definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,597 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 3)

problem #44

Jun 022014

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles


The rear hatch release on my 2007 Toyota Prius has deteriorated and turn into a rubbery and sticky black mess. This issue interferes with the use of the hatch as the rubber not only gets on your fingers but appears to be blocking the release mechanism. The deterioration started during the summer of 2014. The issue has worsened and this winter I have been unable to open the rear hatch whatsoever. This is a serious safety concern as I cannot access my spare tire, jumper cables, or anything else in my trunk in any other way.

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #43

Jan 032011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Rubber handle on rear trunk opener/release melted resulting in frozen latch (unable to open truck). Vehicle has no alternative way of opening (no inside vehicle release). To access trunk area I must remove either of 2 children sitting in rear seat strapped into child safety seat and lean over back seat. This removal of child opens the possibility that they could get hit in parking lot or along the side of the road when access is a necessity. Toyota refuses to repair. Have had difficulty over a number of years that has been escalating but at this time the truck will not open at all using the hand release.

- Haymarket, VA, USA

problem #42

Jul 152014


  • 68,000 miles
In July of 2014, I bought a 2007 Toyota Prius from a family member in Nevada, a warm state; I live in Minnesota, a cold state. The hatch release rubber seal had deteriorated, and it was tacky to the touch, but the hatch released and opened. When November came, the hatch release would not work; it was a cool November. I believe it is a danger to not be able to open the back hatch in case of an accident. The maplewood Toyota dealership service person inspected the hatch release seal and said that someone must have put a chemical on it to damage it. Toyota does not believe that this is a defective part; I believe the part is defective. I am going to have the part fixed, but I believe Toyota has created a dangerous situation, especially if someone with a defective hatch release seal travels to a cooler climate than the car has experienced in the past.

- St Paul, MN, USA

problem #41

Dec 202014


  • 106,000 miles


The rubber external trunk latch cover on a 2007 Toyota Prius 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 of the location of the battery is in rear compartment on the passenger side and if there was a need to disconnect the battery, it would be nearly impossible to get at, due to the inflexibility of the rubber I am unable to open the trunk and, thus, access the spare tire and any of my repair tools, jumpers, etc. There is no alternative internal method for opening the hatchback/trunk. Toyota needs a recall of this defective part and replace at their cost, as the cost to repair it is exorbitant and it is a faulty design.

- Beacon, NY, USA

problem #40

Oct 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
The hatch rubber panel has been deteriorating. In winter the rubber panel is hard as a rock. In summer, the panel is melting and losing its form. It makes the opening of the trunk challenging. In summer months, the panel is gooey and makes fingers dirty. I am concerned that I cannot open hatch in case of emergency.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

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problem #39

May 012014


  • 65,000 miles
The rear door latch cover material has deteriorated and the latch is no longer operating as expected. The rubber material is a soft gummy consistency and the latch mechanism to the hatchback fails to release allowing access to the rear storage area. This area contains the spare tire.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #38

Sep 242014


  • 82,345 miles


Back hatch latch or opener is sticky and rubbery and failing. Seems like melting.

- Aurora, OR, USA

problem #37

Jan 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
The back hatch door grip handle on the hatch of my 2007 Toyota Prius no longer functions properly. The rubber grip has degraded and is soft and sticky during warm weather and in cold weather becomes nearly immovable. The back hatch door grip handle frequently jams rendering the car inaccessible through the rear compartment. This is a major cause for concern and is a serious safety hazard. There have been multiple cases of this complaint reported. This rubber grip is clearly a material of poor quality and given the past history of electrical problems Toyota has had with the Prius it is highly probable that this is one more. Before someone is injured or dies as a result of not having egress from this vehicle Toyota needs to be made to take responsibility and provide repairs at no cost.

- Hagerstown, MD, USA

problem #36

May 052014


  • 63,000 miles
The vinyl(?) material that covers the latch to open the back hatch is melting and sticky. Like so many other 2007 Prius owners I love my Prius but am disappointed with Toyota for not taking care of this problem. The dealership states that it is not under warranty and the cost for the replacement switch (I was told the fix is to replace the whole switch because they don't sell a replacement piece of vinyl only) is $70, this is the cost for the part only, not including labor. After the hassle of multiple recalls on this car it is unfortunate that Toyota refuses to take care of a problem that so many owners are experiencing.

