really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,672 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.

2001 Toyota Prius engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #12

Jul 152003

Prius 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles


The contact owned a 2001 Toyota Prius. The contact was driving approximately 30 mph on normal road conditions. The "hybrid" (exclamation mark) warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. Immediately, the engine stalled. The warning light remained illuminated until the engine was turned off. The identical failures occurred on twenty separate occasions. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The engine started and resumed normal operation. The failure mileage was 16,000. The contact no longer owned the vehicle. Updated 4/5/10 the consumer has since sold the vehicle. Updatd 06/14/10.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #11

Sep 092006


  • 42,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Toyota Prius. While driving between 65-70 mph, the vehicle did not respond when the accelerator pedal was depressed. All of the instrument panel indicators illuminated and the engine suddenly stalled. The vehicle coasted to the side of the road and the engine failed to restart. While the gear shifter was placed in park, the vehicle accelerated unexpectedly and crashed into a guardrail. The driver sustained a whiplash and a police report was filed. The vehicle sustained severe damage and was towed to an authorized dealer. The vehicle was repaired for body structure damages. The technician performed diagnostic tests, but was unable to duplicate the failures. The vehicle was taken back to the authorized dealer on five separate occasions for identical failures, but there were no resolutions. The failure mileage was 42,000 and current mileage was 68,000.

- Honey Brook , PA, USA

problem #10

Jul 162007

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
My 2001 Prius has always been stalling (at least 30 times), usually upon startup, (and especially in hot weather when ac is on at startup) but on 4 occasions, stalls occurred during critical driving in dangerous areas resulting in total power loss and near death experiences. I informed Toyota president watanabe, and they recalled for the "crankshaft position sensor", to fix the stalling problem, but it obviously didn't fix situation because car is still stalling. Dealer is beyond ignorant and clueless and no longer worth talking to, as they are as informed as a rock on a cliff. I am wondering if dealer even performed the recall fix properly. Would like a trustworthy Toyota technician from Japan's tmc (a Japanese person) to personally inspect my car.

- Jeffersonville, IN, USA

problem #9

Aug 262006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles


2001 Toyota Prius sudden loss of power at highway speeds three incidents late Aug 2006 first week Oct 2006 second week Oct 2006 in all cases vehicle will not start for 15 minutes but then runs normally. Brought to dealer after first incident and they completed a recall replacement of crankshaft position sensor. Brought to dealer after third incident they have been unable to diagnoses problem or reproduce after 90 miles test driving. Call to Toyota customer service line revealed Toyota has no central point to collect vehicle safety problems when specifically asked if Toyota was interested in discovering the safety problem in my vehicle, the answer was "no" I have been reassured by Toyota that the crankshaft position sensor replacement was performed properly there is no software problem with 2001 Prius similar to the 2004 Prius problem which resulted kin sudden loss of power and lead to recall action. They are unaware of any problem similar to mine with 2001 Prius.

- Lake Oswego, OR, USA

problem #8

Sep 202006


  • miles
My friend was driving my 2001 Toyota Prius on the highway, going 65 mph. I was in the passenger seat. A warning symbol with the triangle/exclamation mark appeared on my screen. The engine immediately died. We tried to get off of the road. Mack trucks were swerving into the exit lanes to get out of the way.

we were able to pull off onto the shoulder. This is extremely dangerous for me, my passengers and other drivers on the highway.

your Agency has investigated this exact problem, which led to a recall by Toyota. Toyota blamed the problem on a "software glitch." The problem is goes much deeper than a ¿'software glitch¿ -¿¿ it remains unresolved. I had my car serviced for this ¿'software glitch¿ recall (engine's computer (ECM) replaced and circuit open relay checked), but the problem still persists. The engine still cuts out at high speeds. My car has had this exact problem before and after getting it serviced based on the recall on three separate occasions. This life and death defect needs a better solution than simply attributing it to a "software glitch."

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #7

Sep 062006

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles
Engine stalling occurring randomly while cruising at highway speed between approx. 54 to 64 mph causing vehicle to slow down on the freeway. This problem is potentially hazardous because engine stalls at freeway speed which could result in rear end crash from on-coming vehicles traveling behind at freeway speeds --- furthermore the vehicle must be stopped at the freeway edge to be restarted before problem is corrected. Restarting vehicle immediately corrects problem. However, this problem should be made a mandatory recall item. [Prius scanner shows dtc code P1120 for accelerator pedal assembly problem and there is a manufacturer tsb concerning this problem (tsb EG018-02)]. this vehicle has had the crankshaft sensor replaced pursuant to the recent recall notice and the crankshaft sensor had been leaking oil prior to replacement. Also drivers rear axle hub bearing failed prematurely and was recently replaced.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #6

Sep 142005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,903 miles


: the contact stated while driving at 65mph, the vehicle stalled and operated at a reduced speed which occurred without prior warning. During the incident, all dash panel warning lights illuminated. The engine did not stall out completely and the vehicle was driven to a dealership. The service department determined the electronic control module failed and needed to be replaced.

- Shelbyville, IL, USA

problem #5

Jun 152004

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles
My 2001 Toyota Prius has stalled twice at high speeds (~75 mph) while on the highway. In both incidences it was only due to good driving and to luck that I was able to get off or to the side of the highway. I have contacted my dealer and in both cases they looked at the engine and claimed that they had never seem the problem with any other vehicles. I was to bring the car back if it happened again.

- San Carlos, CA, USA

problem #4

Jun 212005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,858 miles
Engine intermittent stalling. Engine runs rough and gives code "171 lean missfire" dealer attemps to fix the problem involve adding fuel injector cleaner and resetting the code. Up till today stalls have been either at 55 to 65 for short period of time aprox. 2 seconds. Today vehicle limped home about 5 miles. Same code displayed. "!" also displayed on dash and trouble code 171. After three on off cycle on the key "!" was no longer displayed. Car runs again.

- Maiden Rock , WI, USA

problem #3

May 152003

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
While driving vehicle shut down and would not restart. All 3 times that this happened consumer was on the freeway. Consumer owned the car for 1 year before it started stalling, and it has stalled two more times since then. Each time the car was taken to Toyota, and each they time they were unable to figure out what the cause of the problem was.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 162004


  • miles
While driving vehicle lost power. The warning light illuminated on the dash oard. However, the problem had not been resolved.

- Castro Valley, CA, USA

problem #1

Aug 022003

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,300 miles
Twice now I have had warning lights appear on my 2001 Toyota Prius screen. The first time was three weeks ago while I was driving on a freeway in hot weather. I pulled over as I was losing power. The gas engine would not turn on. I was on battery power only. I limped to an exit and parked the car. I had the car towed to the nearest Toyota dealer. He fixed a steering recall part and thought it might be the problem. He could find no error codes. I drove off. Yesterday it happened again under the same conditions. I pulled over, waited twenty minutes and started the car again. The warning lights were then off and the power was now normal. I immediately took it to my home dealer. He tested it and today told me that he could find nothing. He said that if he could not recreate the problem in the shop, there was nothing he could do. There is no question that this is a significant safety hazard as the loss of power particularly during an acceleration onto a freeway could cause a major accident. My family will now not drive the car on a freeway.

- San Mateo, CA, USA

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