really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,627 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2005 Toyota Prius:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2005 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #38

Jan 092014


  • 110,000 miles


Failure of engine throttle controls: Sudden rapid acceleration, un-commanded, which terminated quickly after applying the brakes.

- Portola Valley, CA, USA

problem #37

Sep 212011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 75,214 miles
Engine shut off at approximately 8500 feet above sea level (carson pass, highway 88). Driving approximately 35-40mph. Clear day 70 degrees. No warning light for overheating, but aux fan turned on in rear seat.. towed car approximately 50 miles to carson city. Inspected by Toyota dealer in consultation with Toyota service consultants. Replaced hybrid control ECU. No charge to me and Toyota reimbursed for 2 days expenses. Trip home, aux fan turned on at 8500 feet remained on until approx. 7000 feet elevation. Consulted Toyota, referred me to Toyota dealer near home. They consulted with Toyota hq. Hq recommend another test costing $500. Dealer could find no fault. I asked Toyota for reimbursement of $500 and to investigate engine shut off as a potentially very dangerous situation.Toyota referred me back to local dealer. Maintenance manager there told me they had already performed tests:nothing more to be done. Have not heard back from Toyota about reimbursement or further evaluation of the problem.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #36

Dec 022011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 100,500 miles
We were driving on the highway at night and suddenly, without warning, the engine stalled completely, the car died, and all of the warning lights came on, including a red triangle, check engine, brake, and some others. The Prius lost power and I had to turn on the hazard lights and coast to the shoulder. We called the aaa towing service and 911 (as the shoulder was very narrow and we could not get out of the car). The officer and the tow truck driver checked for all possible driver errors, including gas, but did not find anything out of the ordinary (the gas gauge showed 5/8 full). The car was towed to the Toyota dealership in sunnyvale who are working to determine the cause. This was a very dangerous situation as we were driving on a highway, with a child in the car, at highway speeds at night and the car suddenly died. It has left us shaken and we will be contacting Toyota to see if they have a fix for this.

- Los Altos, CA, USA

problem #35

Oct 252011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 42,500 miles


I was driving on the highway when my vehicle's check engine light came on. Shortly after I saw a large amount of smoke coming from the engine. I pulled over and shut off the car. Car smelled like burned plastic and smoke. I was worried that the car could catch on fire or blow up! I had the car towed to my nearest Toyota dealership.Toyota claimed that the three way coolant control valve had failed and the steam came from a ruptured line in the coolant system. The job cost me $422.32. I didn't mind paying the service but after careful research into the problem with the 3-way control valve on the Prius I had learned that this is a wide spread problem.apparently the valve tends to stick causing no flow of the coolant fluid. I feel Toyota should fix this problem before someone gets hurt either by getting burned from a ruptured line or the car catches on fire.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #34

May 212011


  • 75,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated when the vehicle stalled all of the warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact stated the dealer reprogrammed the computer, but the vehicle only functioned normally for one month. The contact stated the failure was being diagnosed by the dealer for one week. The fuel pressure was also being checked to see if it met specifications. The failure mileage was unknown, but the current mileage was 75,500.

- Plano, IL, USA

problem #33

Jan 192011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 78,646 miles
Incident = on 1/19/11 my 2005 Prius began to shake while driving on surface streets. I pulled over checked the car but saw nothing that would cause the shaking. I then started the car and began to drive. The shaking started again like an unbalanced washer. I took the car to hollywood Toyota. Toyota checked the car and indicated that 2 spark plugs had gone bad and that 2 ignition coils had shorted out. As a result the engine had carbon deposits and needed extensive cleaning. I have done all scheduled maintenance to Toyota specification.  as a result I contacted Toyota's offices to voice safety concerns. Were there any other similar reported incidents and do they consider any safety issues. Didn't get a clear answer at all from them. Toyota once again is in denial with Prius problems. Damage resulting = cost was $989.81. I feel that Toyota needs to reimburse me for these repairs. Had this happened on the freeway results could have been different. I complained to Toyota and they have offered me $348.10 off the total work. Its not just a money issue its a safety issue as well. 

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #32

Feb 062011


  • 164,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. While driving approximately 10 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the contact was awaiting diagnostic testing to determine the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 164,000.

- West Long Branch, NJ, USA

problem #31

Jan 192011


  • 78,646 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact was driving approximately 25-30 mph when the vehicle began to shake abnormally violent. The contact inspected the vehicle but could not locate a cause for the failure yet the failure persisted. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was advised that two spark plugs had failed, two of the ignition coils had shorted out and that carbon was built up on the engine as a result of the failure. The dealer replaced the spark plugs, ignition coils and cleaned the carbon from the engine. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 78,646 and the current mileage was 78,746. Updated 03/02/11

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #30

Nov 092010


  • 187,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. While driving 65 mph the vehicle suddenly shut off. The vehicle was towed to the contacts residence. The contact called the manufacturer who advised him to take it to the dealership for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not inspected or repaired. The current and failure mileages were approximately 187,000.

