really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
95,879 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.

2008 Toyota Prius engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #25

Dec 232016


  • 69,359 miles


Cluster went blank and vehicle would not power off, key fob stuck in ignition. Toyota service recommended replacing combo meter but I am one month out of warranty. I was driving tried to park but car would not turn off, but would come to a stop in the parking lot.

- Santa Cruz, CA, USA

problem #24

Aug 052016


  • miles
Burning oil and clogged injectors at 90000 miles despite have all oil changes at prescribed intervals as advised by Toyota. An engine rebuild and injector replacement have been recommended. No satisfaction from Toyota despite known problem.

- Waukesha, WI, USA

problem #23

Aug 232016


  • 93,000 miles
At 93,000 miles my 2008 Toyota Prius began rapidly consuming oil. I was told by dealer that nothing could be done and I needed to carry oil with me and check level every time I fill up my gas tank. This is a known issue with the Toyota Prius according to my dealer and web research.

- Nowhere, CA, USA

problem #22

Jan 012016


  • 150,000 miles


I have had my 2008 Prius since it was new and I have taken meticulous care of the vehicle with documentation to prove it. The vehicle is burning oil to the extent that I have to put a quart of oil in every 700 miles. My local dealership confirmed it is an issue with the vehicle but Toyota usa said they won't do anything about it because there "has not been enough complaints". however, the Toyota Prius chat website has numerous complaints about oil consumption. Toyota did an extended warranty for the corolla and Camry but refuses to do anything for the Prius. Numerous attempts have been made with Toyota usa to correct this issue but they refuse to do so. They did say they corrected the issue in the newer models...but yet don't want to acknowledge that is it an issue! so, they corrected an issue that they currently don't acknowledge is an issue!! second to this issue is that the back window can only be closed by the driver's window button and will not close for the person sitting at that window in the back.

- Lake Ariel, PA, USA

problem #21

Jul 172016


  • 81,000 miles
Car suddenly loses power and hazarde warning, brkaes, ABS lights come on. Took to dealer, they charged $600 and did not repair the problem. The vehicle was in motion going 45 mph.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #20

Jun 282015


  • 117,000 miles
When I put the car in reverse or drive, it pops back into neutral - even when the car is driving down the road. It doesn't happen consistently. For example, I drove it to the store and it was fine. When I came out of the store to drive home, it had the issue all the way home. I had to hold the gear shifter in drive the entire time to make it home or it would go into neutral by itself. I didn't have a car crash but this could have easily caused one if I wasn't paying close attention to it.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #19

Dec 192015


  • 65,000 miles


I was driving my Prius up mauna kea summit access road on the big island (Hawaii) today when the power stalled. I was already at the visitor center (elv. 9,000 ft) so I steered off the road, sat for awhile, then started up the car. It started up but the power seemed off and on. I turned around and headed down the mountain. By the time I got to the bottom of the access road, I had no power and a red triangle light with an exclamation mark came on. Of course I was out in the middle of nowhere, 40 miles from any homes, so I coasted 43 miles down the mountain until I reached hilo town and steered into a gas station. I asked the owner if I could leave the Prius there while I called a tow truck. She said I had to move my Prius into a parking stall. I thought maybe we could push it into the stall. I tried starting the car and the power came on, just like that. But the red triangle light with exclamation mark didn't go away. I managed to drive home, which was only a few miles away. The Prius seems to be driving fine now, with the exception of the red triangle light, but I know something is wrong.

- Hilo, HI, USA

problem #18

Jul 292015


  • 168,200 miles
Vehicle was off and in park. Vehicle was started and shifted into drive. In less then 1 second, vehicle slipped out of drive and into neutral as described in the technical service bulletin issued by Toyota (T-sb-0142-11). Problem as reoccurred multiple times since, including while driving at speeds above 45 mph.

- San Marcos, TX, USA

problem #17

Apr 252014


  • 149,706 miles
After a routine oil change at 149,706 miles, my 2008 Toyota Prius began using an excessive amount of oil, about 1 quart every 1,000 miles. I have had the oil changed regularly since the car was new (I bought it new in January 2008) and have had nearly all the required service done by a registered, licensed mechanic in middletown, California, which is where I live. I discovered the excessive oil use when I next had the oil changed at about 155,000 miles.

- Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA

problem #16

Apr 142015


  • 149,850 miles
I was driving 50mph when the car lost power.the car suddenly had no power brakes, no ability to easily steer, no engine power and many warning lights came on including an warning that the main hybrid battery was not charging. The car would not respond to acceleration. The car came to a stop. I held the start button the car shut off. The car restarted with no problems. All the warning lights were off. I put the car in drive and started to accelerate. All the warning lights come on just as before and the car suffers the same issues again. I went through the same process of turning the car off and turning it back on. The car started up again with no problems again, all the lights were off. It failed on more time on the trip home. I was able to restart the car and put my emergency lights on. I never drove over 25mph on the trip back to the house. My family took the car to wilson Toyota in bellingham wa. They examined the car and said the 12V battery had failed. They told my family that the main 12V battery runs all the electrical to get the car started and running. We told the dealer the car still had electrical power. They still replaced the 12V battery. The following day my family went to look at the car and a service person at the dealer, who said he was new to this location, said he had noticed that the 12V battery had seemed to be replaced recently. They said they would keep the car to keep looking over its systems. On 4/16/2015 my family called Toyota to discuss our safety concerns with regard to how the car failed. We explained we also have a 2007 Prius that had the main hybrid battery fail and that all the warning lights that came on were similar in both cars. The dealer has said there are no codes that said the main hybrid battery is failing. I am worried that I or my family could be seriously injured if the car failed in this manner again while on a busy highway or intersection.

- Mount Vernon, WA, USA

problem #15

Feb 202015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 150,000 miles


Engine compression catastrophically fails approximately every 2000 miles.

- Winter Haven, FL, USA

problem #14

Jan 042015


  • 73,500 miles
The car moves from drive to neutral mode. I put the car in "D" and it suddenly moved back to "N". keep the lever held on "D" and you can drive, otherwise it switches back to "N". happened 3 to 4 times today. Very scared if this happens when driving on the freeway or getting started at a traffic light as the car behind may not have enough space or indication of the vehicle slowing down because of loss of accelerator.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #13

Oct 142014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
Driving on sb hwy 35 at 74mph, master warning light came on and vehicle shut down, no electrical or engine control. Pulled safely to shoulder of road. Car would not restart. Got out of car, locked car, unlocked car (Toyota technician instructions), then car restarted. Got car off the road, contacted state farm for tow to autonation Toyota South austin. Toyota technician removed a third party telematic device (in-drive) from obd port. Vehicle diagnostic scan showed two communication errors U0100 and U0111. Third party telematic device was not reinstalled. Vehicle was test driven, held overnight, test driven again and the errors or shutdown did not repeat. Toyota service manager said they have seen third party devices connected to odb port cause errors and have to be removed or replaced. We have three hybrid vehicles in our household each with a third party telematic device from in-drive. All three have been removed and returned to in-drive with supplied packaging and return instructions.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #12

Mar 152011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 126,000 miles
I was driving my 2008 Prius on highway and warning light came on. In 2 minutes all power gone and I have had to towed to the dealer. They said, water pump failed and because of that hybrid inverter fried. Car was out of guaranty and there was no recall about water pump. I paid nearly $50.00 for water pump and hybrid invertor. I have seen there is a recall about water pump now. Is there any way I can get my money back?

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #11

Jul 242014


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving at 35 mph, there was an abnormal noise coming from the front passengers side. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the engine mount became loose and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 115,000.

- West Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #10

May 302014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 196,484 miles
On this date while driving on the interstate 5 near los angeles my Prius made a loud noise and started shutting down as I was driving on the far left lane. The car immediately slowed down and the vsc icon as well as the check engine light icon became visible, however the odometer was blank and I could not tell what speed I was traveling, the car was coming to a complete stop. Once I managed to get to the far right shoulder the car made a stop. I was almost rear ended by a big rig which had to swerve to the left side in order to avoid hitting my car. It wasn't until then that I noticed the red engine light icon displayed on the control panel not the odometer. I have never seen this warning light but after looking at the owner's manual it clearly stated that once this light appears you need to get the vehicle off the road as soon as possible or it will cause an accident. This was the first time I noticed this sign and it appeared after the fact. The car had no engine oil, which was ridiculous since I had not noticed any leaks and I take my car in every 2 months to the dealer for an oil change. The dealer had no explanation other than it did not have any leaks and they were not able to verify when the red engine oil came on. This happened on 5/30/14, my last visit to the dealer was on 4/12/14 and at the time they did not detect any problems with the oil leaking. This clearly makes no sense and they are refusing to take responsibility. Toyota owners should be very cautious as this should have never happened the sensor should have given me a warning prior to the car shutting down. This could have caused many fatalities being in a heavily populated highway.