- Los Gatos, CA, USA

problem #35

Sep 162014


  • 111,180 miles
The rubber handle on my 2007 Toyota Prius melts in the summer and freezes in the winter. If it's cold outside it's impossible to get into the car through the tailgate which could present a serious safety issue should the rest of the doors be unusable in an emergency. In the summer, I'm able to get into the drunk but it leaves a black residue on my hands that takes a few days to clean off entirely and it can be very hot to the touch if left outside on a hot day.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #34

Sep 042014


  • 115,000 miles


The rubber on the handle / latch on the back hatch of my 2007 Prius has degraded to the point of melting / falling off. Sticky tacky rubber has been a problem for a while, but now the piece just melted onto the bumper. It is not a particularly hot day comparatively, so must have just finally degraded to the point of falling off while I was parked. This appears to be a common defect, and I would like Toyota / dealership to cover fixing this: www.meyersonstrategy.com/2013/09/Toyota-sticky-2007-Prius-hatch-problem.html.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #33

Sep 062012


  • 75,000 miles
My Toyota Prius has a rubber hatch latch covering that has melted and has turned to a gooey substance that attaches to your fingers when being opened. It appears to have impacted the ease of opening the hatch. This appears to be a safety concern because of the difficulty to open the hatch. For example if the tire is needing to be changed I am afraid that the entry may be hindered due to the apparently defective latch cover. What I would like is for NHTSA to follow up with Toyota on why this part has not been recalled. The rubber cover on the hatch release handle of my 2007 Toyota Prius has melted into a sticky, black tar substance. It is very difficult to open. Please help.

- Westwood, KS, USA

problem #32

Sep 022014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 62,488 miles
Cover over hatch has turned to goo and hatch release no longer functions. This appears to be a potential safety issue since the door can not be operated. The vehicle has been kept in a garage when not in use since purchase, so weather would not be a factor. Am wondering whether this was a factor in the early demise of the 12V battery.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #31

Jul 152014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 64,205 miles
On our 2007 Prius, the rubber cover for the rear trunk hatch has melted into black goo. This degradation doesn't appear to be due to heat, since the car has been kept in a cool garage. The rubber itself effectively turned into tar, coming off on our hands and dripping onto the bumper at times. The melting has also made it difficult to open the rear trunk, as the gooey rubbery mess appears to be interfering with the action of the switch that releases the hatch.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #30

Jul 152014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 120,729 miles
Latch on my 2007 Prius is melting and sticky, leaving black residue on my fingers when I open it. It is difficult to open at times in addition.

- Laguna Beach, CA, USA

problem #29

May 252014

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
The check engine light for the electrical system illuminated. I contacted A-1 Toyota dealer and they diagnosed leak on rear window. Heard water sloshing in the car. Water leaked into cargo area. The weather strip was replaced.

- Branford, CT, USA

problem #28

Feb 062014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 26,600 miles
I cannot open my hatchback in cold weather. The rubber piece is very hard in cold weather not allowing me to engage mechanism for opening hatchback. If it was made of a pliable material in cold weather I think it would open. Please get Toyota to fix this problem.

- Warrenton, NC, USA

problem #27

Dec 302013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 64,500 miles
I am unable to open my rear hood latch. There is a covering on the latch that is sticky, gooey and impossible to open manipulate and use. I have found numerous other complaints on the web (see, for example: www.meyersonstrategy.com/2013/09/Toyota-sticky-2007-Prius-hatch-problem.html). it has gotten worse over time. Given the widespread nature of this problem, I believe that Toyota installed a faulty latch and should replace the latch at no charge.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #26

Sep 152011

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
The back latch of my 2007 Toyota Prius has degraded ("melted" almost). It no longer functions properly, and I am unable to open the back hatch door easily. Sometimes it requires considerable effort and perseverance to get it open. I am concerned that in the case of an emergency, I will not be able to get the door open. This is a major cause for concern and it is a serious safety hazard.

- Upland, CA, USA

problem #25

Nov 302013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
I have a 2007 Toyota Prius and the rubber has "decomposed" off the latch and has made it nearly impossible to gain access to the rear compartment of my vehicle. The rubber degradation has made the sensitivity of the hatch door latch erratic and not working mostly. Its cause me to try to yank the hatch door a couple of times which has cause the latch door handle to come loose. Toyota pls address this issue. Thanks

- Herndon, VA, USA

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