really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
91,180 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.

2006 Toyota Prius drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2006 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #13

Aug 012006


  • 500 miles


From the time I purchased it new in 2006, while in park/stationary, it's normal for a Prius to shut off their gas engine while in idle.. however, when the gas engine comes back on to help charge the battery while in idle, it causes the car to jerk forward 1-2 inches. One time this bumped a person crossing the street that walked near my idling car. It happens every time. So the date below should have an option for everyday.

- Layton, UT, USA

problem #12

Apr 052016


  • 189,930 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. While the vehicle was at the dealer, it was placed in the drive position and independently moved to the neutral position. The contact also stated that the vehicle was placed in the reverse position and independently moved to the neutral position. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 189,930.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #11

Apr 212008


  • 44,556 miles
Power train over-engagement: When attempting to slow enough to make a 90 degree right turn, after letting off accelerator before applying the brake, the power train continued to engage, even during braking, for a few seconds causing extra inertia entering corner with definite loss of traction.* *there is no warning, very disconcerting, causing mild to severe anxiety. * this has happened at least 50 times in last 7 years of ownership. *happens in many stopping conditions: Slow, fast (usually under 30mph) *irrespective of straight or changing direction other vehicle had been present, a collision would have been eminent. Icy condition vehicle could have ended off road.

- East Lansing, MI, USA

problem #10

Dec 092014

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 220,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. While driving 55 mph over a pothole, the contact lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle went airborne and the seat belt disengaged and caused the contact to be ejected from the vehicle. Additionally, the front driver side tire detached from the vehicle and the contact crashed into a ditch. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was not filed and the contact sustained unknown injuries that required medical attention. The vehicle was towed to a dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 220,000. Updated 2/24/15 updated 03/02/15

- Rockymount, NC, USA

problem #9

May 142014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 123,900 miles
This complaint has not been qcD. the contact submitted an email and requested that the official IVOQ be written verbatim to the email. Kmj I have multiple situations with my Toyota Prius 2006 in the beginning of May 2014 I a loud beeping noise filled the car. The system had multiple lights displaying showing including the emergency brake light ( while I was driving), ABS, vsc, a red triangle with an exclamation point in the middle, etc. As, this was happening car immediately started slowing down and I was forced to pull it to the side of the street. This same thing happened to me three other times while I was on the freeway. One time I was driving home from work and my car again started decelerating while I had multiple cars around me on the freeway. All of the lights were displaying, I put my hazards on and was forced to move to the side of the road while I was almost hit by the car behind me because my car was rapidly slowing down. I took the car to the dealership service center and they didn't know what the problem was. They did a diagnostic test, multiple test drives, but at that time they didn't know. So they told me to drive the car home and come back if it happens again. Within the week I was exiting off of the freeway with my children when I start hearing the loud beeping noise, all the lamp lights came on, and as I am waiting in line to exit the freeway onto a busy street the car stops. I panicked, put on the hazards, the car wouldn't allow me to shift it into drive it had moved to neutral on its own. I turned off the car, turned it back on and was slowly able to move the car. This time I took pictures of the lamp display to show the service members as well. My children, myself, and other drivers could have been seriously hurt! the Toyota service center told us we have a bad computer, the problem is with the ECU, and the car went into a fail safe mode.

- San Jose , CA, USA

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problem #8

May 312014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 81,689 miles
I am requesting that NHTSA investigate expanding/adding-to the recall of Toyota Prius coolant inverter pump failures* to include coolant storage pump failures blowing a main fuse causing dangerous loss of all power and control. On May 31st, 2014, while traveling at about 60mph, without any warning, the car instantly shut down: No drive power, no power steering, no power brakes, no front panel display. This was a dangerous situation. After diagnosis, the Toyota dealer with assistance from Toyota corporate concluded that the "coolant storage pump" (not the coolant inverter pump as in the recall) was the cause of this blown "am-2" 15-amp fuse which shut down the hybrid system, power steering, brakes, etc. They indicated that the coolant storage pump fault was a known cause. This car is well-maintained, dealer maintained. It had all the recent recall updates installed. It was a mild day ~75deg. We'd been driving about 10 mins after a 30 minute stop. Vehicle load was not a factor -- two slim adults, no cargo load. No electrical charging loads. I am very concerned with the safety implications of immediately losing all power, power brakes, power steering, without warning, because of a single coolant pump fault. Can you please investigate this. I hope they fixed my vehicle. And I hope if anyone else has this problem its not deadly. Thank you, * recall of inverter coolant pump 12V536000: "...open fuse, creating a stall-like condition of the hybrid system while the vehicle is being driven. This may increase the risk of a vehicle crash." Ps I found another complaint that might be related (..shut off in traffic, similar VIN, NHTSA id number: 10567158). Though this complaint seems to be focused on the costs replacing additional pumps.

