really awful
Crashes / Fires:
45 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
21 / 1
Average Mileage:
27,758 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 2 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #107

Aug 252012


  • 47,400 miles


Around 4:30pm on Saturday afternoon, we opened the car door to run some errands and were startled by a piercing noise. The dashboard was lighting up (ABS & vsc) and although the car started, the dashboard remained lit and the beeping continued. When driving the car to the dealership, the brakes did not brake fully. After a $58 diagnostic test, we were told that acc pressure sensor needed to be cleared and if we returned with the same problem, we may need to replace a "brake actuator part" (cost = $2,560). Before this incident, on Saturday afternoon, we drove the car on the interstate for about 150 miles. For the last 15 minutes of our trip, we were driving through heavy rains on the interstate and on side roads. We did not experience any problems when driving the car in the rain, but are wondering whether or not the water affected the brakes.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #106

Sep 192011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 56,900 miles
While entering a highway onramp in my company's 2008 Toyota Prius, the car suddenly began accelerating out of control without application of the gas pedal. I had to press hard on the brake just to hold the car at 65 mph. The car was surging and lunging forward, and I worried I wouldn't be able to find a place to pull over before losing control completely. For the next 5-10 minutes, as I approached traffic in front of me, the car continued to accelerate, even though I had my foot on the brake the entire time. At one point I noticed the car was reaching speeds in excess of 95 mph. A loud rattling noise ensued and an electrical smell filled the car. Eventually, the brake completely failed to have any effect, and, barreling down the highway at 90 mph, I put the car in neutral, but it continued to accelerate. At this point I had my right foot on the brake pedal and depressed the parking break all the way to the floor with my left foot, this slowed the car slightly, but not enough to regain control. Finally, I turned the car off completely, and with my hazard lights on, managed to pull the car away from traffic and off on the shoulder of the highway, where I coasted for a long distance, speeds decreasing gradually until eventually it stopped. Smoke and a burning electrical smell filled the car. I filed a police report with an officer who happened to also be on the shoulder, giving someone a speeding ticket. My company towed the car to a dealership, and an investigation is supposedly underway, though I'm not optimistic about any sort of resolution based on the testimonies I have read from others who have experienced the same thing. Luckily, in my case, this didn't result in an accident, and noone was killed.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #105

May 112011


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While the contact was driving less than 20 mph when he attempted to park the vehicle and it unexpectedly accelerated upon engaging the brake pedal. The vehicle failed to stop and crashed into a cement garage wall. There were no injuries. A police report was not filed. The frame and front end of the vehicle were severely damaged. The contact was able to drive the vehicle from the scene. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for body damage and to be repaired. The cause of failure was not determined. There was a prior recall repair performed that was related to the defect under NHTSA campaign id number 09V388000 (vehicle speed control: Accelerator pedal). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 35,000. Updated 08/31/11 updated 2/9/12

- Pleasant Hill, CA, USA

problem #104

Mar 212011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 5,571 miles


My 2008 Prius has been accelerating forward after I go over amy bumps in the road. It has almost caused several accidents. I asked my sealskin about it and they said my Prius was operating normally. My husband says this is incorrect and it has happened to him too. I drive in heavy traffic and I am scared this will end in am accident or someone getting hurt.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #103

Nov 192009


  • miles
The contact owned a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while attempting a left turn and depressing the accelerator, the vehicle would not respond. The contact was in the process of making the turn when another vehicle crashed into the driver side of the contacts vehicle. The vehicle spun twice and came to a stop. A police report was filed and two passengers were reported injured. The vehicle was destroyed. The contact called the manufacturer who took a complaint and stated that someone would contact her later. The vehicle was not repaired. The current and failure mileages were unknown.

- Victorville, CA, USA

problem #102

Feb 012011


  • miles
2008 Toyota Prius. Consumer states two problems with vehicle, the ABS release momentarily causes a brief surge forward any time there is a small bump in the road when braking and consumer also states he nearly rear ended another vehicle at a stop light when he almost couldn't stop, even by putting his entire weight on the vehicle. The consumer also believed the pedals were designed too close together.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #101

Jan 282010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 29,200 miles


I was driving my 2008 Prius about 20 to 30 mph down a straight road, a slight descending grade and coasting, when it accelerated with my foot off the accelerator pedal. This happened for about 4-5 seconds and a speed gain of approximately 5-10 mph. It startled me, if a car had been in front of me, there would have been a serious problem. A light flashed on the dash but it happened so fast that I could not tell which light. I called Toyota of longview and was told if it was not acting up they could not do anything about it. We had bad weather so I parked the car until we could carry it in. Feb 9th, 2011, we had the dealer check it and they found nothing wrong. I would sell it but it what if someone else got in an accident? something needs to be done.

- White Oak, TX, USA

problem #100

Feb 092011


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While driving approximately 5 mph, the vehicle accelerated and crashed into the gate of the garage. The contact turned the ignition on and off and was able to drive the vehicle. The vehicle accelerated a second time and the brakes would not stop the vehicle. The vehicle stopped after the gear was shifted into neutral. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer. The manufacturer was contacted and stated a case manager would be assigned to the case and return the contact's call within 24 hours. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 10,000.

