really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
16,069 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2008 Toyota Prius:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2008 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #12

Oct 012012


  • miles


2008 Toyota Prius. Consumer writes in regards to defective parts replaced in vehicle. The consumer stated the check engine light illuminated. After doing research, it appeared the problem was with the coolant control valve. The vehicle was taken to the dealership, where an inspection revealed the check engine light was due to the premature failure of the coolant control valve.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #11

Mar 022012


  • 17,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that smoke emitted from under the hood while driving into a garage at 5 mph. The contact opened the hood and noticed a flame. The contact then extinguished the flame. The fire department was not notified. The insurance company was notified and stated that they would not repair the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, who stated that the failure was due to the wiring harness. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 17,000.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #10

Apr 272011


  • miles
I was driving about 60 mph on the interstate when the accelerator stopped working. The power slowly drained out of the car and I barely made it off the highway. This has never happened before. The car was towed to a mechanic's shop where after much investigation they found that a leaf had gotten past the air filtration system and was blocking the intake sensor system. When one sensor is blocked the whole car shuts down! this was scary and dangerous. I know it is unlikely to happen again.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #9

Dec 152010


  • 61,000 miles


TL - the contact owns 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while trying to turn off the vehicle it would not shut off. The contact mentioned that the failure had occurred several times before, he was not able to turn off the vehicle until it was warm. The vehicle was taken into the dealership and they were not able to duplicate the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure and current mileage was 61,000.

- Castro Valley , CO, USA

problem #8

Dec 192009


  • 14,600 miles
I was driving N on broadway and crashed into a power pole several blocks from where I was going. I don't remember the crash or the events leading up to the crash due to a head injury. I was driving a 2008 Toyota Prius. I hadn't had any problems before the crash. My doctors are performing numerous tests to determine if there are any physical problems with me (so far nothing has shown up in the tests), but no one has considered whether or not there was a defect with the car that may have contributed to the accident.

- North Bend, OR, USA

problem #7

Dec 312009


  • 45,000 miles
On 31 December 2009 my 08 Prius was slowed down prior to turning into a driveway, when it suddenly accelerated. It went out of control and crashed into trees and a powerpole. The floor mat, that according to Toyota is supposed to cause this, was properly attached to the pegs in the floor, and in proper place even after the crash recently, on 6 April, 2010, I again experienced a sudden unexplained acceleration when going about 5/10 miles per hour. It lasted about four seconds and did not result in an accident.

- Lincolnshire, IL, USA

problem #6

Dec 172007


  • 2,000 miles


This is a defect that I tried to resolve with the Toyota dealership. I had owned a 2004 Toyota Prius that got 45-50 mpg while driving in town and about 45 highway. I traded this car in for a 2008 Toyota Prius. In the 2008, I am lucky to get above 35 mpg in town and I get about 45 highway. My mileage on highway is much higher than in town which is not what Toyota advertises and I am not driving any differently than I did the 2004 Prius. So something wrong with the ECM in the car. When I complained, the dealership took me on a drive with my car where they drove very very slowly downhill and registered 60 mpg and said there was nothing wrong and would not do anything. So I gave it up. Now that I see that quality control of Toyota is non-existent, I know the ECM is not acting properly and needs to be fixed.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #5

Jan 062010


  • miles
I drive a 2008 Toyota Prius and have experienced two recurring problems with the vehicle. First, when I make sharp right turns, the engine cuts out. Second, on uneven roads, the hydroplane feature activates and makes it difficult to steer and the car accelerates suddenly. This has happened on many occasions.

- Studio City, CA, USA

problem #4

Jul 012009


  • 13,500 miles
The engine got water in it before I even got the car and it also had two bent piston rods.

- New Lenox, IL, USA

problem #3

May 192009


  • 12,201 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The engine in the vehicle made a noise while driving various speeds. The dealer has diagnosed the failure on two occasions and stated that the coil packs needed to be replaced. Two months after the coil packs were replaced the failure recurred. A representative from the corporate office inspected the vehicle and were unable to diagnose the failure; however, they removed and dismantled the engine and found water in the engine. The mechanics stated that the engine needed to be replaced at the contacts expense. The contact has requested that the engine be replaced at no cost by the manufacturer since it was a new vehicle. The failure mileage was 12,201 and the current mileage was 14,000.

- New Lenox, IL, USA

problem #2

Jun 102009


  • 4,023 miles
We bought the Prius on June 2008 and it has only 4023 miles but in last one month it broke down three times. First time the car stopped on highway a strong beep sound and then check engine light, vehicle stability control light and a big red alert triangle came up the car lost it's power completely and got stalled in the middle of hwy - pretty scary. Then on 6/2/2009 we noticed that we cannot open the hatch back door and the car is completely dead. Both times we towed the car to the dealer and first time they said they did not find any thing wrong and they have reset all the computer, second time they said the battery was drained out without really NY proper reason. Last night we drove the car may be about 15 miles or so and it's the same situation the beep sound and all the hazard lights came on in the middle of the road and the car is dead again and we had to tow to the dealer. Three times in one month and in the middle of the road with a $30,000 dollars car is unacceptable. Some one really can kill us from the back because it is so sudden that no way they could predict that we are going to be stalled within 5 seconds from 65 miles/hour speed. We have a child and she travels on the back seat all the time. What is the solution for it? Toyota needs to take the responsibility. It is a real safety issue for our family.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #1

Mar 132009


  • 23,500 miles
2009 Toyota Prius, engine failure while driving 65 mph on highway., pulled over momentarily and proceeded. First occurrence. Engine stop running on hwy driving at 55 mph, had to be towed to dealer for repair. Second occurrence.

- Easton, PA, USA

Not what you are looking for?