really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
8,094 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #9

Dec 262004


  • 17,000 miles


Our 2004 Prius stalled repeatedly on a drive from holland, mich., to St. Louis, mo, on Dec. 26/27, 2004. The first time it happened, it was after about an hour of highway driving, when all the dashboard lights went on and the engine died. We were able to coast off the highway. After about 30 minutes on the side of the road (it was he day after christmas and a Sunday, so help was not readily available), we were able to restart the engine and return to holland. The next day, we took it to the dealer, who could not find anything wrong. We resumed driving and after about an hour, the same thing happened. We pulled to the side of the road, waited a bit, and restarted the engine. We repeated this several times, drive, stall, restart, drive, until we got to a dealer in Chicago, who declared that our transmission was shot but we might as well drive back to St. Louis since it would take them a week to get a new one anyway. So we drove, stalled, restarted, again and again until we got just South of springfield, ill., where the car stalled for good. After an uncomfortable hour spent on the side of interstate 55 waiting for a tow truck on a freezing cold night, we finally were taken back to St. Louis, where the dealer put in a new transmission.

- Clayton, MO, USA

problem #8

Jan 132005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Prius. The vehicle is a hybrid. She states that while driving down the freeway at about 60 mph vehicle stalled, making it difficult for her to brake or accelerate. The dealer told her that it was a software glitch, and they knew that they had other problems with this. Toyota stated that they contacted everyone. However they did not notify everyone because she was not notified. Also, they did not notify some of her friends, and they disregarded her telephone calls.

- Topanga, CA, USA

problem #7

Nov 072004


  • miles
I have a 2004 Toyota Prius. I have had it stall at low speed (approx 35mph) March 2004 I had it lose power at highway speed on Nov 7, 2004.

- Merrimack, NH, USA

problem #6

Apr 072005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles


On 4/7/05 I was traveling on the NJ parkway and all of a sudden for no reason my 2004 Prius engine stalled no gas to engine only electric power then the electric power slowly in about lest than 2 minutes went to zero and then I had to coast to a safe spot to pull over on the shoulder. Luckily I was already traveling in the slow right lane, although at 5 pm rush hour its still going 65+ mph, I coasted down to 40 mph until I finally came to a shoulder in the right lane. I checked for anything leaking nothing, and about 10 minutes later it started up. Now all warning lights went on the engine warning failure light which said to bring to dealer right away was on. I brought to dealer the next day a was still able to drive it. They eventually fixed the problem they said it was a computer software problem. They had it from 4/8 to 4/13. It was a very scary situation luckly I was not in the fast lane were I would have been stuck in the middle of fast driving traffic. I just wanted to submit this to put on record just incase there is a bigger problem with other vehicles. The car has run fine since and no problems so far. I read the story from verizon online.

- Kearny, NJ, USA

problem #5

Sep 152004

Prius 3-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles
1. I was driving around 30 to 40 mph and the gas engine failed suddenly during the course of normal driving, leaving only the electrical engine running. At the same time the engine failed, many lights turned on on the dashboard. 2. I was on a canyon road in the los angeles mountains when it failed, which was a single lane road each way with nowhere to pull off. Luckily, I had just reached on of the crests in the canyon when the engine failed, so with the electrical engine I was able to coast to a side street. Once on the side street, the electrical engine died quickly, probably because of the steep slope upwards of the street. 3. I tried to turn off the car and it wouldn't turn off, so I popped the hood and got out to see if there was an obvious problem. Finding no problem I could see I went back inside the car and held down the power button until the vehicle turned off finally. When the vehicle turned back on, the engine sempt to work normally, and I immediately went to the nearest Toyota dealer. They said they had heard of the problem once or twice before and it requires a software update to the car. I was weary of their proposed solution since it is such a dangerous problem, but that's all they said they could do, so I told them to go ahead.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #4

May 102005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles
Problems began 5-10-05. Several warning lights appeared on dashboard. The vehicle experienced a loss of power. The electric motor and the battery were working correctly, however, the gas portion of the engine was not working. Dealer reported ECU was out of calibration, and was reprogrammed. Vehicle is now repaired. Driver visited a forum where she noticed there was a report in the wall street journal and she felt unsafe driving vehicle.

- Wallingford, PA, USA

problem #3

Mar 102005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles


I own a 2004 Prius and also experienced a complete system shutdown while driving on the highway about 3 months ago. The entire gas engine shut down and all warning lights came on. The electric motor remained operational and allowed me to get off the road and into a parking lot safely. The dealer (cabe Toyota - long beach, ca) gave me a brief and unsatisfactory explaination..brushing this off as a minor problem similar to a computer needing to be restarted. I assume they upgraded my system but still fear a recurrence in a less convenient location. Please let me know if you would like any additional information on this. Vehicle VIN = [xxx]

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #2

Dec 112003

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,154 miles
Our 2004 Prius on four separate occasions had a complete engine shutdown with lots of indicator lights lit on the dashboard. This happened twice while we were traveling on interstate highways in traffic at highway speeds, once in a Toyota dealership while the vehicle was being serviced, and once as we pulled into a toyoto dealership for service. We were not aware we could send a complaint to NHTSA until we say today's msnbc article. The first engine shutdown occurred in the hyannis Toyota dealership in Massachusetts. They took quite a while to fix the vehicle and made several phone calls to Toyota engineers for help. They wrote on our receipt: "needs trans replacement for permanent repair." After we left Massachusetts we drove across country toward our home in California. The other three engine shutdowns happened during this trip. We had to be towed (at Toyota's expense) twice as a result of the interstate engine shutdowns and ended up at a Toyota dealership in jackson, Mississippi. We had to stay several days at our own expense while they repaired the vehicle, again consulting several times with Toyota engineers during the repair. After we reached California we took the vehicle to South bay Toyota and requested the "permanent" repair described on the hyannis Toyota receipt. We were told they would do nothing because there was no indicator showing any problems at that time. We made several phone calls to Toyota but were unable to get them to do anything further to our car.

- Playa Del Rey, CA, USA

problem #1

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

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