really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,155 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #13

May 142014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 114,980 miles


After long drive up mountains, vehicle lost power when going uphill, pressing on the gas pedal resulted in jerky movement of a few feet. Vehicle stopped. Checked battery and it was low but had two blue bars. No warning signs were lit on the dashboard. Managed to turn vehicle around and it coasted downhill with no subsequent problems. The loss of power occurred on a road with a blind curve. Turning back was a potentially dangerous situation. There was no warning of any problems. Dealer was not helpful in solving this potential problem.

- Davis, CA, USA

problem #12

May 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
The cooling system in my car is defective. The water pump is apparently leaking when I have committed no precursive action to cause it. This issue is related to the same issue in my other similar Toyota priuses, where defective electric water pumps unexpectedly stop working. The other cars are consequently recalled and I believe mine should be as well. news.consumerreports.org/safety/2012/11/Toyota-Prius-and-other-vehicles-recalled-due-to-water-pump-and-steering-issues.html thanks.

- Saratoga, CA, USA

problem #11

Feb 222012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
The check engine light comes on whenever outside temperature is above 45F or so. Took it to Toyota dealership and they said it was a faulty coolant flow control valve that was resulting in code P1121. The dealer said this was a safety issue since coolant can leak out, and recommended it be fixed asap at a cost of nearly $1000. This is not an uncommon problem for Prius's and an online search showed that Toyota did cover this under warranty (extension) for some model years up to 35K miles. I wrote to Toyota motor sales to ask if they would cover or assist with the repair cost, and if there was a hidden recall or warranty extension on this issue, and they responded that I should just try to negotiate a better price with the dealer. I think Toyota should cover this, it is a safety issue and should have been a recall.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #10

Oct 012011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 32,553 miles


The standard engine water pump was found to be leaking and had to be replaced on 10/1/11 at 32553 mi. The electric hybrid water pump was replaced under recall on 04/02/11 at 30222 mi.

- West Hills, CA, USA

problem #9

Jun 222011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
Prius under engine dust cover keeps tearing away from bolts on body. Part replaced for the 5th time. Car low to ground. Comes in contact with parking bumpers, etc. Toyota denies responsibility. A design flaw with front edge of cover exposed to low lying objects causing it to be pushed back from anchor bolts. Can be easily resolved by designing cover to fit inside lip of frame rather than outside.

- Long Beach , CA, USA

problem #8

Sep 092010


  • 60,900 miles
My 4 year old Toyota Prius lost engine power on the freeway on two separate occasions. Driving in stop and go traffic on freeway I heard one beep as the car lost engine power slowed down and went to battery. A long row of warning symbols, starting with the triangle, lit up. I slowly exited freeway on battery power then turned car off. I restarted car about 15 min. Later and engine started, only warning lights illuminated were red triangle and check engine light. Dealer replaced inverter pump assembly and flushed the inverter system. 5 days after repair, while exiting freeway during normal traffic, beep sounded and engine shut off and the above order of events happened again. This time dealer replaced inverter assy (assembly?).

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #7

Jul 192008


  • 49,000 miles


I am a rural mail carrier with well over 350,000 miles driven on my route without incident. I drive in all road conditions on gravel and paved roads. I was driving my 2006 Prius on a wet but not muddy gravel road at about 38 mph. The back end began to slide a little. I let up on the gas with no response. I pressed the brake pedal with no response. I went into a deep ditch filled with 3 ft tall grass. I steered to drive the center of the ditch and continued with the brake fully depressed for about 15-20 ft, ripping the tall grass out by the root as I went. The car traveled over a driveway approach, still at 35 mph, striking the approach with the left front corner with enough force to bend the frame and do other serious damage, but with no airbag deployment. I continued over the approach and down the ditch, still at 35 mph, for another 30 or more feet. I was pressing and holding the brake and lifting the gas pedal with my toe. The gas pedal was not stuck and the engine's rpms were low. Only when I put the car in neutral did it slow to stop. It took several attempts to get the car out of this ditch as the traction control kept lurching and stalling. I was able to drive the car out and home without incident. It had to be towed to a dealership for over $4000 in repairs. This was in mid-2008 and I don't know if any corrections made or were even known at that time. This was an absolutely terrifying situation. The car did not respond to any action I took. I had no control what so ever. The car is no longer driven..

- Madison, SD, USA

problem #6

Feb 152007


  • 15,000 miles
I own a 2006 Toyota Prius. Before I heard of any complaints of the engine revving at high speeds, this occurred to me when the car was only 1 year old, while it was in park. The engine suddenly started revving at high speed shortly after I pressed the power bottom. I thought the engine may have been cold. I was still in park when I turned the engine off, waited about 2 minutes, then pushed the start button again with the engine returning to normal. Around this time I had heard of a problem with the cruise control causing this problem, but it has not occurred since.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #5

Nov 152009


  • 57,500 miles
Starting up my Toyota Prius coming out of a car wash the engine stuck with high revs. I confirmed it was not the car mat because I had been in the car wash and that was my thought. Could not get the engine to stop over revving (was consistently high). Never went into high speed. Was able to control it by putting it in low gear and neutral at the intersections. In less than 1 mile I turned off the car and did not have any follow-on problems. Not the car mats.

