really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
116,455 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #9

Apr 042016


  • 103,100 miles


This is the first car we ever owned that ate oil. We are meticulous about servicing the car as recommended every 5000 miles. At the service for 100,000 miles which we did at 99,400 miles, there was no oil on the dipstick. At 103,000 miles the alarms went off 3 times to indicate there was no oil. We put in 2 quarts and took it to the shop for a diagnostic. Googling showed many other people with the same problem - no oil leak anywhere, but no oil in the car either. Toyota apparently knows of the problem and has informed service providers but will not acknowledge this problem to the car owners. We now carry oil in the car and check every time we put in gas to make sure we also have oil. The service shop suggests a $3500+ rebuild of the engine. We can afford to check oil and add it as necessary instead of rebuilding an engine that will end up with the same issue. It is unacceptable that the expectation is to add oil between every 5000 miles, as recommended by manufacturer, instead of the assurance that the car will be able to make it to each 5000 mile interval without adding additional oil. We also cannot afford to have the engine seize up in what is marketed as a very dependable car from a very dependable manufacturer. Apparently Toyota doesn't make cars that exceed a lifetime of 100,000 miles and are also a very undependable manufacturer of cars.

- Castle Rock, CO, USA

problem #8

Aug 192015


  • 174,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. While washing the vehicle, the contact noticed 2-3 drops of water entering the front passenger side window. The window was closed at the time of the failure. Additionally, when the vehicle was started, the contact noticed that the instrument panel failed and would not illuminate. The contact engaged the push-to-start button with the brakes applied to shut off the vehicle, but to no avail. The contact then shifted into park and attempted to exit the vehicle when the vehicle abnormally accelerated. The contact was knocked to the ground by the driver side door and sustained minor injuries. As a result. The dealer stated that the instrument panel computer needed to be replaced. The dealer failed to perform a diagnostic to determine the cause of the electrical failure or the acceleration failure. The dealer also advised the contact that the manufacturer extended a warranty to cover the failure, but the contact's vehicle was over the mileage limitation by 4,000 miles. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 174,000. The VIN was not available.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #7

Jul 192015


  • 120,000 miles
Car started skidding on the road, couldn't take control because car started to speed up and then rammed into the concrete barrier, spun around and ended up facing oncoming traffic. Luckily, there wasn't any car right behind me and I managed to push open the driver's side door although it wouldn't open completely and opened just enough for me to squeeze through and ran out of the car. At no time did the airbag open up at all. I was lucky that I sustained no major injury except for a badly knocking my left knee on the dash. My question to Toyota would be why the airbad didn't open! what if another car had hit mine and I wouldn't have been protected by the airbag!

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #6

Oct 182013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 113,000 miles


I brought my car in for a recall on steering mechanism which resulted in a bolt replacement. The service adviser advised me I needed to replace water pump. This car already had one pump replaced on a recall, why was the other pump not recalled?

- Biddeford, ME, USA

problem #5

Feb 252013


  • 112,000 miles
The three way coolant control valve failed.

- Kapolei, HI, USA

problem #4

Nov 172012


  • 97,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph, the vehicle stalled and every warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact allowed the vehicle to sit for a few minutes. The contact was able to restart the vehicle as it functioned normally for several minutes before the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection but they could not diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified but provided no assistance. The failure mileage was 97,000.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #3

Nov 092012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 115,995 miles


My 22-year-old son had a scary incident in which our 2005 Prius stalled spontaneously on the bronx river parkway (valhalla, NY) with several dashboard warnings lighting up. The hybrid shifted to battery mode in traffic. Luckily he was able to get off highway. Car was towed to dealer. We're very concerned because the car never had problems and because, on an internet search, we see the failure was precisely like the one described in NHTSA report that resulted in a Toyota action to service many cars in 2005: J.mp/nhtsaprius05problem.

- Garrison, NY, USA

problem #2

Jan 202012


  • 50,000 miles
While driving on the highway at 70 mph, the following symptoms occurred on my 2005 Toyota Prius: (1) car would not accelerate, (2) engine light came on, (3) problem light came on, (4) battery went red, (5) car stalled and would not accelerate/drive any further. After turning off the car and restarting it, I was able to drive it back and the battery recharged itself to green. After taking it to the dealership and having this problem "fixed", the exact same situation happened two more times, again 6 months later and then 2 weeks after that. The second time I was driving again on the highway at 70 mph, the third time I was driving at night at 40 mph.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #1

Sep 012012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 163,000 miles
My Prius dash keeps going black, the car won't shut off. Also had it in park engine revved and started to drive away. I jumped in and it wouldn't shut off I had to rip the key out. The rear taillights go out all the time. The doors and hatch locks won't unlock half the time. I had a new battery put in but it still happens.

- San Tan Valley, AZ, USA

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