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 5 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #47

Jun 022008


  • 15,987 miles


On June 2,2008 my wife brought her new Prius into the garage to park it and suddenly it just accelerated and went through the garage door and wall. Damages to the car, house, and insurance increases totaled close to $10,000. Toyota repaired the Prius and we told them verbally how the vehicle suddenly accelerated and they shrugged it off. We had been sent at one time a letter that said we may in the future receive a recall notice but never did. Therefore we would hope Toyota takes care of these issues so we don't need to take further action seeing it was a manufacturing default. We've sent Toyota two complaints already and not even one was acknowledged and being a faithful buyer of Toyota's, without action on this issue we may be forced to purchase other make vehicles and we will refuse to further promote Toyota unless the issues are remedied to include the home damage and our insurance surcharge. Your assistance in this acceleration manufacturing issue which has cost us almost $10,000 is uncalled for and Toyota should have begun the process of recalls quite some time ago. Thanking you in advance for any assistance you may be able to get for us so we don't have to seek further assistance to get these issues taken care of and my wife's suffering with the concern that this issue could happen again. I have advised her that in such situation if it were to occur she is to shut the vehicle off immediately as well as put it in neutral and put on the emergency break. Unfortunately our long standing marriage with Toyota may be over with unless we are assisted.

- Port Charlotte, FL, USA

problem #46

Feb 132010


  • 36,000 miles
When braking at 10-15 mph and going over a bumpy road surface or pothole, the vehicle stability control light flashes on and off for 2-3 seconds and I experience what feels like a loss of brake power during that time. This happens every time I am slowing down and going over bumpy roads. So far, my solution to correct this failure is to not brake when slowing down over bumpy roads. No parts have been repaired or replaced.

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #45

Feb 052010


  • 35,100 miles
My 2008 Toyota Prius gas pedal stuck and pushed forward against my control, and I slammed my foot on the brake and gas pedal at same time and it stopped. I am reportint this to the Toyota dealer at priority Toyota in chesapeake virignia right now and they said because they can not reproduce the incident they can't do anything, but for me to call Toyota 1-800-331-4331 and report it, I did, and talked with a representative, and he said all he can do is put it in the case file, and if I wanted to I can report it to NHTSA. I will not become a death statistic to prove the problem occurred.

- Virginia Bech, VA, USA

problem #44

Jan 022010


  • 35,000 miles


Toyota Prius problem - cruise control malfunction: On 2 Jan 2010 (about 0600 hrs) I was driving a rented Prius (alamo) from palm beach, fl to miami, fl. I was using cruise control and going the listed speed limit for I-95 (65mph). The car seemed to be performing correctly for the first 35 plus miles but then I got into heavy traffic and had to brake. The cruise control released normally and I slowed to about 60 mph. When the traffic cleared I pushed the cruise control "resume" button and the Prius started to accelerate as normal. However, the acceleration did not stop at the original speed I had set and had been driving at (65 mph) but continued to climb to 70 mph and higher to near 75 mph when I had to hit the brakes and shut the cruise control off to slow the car. After that I did not use the cruise control for the remainder of my trip. I just thought there may have been a glitch or operator error and I did not think of it as the problem I recently saw on the news. I live in the republic of panama and did not see anything about the Prius problems until recently. As I said the car was a rental and I just mentioned to the check in person that I had a slight problem with the cruise control but I do not know if it was reported.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #43

Jan 192010


  • 11,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact was driving approximately between 25-30 mph on normal road conditions, proceeding to a traffic stop signal. There was pressure applied to the brake pedal however the acceleration increased. The vehicle failed to slow down and crashed into the passenger side rear of an opposing vehicle. The police was called to the scene. There were no personal injuries. The contact's vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for body damage repairs. The cause of failure has not been determined at this time. The failure mileage was 11,000.