- Brea, CA, USA

problem #4

Jun 192009


  • 77 miles
I have a Toyota Prius (hybrid). A little cat got underneath my car without me noticing it and since this type of car does not turn the engine when you turn the car on, it does not make any noise (when you turn the car on it runs from the battery at the beginning... eventually the engine kicks in) since the car made no noise the little cat did not notice that the car had been turned on and the little cat did not move away from the car. The little cat died within seconds and I had to watch him die, I had to watch him take his last breath, I hat to watch him suffer trying to get up I had to watch him wag his tail for the last time without me being able to do anything about it. This car is far too quite and dangerous for people and animals, neither one of them hear the car when you drive up right behind them and very often I have to watch out for people in parking lots because they never hear the car coming. The death of this little cat was devastating to me, I cried for an entire week and I do not wish that experience to anyone. I want to report this issue to avoid any other deaths of innocent animals and people.

- Merritt Island, FL, USA

problem #3

Oct 032008


  • 14,000 miles


I have a 2006 Toyota Prius that keeps going dead. It first happened in October 2006 when I drove to work out at curves. After being in the building for about 30 minutes I came out and the car would not start. Called dealer. Dealer said that the Prius was a complicated car and I probably was confusing the computer by the way I was sequencing the start of the engine. In any case I let the car sit for a half hour and tried again and it started up. Since then the Prius has gone dead at least a dozen times. Sometimes I could wait and it would start up. Other times I would have to have it jumped. I have had it towed to jack taylor Toyota three times. Each time they insisted that nothing was wrong with the car (although they did replace the aux battery). They insisted that it has to be something in the way I drive the car and suggested over and over that I do not drive the car enough miles. However, I drive the Prius, when it is not dead, 250 to 300 miles a week and it typically goes dead after I have driven it somewhere. The last time I took the Prius to the dealer was spring of 2008, they again insisted nothing was wrong with the car. I refused to take it back. We filed a complaint with Toyota North America. Their customer service rep talked to the head mechanic at jack taylor and closed the case saying it was my fault that he car was going dead. She then threatened me by saying that I would be charged for the loaner unless I picked up the Prius. The customer service rep at jack taylor arranged for us to use one of the dealer cars and said he would try to work things out. On Sept 30 we had to return the loaner and pick up the Prius. The Prius went dead again on October 3rd at 2:00 pm. I know that there was a Prius recall for 2004 and 2005 models for a similar problem. The mechanic insists that software problem was fixed and it is "impossible" that the 2006 could have the same problem. I would like some feed back from NHTSA.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #2

Jul 212008


  • 25,000 miles
Owner of a 2006 Toyota Prius purchased April 29, 2006. We have noticed a problem with the engine revving up while driving. We're driving 45-55 mph and lasted only a few seconds. We could feel a power surge in the acceleration but before we could actually analyze what was happening the event was over. Occurring approximately 6 times. On July 21, however, it occurred again, lasting much longer. I was traveling on a road at about 45 mph, then slowed to 35mph for a slower moving vehicle. I waited for a time to pass, then changed lanes and accelerated to pass. Exactly after, while attempting to pass the acceleration increased with a big surge of power, engine revving. I attempted to slow the car, first tapping the brakes then full braking but the acceleration was greater and my brakes would not stop the acceleration. I did not know what to do. I was coming up onto a busy intersection with a stop sign but was unable to stop the car. I was able to slow it enough with the brake to get around the corner. I raised my feet off the floor, keeping both hands tightly clutched on steering wheel. The car continued to accelerate until it reached 62 mph, then it suddenly stopped accelerating. I then had control of the car again. Went to the Toyota dealer where I bought it. We have a 8 year or 80,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty. They could not find anything and ended up charging me $80. This problem does exist. And scared me. I still don't know what to do if it happens again. Today I looked on the internet and found other reports of the same problem, one that ended up in a serious accident. See www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2008/06/prius_reconsidered I hope that you will investigate and make Toyota find the problem before anybody gets killed. The Toyota people could not make it happen again, and ascertained there was nothing wrong.

- Havelock, NC, USA

problem #1

Aug 112006


  • miles
: the contact stated that there were on going problems with the vehicle stalling. Also, the gas and mileage gauge were unreliable. The last stalling failure occurred on the freeway while driving 65 mph which was the third incident. The dealer determined that the gas and mileage gauge were unreliable because of the way it was manufactured. The problems persist.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

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