really awful
Crashes / Fires:
29 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
9 / 1
Average Mileage:
45,163 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 (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #75

Oct 212010


  • 96,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact was driving 60 mph and as she accelerated to pass another vehicle, the vehicle suddenly accelerated independently. The contact depressed the brake pedal but the vehicle continued to accelerate. She shifted into neutral and depressed the brake pedal until the vehicle began to decrease in speed. The vehicle was towed to the contacts residence. The vehicle was not inspected or repaired for the failure. The manufacturer was not notified. The current and failure mileage was approximately 96,000.

- Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

problem #74

Aug 252010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 36,530 miles
I pulled into a parking place.  I noticed my car was not straight and I started to release the emergency brake to straighten it.  though I still had my foot on the emergency brake and had not started to accelerate, the car lunged forward. I slammed down on the emergency brake and the regular brake; at some point I remember that my left foot was on the regular brake pushing with all my might.  without hesitation my car smashed into the car parked ahead of me.  my car knocked the other car into the stop sign ahead of it, then exploded into the intersection and continued a short way down the block before slowing down. I waited for traffic and then turned around.  I came back and parked on the other side of the street facing the other way.  I crossed the street to the scene of the accident and told the parking meter lady that I had hit the other car.  I was very shaken. The driver of the other car had just arrived with his farmer's market bags.    he said he would take pictures so I went back to my car to get my camera to take pictures too.  I noticed that it was my right front bumper that had hit the other car's left back bumper because, trying to avoid hitting the other car,   I had turned toward the street.   I took pictures of his car.  the officer arrived (called by the meter person) and I gave my report.  the officer asked me if I could drive my car home.  I said I wasn't sure, I would call the insurance company.  in any case I would not try to drive right away as I was too shaken.  the other driver drove away.  when the officer left, I sat in my car passenger side with my feet on the sidewalk still in shock.  I was afraid of driving the car. I called my son to come to get me. I called the insurance company and followed their directions.  intent on stopping the car, I had braked as hard as I could with my left foot. When waiting to turn the car around I saw the emergency brake was on.

- Santa Cruz, CA, USA

problem #73

Dec 102009


  • miles
While driving in a snowstorm in my 2005 Prius, I stopped at a red light on a busy street, the roads starting to become slippery with snow. As the light changed to green, I stepped on the gas, and the"slippery" light came on my dashboard. When this happens, the front wheels will not spin at all. I could not move the car at all, since the computer determined I was on a "slippery" spot. I saw cars and trucks barreling toward me in my rear view mirror, unable to move, and visibility greatly reduced, due to the falling snow. I put my blinkers on, and thankfully on coming traffic was able to avoid me. I was stuck at this intersection for four light changes, slightly panicked. I finally put the car into reverse, and got just enough movement out of the car to find a dry patch and get me moving again. When I reported this to both Toyota, and my local dealer, they told me this is a "safety" feature. It's a safety feature that will surely get someone killed. The front wheels simply will not spin in the least if the car determines it is slippery, which left me no where to go at that intersection. I later googled the problem, and found that this is a very common problem with Prius owners. A few people left the comment that snow tires are necessary to avoid this problem. Not knowing what else to do, I went out and bought 4 new snowtires. It did make a huge difference, but I'm afraid that for someone else, they may find out too late. This safety feature is an unacceptable death trap waiting to happen.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #72

