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 1 of 5)

problem #95

Jul 272009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 45,881 miles


Brake actuator assembly failure this system failed and had to be replaced by owner of Prius. Owner was driving car and the brakes stopped working almost causing a crash. Toyota recently (2016) offered warranty coverage for repairs in 2005. But having to take them to small claims because was denied on a technicality.

- Panorama City, CA, USA

problem #94

Oct 182014

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
2005 Toyota Prius. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle unintended acceleration. The consumer stated as she pulled into parking space, the vehicle suddenly accelerated out of her control and crashed into a stone wall. The vehicle was totaled. The consumer stated she experienced sudden acceleration prior to the accident. As she backed into a parking space, the vehicle suddenly accelerated in reverse, out of her control. Consequently, she jot a garage door.

- Winnetka, IL, USA

problem #93

Apr 282010


  • 128,000 miles
I have been experiencing some problems with my headlights. I changed the bulb and a month later the light stopped working again. I took it to the dealership they blamed it on the bulb, I tried to return the bulb to the store and they tested it and said everything was ok with the bulb so it had to be the headlights. I'm also having problems with the dashboard lights. The speedometer and gas gage completely failed. At the same time I was told my ABS brake system needs to be replaced! this is too much happening at the same time and I have to pay for all of it out of pocket.

- Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #92

Nov 232011


  • 27,773 miles


1) sudden unexpected acceleration 2) steering shaft severed 3) drivers side air bag inoperative along with all steering wheel mounted controls

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #91

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 #90

Jul 312015


  • 280,000 miles
The contact owned a 2005 Toyota Prius. After the vehicle was parked and turned off, it suddenly accelerated to 65 mph without warning and crashed into a retention wall. The front air bags did not deploy. No injuries were reported and a police report was not filed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was destroyed and towed to the contact's residence. The approximate failure mileage was 280,000.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #89

Apr 092015

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. While parking, the vehicle suddenly accelerated independently. The brakes were engaged, but failed to stop the vehicle. As a result, the contact's vehicle crashed into a parked vehicle. There were no injuries and no damages and it was unknown if a police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to a dealer. The technician diagnosed that the computer in the vehicle caused the unintended acceleration. The contact mentioned that the vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 09V388000 (vehicle speed control). The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 120,000. Updated 5/18/15

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #88

Feb 012015


  • 91,000 miles
The automatic braking system (ABS), vehicle stability control (vsc), brake light, and brake system warning lights (4) on the Prius all came on and vehicle became very unstable while out of town. The owner's manual indicated that the dealership should be contacted and car should be taken in immediately for service. Since no dealership was available at the immediate location, the car was driven home (60 miles) in very unstable conditions. Upon bringing it to the dealership I was told it was a miracle nothing bad had happened because the "computer skid assembly" needed to be replaced at a cost of $1570.97 for just the part!!! I found it very interesting that the part was readily available as if I were replacing an oil or air filter. After confirming the cost with other dealerships, I consented to the work to be performed. Is this just another "built in obsolescence" feature? there appears to be nothing I could have done to properly maintain this new piece of technology and the sudden failure of the part posses a significant safety concern to consumers. In addition, how can any reasonable consumer be certain that this part failure was not input by the manufacturer into the car's control system. Makes me long for the days of manual vehicles and shade tree mechanics.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #87

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 #86

Mar 252014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 143,254 miles
When run car to long distance and stop, the car accelerate the motor to high revolutions and need press the brakes. The dealer tell me paid for evaluation, but the car not have indicator light for problems. That's is a safety concerns. Please need help. I thinking the problem is the computer.

- Aguadilla, PR, USA

problem #85

Apr 022013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 138,000 miles


I was pressing the brake, but instead of stopping my Prius accelerated, and jerked under the stopped vehicle in front of me.the brakes acted like accelerated pedal. Prius occasionally had the accelerating jerks without pedal input, but after fixing all the recalls, I thought the car is fine. But this time, it was not a jerk, it was a full leap, that destroyed the whole front of the car. It was towed from the accident and it is beyond the repair. I had it only for 9 months.

- Stamford, CT, USA

problem #84

Aug 242012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
My wife was driving our 2005 Toyota Prius today and the accelerator locked to the floor. The car continued to accelerate even though she was braking. She was eventually able to get the vehicle to stop. The accelerator was not stuck under the floor mats. She had to pry the accelerator from the floor.

- Watertown, WI, USA

problem #83

Oct 202011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while the vehicle was parked, the vehicle accelerated forward and crashed into two vehicles and a wall. There were no injuries and the vehicle was not destroyed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and the current mileage was unknown.

- Gulfport, FL, USA

problem #82

Aug 252011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 64,500 miles
When starting the vehicle up, no speedometer display is illuminated. The display for the vehicle environmental controls (miles per gallon/energy use) still works. Along with the speedometer display, the rear hatchback door does not work. I tried to adjust the inside light display to see if the light level was turned off. This was not problem. I turned the light adjustment knob in both directions, and still no speedometer display. Upon trying to turn off the engine, it will not turn off. I was able to shut the vehicle off by disconnecting the car battery in the passenger side rear hatch back area. Note that because the rear hatch back door does not work, all the vehicle parts which leads to the rear battery has to be taken out from the rear seat of the vehicle. One particular time I disconnected the car battery on the black portion of the battery, and the vehicle did not shut off. I brought the vehicle to the Toyota dealership several times, and because this problem happens intermittently. Toyota was unable to duplicate it. However, one day when it was not working, I brought it in to them. They later claimed that it was a "cold start" problem to the computer that is responsible for the speedometer display (besides other things, rear hatch back door, cruise control, etc.). Toyota claimed they found the problem on the internet, and it was not a recalled part. This particular part (computer) normally happens only in the states that are very cold.

