks.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #5

Aug 012012


  • 25,000 miles
I have a 2010 Prius VIN:[xxx] with 37,000 miles. The car experiences random losses of power during which the engine shuts down and does not activate no matter how hard I pump the accelerator. Once I turn off and push again the start button, the engine starts up without any problem and I can continue on my way. I have experienced this problem 5 times since September 2012. I have taken the car in to the dealer (caldwell Toyota, NJ) where it was examined and they told me the onboard computer did not record any malfunction. I am getting worried since some of the power losses happened when I was on highways at speeds over 60mph and I had to coast to a stop in high traffic areas. I would like to know whether other Prius owners have reported similar problems and whether you have suggestions on how to proceed [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Denville, NJ, USA

problem #4

Mar 092013


  • 33,950 miles


The incident occurred when I attempted to accelerate onto a two-lane highway. Because of a slow and sharp U-turn which precedes the short on-ramp, I disabled the eco mode for better acceleration. When I pressed down on the gas, the car immediately emitted a loud sound, became unresponsive and was unable to gain additional speed. Even so, there was no other option but to merge onto the roadway while doing no more than 30 mph. In the meantime, the instrument panel showed a "check hybrid system" message along with several warning lights. I managed to avoid oncoming traffic (from behind) and safely pulled onto the grass. Attempts to restart the vehicle were unsuccessful with the previous message reappearing each time. The car required a tow to the nearest Toyota dealer. I received a call from them the next business day, and they explained the cause to be a defective inverter based on the diagnostic code. Fortunately, the repair will be covered under Toyota's hybrid warranty. It remains to be seen and I am hopeful this repair will fully resolve the issue.

- Lake Grove, NY, USA

problem #3

Jan 172013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 29,100 miles
Incident #1 brake: On January 17, 2013 as I was entering the intersection about 20mph, I applied my brakes, but they went straight to the floor and warning light started blinking. I pressed brakes very hard and car almost stop, then, its brakes gave up. There is sudden slight "unintended acceleration" and I almost hit car front of me. But, I am able to manage to drove the car into the center island. Brake was totally out, and the car started drove by itself. I panicked and pressed power button to shut off the engine. Car drove about 15 feet and stopped. After this incident, I tow my car to the dealer, they told me that lost brake is due to short circuit made domino effect to multiple computers malfunction. They will replace whole computer system, but service man would not guarantee it will never happen again. Incident #2 power failed and shut down while driving at highway. On December, 2012 and January 2013. I was driving at highway and trying to merge into the center line, car stalled and prompted "key does not detect" message on the screen. I almost hit from behind by another car. While the car still has a speed about 40mph, I managed to restart the car by depressed brake and press power bottom. It is true this car lose brake and does slight "accelerate".

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #2

Nov 202012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 66,395 miles
While making a U turn the vehicle lost power and the check hybrid system warning illuminated. The car died in the middle of the road. The dealer claimed that there was oil in the throttle body caused by overfilling and this is a common occurrence with oil overfills on Prius vehicles. The last oil change had been 8,000 miles and more than 2 months previous. The place that performed the oil change agreed to look at car and clean the throttle body. They also checked the oil and made sure it was correct level. Three weeks later the same thing occurred. This time the car lost power and the check engine light illuminated. The car died on a freeway transition over pass and we were stranded on the freeway in a very dangerous situation. The car was towed to another Toyota dealer and they claimed it was the same thing. The oil change place says absolutely no way is this the problem since they looked at it very closely the last time. I requested Toyota to send out a field representative to confirm that this was the cause. They refused. Computer codes P3190 and P0A0F hv.

- Trabuco Canyon, CA, USA

problem #1

Nov 072012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 24,750 miles
2010 Toyota Prius at dealership for 25000 mile service. On 11/07/2012 at 1700 the dealership called and reported that the car is "infested with rodents." Stated that headliner is saturated with urine/ feces, air and cabin air filters destroyed, wires chewed, rodents found to be living in dashboard, in door interiors, and other areas. Reported that this was "the worst case we've seen." Car is owned by two professionals- no children who would have dropped food and no food ever eaten in vehicle. Purchased new from this same dealership 01/02/2011. Dealership now reports that the car is a health/ safety hazard and could cost "thousands" to repair. Our internet research revealed that rodent infestation is common in the Toyota Prius, reportedly because rodents are able to gain easy access through the car's ventilation system. Owners reported contacting Toyota, who denied liability and denied request for assistance.

- Shermans Dale, PA, USA

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