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 1 of 5)

problem #85

Dec 292016


  • 200,000 miles


The trunk latch on my '07 Prius has "melted" and is no longer working. Since the latch is no longer working, the trunk is unable to open, and also unable to remain in a fully latched, closed position. Because of this, I am unable to lock the doors. Sometimes, I can give the trunk door an extra push to turn off the "door open" sensor to lock the vehicle, but because it is not fully latching and the vehicle is being locked from the outside, the anti-theft alarm will go off.

- Richmond, CA, USA

problem #84

Mar 012016


  • 145,000 miles
Hatchback will not unlock. The rubber that covers the latch has degraded to the point where it is sticky in the warm weather and rock solid in the cold weather where you can no longer press it to open the truck.

- Penfield, NY, USA

problem #83

Dec 152016


  • miles
Hatchback door does not open in cold weather.

- Willowbrook, IL, USA

problem #82

Dec 142016


  • 63,000 miles


Rear hatch door latch failure, starting with softening and then complete melting of the rubber cover and finally to latch not operating at all, especially in cold weather.

- Chesterfield, MO, USA

problem #81

Jun 012009


  • 10,000 miles
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. I thought that this might be a singular issue, but have found that this has happened to several car owners. 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. 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. 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. It's outrageous. I think a door handle or hatch handle should be made to last more than 3 years. Please review these forum comments of other incidents: priuschat.com/forums/gen-II-...runk-hatch-release-rubber-piece-melted-4.html

- Plymouth, NH, USA

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problem #80

Oct 212016


  • 100,000 miles
The trunk opener switch on my 2007 Prius no longer works reliably because it is made of a defective rubber which has at this point melted into a goopy mess. This means that the opener switch can become stuck in the closed position, rendering it impossible to open the trunk until the release mechanism of the switch overcomes the tensile strength of the goop. As a cursory google search shows, this is a common problem which Toyota routinely refuses to repair. It is a potential safety issue because a pet or child could be difficult to retrieve from the trunk area if the trunk cannot be opened. An unexpected hazard such as a leaking propane tank or a battery fire in the trunk area could similarly be difficult to mitigate.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #79

Jan 112014


  • 95,000 miles


The rear lift gate latch on my Toyota Prius has stopped functioning. The exterior rubber over the latch mechanism/switch has melted, turned gummy and will no longer function to open the lift gate. In cold weather the latch has been even more difficult to open and the trim piece containing the trunk hatch latch fractured in sub-freezing weather while trying to get the latch to release. The car was parked with light snow falling. I can no longer open the trunk of my car from the outside. This is a safety hazard as I can not access the rear hatch of my car in an emergency and defeats the primary purpose of a hatchback car which is access to the car's interior. The car jack and emergency spare tire located just behind the failed hatch latch. I had to pay over $500+ to have Toyota replace the failed hatch latch switch and surrounding trim piece.

- Severna Park, MD, USA

problem #78

May 202016


  • 127,000 miles
The headlights work intermittently and have needed bulb replacement 3 times so far. Also all the tail light and the tag lights went out at the same time recently and required bulb replacement. When driving we had no idea the lights were out and only found out when we were pulled over by police. This constitutes a very dangerous situation in my opinion. Also the hatchback handle sometimes fails to work due to the rubber cover deterioration.

- Trappe, MD, USA

problem #77

Jan 012012


  • miles
Another complaint regarding the rubber cover of the 2007 Prius hatch release/latch. The rubber covering has deteriorated and degraded in a way that causes it to melt and become sticky in warm or hot weather; touching the cover causes the material to stick to fingers, and is very difficult to remove, requiring the use of a solvent cleaner. In cold and freezing weather, the cover becomes very stiff and not flexible, and is impossible to press, causing the hatch to be impossible to open. This is a basic operational problem, rendering the hatchback non-functional - it can't be opened, or if it can be opened it leaves a substance on the driver's body. Also a safety issue, as when the hatch can't be opened this is essentially being locked out of the trunk where the spare tire and safety equipment are located. Dealer will charge approximately $300 for part and labor to repair this. I've called Toyota customer service, and their response was: "it is no longer covered under the warranty, and there is no recall for this, so Toyota will not be covering this repair." I did a search in the NHTSA complaint database and found 147 owners with the exact same problem. Very discouraging and irresponsible that Toyota will not take responsibility and assist owners with resolving this issue.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #76

