really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,268 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2005 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #12

Dec 012011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 109,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that at engine startup, the SRS warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was advised that the steering wheel needed a replacement spiral cable. The manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 109,000 and the current mileage was 109,500. Updated 03/06/12

- California City, CA, USA

problem #11

Nov 222011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 27,773 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving approximately 70 mph with the cruise control activated, he applied the brake pedal in an attempt to deactivate the cruise control. The cruise control would not deactivate and the contact had to manually deactivate the cruise control system. The contact also stated that he heard a snapping sound coming from the steering wheel while attempting to park at 5 mph. This failure occurred the day after the cruise control failure. The steering wheel then became loose and the contact completely unable to steer the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for a diagnostic test. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 27773 updated 12/12/11 the consumer stated the SRS and all the steering wheel mounted controls were disabled. Updated 05/31/12 the consumer contacted an automotive systems analysis company, who inspected the vehicle and determined the steering issue was caused by a catastrophic failure of the upper steering intermediate shaft. The upper steering intermediate shaft was decoupled from the electric power steering column output spline. A careful examination of the decoupled components revealed that for an extended period of time, the upper steering intermediate shaft had not been properly installed on the spline output of the power assist column, which allowed a metallurgical failure on the interior of the upper steering intermediate shaft, which consequently allowed separation of the shaft from the electrical steering power assist column. Updated 05/13/13

- West Lafayette , IN, USA

problem #10

May 262011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 68,304 miles
Steering failure on 2005 Toyota Prius. 2007- service campaign 60C performed on this Prius to inspect/replace steering intermediate shaft and components. May 6, 2011- noticed wobble in steering when driving on smooth highway at 70 mph. May 20, 2011 - took Prius in to dealer service department for: 1] scheduled maintenance, (oil/lube, align front suspension, clean/adjust brakes, etc), 2] snow tire change-out 3] requested investigation of problem with steering wobble. Items 1 and 2 were completed. On item 3, dealer service department reported that they did not find a problem and stated it could be related to snow tires out of balance. May 26, 2011-complete steering failure occurred while turning slightly to the right at about 15 mph on a smooth city street. The steering wheel spun unlimited number of times to left and right with no effect on the wheels. The car was towed to dealer. May 28, 2011 -dealer completed repairs. The invoice says they replaced: 1 04005-72147 shaft kit, steering 1 84306-0E010 cable sub-assy spir, and performed align front suspension for a total cost of $798.22. The service advisor reported the splines at the end of the intermediate shaft were worn and that the technician had only seen this once or twice before. A complaint regarding safety and cost has been filed with "Toyota help" (Toyota usa). Toyota stated that they could not supply any information about incidents of this type on other priuses. Neither the safety nor the cost complaint has been resolved at this time. Reported June 20, 2011 *information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Boulder, CO, USA

problem #9

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 #8

Jan 032010


  • miles
I have a Toyota Prius 2005. Purchased in December 2004. Ever since I bought this car, I have noticed there is a acceleration lag while making turn on right or left. I have noticed that there is not continuous acceleration and feels like, car may stop in the middle of the road while making a sudden turn on right or left. I have brought this problems to dealers attention but they never took much interest. I still have this issue with this vehicle. Recently in January of 2010, steering tie rod came off while removing a car from the shopping mall. No break, it completely came off without having any damage to tie rod threads. We were fortunate that it did not happen on the freeway, it would have been a big disaster. I still have a tie rod with me.

- Canton, MI, USA

problem #7

Sep 012009


  • 85,000 miles
Steering wheel started shaking while driving. Had wheel alignment checked, no problem. Took it to the ventura Toyota, they charged us over $200 and said the problem was loose screws in the steering column. This was quite scary and even though we had purchased bumper to bumper 100,000 mile warranty, this was not covered. They said it was only loose screws. We felt this was definitely a safety issue and if it hadn't been taken care of, we would have had steering failure resulting in an accident.

