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 1 of 2)

problem #32

Jul 252016


  • 90,000 miles


Steering is sticky when turning steering wheel while driving at any speed.

- Bonita Springs, FL, USA

problem #31

Feb 142016


  • 193,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. While driving at any speed, the steering wheel felt loose and the vehicle was unstable. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a local dealer where it was diagnosed that the failure was not a recall issue. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and restated that there was no recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 193,000.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #30

Oct 112014


  • 61,000 miles
Takata recall, dash (sounds like something is losse) when driving over bump or at higher speeds. Then I toke it to the dealer they said that's steering column problem.

- Meriden, CT, USA

problem #29

Dec 012015


  • 93,000 miles


I was pulling out of a parking spot and my steering completely gave out. I could turn my steering wheel to the left and to the right, but my wheels were not responding to the movement. There was a rough noise as I tried to correct the steering but there was no forewarning of this (I had been driving around town earlier that day just fine - on busy roads with higher speed limits). It was very scary and thankfully, I was only going 5mph so I just stopped the vehicle and placed it in park. My car is currently at an independent repair shop in austin, tx and they said the splines broke which disabled the steering (and that I need to replace the steering rack and yolk). I'm getting a second opinion at a Toyota dealership to see what they say, but this major failure was extremely alarming. My Prius has approx 92,000 miles on it, and I take very good care of it from a maintenance standpoint. I've never heard of a problem like this before. I have plenty of friends with older cars with more mileage and none of them have experienced a complete failure of steering while the car is in motion. Additionally, my father spoke to a friend who owns a Toyota dealership at home and has sold many Prius vehicles - he said this was very serious and uncommon.....updated 12/30/15 please let me know what other information you need to adequately look into this.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #28

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 #27

May 302015


  • 110,000 miles
I left my house off noble road, cora, wy and pulled on to Wyoming highway 352 headed West at about 11 am; my husband john was in the car with me as were my dogs. The slippery road icon on the dash came on and there was a beeping noise from the dashboard. I was driving at about 10 mph, though the road is a 65 mph highway. The day was sunny and I slowed down as the road was dry and the light should not have been on and the beeping noise was a new sound for this car. After 2 miles I made a left turn and pulled into the first available driveway at mile 2, cora road. As I made the left turn at a slow speed, there was noise from the front of the car, then I heard a series of clunking noises from the steering column. I stopped the car in the ranch driveway and read the Prius manual regarding the icon and beeping symbols. Then I tried to turn the car around and noticed that the steering wheel just kept turning and did not turn the wheels of the car. Dave kanski, a rancher whose road my car was blocking, stopped to help me and noted that the steering wheel was not working. He gave my husband a ride back to our house to get our other vehicle. I called the local towing company, T and L towing, and they came to the site. The car would go forward and backward but the wheels would not turn. Tom nixon, tow guy, and I worked the car around to a position where I could drive the car forward on to his tow truck. The nearest Toyota dealer with Prius service is in rock springs, Wyoming, about 107 miles away and tom towed the car to their service lot. I called the dealer in rock springs to notify them of my car en route to them and explained the situation. I also called the Toyota help line at 1-800-331-4331 and talked to sheryl meyers. I explained the incident to her and she assigned a case number of 1505301276 to my claim. On Monday June 1, I talked to my insurance agent at state farm...updated 06-16-15...updated 12/29/15

- Cora, WY, USA

problem #26

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 #25

Oct 162014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
Steering column broke while making a right turn in city driving. Recall service had been performed on the steering column.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #24

Sep 232014


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. While driving approximately 25 mph, the vehicle made a loud popping noise. The contact noticed that the steering wheel was tilted and the anti skid and anti lock braking system warning indicators illuminated. When the contact attempted to merge to the emergency lane, the steering wheel separated from the steering column and caused a complete loss of steering ability. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and the technician stated that the failure was unrelated to NHTSA campaign number: 12V537000 (steering). The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 103,000.

- San Miteo, CA, USA

problem #23

Jun 032014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 140,748 miles
Brake, ABS and (O) with exclamation mark inside have been on, the seller was not honest with me about why the lights were on, I went to the Toyota dealer and they said it is not safe to drive the vehicle, repairs would cost $7000.

- Hilo, HI, USA

problem #22

Jan 152014

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles


Cpcs:I1410421A. 2005 Toyota Prius. Consumer stated the car was taken in for a wheel alignment. Apparently, Toyota has not allowed any way to adjust the rear toe or camber on the Prius, which can result in steering issues and problems associated with excessive or uneven tire wear.

