really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,349 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.

2005 Toyota Prius electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 2 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #114

Dec 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles


Intermittent failure of headlight (left and right, though not simultaneously). Problem can be temporarily corrected by turning headlights off, then on. This issue occurs while driving (twice within a one hour drive) and when the car has just been started. Fuses have been checked and headlight bulbs have been replaced with no resolution.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #113

Nov 242014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
Car when in park or stopped (at a stop sign or light) will automatically shift into neutral about a second after I try to put it in reverse or drive. It began happening about a month ago and now happens every time I start the car. It also began happening at stoplights and almost caused an accident when I was trying to accelerate onto a fast highway from a stoplight last week. It takes up to 10 attempts to keep it in drive or reverse now from a stopped position, and I never know when or for how long it will happen. Other than this, my car is in good condition and has not had any problems. I looked up the issue online, and from what a lot of other Prius drivers say, it sounds like a major issue with the shift lever assembly (see below for links to forums where many others have the same issue). This fix costs a few hundred dollars, and it seems common in the 2004-2009 Prius. It has a tsb out on it (see link below), so the issue is known?but this part should be issued a recall for those having issues!! it is a dangerous and not-uncommon defect, and I am afraid for my safety when driving this car now! www.toyotanation.com/forum/62-Prius-forum/343977-08-Prius-won-T-stay-gear.html www.justanswer.com/Toyota/6wctj-Toyota-Prius-Prius-2008-will-not-stay-reverse-drive.html priuschat.com/threads/2008-Prius-shifts-back-to-neutral-wont-stay-in-drive-revposted-wed-Aug-12-2009-7-04-am.67254/#axzz3mfyfau2J.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #112

Nov 182014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
On start up the combination meter failed to operate. Since the combination meter presents bulk of the critical vehicle information it present a hazard to the operation of the vehicle. It is a known intermittent problem and was first observed on my 2005 Prius approximately three years ago, however, the problem can clear itself. When it first occurred I brought it to the sun Toyota service department, 3001 U.S. 19 holiday, fl (727) 478-0070 for service. The service personal noticed the problem, recycled the power on the vehicle, then the problem cleared itself. They said at that time there was nothing they could do to repair the problem unless it hard fails. Since that time I have had it intermittently fail and correct itself. I discovered that this was a known design defect and that a warranty extension had been issued by Toyota motor sale, usa which would cover repair of the vehicle. I experienced the failure again on 11/18/2014. I immediately drove it to sun Toyota. They examined the problem, I pointed out the extended warranty, but they said the vehicle was now outside of the extended warranty and could not be repaired. I drove the vehicle to clearwater Toyota, 21799 us highway 19 N, clearwater, fl 33765 (727) 799-1234, and they too said it was out of warranty. As a last recourse I called the Toyota customer experience center. They assigned a case to me but they too said the problem is out of warranty.

- Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #111

Oct 152014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 228,534 miles


My left head light goes out intermittently. The light goes back on when I turn the lights off and then on again. This seems to be a problem that Prius owners are regularly experiencing.

- Findlay, OH, USA

problem #110

Nov 072014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 213,884 miles
The right side headlight goes out multiple times for no apparent reason. I have to turn the lights off- then back on--it will come back on--only till it goes out again.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #109

Sep 252014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Today, when our 2005 Prius was turned on, the dashboard lights, including the odometer and speedometer, and all of the dashboard warning lights, did not illuminate. Additionally, the Prius would not turn off by pushing the button on the dash. A google search revealed a known problem with the combination meter display that controls the dashboard lights, including all of the safety warning lights, that prompted Toyota to issue a warranty enhancement, covering this defect either for 9 years from the date the car was first put into service or until September 30, 2013, whichever is longer. As it turns out, my Prius is outside this warranty extension by three days. I called the national Toyota customer experience center at Toyota and was told, because there was a warranty extension, no further extensions can be granted and I am responsible for the repair of this defect. I have an issue with this due to the fact the module in question is not user-affected or serviceable in any way. If its engineering and/or manufacturing is such that it only lasts 9 years, and it is crucial to the operation of the car, and the display of system warning lights that reflect any problems with the supplemental restraint system, braking system, hybrid system, etc. I have an issue because this electronic device makes the car inoperable and many people with Toyota Prius vehicles, from model years 2004-2009 are experiencing this problem. Shouldn't non-serviceable, critical parts to the operation of a car, that display the status of safety-related systems, last more than 9 years? there will be consumers who opt to drive the car anyway, which could lead to injuries and death, depending on the status of their safety-related systems, which they have no way of being able to see when this defect appears in their cars, at the time of a crash or need to brake in an emergency.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #108

Aug 302014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 203,000 miles


Hybrid battery exploded in car, I thought someone shot at me or bomb went off in car. Later I realized there was a problem with the hybrid system. I couldn't get a hold of Toyota or representative of Toyota, I took battery out so there wouldn't be a fire. When I opened casing up I saw the damage where a cell or two exploded inside hybrid battery pack. When I finally got to talk to someone from Toyota 4 days later and told them I removed the pack so it wouldn't start a fire in car and for the authorities to inspect battery, they started yelling at me for driving the car and removing the battery. I said this is a safety issue, it can happen to anyone. It has affected me, my child and dogs hearing as a result and negligence of Toyota. I was scared and frightened by Toyota's response and the call back after I yelled at the and hung up. I got a call back from them where I was threatened by a man. I thought Toyota cared about customers, not to threaten them, and to tamper with evidence and hide a safety issue.