- Ventura, CA, USA

problem #6

Apr 142009


  • 62,000 miles


I was backing up from a parked position, I turned the steering wheel to proceed forward and heard and felt a crunch. I put the car in drive and had to stop before hitting a parked vehicle because the car was not going in the direction I steered. I soon realized that I had lost all steering control. I had it towed and my local mechanic evaluated the steering column and found what he thought was a manufacturing or assembly defect. Thinking that my car may not be the only one affected I made some calls and researched the internet. I found that this car had a recall published 6/2006 for this very problem. I am the 3rd owner of this vehicle. The previous owner bought it from a reputable Toyota dealership, with the logo "certified used" on the sales receipt. He purchased the vehicle from the dealer after the recall notice had been published. It appears the dealership did not check for recalls before "certifying" this vehicle. This could have been a catastrophic event at high speeds for me, my family or someone driving by me at the wrong time. I will submit a second complaint if the dealership and/or Toyota does not handle this appropriately.

- Afton, WY, USA

problem #5

Mar 312007


  • miles
We own 2 Toyota priuses. One is a 2003 (the older style) and a 2005. In 2004, I was driving the 2003 on the freeway. A panel truck was to my right. It started to come into my lane so I swerved to avoid getting hit. The car started to skid and slide. The car first fishtailed, then went to the hard right (I think), the left and then I lost total control of the car. The car did a 180 in the middle of the freeway. When it came to a stop, I was able to turn the car around and continue down the freeway. Luckily the engine did not shut off so I was able to get out of this precarious position. I also lucked out B/C the freeway was not busy and the other cars were able to avoid me. Yesterday, our entire family was in the 2005 Prius. We were on two lane highway in northern California. We were in the fast lane. A police car came up behind us with lights flashing. By the time my husband saw him fast approaching, there was no where to go. There was a car to our right. My husband tried to go onto the shoulder (probably hit some gravel) and the car went out of control. It was very similar to my experience. The car started shaking and fishtailing, then I think we went to the right, then left and then slammed into the guardrail. Both airbags deployed and injuries were extremely minor (bumps and bruises). I am concerned B/C both cars quickly went out of control when sudden moves were executed. I have never had a car do this before. I hope it is just a coincidence because we love these cars.

- Davis, CA, USA

problem #4

Aug 012006


  • miles
I own a 2005 Toyota Prius. I received a notice of a possible steering intermediate shaft defect last spring, about the time I broke my right foot. I was unable to drive for 8 weeks. When I then called my dealer to have the repair done, I was told that the necessary parts were back-ordered. I kept checking. The parts were not available until January 2007, much longer than is acceptable for a safety-related defect.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #3

Sep 112006

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,500 miles
Total failure of steering. Steering wheel just spun freely like a toy car. Fortunately, the failure occurred during parallel parking, so the speed at the time was slow and no injuries or damage resulted. The consequences of this failure could have easily been death had the timing of the failure been different. Steering components were replaced under existing recall approximately 2 weeks ago. I haven't had Toyota look at the problem yet, hoping that a 3rd party investigation would be more beneficial in saving lives.

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #2

Jun 292006

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
: the contact stated the vehicle was taken into the dealer for a recall and the recall part was unavailable. Therefore, an appointment was scheduled for June 29, 2006 for the remedy repair. On that date, the vehicle was dropped at the dealer (about 65 miles away). When the contact returned to pick up the vehicle, the recall remedy repair had not be made because the part was still unavailalbe and would need to be ordered. The contact has been informed by dealer that the part is available however the service dept will follow up to reschedule an appointment later that day. The contact waited 6 hours and still had not received a call back from the dealer's service dept to reschedule the appointment. The shaft that was supposed to be replaced according to the recall is now broken. The vehicle will now have to be driven with a broken shaft.

- Bailey, CO, USA

problem #1

Feb 262005

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 300 miles
(1) driving at speeds between 60-75mph on smooth flat roads (2) vehicle sways or "floats" side to side, especially during crosswind conditions (3) report to dealer, no repair was done by dealer as they think it was caused by grooves in the road

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

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