May 132010


  • 142,962 miles


I drove a 2005 Toyota Prius VIN#[xxx] until 5/13/2010. At around 10am I was driving on the hwy in the lft lane. With cruise control on going 75mph. I had a gps on and navigating. And I had my blue tooth earpiece on. Then all at the same time my blue tooth shut down. My gps shut down. And every warning lite came up in the car. Even the display that usually shows how the hybrid systems works was blinking problem!! problem!! so I let off the gas and started to move to the rt side of the road. Thats when I realized that I had no power steering. There was an exit coming up so I let the car slow down to about 50mph. As I started to exit I put my ft on the brakes. Thats when I noticed that the pedal was very stiff and vibrating. I was coming to a blind intersection and I had the red lite. So I pushed on my brakes. Instantly I could hear screaching tires. So I looked in my side mirror. And to my suprise im looking at a large amount of smoke coming from me! my rear tires had locked up and my front tires werent doing anything. So I started fishtail back and forth like I had my ebrake on. I put all my wt on the pedal cause the intersection was really getting close. And without power steering it was very hard to keep the car from crashing. I came to a stop just before the light. Then drove my car to the nearest dealer at in berkeley ca at 10mph. I told them everything. Even about my blue tooth and garmin. They got me a rental car then 4day later they said if I give them $2000 for a part and $1000 in labor it might fix it but there not sure cause they never saw this problem before. And they werent going to pay for my rental cause the part was out of warrenty after 36000miles. I have had every svc done at Toyota. And if theres a computer pt that Toyota knows can brake easily. Which they do. Thats why its only warrenty to 36000miles. It shouldnt result in the loss of your brakes and power steering. Very dangerous!! I could of died. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Modesto, CA, USA

problem #71

Oct 182005


  • miles
I own a 2005 Toyota Prius. When applying the brakes on a surface with a pot hole or deep indentation, the car speeds up and gives the feeling that it is not going to stop in time. I try to leave a greater stopping distance but then never know when this type of surface will suddenly appear and raise the possibility of a crash. This is not a one-time occurrence. Other than, "it's not on the recall list" Toyota never has any comment on this concern.

- West Seneca, NY, USA

problem #70

May 032010


  • 70,522 miles
I have this problem ever since I bought the car in 2004. The skid light comes on everytime I hit an uneven road surface feeling like IżM driving in the snow and icy road. On the way home while making a turn, the car hesitated when I stepped on the gas and the warning lights for brake, vsc, trac, and ABS came on. I brought it to the dealership and the service representative told me it was the wheel sensor, that my rear right tire is not being sensed, but the rest were. It did not correct the problem of the warning lights in the dashboard; and with further diagnosis, they found out it was the skid control computer assembly. I felt robbed by spending money on the wheel sensor that was replaced when all the while it was the skid control ECM was the problem.

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #69

May 132009


  • miles


[xxx], a resident of wantagh, NY, was driving on the wantagh state parkway when she was hit from behind and then experienced the sudden, unintended acceleration of her 2005 Toyota Prius. The acceleration continued after she pressed on the brake pedal. As a result, [xxx] struck another vehicle on the road and was involved in a serious accident. Moreover, the seatbelt in the vehicle was defective in that it became unfastened and the airbags did not deploy. The vehicle has a VIN# [xxx] and was purchased at atlantic Toyota in long island. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Wantagh, NY, USA

problem #68

May 012005


  • 89,000 miles
2005 Toyota Prius--experiences braking and handling failures when braking on uneven or wet surfaces. When we are braking and hit a pothole, gravel, railroad tracks or wet surfaces, the car feels as if we are losing control of it, and braking seems to temporarily stop. The "skid danger" light comes on, even at very low speeds. This happens nearly every time we brake under these conditions. Also, at idle (ie. Stoplights), the car will frequently lurch forward slightly, even with the brake pedal fully depressed, especially when engine transfers from electric to gas. We were told early in our ownership that this is normal "dieseling". these have been on-going problems, since we purchased the car in 2005 (new), that we thought we were "imagining" until hearing all of the reports of similar problems.Toyota claims that the Prius braking issues only affect the 2010 Prius, but we see it firsthand on an on-going basis.

- Watkinsville, GA, USA

problem #67

Apr 032010


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. While driving 10 mph on a paved and grassy surface with his foot on the brake pedal, the vehicle surged forward and crashed into a tree destroying the vehicle. The police arrived to the scene and 3 injuries were reported. The vehicle was towed to an independent body shop but the vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 65,000.

