definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,144 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 #7

May 012001

Prius 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles


2001 Toyota Prius. We had a Toyota Prius hybrid gas/electric car the first that came into the usa. The car would reach a certain mileage and the computer which controlled everything in the car would go bad. We would get a few miles from home and the car would not work. It would shut off. We would have to sit for a few minutes and than the car would only go 35 miles an hour or less and we would have to turn around and go home. On one trip to California, when we got to Colorado the screen said the go to a service dealer. We had to spend the night in northglenn Colorado and went to the dealer. We had to take the car into the dealer so many times. They would replace the computer and all the parts, even the gas tank. The car would also lock you inside and you could not get out. The computer and the electrical system in of this model are all bad. They reach a certain mileage and bad. They were doing all the recalls from our car. They promised us a new Prius signature Toyota in benton harbor mi, and never got it. Finally in 2005 they said they would trade our Prius car for another car corolla, but they charged us $8,000 more. Please help us get our money back. No lawyer will take it since comes from Japan. We had tried everything and could get no help. Wrote Toyota and never got them to reply to us. Tried their mediation and they held the papers until the time ran out than sent us a paper saying not valid any more. Help us get our money back. Let people know that Prius cars are bad. Do not buy. The consumer also stated the gas pedal would become stuck at times, which caused the vehicle to increase in speed. Updated 04/27/10 updated 10/29/10

- Berrien Springs, MI, USA

problem #6

Apr 052007


  • miles
Several times when the accelerator was pressed and the car slowed down the check engine light came on. Vehicle will drive normally for awhile, but problem seemed to occur at least once every 1-2 years. The last time, I spent $900 to replace an accelerator sensor. This time, the dealership stated I needed to replace the ECM, and the catalytic converter for a total charge of $3500. There were no generic catalytic converters, the one to be used was $1700. Also, had been several incidents where there had been issues following an oil change where the dealer said that oil was where it shouldn't be.

- Sulphur, LA, USA

problem #5

Aug 112006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,226 miles
Experience: Driving a 2001 Toyota Prius between 60 and 65 mph on I-494 in eagan Minnesota. The sensor on the vehicle's accelerator pedal assembly failed I.e. the ability to get gas to the engine stopped. The car was towed to an authorized repair dealer and the part, which failed, was replaced. My complaint has two parts: (1) Toyota does not recognize a critical part like the sensor on the accelerator pedal assembly as a part of major significance. I believe it is major safety issue and must be corrected by Toyota. I was told by Toyota's customer assistance center the part was not defective and it failed because normal use. I am appalled to learn that a 6 year old car with 50,226 miles is equipped with accelerator unit which can fail when the average use is 8,371 miles per year. I am also amazed the customer service center is not interested in looking at this performance as a major defect. They told me they had no record of other incidents with this part. Yet when I talked to the Prius service team supervisor at two different dealerships, I was informed by each one they had replaced 4 to 5 of them. If my small survey revealed that number I can only guess what a nationwide survey would reveal. 2) in response to my asking Toyota to reimburse me for the $810.41 bill their response was I should submit my request for reimbursement to my insurance company or to the firm which owns the car. Clearly, a situation of shifting the responsibility of making quality oem parts to a third party to absorb the cost and ignoring the major safety implications created when the accelerator stops functioning in a vehicle driven less than the average car.

- Edina, MN, USA

problem #4

Sep 242005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,385 miles


(1) normal driving, no abnormalities whatsoever (2) at freeway speed, in busy traffic, without warning: The car lost all motive power (neither gas nor electric working); the hybrid system warning icon displayed on the multi-function display. Luckily, in both instances, we were able to move to the shoulder while decelerating. After coming to a complete stop, we referred to the owner's manual which suggested turning the ignition key completely off and then attempting a restart. In both cases the car started up again and was drivable (although in the first case the warning icon remained displayed for approximately 10 miles). (3) took car to Toyota dealer who verified failure code(s) stored in onboard memory; dealer replaced accelerator pedal/position sensor assembly.

- Woodinville, WA, USA

problem #3

Jun 132005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Contact states while driving the vehicle stopped. The accelerator pedal was replaced.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #2

May 152005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
I own a 2001 Toyota Prius. Several times in the last few months I have experienced a loss of power combined with my dash warning lights. I had one similar incident last year. The dealership claims their diagnostics find no problem (no codes = no problem). Therefore nothing is resolved and the car remains prone to loss of power, a dangerous condition when traveling on any freeway.

- Hayden Lake, ID, USA

problem #1

Feb 142004

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,395 miles
The 2001 Toyota Prius has a faulty accelerator pedal and should be covered under the 8-year hybrid system warranty. Not only are there safety issues with this problem (e.g. sudden loss of acceleration that could cause accidents, incorrect communication between the accelerator and the hybrid system, etc.) but there is a lack on Toyota's part to admit that the accelerator is a critical component of the hybrid system. When the accelerator fails, it causes the "check hybrid system" light to appear on the dashboard and can make the car dangerously unresponsive (especially on the freeway). The hybrid system is expecting information from the accelerator, and when it doesn't receive it, either the gas engine, or the electric engine, or both engines fail to operate. Even though two Toyota dealers (stevens creek Toyota and capitol Toyota) agree that this is a serious safety issue, both claim that this repair is not covered under the 8-year hybrid system warranty. However, if this accelerator problem is not directly related, then why does the warning light come on when the accelerator sensor fails" also, why did the dealer who performed the $654.52 repair tell me that the complete accelerator assembly part had just been recently revised by Toyota" (I might add that an independent electrical engineer analyzed the part and concluded that the accelerator has an mtbf of 1500 hours. He concluded that every Prius owner would be subject to this same hazardous problem several times during the lifetime of the car!!) I have substantial evidence from other Prius owners who are experiencing the same problems and would be happy to share this information with your investigation team. In my opinion, these problems are serious enough to merit consideration for either a recall or a revision of Toyota's "hybrid system" warranty policies. I appreciate any assistance you can provide me in this matter and I hope that together we can prevent needless deaths from this unsafe accelerator.

- San Jose, CA, USA

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