- Eden Prairie, MN, USA

problem #21

Sep 122012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while turning, there was an abnormal vibration from the steering wheel without warning. The contact mentioned that the steering wheel remained loose after the failure. The vehicle was previously serviced under NHTSA campaign id number: 12V537000 (steering) but did not rectify the failure. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering column needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 116,000 and the current mileage was 131,000. Updated 03/31/14 the consumer stated the manufacturer offered to pay 50% of the repairs. The consumer believes the manufacturer should pay for 100% of the repairs. Updated 04/01/2014

- Chicago , IL, USA

problem #20

Jan 012011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
1tl* the contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that there had been an abnormal rattling noise from the steering shaft every since the vehicle was serviced under NHTSA campaign number: 12V537000 (steering). The purchased a new intermediate shaft and while attempting to replace the intermediate shaft, he discovered that there had not been a failure but the steering shaft bolts had not been properly tightened, causing the rattling noise. The dealer and manufacturer were both advised of the failed repair. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 20,000 and the current mileage was 200,000. Updated 11-04-13 updated 11/6/2013

- Monclova, OH, USA

problem #19

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 #18

Jun 172013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 77,201 miles
As I was pulling into a parking spot I head a snapping sound in the steering column and the wheels stopped turning. The steering wheel would turn, but the wheels would not turn at all. We had the vehicle towed and it is currently in the shop.

- North Waterboro, ME, USA

problem #17

May 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 105,402 miles
I pulled into a gas station to fuel up and when I left the gas station I suddenly lost steering in my car. I could only move forward and backward. Updated 06/13/13 updated 06/17/2013

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #16

Feb 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 27,773 miles
Petition for an investigation into defect conditions in upper immediate steering extension shaft #2 manufacturing defect in the 2004-2009 Toyota Prius vehicles w/respect to recall 12V-537. An inspection revealed that the current loss of 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- assist 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. This allowed a metallurgical failure on the interior of the upper steering intermediate shaft, which consequently allowed separation of that shaft from the electrical steering power assist column. An examination of the shaft spline showed a long term deterioration of the upper intermediate shaft #2 inside spline as evidence by metallurgical shards of deteriorated spline metal still residing in the upper intermediate shaft cavity. Also, the cruise control would cancel and not re-engage, then there were times, where the cruise control would not dis-engage at all. The vehicle would drift off course whenever the consumer took his eyes off the road, for even a moment. The consumer would have to steer the vehicle constantly or it would drift into another lane. Apparently, it was due to a computer algorithm that would attempt to correct for wind and road surface anomalies.

- Reston, VA, USA

problem #15

Dec 182012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
We bought our Toyota Prius on June 2006. Recently my wife, who is the principle driver, complained to me that there was something wrong with the steering of the Prius. I drove it and noticed that when I made a turn either left or right that I heard and felt a clanking sound coming from the steering column. I also noticed that with the engine off and the car not in motion, there was quite a bit of movement from the steering wheel whenever I would push it up and down. I took it to my mechanic and he said that the steering shaft assembly was defective. He replaced the steering shaft assy part # 45260-47052. I am not sure whether this has been a recall item or not but if it was I was never notified or made aware by Toyota. It cost us $371 parts and labor for this repair.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #14

Aug 152012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 82,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while turning right at 35mph the steering became hard to control which caused the vehicle swerved to the left. As a result, the contact lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree. The contact suffered bruises and broke the right thumb. The passenger in the front seat suffered bruises. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure and current mileage was 82,500...updated 12/05/12 updated12/07/2012

- South Lyon, MI, USA

problem #13

Aug 192012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 83,338 miles
I was making a turn at low speed and the steering failed. The steering wheel kept turning but the wheels did not. I took the car in for service and found out that the steering intermediate shaft splines were worn. As a secondary issue, the failure of the shaft splines caused unimpeded rotation of the steering wheel which subsequently damaged the steering clock spring. The intermediate shaft replacement was covered in Toyota safety recall ssc-60C and my vehicle had (according to Toyota) the necessary work recall work done in 2006. Apparently the recall work did not fix the problem. Toyota argues that this part is no longer under warranty and therefore, not their responsibility. I argue that (a) it was a recalled part and the recall clearly did not fix the problem and (B) the failure of the steering shaft is a major, and unacceptable failure of the vehicle. I think that is important that (a) the public be notified of the inefficacy of the recall and (B) that Toyota be held responsible for the failure of this part.

- Davis, CA, USA

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