- San Franscisco, CA, USA

problem #66

Apr 012010


  • 28,800 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. While the contact was driving approximately 55 mph minimal pressure was applied to the brake pedal which suddenly traveled to the floor and remained in a stuck position. The manufacturer advised that the vehicle was not included in the recall and was unable to provide further assistance. The vehicle had not been repaired when the complaint was filed. The failure and current mileages were 28,800.

- North Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #65

Mar 012010


  • 64,714 miles


Having just started the car and enroute to my destination, I was on a city street following a large landscape truck traveling approximately 20-25mph.. road conditions were dry. Although the truck's brake lights were not on, I perceived the truck was gradually slowing. In anticipation of making a stop, I moved my foot from the accelerator to the brake pedal. When the truck's driver applied his brakes, I also applied my brakes intending to come to a gentle stop by lightly pressing the brake pedal. Without warning the brake pedal 'softened' and my Prius continued to coast with no braking at all. Since the truck's size and width obscured sight of any on-coming traffic, I couldn't turn out of my lane and as a result rear- ended the truck. Since there was no damage to the truck or injuries, a police report was not filed; however, I immediately called my insurance agent and was authorized to drive to an approved body shop. After the repairs were completed, I scheduled an appointment on March 19th 2010 with my Toyota dealer to check my car's braking system. The brake pads/shoes, braking fluid were found to be fine, but no analysis of the computer braking system was discussed. According to the Toyota service adviser, the braking failure couldn't be duplicated and their mechanic found nothing mechanical that might have caused the problem. I am dissatisfied with Toyota's service adviser's dismissive position regarding my brake's failure. Despite their inability to diagnose the problem, the service adviser insists the car is safe to drive, but offers no evidence to support this claim. In the past I've complained to Toyota service about the intermittent 'floaty' feeling I experience when depressing the brake in stop and go traffic. No extensive diagnosis of the braking system was ever offered to me, and indeed, the brakes finally failed. Since no one at my local Toyota dealer is willing to resolve this issue satisfactorily, I find it necessary to file a formal complaint

- Pleasanton, CA, USA

problem #64

Mar 282008


  • miles
While on a 3 hour trip across rt 40 from nashville to knoxville, my 2005 Toyota Prius unexpectedly accelerated three times. The first time it happened, it lasted a few seconds and then returned to normal. The second time it happened, I tapped the brakes to make it stop. The third time it happened, I applied the brakes but the car continued to accelerate to about 84 mph (probably about 3 seconds) so I held down the power button and pulled off the highway. I do not use cruise control (because I don't like my car driving itself!!!). there were some scattered rain showers but the road was mostly dry. The car goes to the dealer tomorrow to replace an $818 heasdlight so they are going to check out the sudden accleration problem while it's there.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #63

Mar 092010


  • miles
2005 Toyota Prius suddenly accelerated to maximum speed without warning. Consumer states he was in heavy traffic and had to slam on the brakes. The consumer believed he accelerated from 25 mph to about 45-50 mph in a matter of seconds. The braking action did, in this case cause the acceleration to stop at that point. There was no explanation and the incident had never occurred before. The floor mats had been removed weeks before.

- Townsend, MA, USA

problem #62

Mar 242010


  • miles
Traction control light flashes and car accelerates when encountering sudden bumps in the road. This occurs when hitting bumps while the brakes are being applied. I have informed Toyota about this and they never replied. The affected car is a 2005 Toyota Prius with 65,000 miles. Purchased cpo in August of 2009 from a Toyota dealer. This issue is a repeat occurance. I have encountered this issue in excess of 20 times since I've assumed this car and noticed prior to the massive recall noise in the media. Thank you for your time.