- Barryville, NY, USA

problem #29

May 202010


  • 26,000 miles
I drive a 2005 Toyota Prius. My car has 26,000 miles on it; which is very low mileages. While I was on the highway, my car`S lights on the dashboard starts to flash. The brake system warning light and buzzer comes on along with the ABS warning light and the malfunction indicator lamp. I had nowhere to pull aside. After two minutes the warning signs shut off so I kept driving. Five minutes later, all the warning lights come on so I decide to get off the highway to take it to the knoxville Toyota dealer. As I`M exiting the highway, I immediately realized that I had no breaks (when I pressed the brake pedal with my foot it automatically touched the ground)! I remembered that my dad always told me that in case of a brake emergency to pump the paddle until the breaks work. I almost crashed into another car; the exit ramp was very steep. I was going about 50 miles per hr by then; luckily I managed to stop while I kept pumping my breaks. I took it to the dealer right away. They checked my car and replaced: Pump assy. Water, super long life C, inverter coolant pump, sliding yoke, reflashed engine and hv ECU and shaft kit. Steeri. I found my case very dangerous and my life was at risk. Not only was my life at risk but as well as other individuals. I would hate for this to happen to someone else! it was scary and I felt like my life might have been over.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #28

May 232009


  • 18,461 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. While driving 55 mph the mass air flow sensor failed causing the vehicle to shut off. The contact towed the vehicle to the dealer to have the mass air flow sensor replaced. The ABS warning lights also flashed on the dash board causing the brakes to fail while driving 40 mph. The contact drove the vehicle to the dealer to have the ABS brake actuator replaced. The failure mileage was 18,461. Updated 11/10/10 updated 11/18/10

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #27

Mar 292006


  • 24,700 miles
I was involved in an accident with my 2005 Prius on 3/29/2006. The cause of the accident remains a mystery. I was sitting at an intersection, waiting for traffic to clear. Witnesses reported that I pulled out into the oncoming traffic, resulting in a collision with another vehicle. Due to the injuries I suffered (a minor concussion resulting in retrograde amnesia), I had no recollection of the period prior to arriving at the intersection up until the paramedics removed me from the vehicle. As such, I can't explain exactly what happened. While I have no proof of this, it seems that a possibility would be an issue with the stuck accelerator that's being reported relating to the Prius. I've been at a loss to explain why I would have pulled out in front of oncoming traffic at an intersection that I was very familiar with. When I heard of the acceleration issues with the Prius, I wondered if that could have been the cause. Since the vehicle was totaled, it's no longer available for inspection. I thought I'd submit this report to add to the suspected cases of accelerator issues.

- St Charles, MO, USA

problem #26

Nov 182009


  • 49,500 miles
2005 Toyota Prius stalled while driving and in motion. I own a 2005 Toyota Prius that I had just driven on highway about 25 miles and then was on local road. The vehicle stalled without any warning and all lights came on. The car was not responsive to gas and engine was shut. So I had to pull over. The car will not start and had to be towed to the dealer. Fortunately, it was during off peak time and I was on local road. If it had been during peak time and on highway, the consequences would have been significantly different. The dealer had no technical details as to why this happened. He said it was software issue.

- Park Ridge, NJ, USA

problem #25

Oct 202009


  • 255,600 miles
I have a 2005 Toyota Prius with 255K miles. I service my car regularly (about every 5 weeks). When I started my car after work, none of the dashboard lights came on. I put my car in drive and the car moved forward. I drove my car about 60 miles and stopped by the store. I became alarmed when the car wouldn't shut off. I pressed the "power" button several times but the car would not turn off. I drove the car to the stafford Toyota at approximately 7:30pm and requested assistance from the sales manager (since the service department was closed). The sales manager confirmed that the car was not supposed to operate without the dashboard lights because there was no way to determine if the car was on and whether the car was in park, reverse or drive. After numerous attempts of holding down the "power" button, the car finally shut off. When I restarted it, the lights still did not work.

- King George, VA, USA

problem #24

May 112009


  • 19,300 miles
Fire and total loss of 2005 Toyota Prius, 19,300 miles after returning from work, the vehicle was parked as usual with engine power cut in the owner's driveway. A few minutes later, smoke was noticed inside the car with flames showing from underneath the vehicle. The fire department extinguished the fire about 10 minutes after it was first noticed. The main damage is in the rear left (driver's side) of the vehicle, with the cargo compartment completely destroyed, tire completely melted, all plastic in the area melted, door blackened, the rear bench destroyed, the ceiling carpet destroyed and big heat marks on the roof of the car. The vehicle was not modified as a "plug-in hybrid" which have been reported in at least one incident of fire. The external temperature was moderate, around 70-75 degrees. Updated 06/05/09

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #23

Dec 182008


  • 50,000 miles
The engine shut down without warning in the middle of a busy street, creating an unsafe situation with cars coming up behind in a single lane.

- Burke, VA, USA

problem #22

Apr 192006

(reported on)


  • miles
Consumer complaint concerning 2005 Prius engine stalling.

- Woodland Park, CO, USA

problem #21

Nov 072005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 3 miles
Engine stalls.

- Woodland Park, CO, USA

problem #20

Jan 262006

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,100 miles
2005 Toyota Prius went into a sudden engine stalling mode. I do realize that Toyota has a recall on such vehicles, but the Toyota dealership that I took it to, the same place where I bought the vehicle, that had a "Prius expert" has been diagnosing this problem for a day with no answers / anticipated fix date. This is annoying to say the least, as Toyota does not seem to have taken the time to train it's dealerships on their own recall information. I could steer and operate the vehicle in electric only mode. Pressing the power key would not power off the car. Hence the battery started to drain. Opening the passenger door and pressing the power key, seemed to have been able to stop the car, not sure whether this was timing, or some coincidence. Starting the car again, made the gasoline engine come on for the purpose of replenishing the charge for the battery, with the dash still displaying the same issues. Also, pressing the accelerator again, does not raise the RPM of the gasoline engine. Its stalling continues after a power cycle.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #19

Dec 092005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles
I took my Toyota Prius in for the recall noted in PE05029 and since have lost 8 miles per gallon in performance. I contacted Toyota customer service to let them know and asked if they could tell me if other customers were experiencing the same problem. The reply was that customer service information is proprietary and that they would record my complaint but could give me no further information. I am not sure the car would still meet the epa mileage rating originally given.

- Wadesville, IN, USA

Read the next 18 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?