really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,219 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.

2007 Toyota Prius body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2007 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Nov 092013


  • 69,000 miles


The contact owns a 2007 Toyota Prius hybrid. The contact stated that the trunk door failed to open. The contact also mentioned that the material that latched the door with the trunk was melted and the trunk could not be accessed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 69,000.

- Wayne, NJ, USA

problem #24

Mar 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
Brake system: ABS warning malfunction light will illuminate when brake is tapped, but there is no malfunction or issue. Have to turn off vehicle to reset it. Handle on rear door/hatchback door: Handle melted into a black gooey mess, hatchback could not be opened. Went to dealership, they would not fix without charging me even though they admitted it was a known issue with the vehicles. The first quote we got was almost $300 to fix, waited a couple of months, dealer finally dropped to $138 to fix it. This is obviously a known defective issue--no one should be charged anything. It is a safety issue as the door cannot be opened in an emergency. Why Toyota will not fix this without causing their customer's potential danger/harm speaks volumes to them not caring about the customer. Dashboard warping: Dashboard on driver side buckles up where it meets the edge of the windshield, was told it was in issue with the material that the dashboard was made from. Very poor quality to have this happen.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #23

Aug 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
Rear hatch latch release button is rubber. It has deteriorated releasing black substance onto fingers, it is sticky and button does not release as well as before.

- Terre Haute , IN, USA

problem #22

Nov 212012


  • 60,000 miles


I cannot open the hatch of my Prius. This is a major safety concern. In all Prius base models that I know of the handle literally melts off of the car making it impossible to open the hatch. This is a serious issue in the case of an emergency. The dealership charges up to $300 to fix this issue when it is quite obvious it should be a recall. It is completely insane that they are making Prius owners pay this and are making an insane amount of money off of its consumers when we were sold a faulty part.

- Corona, CA, USA

problem #21

Jun 052013


  • miles
The rubber on my trunk release has turned to a tarry mess making it very difficult to open and leaving black tar all over my fingers. When the release does not work, I have pull out my keys to press the unlock button or open the car to press the unlock button which sometimes releases it but not always. I opt not to use my trunk because it is so terribly inconvenient and frustrating now, especially when I am juggling packages and/or kids. I am terribly disappointed that Toyota is not taking ownership of this problem as I see many posts dealing with this very same issue.

- Arlington, VA, USA

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problem #20

Jun 012012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
The material in the trunk door handle is dissolving and or disintegrating. I recently researched the defect on the internet and observed what I was experiencing has been previously documented in other complaints. In a recent visit to a Toyota service center for routine maintenance I presented what was happening and was told the vehicle repair was out of the warranty period and there would be a charge if I wanted the repair. The charge imo was excessive for something that imo was a built in defect and deserves a recall.

- Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #19

May 252013

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles


Within the handle for the rear hatch of the 2007 Prius there is a strip of rubber which I assume is to prevent moisture from penetrating into the interior components and it may also shield some electrical wiring. This piece of rubber is becoming soft and melting. Whenever we open the hatch, our fingers and hands are stained with a black gooey substance that's difficult to remove from our hands. This has been a problem ever since we purchased the vehicle in 2011. It seems to me that a body part should last more than 4 yrs and since we purchased used, it may have already been gooey before we purchased.

- Georgetown, TX, USA

problem #18

Oct 052012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
The rubber cover to the external trunk latch has melted to the point where it is either gooey to the touch in warm weather or frozen solid and immovable in colder temperatures. This is a safety hazard because, at times, due to the inflexibility of the rubber I am unable to open the trunk and, thus, access the spare, any of my repair tools, our earthquake kit, flares, jumpers, etc. There is no alternative internal method for opening the hatchback/trunk. Toyota needs a recall of this defective part as the cost to repair it is exorbitant, quoted to me as $352.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #17

Apr 112013


  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the vehicle rear hatch door seal failed and allowed water to penetrate the rear passenger side floor board. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The dealer denied assistance with the repair. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 86,000.

- Pitttsburgh , PA, USA

problem #16

Feb 132013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 14,000 miles
The plastic weld process or other type of gluing process used to make the vehicles exterior front and rear turn signal, brake and back up light lense assemblies or housings fails. All four, two front and two rear, exterior combination light lense assemblies suffer this premature and serious failure. When these exterior lenses begin to fail they allow water intrusion from the exterior of the vehicle. This allows moisture to penetrate into areas of the lense assembly which support all of the light bulbs used to warn or signal other drivers or pedestrians. At a very minimum this problem results in premature bulb failure for all of the signaling systems specified above. Researching your site this problem has been reported to you many times and Toyota motor Corp. Is also aware of this problem. What you don't seem to be aware of is the most serious concern resulting from this problem; if the right (passenger side) rear lense suffers this problem and begins leaking, the water runs or drains directly into the interior 12vdc starter battery well. This battery well is as deep, or deeper than the factory installed 12vdc starter battery is tall and can result in water overtopping the battery. This causes shorting/grounding across the positive/negative 12vdc starter battery terminals. This prevents the operator from starting the vehicle and cuts off power to all 12vdc electrical systems including emergency flashers. It could easily result in serious damage to the 12vdc starter battery and many expensive 12vdc electronic components or systems. This problem is more serious in areas that receive high amounts of rainfall. I called a Toyota authorized dealership, lum's auto center, and reported my car wouldn't start. They suggested I bring it in. After 4 days they were unable to find the problem. No diagnostic codes were logged. This is a serious problem needing immediate attention!

- Astoria, OR, USA

problem #15

Mar 122012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 67,953 miles


Rear door opener !! rubber melted and block door opener (lock unlock system).