- North Versailles, PA, USA

problem #61

Jan 102010


  • miles
My 2005 Toyota Prius has twice accelerated beyond my control. Both occasions occurred within the past 2-3 months. The first time, I was accelerating to pass someone. I had the pedal basically to the floor, and when I stopped accelerating, the pedal "stuck, " and the engine revved. When acceleration continued after I took my foot off the accelerator, I applied the brakes and the acceleration stopped. The second time, I was accelerating rapidly to enter the highway. Again, acceleration continued after I took my foot off the gas pedal. I tried the brake, which did not work, so I put my foot under the gas pedal and lifted it up, and the acceleration stopped. I am very aware Toyota is having similar complaints, and that floor mats are sometimes blamed; however, at the time of both of these incidents, there were not floormats in the car.

- Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #60

May 202009


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. While driving 2 mph backing out of her drive way, the vehicle accelerated and it crashed into a telephone pole. One passenger injured her wrist and bump her head. A police report was filed. The vehicle was severely damaged. The vehicle was repaired by a local dealer. The failure mileage was 65,000. The current mileage was 88,000.

- Foxboro, MA, USA

problem #59

Jan 012009


  • miles
Ltr fwd fm (ca) re sudden acceleration from owner of a 2005 Toyota Prius. The consumers wife pulled into a parking garage. As she pulled into a parking space and applied the brake, the vehicle instead accelerated suddenly and with such force that the vehicle flew from the 3rd story space down to the second floor. The consumer also stated on at least one occasions prior to the accident, the vehicle started up on its own without the presence of a key. The vehicle was totaled.

- South Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #58

Jul 152008


  • 12,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the vehicle would lunge forward whenever the vehicle was idle. The failure would occur on a daily basis. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer but received no repairs. The failure mileage was 12,000 and the current mileage was 70,000.

- Collings Lakes, NJ, USA

problem #57

Mar 092010


  • miles
Ltr to administrator re 3/9/2010 accident involving a 2005 Toyota Prius in harrison, NY, requesting that NHTSA immediately assume control of this investigation and work with local authority's. the vehicle accelerated suddenly down a winding driveway, crossed a two-lane road and shoulder, then crashed into a stone wall, resulting in significant property damage and a knee injury to the consumer.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #56

Apr 012006

Prius 4-cyl

  • 3,370 miles
I have reviewed my service records and it is quite clear that I have had problems with the "electrical" system in my car since April 2006 @ 3,370 miles. This was also the same time it began to accelerate from a stopped position for the first time, when I noticed that the braking system began to "feel" different, when the car began "slipping" on perfectly dry roads, and when my steering wheel would lock up. I find it difficult to believe that the failure of my brakes and my intermittent acceleration issues are not somehow related to the cars "computer" system and not mechanical issues. I have filed complaints with Toyota for these issues (cases # 200807100210, 200811030088). I experienced my first braking issue on 27-Jun-2008 (25,133 miles). While I was able to bring the car to a stop eventually, the slowing of my car was a very gradual process requiring heavy pressure on the brake with minimal braking response. I went to the Toyota dealership. The dtc code at the time was C1247 with "code 179" stored, there was "no brake assist." The dealership reset the memory and reinitialized the linear solenoid valve and calibration. The brakes were reported to have returned to "normal." On 09-Jul-2008 (25,551 miles), I returned to the dealership because my brakes failed again. This time my brake failure resulted in a car accident (the person I hit stated at the time of the accident he had whiplash but he never contacted me afterwards). Toyota replaced the skid control ECU and rechecked operation reassuring me once again that the brakes had returned to "normal." On 03-Nov-2008 (29,575 miles) as I was driving over 65 on a major highway my brakes again failed (dtc C1247, code 179). Toyota case #08300402. At this point the repair shop replaced the brake stroke sensor. I am concerned because my car had an acceleration issue on 13-Feb-2010 and I find it to be "slipping" again on dry roads. Similar problems to those I had before my brakes failed. Please help. Updated IVOQ 04/02/10 updated 04/08/10.

- Berkeley, CA, USA

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