- Waikoloa, HI, USA

problem #81

Aug 012011


  • 85,000 miles
On 7/31/11 I noticed my cruise control would not set. The light came on indicating the cruise was on, but I could not get the speed to hold. The next day, the cruise control worked. Midday on 8/1/11 while parked, I shifted to the D position, but the light indicated I was in N. I shifted back and forth between R and D several times, but the light indicated N. I took my foot off the brake and the car moved backward. The light indicated N and the knob was in the D position. It did this several times. I turned the car off and back on and everything worked like it is supposed to. On 8/1/11 at approximately 10:30 P.M. I was driving home on a narrow, two-lane rural highway. On a blind curve, both of my headlights went out. I could not see anything. I tried cycling my headlights off and on and nothing happened. I applied my brakes and stopped. I opened my door to see where I was in the roadway and determined I was on the fog line on the opposite side of the road and there was a hillside less than 5' from me. I was able to drive to the shoulder on the right side of the road by using the light from my door. I was extremely lucky no cars passed by while my lights were out. I could have been killed or caused a catastrophe. I turned the car off and back on and both headlights came back on. A motorist stopped to assist. I was able to follow him to a store where a friend met me and I followed him home. During the drive home one of my headlights kept turning off. Both did not go off together again. I took the car to the dealer on 8/3/11 and was told I need a new auxiliary battery and two new headlights. Cost is going to be around $700. I read about a class action suit regarding 2006-2009 Prius' headlights and that Toyota knows there is a problem with them. I believe there should be a recall because of my harrowing experience and those of many others.

- Burney, CA, USA

problem #80

Oct 062010

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2005 Toyota Prius. Consumer states vehicle jolted and sprinted forward on its own while entering a parking lot

- Kaukauna, WI, USA

problem #79

Jan 312011


  • 116,002 miles
We were traveling along a familiar country road on a warm sunny day. When we arrived at a rural store there was only one other customer there. I slowly eased into the designated parking area which was situated about 17 inches above the lawn below. I was probably traveling less than one mile an hour. When I braked, the car accelerated and propelled itself over the blocks and railroad ties that are found in front of parking spaces, and we literally flew about 7 feet out and down onto the grass stopping just a few feet from a tree and a fence. While in the air, all I had time to do was put my foot down hard on the brake because there was not enough time to turn off the engine during the 5 seconds this was happening. Our first reaction was that I might have hit the accelerator instead of the brake, and though I found this inconceivable because I had never done anything like that before and because the two pedals are so different, I could not consider another explanation. However, as time passed, we came to the realization that this could not been the case because even if I had pressed the accelerator by mistake I would have had to have "floored" it to get that kind of acceleration in such a short distance, and even mistaking it for the brake I wouldn't have "floored" the brake because I was only about 18 inches from where I was to stop. Even under normal circumstances, the Prius just does not have this immediate kind of acceleration we experienced. I cannot help but think about this event occurring as I stopped at a crosswalk. This is a dangerous automobile that I loved driving for 5 years, and now I will not drive again.

- Mendon, UT, USA

problem #78

Nov 242010


  • miles
In December 2010, 2005 Toyota Prius was taken to dealer for pedal modification as part of the floor mat accelerator pedal entrapment recall. The dealer did not explain that pedal was actually being shortened by cutting off 1/4 inch at the bottom. After the recall modification was completed, accelerator pedal became stuck on after-market floor mat that had been in place in the vehicle since December 2005. Dealer did not mention this possibility at the time of the recall fix. (prior to modification, vehicle owner had checked to make sure that floor mat was properly anchored and that there was no way for accelerator to become trapped.) in this case, the modification intended to prevent floor mat entrapment actually caused the pedal to become stuck.

- Davenport, IA, USA

problem #77

Nov 302010


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph and trying to decelerate the vehicle would not come to a stop. She crashed into the rear end of a vehicle due to the failure. The air bags did not deploy. No one was injured. The vehicle was destroyed. The police were called, but did not arrive. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic and she had not received a call from the mechanic. The failure mileage was approximately 36,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- North Holywood, CA, USA

problem #76

May 012007


  • miles
2005 Toyota Prius. S10 appropriate handling- letter from regarding Toyota problems the consumer stated as she slowed down to make a turn in her gated her community, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and crashed into the brick column which supported the gate. She suffered a severe injury to her bottom lip when her face hit the steering wheel, as well as contusions to her leg and other bruising. The consumer stated she had no more problems until November 16, 2009. As she slowed down and pulled into a parking space, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and hit a wall. She received some bruising from the seat belt holding her into place. Two weeks later, the vehicle suddenly accelerated again and crashed into a brick wall. The consumer has since traded the vehicle.

- Winston-Salem, NC, USA

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