- Niagara Falls, NY, USA

problem #107

Aug 252014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
I went from a stationary driving position, to driving off at 20 mph down a 3 lane highway, suddenly a few seconds after, all these lights came on: Flashing warning light, brake lights, ABS light and a loud beeping noise. I had no power, no brakes?.. fortunately there was nobody in front of me or close behind and I could veer into the side of the road. I turned the car off totally. And then tried to turn it back on again to see what would happen, and all the same lights and beeping noise started again. Had the car towed to Toyota in santa monica. There was no manager on site. One of the service guys said he would have it checked. They refused to give me a temporary rental or substitute car - they said they would give me a ride to a rental place! this is 11 a.M. the following morning. The manager at the dealership is still not there. The associate called me and said I could pay to have it repaired !! I have called the Toyota customer relations service, who say they will get back to me in "a day or so". aside from my life and others lives, being put in total jeopardy by my cars' failure, I think the lack of urgency on this matter is appalling. There may be other Prius cars that will have the same failure, and people killed.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #106

Jun 302014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 80,800 miles
In 2007, we purchased a certified used Toyota Prius 2005 with 13,298 miles. We have owned this car ever since. We currently have about 81,000 miles on this vehicle. Brake failure incident on June 30, 2014, I was driving the 2005 Prius slowly (10-15 mph) along a roadway located in a tecumseh, mi city park: as the car approached a local street, I braked for a stop before making a right-hand turn. As I engaged the brake, the ABS system red light appeared, the red brake light was lit and the related buzzer was activated as well. as I braked, my right foot went all the way to the floor. I experienced complete and total brake failure. I finally stopped the car with the emergency brake. I drove the Prius very slowly over the two miles home, using the emergency brake to stop as needed. my wife and daughter were riding with me in the car and witnessed the incident. On July 1, 2014, I contacted aaa and arranged to have the car towed to a repair shop in ann arbor, mi 30 miles away. After a week, at the repair shop I arranged to have the vehicle towed to the local Toyota service facility. Over the previous five months, I experienced another curious problem that may be brake related. When braking on bumpy roads (we have horrible pot holes on many major streets and roads) or curb cuts, the car accelerates ever so briefly. The feeling of loss of control is very disturbing. It remains to be seen if this problem is related to the brake failure noted above. There were no injuries as a result of this brake failure. However, I had just returned home from business in a neighboring community 35 miles away. I often drive backcountry county roads with posted speeds of 55 mph. If I had experienced the brake failure then, I might well have been killed along with others.

- Tecumseh, MI, USA

problem #105

Apr 142014


  • 150,000 miles
Both of my Prius headlights went off, for no apparent reason, while driving down a busy highway. Flicking them off and then back on brought them on again, but this is a dangerous situation. This has happened one more time since then. This could cause a serious accident. Toyota is unable to isolate the problem. The company wants to replace the bulbs, but this doesn't fix the problem, according to many other people who have had this problem. Replacing the bulbs or adjacent parts can cost hundreds of dollars, which is not sustainable. It seems that a recall is in order.

- Newark, DE, USA

problem #104

Feb 272014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 97,448 miles


On 2/27/14 the SRS indicator light in our vehicle lit up causing us to review the owner's manual, which recommended immediate service. Per technical service bulletin T-sb-0042-11, this issue was caused by failure of the wiring harness, which was diagnosed with scanner code B1826. According to the tsb, the design/material fault can occur in 2004-2009 priuses. The fault, according to a Toyota service advisor, results in a failure of the air bag system. To address the condition, "an updated wire harness must be installed." The cost to repair this design fault is $2,500. And up depending on if one or both sides of the wiring harness has to be replaced. Because this safety related defect needed to be addressed at once we paid to have the vehicle repaired but expressed our view to the Toyota personnel that the defect should have been covered by Toyota. We feel that this defect should have been the subject of a recall. Calls to the GM of the dealership have not been returned.

- Moraga, CA, USA

problem #103

Dec 312013


  • 182,000 miles
After a short period of time headlight flickers then goes out. Have to turn off then on, only to last a short time. Brand new bulbs.