- Poway, CA, USA

problem #7

Oct 042013


  • 70,000 miles


Intermittently when the car is shifted into reverse it will start for a moment then go into neutral. When this occurs it will not allow you to put the car into park and only if the gear shift is held in reverse or constantly shifted into reverse will it allow you to do so. It will then only go into park when you turn off the car. I have researched this issue and found it occurring in many priuses of varying years and also occurs shifting into drive, and can occur while the car is in motion at high speeds. I have found this technical service bulletin from Toyota that seems to be referring to this issue. However it is only covered by them if the car is under 3 years or 36K miles. The issue didn't even begin for me until the car was 7 years old. It should be a recall item. I am unable to attach the file so below is a link to the site that has the attachment. priuschat.com/threads/shifter-slips-into-N-replace-shifter-T-sb-0142-11.98016/.

- Renton, WA, USA

problem #6

Mar 062014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while traveling various speeds, the vehicle suddenly lost acceleration power. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where the failure could not be replicated. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 118,000.

- West Covina, CA, USA

problem #5

Aug 102013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 88,767 miles
Gear pops back to neutral from driving or reversing as I started my Toyota Prius 2006 car from my driveway, I put it in reverse and it came halfway to the road and then stopped. I noticed that the gear shift lever had, on its own, shifted back to neutral. I then put the car in drive and tried to accelerate back into the driveway of my home. The car's gear shift lever again moved to neutral. The only way I could move the car back to the driveway was by holding the lever in the drive position manually. I tried the car on my street's small block, but found that the gear kept shifting back to neutral, everytime I let go of the drive or reverse position. In other words, I had to keep the gear in D position manually with one hand to drive around. I feel this is a dangerous situation where the attention is diverted from the road to the gear shift lever every few seconds to see if the gear is in the drive position. I called Toyota today and informed them of this situation.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #4

Jul 242012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 86,998 miles
I am the original owner of a 2006 Toyota Prius. Last week, at 86,000 miles, while driving on the highway in traffic, a large red triangle warning light showed up on my dash with the low tire pressure light. I pulled off the road to check the manual and turned the car off. When I turned it back on many warning lights came on and I was unable to get the car out of park. Called the dealer. They told me to get towed to the dealer, which I did. After 2 days they determined that it needed a new hybrid transaxle for $5,000+ plus miscellaneous other repairs totaling $7,723. Toyota says the transaxle is covered under the powertrain warranty (60,000 miles) not the hybrid warranty (100,000 miles). There is a tsb for this repair, T-sb-0306-08 that states that it is covered under the California emission warranty in certain states, depending on model year, up to 150,000 miles. There seems to be new information that transmission fluid should be flushed at 30,000 miles. My dealer had only suggested this 2 weeks prior to the problem, when I was in for an oil change before a trip. I planned on doing it at my next service. I have a few questions" is this a common enough problem that it could be a ?defect?? I read somewhere that if 4% of cars have the problem then it is a defect. Is that right? over what time period if so? if not, how does that get determined? how can I find out how many transaxles have needed to be replaced before 100,000 miles on 2004-2008 model Prius?S? is this repair covered in carb states or not? I believe that Maryland is a carb state now. Would this warranty be retroactive to my car? is Toyota responsible for not suggesting I get the transmission fluid flushed prior to this"

- Frederick, MD, USA

problem #3

Jun 152012


  • 65,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the driver was reversing into a parking space when the vehicle unexpectedly stopped reversing. The vehicle operated as normal once it was shut down and restarted. The failure had since recurred intermittently. The contact stated that he eventually noticed that the vehicle was unexpectedly shifting into neutral during the failures. The contact also stated that the failures occurred during very hot weather. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and the contact was informed that the gear shift needed to be replaced. The manufacturer offered no assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 65,000.

- Plainsboro, NJ, USA

problem #2

Nov 052011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
Combination meter failed, there was no dash display, no speed display, and vehicle would not shut down. Fortunately we were not out of town so we drove the vehicle to our regular Toyota dealer, ourisman fairfax Toyota, fairfax, va, and left it there.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #1

Jan 262010


  • 44,000 miles
We own a 2006 Toyota Prius. The car was purchased new, has been dealer maintained and is our primary vehicle. On January 26, 2010 at 2:05 pm my wife experience uncontrollable acceleration and despite attempting the strategies recommended by Toyota was involved in a crash causing her and others injury. The weather was clear, the road was dry and straight and my wife was approaching an intersection with plenty of unobstucted visibility. We had followed the initial recall instructions and had been in contact with the local dealer about any follow-up instructions pertaining to our vehicle. After the accident I contact, in person, the service manager at performance Toyota in Lincoln, ne. He stated our vehicle was not part of the most recent recall involving faulty gas pedals. I advised him I understood that however my wife experienced uncontrolled acceleration and despite attempting to employ the recommended strategies was involved in a crash resulting to injuries to her and others. I asked the service manager how to proceed and he advised me to call the "Toyota customer experience line" and speak to them. When I stated I had tried many times and was unable to reach a person he insisted that was the appropriate manner to deal with the situation. I left the dealership feeling extremely frustrated due to the fact the recorded message on the "Toyota customer experience line" advised if you had experienced and accelerator/acceleration problem contact your dealer immediately. We are aware that many Toyota owners have experience this issue with their vehicles and in more models and years than are involved in the latest recall. It is not possible for an individual middle class citizen to challenge a major automaker to first admit and then correct a defect in an automobile they produced and sold. We request you investigate this incident in addition to the many more that have been reported. We will be available and cooperative in any fact finding you may wish to do.

- Lincoln, NE, USA

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