- Riverdale, CA, USA

problem #9

Oct 282013


  • miles
Every few weeks (even several times in the same week), the dashboard lights on the car go completely dark, without warning (no, the dimmer switch is not turned to "low" or "off"-- that is the first thing we tried). Simultaneously, or sometimes at different times, the car refuses to turn off, even when the "off" switch is pressed constantly or intermittently, for up to a half-hour. Obviously, it is extremely dangerous to leave a car running, so one cannot leave the car; when driving, the loss of all the dashboard information is terrifying, especially at night when it is so distracting as to be potentially crash-causing. The Toyota dealer first claimed it was the 12-volt battery, so we replaced it. This did not fix it. At the dealer's request, we left the car with them for a long weekend, and they claimed that since they weren't able to reenact the situation, they could not help us. After some back-and-forth, they agreed to replace a "combination meter, " which Toyota had apparently found troublesome enough to offer free "out-of-warranty" repairs of. However, the dealer first said Toyota would not pay for it unless the dealer was able to independently verify the trouble, and they were not able to recreate the distressing situation. As if we would lie in order to receive a new combination meter! we just want to car to work and be safe. Now we are waiting five-plus days for the part to come in, and not even sure if it will fix our problem. There's plenty of discussion of this exact same issue all across the internet. Why has the company not figured this out, and trained its mechanics accordingly?

- Potomac, MD, USA

problem #8

Mar 262012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 74,659 miles
This is in regards to the electrical fuel pump that is already being recalled. I had my vehicle shut off while driving in traffic. I had it towed to the Toyota dealership at the time and they replaced the electric water pump, the water pump, and the battery. My invoice came out to $1213. I sent this to Toyota for a refund when the recall notice came out. They refunded me a mere $428 (this is for only the electric water pump) claiming that they do not have anything that shows the battery or the other water pump could be effected by the recall condition. It seems strange that I brought my vehicle in when I experienced exactly the same condition described in the recall and ended up needing multiple parts replaced when Toyota claims only the electrical water pump may be effected. I had no other issues with my vehicle leading up to this so it seems highly unlikely that the water pump and battery just went bad at the very same moment the electrical water pump stopped.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #7

Oct 202013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
Was driving to nova scotia 10/18/13. Stopped for coffee after 2 hrs of driving. Car would not restart. Returning to maine10/20/2013 was passing a tractor trailer truck with another trailer truck passing behind me as well. No check engine light had come on at any time during the trip. Suddenly, all the warning lights on the dashboard lit up and the car stopped working while driving at 75 mph. Tried not to slow too quickly with truck bearing down behind me, but could not accelerate either. Car had popped into neutral. Got off on left of two lane highway.car was dead. Would not start. Had towed to Toyota dealer in amherst. Diagnostics found no cause. Had to drive 4 hours back home next day not knowing if it would happen again. Took car to Toyota dealer 45 miles from my home in us. The following week.no cause found. Happened again shortly after on main street, blocking traffic. Towed to local mechanic. Was there one week. Unable to diagnose. Towed 45 miles to Toyota again. There another week. I was told it was a problem with fuse box assembly. Shortly after, the master warning light came on, as well as a warning symbol on the touch screen meaning 'malfunction in hybrid system.' Towed again to Toyota dealer. Front battery replaced. Noted today that Prius recall on '09-'14 models for exact same thing that happened to my '08 model. Total cost $600 plus $270 towing and $120 for hotel.

- Presque Isle, ME, USA

problem #6

Oct 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 38,550 miles
While driving, no more gas power, warning lights on, vsc too.throttle response was not working, turned off the car for few minutes and restarted it, it worked for a short while and did it again... Toyota oakland said I needed to replace the engine throttle body.$1600!!! one month after the warranty wore off.

- Emeryville, CA, USA

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