Apr 052015


  • 115,000 miles
Back hatch handle melts in hot weather and gets tar on fingers and drips on car body. The only way Toyota has to fix this is to make consumer pay for a new rear handle assembly.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #75

Mar 012016


  • 180,000 miles


The rear hatch latch rubber cover has dissolved over the last couple years to the point you can no longer open from outside. If someone was in an accident you could not open the rear hatch door and you are trapped inside of the vehicle with no time to get yourself out or pull anyone else out, I have seen online complaints about this going back into 2011. This is happening on a lot of cars, especially Toyota Prius's. as of right now I can not open the hatch door on my 2007 Prius. It has just gotten worse until now when it will not open. I used to have to fight by pushing down and pulling up, but it will not open at all now.

- East Peoria, IL, USA

problem #74

Jun 012012


  • 45,000 miles
The rubber cover on the rear hatch latch has deteriorated so severely that the latch handle will no longer work. The rubberized cover has become gooey and sticky, and comes off on your hands when you touch it. There is no alternate trunk release on this vehicle, so with the handle mechanism gummed up by the deteriorating rubber cover, there is no way to access the trunk of the vehicle. This piece has been deteriorating over the past three to four years. We've been trying to hold off for a Toyota recall on this piece, but now we have no choice but to pay to have it fixed.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #73

Jan 202016


  • 200,200 miles
Faulty liftgate handle. The rubber melts in warm weather, leaving a sticky black tar on your fingers that will not wash off. This rubber melts into the mechanism such that the liftgate is no longer operational. Toyota knows about this faulty batch of rubber that was used, but so far refuses to recall the faulty mechanism in the us. The liftgate would only open intermittantly, with a lot of effort about a year ago. Now, it will not open at all, so we are taking it to the dealer for repair.

- Peoria, IL, USA

problem #72

Oct 112015


  • 69,000 miles
I got unintended high speed and I could not stop the car. It stopped because the wheel was hit by the curbe

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #71

Dec 012015


  • 59,000 miles
Read hatch door latch switch failure due to rubber cover that has deteriorated and melted into sticky goo. The switch now is intermittent. Black tarry rubber gets on my hands when I try to use it. The price to repair was quoted as $350

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #70

Nov 182015


  • 70,000 miles
Liftgate handle latch mechanism deteriorated (inside the exterior handle, not the actual connection down near the bumper). This is a known 2007 Prius problem both within this database and in online forums, if you search. Probably part of the 'rubber parts / gasket turning into goop' problem discussed elsewhere. Should be a dealer warranty repair as it is expensive defect to fix, $600 or so, entailing removing panels from the inside etc and replacing the switch. I called Toyota and they gave me a case number but that is all thus far. Lexington Toyota dealer (mass.) said they had never heard of it, which seems unlikely.

- Wayland, MA, USA

problem #69

Nov 052013


  • 86,000 miles
The rubber cover over the rear hatch latch got soft and would stick onto my hands. I had to pay to have it replaced. Also my breaks grab especially when the weather is damp.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #68

Nov 062015


  • 77,544 miles
Trunk release hatch button degraded. Turned sticky, felt like, tar. To open the trunk took considerable effort. This is a safety issue, not being able to open the trunk or opening with difficulty. Trunk release hatch button "melted" then the entire garnish broke off when trying to open it.

- Beverly Hills, CA, USA

problem #67

Nov 012015


  • 120,000 miles
The rubber cover on the rear hatch handle is defective and melting. This causes the rear hatch to stick, not allowing access to the rear hatch when the vehicle is parked. This happens multiple times when trying to gain access to the rear hatch space.

- Vienna, VA, USA

problem #66

Oct 012015


  • 50,000 miles
The black rubber on the hatchback latch has melted and makes opening the hatchback difficult. The black goo sticks to the hand and is very messy because it gets on anything touched including clothes, door handles and children. The melted rubber interferes with the latch such on some occasions, the hatchback does not open.

- San Jose, CA, USA

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