- Springfield, MA, USA

problem #102

Dec 152013


  • 170,000 miles
The dashboard screen goes blank. This has happened twice in the last couple of days. I can't tell how fast I'm going, how much gas is left, what gear I'm in, how much mileage is on the vehicle, whether or not the lights are on, etc. Toyota has a service notice about it, but my vehicle is just 2 months out of warranty. I didn't have this problem before while it was in warranty. It is extremely unsafe.

- Walnut, CA, USA

problem #101

Aug 072013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 175,000 miles
The headlights would shut off and not come back on during various speeds. It was extremely dangerous. While driving at night at 65mph a headlight ( randomly left or right) would shut off at night). I would have to pull over and turn the light switch off to reactivate the headlight!!! the headlight would come back on once the switch was turned off and on again, but several miles down the road, a headlight would go off again!!! this is extremely dangerous!! we brought it to a Toyota garage, and were told there was a recall on these headlights but not for our 2005 vehicle. We paid $476 to replace both headlights!! how can headlights be recalled for this problem and be covered for certain years only"?? with the research I have done it appears this is a dangerous problem for 2005 models too!!! why wait for accidents or deaths??" thus occurred at all speeds!!

- South China, ME, USA

problem #100

Sep 022013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 199,371 miles
I had just had my oil changed and when I was leaving I started the car but the dashboard lights didn't come on. I drove on and still nothing. When I was at a stop light, the lights came on with the error message that my brakes were engaged. I tried multiple times to depress and release the emergency brake, but the same message. I couldn't move the vehicle because the front brakes were locked. I had it towed to the dealership and they said they had to get Toyota involved but it sounds like three computers are fried. This is very frustrating since I got the vehicle because it had such wonderful reviews (yes this was some years ago) how do computers just "up and fry" without any warning. I am hopeful that Toyota will do the right thing and step up and take the necessary steps to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else. Also, whatever they could do for me would be greatly appreciated since I was a die hard Prius fan.....until now"?"

- Garland, TX, USA

problem #99

Jan 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
Digital dashboard display is, from time to time, so dim as to be almost invisible. Sometimes it appears to be about 90% of brightness, other times at about 5% or less. This makes it almost impossible to read such information as speed, warning lights, etc. When it is visible, it is a major distraction, taking considerable time and effort. Toyota has extended the warranty for this problem, but my Toyota dealer refuses to perform the repair, claiming that as long as they can see the display at any level, regardless of how dim, there is not a correctable problem.since the problem is intermittent, they may not see it at its worst.

- Barrington, RI, USA

problem #98

Jun 212013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 94,393 miles
Both hid headlights went out at the same time. I can toggle the light switch off and on and one or both lights came back on. Then went out again within a few seconds to a minute, over and over. Makes no difference if car is not moving at all or going 70 mph. I was able to drive the 15 miles home at night without incident. Went to dealer next day and they say all that is wrong is that the headlights are burned out. Estimate to replace both is $474.31. I do not believe that they would burn out at exactly the same time. And if they are burned out then why do they come back on and off. I have done research and found the class action settlement for 2006-2009 models. I also found that you have had hundreds of complaints about the 2005 model yet you have not considered this a safety matter. I disagree. Even if you don't help me, I want my complaint included in your database.

- Sulphur, LA, USA

problem #97

Sep 012012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
The left headlight unexpectedly goes out. If I turn the lights off and on again, the headlight comes back on, but soon repeats going out.

- Gilroy, CA, USA

problem #96

Apr 052013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
On my 2005 Toyota Prius the hid lights were replaced with Toyota parts. Within a couple of weeks they started to go off and on at random. The dealer replaced them with aftermarket hid bulbs. After about 18 months one of the lights would go off and on at random. The dealer no longer carries aftermarket hid bulbs. They told me they could install the Toyota bulbs which have issues or I could get aftermarket bulbs and they would install them. Well the new D2R hid sylvania bulbs were installed by the dealer. Within 2 weeks one of the new bulbs went off and on at random. Now a week later the other new hid bulb is doing the same thing. I have read that this issue has been going on for years. This is a safety issue and also an expensive repair. When will this safety problem be addressed"???"

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #95

Jan 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 235,000 miles
The multi information display no longer shows the vehicle speed and other specs such as fuel gauge, warning lights, and such. The vehicle sometimes couldn't turn off, and it would require me to press and hold the power button for more than 5 seconds in order to turn off the vehicle. Driving is quite dangerous as I not even sure if the car is even "ready" or not, and what gear (D, N, R) it is in. Toyota is charging me 400 for the repair even though the service bulletin stated that this is cause the manufacturer defect on the circuit board. My sister who owns a 2006 Toyota Prius (16X, xxx) did receive the notice of recall for the multi information display, but I didn't any notice at all. This repair should be covered by Toyota. This is outrageous!

- Garden Grove, CA, USA

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