pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
6,740 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.

2004 Toyota Prius electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #10

Jun 042007

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles


Auxiliary battery on Toyota Prius 2001 and Toyota Prius 2004 fail if the car is not driven at least every 7-10 days. This prevents the car from starting. We purchased a 2001 Prius used in March 2004, and a new 2004 Prius in June 2004. The auxiliary battery failed on the 2001 Prius twice, and we replaced it once. Recently the dealer service representative told me the battery held a charge unless driven every 7-10 days, and should be disconnected"if parked for prolonged time." This was potential safety problem for car not starting, such as if returning on plane after 2-3 week vacation and not being able to start the car, risk for vulnerability awaiting jump start. Toyota's only response was well, it was a hybrid. They claimed the hundreds of computers in the car drained the battery when parked. They could have designed in some automatic or simple switch to address this. Also, they could notify the potential customer of this design flaw. They did not inform us, or any of the other Prius owners. We have recently discussed the issue with. The owner's manual for 2001 model made no mention of it. In the 2004 manual there was a brief mention of need to disconnect the battery if parked for"prolonged time, but did not define that. Although we have been happy with other features of the Prius and other Toyota we owned in the past we considered this to be a serious and risky design flaw. Furthermore, we considered Toyota's sales people and sales brochures failure to notify us of this problem to be a significant breach of goodwill and respect for customer safety and satisfaction.

- Roseville, CA, USA

problem #9

Aug 292005


  • 4,765 miles
Consumers 2004 Toyota Prius had two battery failures. The first battery failure occurred when the vehicle was started for 5 weeks. The second failure occurred after the vehicle was not started for 14 days. The dealer suggested that the consumer disconnect the battery if the vehicle was not going to be started for 10 days or more. The consumer stated a technical service bulletin had been issued, however the information was never relayed to the consumer.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #8

Jul 212005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,299 miles
Car suddenly lost power when being driven 30 mph on city road. Computer said battery power lost; seems like gas engine was not recharging battery, but there was no warning until power loss. I was stuck in the middle of a city street with 2 small children, as the car would not make it to side of road. Another motorist helped push me to side of road and no one was hurt. The gas tank was full at the time of this incident. Although vehicle could not move, the dashboard and computer still had power; it would not allow me to shut it down, or remove the key fob. The car was towed to a dealership, and now must be towed to another dealiership that services this model. No repair has yet been attempted but I wanted to report incident because my internet research indicated you were investigating this model for a number of similar problems. The car was purchased in November 2003 and has 15,299 miles on it. I had one incident 12 months ago when I could not start the vehicle, but I was able to finally after 10 minutes or so. I have had no previous break downs however.

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #7

Apr 092005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,300 miles


2004 Toyota Prius sedan. Stalls out while driving about 35 miles hour and the electric recharable battery drains. This has happened two times to me and I have taken it back to Toyota deal for this. The 1st approximately Jan -Feb time frame. Dealer could find nothing wrong. 2nd time approximately early April. Dealer said had trouble code in computer and have corrected problem but let them know if happens again or any other problem. Engine load, automatic gear shifts hard and car rolls slightly when put into park.

- Medford, MA, USA

problem #6

Apr 282005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,000 miles
Toyota Prius, vehicle stalled at 35 mph warning light came on. Pulled over to side of road because caller was losing power from battery, and could not drive it. Car was towed to dealer, and they could not find anything wrong with it. Problem did not come up on car computer when diagnostic was done. Manufacturer has not been contacted yet. Caller read article in newspaper about Prius.

- Abington, PA, USA

problem #5

Jun 222004

Prius 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
Since purchasing a 2004 Prius in Feb. 2004, it has stalled five times. Four were within a two week period in June 2004 and were related to a loose wire to the battery. One was in June 2005.

- Fayetteville, NY, USA

problem #4

Jan 052005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles


Engine shuts down and will not start, also battery dies. Check engine light comes on, and then the engine dies. Caller had to push car off the road. Dealer said they could not find anything wrong the first time, and the other times they replaced a floor harness that went to battery, an amplifier, the original battery. Caller read article on his vehicle about same problem. Manufacturer said the amplifier fixed the problem.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #3

May 262005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3 miles
This is not the first time that I have had this problem, but I just learned this is the venue to state my complaints(I have another complaint on this board. I bought this car to save gas, money and the environment, but now this car is doing none of these for me in stop and go traffic. While I'm stuck in traffic in DC(I395N), the battery takes over. The problem is the gas doesn't kick in when the battery is low. I find the battery doesn't stay charged for over 28minutes while moving in traffic about 3 feet every 5 or 10 minutes. I have figured out in order to not get stalled (which has happened to me, 2 times already, besides today.) I have to hold the brake pedal down with one foot and rev the gas pedal with the right foot in order to charge the battery and not get slammed into from a vehicle behind me! my wife refuses to drive the car now for fear that she'll stall. I'm filling my tank more often now than when I first got this vehicle. Due to the reving of the vehicle which wastes my gas(sorta defeats the purpose of buying a hybrid for the most part!), also this can't be good for the environment either! oh and lets not forget the safety factor. I have people yelling at me and saying they want to bust my a**! and even an elderly woman with handicap plates gave me the finger right after she almost slammed into my stalled car. I'm embarrassed and scared to drive over 65 because the way the car died on me 2 times before.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #2

Mar 302005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,025 miles
2004 Toyota Prius died at 65 mph on I-395 carpool lanes. Multiple warning lights flashed on. Was able to coast it over and restart for a mile or two when it completely died again. Was towed to springfield va Toyota dealership were it was serviced. Error codes C2318 (low voltage error - power supply malfunction), battery code 8442 were reported. Also, check engine light on, found code P3791/engine won't start. Reprogrammed ECU DP0199. Cars shutting down in high speed traffic is a crash waiting to happen. We're not convinced that re-setting the engine code is enough to fix the problem. Has the original software problem been located and fixed? dealership couldn't give us that answer.

- Fairfax Station, VA, USA

problem #1

Oct 292004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,008 miles
While driving the vehicle at 60 mph. The vehicle completely shut down. The consumer pressed on the accelerator pedal for speed, however the vehicle continued to lose power. The consumer had the vehicle towed. The vehicle is still at the dealership. The problem was due to a computer glitch per tsb. The battery had gone dead.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

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