- Terre Haute, IN, USA

problem #99

Dec 102010


  • 31,000 miles
2008 Toyota Prius, when I hit a bump or pothole at relatively low speed, the car sometimes goes into "anti-skid" mode, leading to a brief disconcerting period of lurching/acceleration/loss of braking ability before the car returns to normal. This problem is usually accompanied by the yellow anti - skid icon indicator on the dash.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #98

Aug 062010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving 3 mph and attempting a turn into a parking space, the vehicle accelerated independently. The contact stated that the accelerator pedal went straight to the floor and he attempted to apply extreme pressure to the brakes but to no avail. The vehicle went over a curb and a sidewalk. The vehicle came to a stop as the rear tires crashed into a concrete wheel stopper. The contact was not injured. The dealer was informed of the failure and would not provide any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 30,000 and the current mileage was 30,080. Updated 01/12/11 updated 02/23/11

- Amarillo , TX, USA

problem #97

Nov 182009


  • 33,583 miles


Rapid acceleration while cruise control engaged. While cruise control was set for 68 mph, I found it necessary to pass a semi. While the cruise was engaged the accelerator was depressed and I was able to pass the truck not having to go any faster than 73. Shortly after, I became aware that the car was continuing to accelerate and I was unable disengage cruise control by braking once normally and braking once hard....the acceleration continued. Speeds were in excess of 93+ and I was finally able to stop the acceleration by disengaging the cruise at the switch. Braking should always disengage cruise and should have slowed the vehicle. It did neither. Fortunately I was on an open freeway....with only weather issues....but this could have been very serious or fatal should traffic had been stopped in front of me.

- Plains, MT, USA

problem #96

Jul 212010

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that he shifted into reverse gear and the vehicle moved forward. He was able to apply the brakes in order to stop the vehicle. The contact stated that the failure occurred approximately ten times but he did not take the vehicle to an authorized dealer. He stated that the failure occurred in a parking lot when the brakes were applied and crashed into another vehicle. No damage was done to either vehicle. The driver sustained a knee injury. He called the dealer and they referred him to the manufacturer. The manufacturer was called but they have not returned his call. The failure had been on going for six months. The failure mileage was 19,000 and the current mileage was 22,300. Updated 10/05/10 updated 10/07/10

- Misschon Vieja, CA, USA

problem #95

Jul 202010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 17,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While driving at 2 mph the vehicle abnormally accelerated. The failure and current mileages were 17,000. Updated 10/01/10 while slowly moving into a parking space, with her foot on the brake, the vehicle suddenly lunged forward landing on a parking lot divider. The consumer suffered whiplash. Updated 10/10/05

- Shippingsburg, PA, USA

problem #94

Jul 222010


  • 52,087 miles
I was sitting with the car on and in park at sonic drive in when it lunged forward 3-4 feet before I could hit the brakes. The car was taken to the Toyota dealership after work. After checking on the computer and test riding it they could find nothing wrong or duplicate the sudden acceleration.

- Fayetteville, TN, USA

problem #93

Nov 082007


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While the contact was driving approximately 20 mph, the traction control system was in activation and the vehicle began to accelerate without warning. The vehicle was able to slow down during braking. The failure occurred whenever the traction control system was engaged. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the technician informed that the vehicle acceleration was a normal occurrence upon activation of the traction control system. The contact had significant concern of the potential safety hazard. The failure mileage was 20,000 updated 10/26/10. Updated 10/26/10

- San Rafael, CA, USA

problem #92

Jul 052010


  • 70 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving 10 mph, the vehicle accelerated after driving over a bump in the road. On a separate occasion while driving 50 mph with the brakes engaged, the vehicle accelerated without driver intent. In addition, while traveling at an unknown speed, the vehicle unintentionally accelerated while driving over a road bump in the road and crashed into a tree. The vehicle was taken to a repair facility after the crash occurred. There were two injuries. The dealer inspected the vehicle but was unable to duplicate or locate the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 70 and the current mileage was 100,000.

- Pelham, NY, USA

problem #91

Jun 102010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 22,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While braking from a speed of 40 mph, the vehicle abnormally accelerated. The contact drove the vehicle off the roadway but was unable to stop the acceleration although he was depressing the brakes. The vehicle proceeded for approximately 400 yards, driving over several bumps, grass and other road obstructions before the vehicle finally came to a stop. The brake warning light illuminated just as the vehicle began to decrease in speed. There was smoke coming from the brakes and the front driver's side tire blew during the failure. The police arrived to assist. The vehicle was towed to a local dealer where the contact was awaiting a diagnosis of the failure. The failure and current mileages were 22,000. Updated evoq 08/17/10 updated 01/14/11 updated 04/01/11

- Glen Aubrey, NY, USA

problem #90

May 112010


  • 30,000 miles
1. while driving and braking over potholes or rough road, the car veers forward even though brakes are being applied 2. happens ever since we received our 2008 Prius maybe once a month or so: Results in scary few moments, although no accidents yet have occurred 3. dealer claims cannot re-create the issue.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #89

Apr 252010


  • 9,000 miles
While driving about 65 mph on a smooth interstate, my 2008 Toyota Prius accelerated when I tapped the brake to take it out of cruise control. I stepped on the brake again and it stopped accelerating, and slowed down. I had removed the floor mat a few weeks prior. I took it to Toyota to have the recall work done, which included a software upgrade. They said after they inspected the car that they determined form the log that the brake and accelerator had been pressed at the same time, twice. I am sure I did not step on both. As I said, I tapped the break to take it out of cruise control, and at the time it accelerated my foot was in the air, not touching either pedal. I suggested the cruise control may be erroneously putting flags in the log as it slows and accelerated to maintain a consistent speed. The dealer refused to report this suggestion or since it would be diagnosing, and said there was no place for them to report that I was sure I had not stepped on both pedals at the same time. Thank you, and I hope you are able to resolve this problem.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #88

Mar 152010


  • 12,900 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated while driving approximately 2 mph and depressing the brake pedal, the vehicle abnormally accelerated. She maintained firm pressure to the brake and was able to bring the vehicle to a stop. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. The contact left the vehicle in the dealers possession for further inspection. The approximate failure and current mileages were 12,900. Updated 11/16/10 updated 11/16/10

- South Burlington, VT, USA

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