- Holiday , FL, USA

problem #14

Nov 122012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
The rubber trunk release is cracked, melted and does not function in cold weather. It is a sticky gooey mess in hot weather. The estimate to replace it is $187. It is not covered under the warranty. The dealer claims it is not a safety issue. I think that if you are not able to open a door to your car, it is a safety issue. How, for instance would I be able to remove my spare tire in the event of a flat tire. Big safety issue. What if I was in an accident and the only accessible way out was the hatchback? big safety issue. Really.

- Warwick, RI, USA

problem #13

Jun 012007

Prius 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Release button for 2007 Toyota Prius hatchback has defective rubber, which deteriorates prematurely and leaks hydraulic fluid used to actuate the door release. After a while, door will not open, and requires replacement of release mechanism.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #12

Jun 012011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 120,070 miles
The rubber on the hatch entry deteriorated so severely that it coated my fingers with a hot tarry mess that burned my fingers and stuck there, continuing to burn. The hatch also became virtually impossible to open and several times, especially in colder weather would not open at all. This is also a safety hazard since entry to the vehicle from the rear becomes impossible at such times. Since I am handicapped and on disability (serious heart, lung and back problems) I need to be able to place equipment and purchases in the hatch area, but I often cannot access the area. Toyota is well aware that this part is defective, but has refused to cooperate with Toyota owners. Therefore, I am asking the NHTSA to consider the safety issues caused by this defective part and take action to force Toyota to replace or repair this defective part.

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #11

Aug 242011


  • 55,000 miles
The rubber covering on the rear hatch opening mechanism is melting. I have two other model year Prius vehicles (2004 and 2006) and this has not occurred on those - only on this 2007 car. It is becoming difficult to open the hatch and it will probably fail completely soon.

- Fairview, TX, USA

problem #10

Aug 272009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
The switch sub-assembly, lug (part# 84905-47010) part for the rear door handle started to melt. Black tar like material would get on your hands and under the fingernails. The entire part was decomposing and the door lock would not work as it should. Searched the internet and found many other 2007 Prius cars doing the same thing. Called Toyota, and they said during production they used an adhesive for insulation. This adhesive, when exposed to heat (normal summer conditions), would emit chemicals that would cause the rubber to melt, or decompose. Toyota said that they would do nothing, and offered to clean the rubber. I told them it is like tar not rubber! this is not a cosmetic problem, it could lead to more damage to the car. I purchased a new part for $84.31, and will install it. Also contacting the BBB.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #9

Jul 102012


  • 32,000 miles
I was driving in heavy traffic about 20 or 25 mph the cars in front of me stopped, when I applied the brake nothing happened, my car crashed into the rear of the car in front of me. The time was about 2:30pm July 10/2012 the car had just been serviced by a Toyota dealer on June 28th/2012 for the 30,000 mile check up. We live in West los angeles.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #8

May 252012


  • 48,000 miles
On my way home from work on the frontage road along I-5. my tires hit the gravel and I lost control. I went through the grass on the side of the road down a dip and landed on the passenger side of the car on the railroad tracks. I began to roll and rolled the car from side to side at least 15 times. A row of trees is what stopped me. The engine was still running and I was still buckled in the drivers seat. I had to kick out the windshield in order to get out of the car. I went to emergency that night where I was X-rayed and checked out. I ended up with only major bruising on the left side of my body, the chp that responded was sure I was dead. They told me they expected to see a dead body in the car. I barely escaped with my life and the air bags never deployed in the car.

- Grimes, CA, USA

problem #7

May 092011


  • miles
After only about 4 years use, the rubber cover on the hatch release handle (the exterior handle of the rear hatch) of our 2007 Toyota Prius, melted into a sticky tarry black rubbery gooey mess. I can best describe it as being a viscous black glob like roofing tar. To open the hatch, you have to touch this black goo each time, which makes it difficult to operate the hatch release. We believe this melting process started at about the 3 yr. Mark. We live in Texas where temperatures were extremely warm last summer. Apparently Toyota knows about this, and is selling the entire wiring harness for $96 plus repair costs, and has done nothing about recalling this. From a safety perspective, this means you can experience extreme difficulty opening the rear hatch (a life safety access point), and will get sticky black tar on you from the melted down rubber cover of the exterior hatch release handle. I have had several instances where I was not able to get the hatch open on an extremely hot day. To me, this is both a serious life safety issue and a serious quality defect that Toyota is opting to ignore and only fixing on vehicles with extended warranties, since the failure appears to occur at around the 3 year mark (ie after 3 years of exposure to the bright sun in Florida for example). I am aware of the outstanding work done by NHTSA on other safety issues, including the problem with rusty frames on 02 Isuzu axioms, and I find this problem to be similar in nature, so I am asking for your Agency to take a look at these instances and also to inquire from Toyota why they are not recalling these handles that are melting in the sun!!! it's outrageous. I think a door handle or hatch handle should be made to last more than 3 years.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #6

Jul 122010

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
Vehicle was purchased new in 2007 in houston, tx. In summer of 2010 the rubberized cover to the back latch began to melt and has become malformed during hot weather. This has resulted in difficulty opening the back hatch door, since the malformed rubber has made it, at times, almost impossible to press with enough force on the portion of the handle required to release the latch. Inability to open doors on a vehicle is obviously a safety concern. The handle continues to malform during hot weather, resulting in an ongoing change in the shape of the handle cover that solidifies into this shape for the remainder of the year (cooler weather) - making it even more difficult to open the door since the rubber is far stiffer in its normal state. As a separate annoyance, when in the melted state, the handle leaves a tar-like substance on your hands whenever touching the handle.

- Spring, TX, USA

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