- Vero Beach , FL, USA

problem #42

Feb 112010


  • 1,000 miles
Most recent failure was a few days ago but this has been a problem since I purchased the 2008 Prius in March of 08--- I thought it was a quirk in the car --- something that just naturally happened when I would go over a pot hole or bumps in the road --- the car would lurch forward --- I had no control over the car --- no brakes --- I didn't realize that this was not a "natural" response until I heard the description on a news broadcast a couple weeks ago. Model years prior to 2010 should be included in the investigation. I am going to make an appointment with my dealer. Thank you

- Buchanan, VA, USA

problem #41

Feb 032010


  • 40,000 miles


I own a toy.pri.2008, on 02/03/10 I was leaving driveway applied gas, car took off across St. Into tidalflow of at. Ocean at high tide, the car would not shift. Brake or turn off. The police pic's noteded gas pedal was not visible, floor mat was over it, the salt water was in car and upon leaving car it was waist deep. The car was serviced 1/4/10 at Toyota dealer for state inspetion and usual mt. Never mentioned recall of mats which I now find was a well known fact in Sept.09. They are insisting it will dry out and be fine, salt water on any car is deadly buti hybrid. The hour it sat in water prior to tow, the car still would not shut off. I called Toyota that day as tow took car to it, they insisted that there was no issues with 2008 Prius. The car was moving much faster than my 10mph of origin and would not brake, shift or shut off. Water was pouring out stereo speakers and up under hood on/or under engine block, the engine ran for the hour the car sat in salt water. Toyota hsa been absolutely no help and still insists despite an offical recall that there were troubles with 2008 Prius. The police photos say it all.

- Hampton, NH, USA

problem #40

Aug 132009


  • 13,560 miles
Toyota Prius, 2008, involved in accident, August 13, 2009 when it accelerated rapidly out of control after being at a stop sign for 4 minutes stopped in a line of traffic, hitting car in front and being very difficult to bring to a stop. Went from 0 to 45 mph very quickly and hard to stop.Toyota has not responded to complaint or my insistence that it be fixed. Was deemed by judge who heard the appeal of ticket to be a mechanical failure. First accident for me in 48.5 years of driving. Initially I thought it was brake failure, but after the info came out, it matches exactly the accelerator sticking that has been described. Filed complaint with Toyota in October and have not heard back. Haven was the contact, claim number at Toyota is #0910145720. Also notified dealer where it was purchased and have not heard from them. Was assured I'd hear in January and got a letter indicating that I should take the floor mat out. It happened again in November of 2009, although I immediately recognized it and got the car stopped quickly. I'm now afraid to drive it but need my car to work.

- Okemos, MI, USA

problem #39

Feb 052010


  • 21,570 miles
I was driving slowing to park my car into a lot, my car suddenly took itself. I slammed the brakes so hard, it was hard enough to drop my bag which was on the passenger's seat. Today, 9th of Feb. Nothing was wrong according to dealer shop.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #38

Jan 152010


  • 33,000 miles
There are two issues with my 2008 Toyota Prius. When trying to accelerate rapidly, the engine cuts out and hesitates. I think it's related to the traction control, but this happens way too easily. I have new tires and it happens on dry pavement. The second issue is related to the brakes. When braking and encountering small bumps in the road, the car appears to leap forward. There is a sensation of accelerating when this happens, although I'm certain it is just the ABS system. It is a very uneasy feeling.

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #37

Nov 182009


  • 28,500 miles


2008 Toyota Prius. On 11/18/09. 1) I was parked and ready to leave the parking spot when suddenly the car had an acceleration backwards. I couldnt stop the car but luckily I was in a tight parking spot and the car hit the object behind (like a tree) under the 45 degree angle which left the deep rear corner bumper dent. (still there). I called in and complained to brooklyn Toyota and drove in for service the same day ( including to do the tire inspection). Toyota dealer didnt find any problems with the car's acceleration or tires but as a result of the dealer incompetence that was unable to detect a nail in the tire -I had a flat tire just 20 min after I left the dealer. I called aaa for assistance incident # 2181 on 11/18/09. I also called advantage Toyota in lynbrook, li to inspect and possibly fix the acceleration and the bumper. They also said they didnt have any recall notices to fix and couldnt fix the bumper unless taken to a paid collision shop. 2) I also had the car in the advantage Toyota service on 11/4/09 for oil, filter, check up and the brakes and tires. I told them I experience loosing traction / brakes after hitting the bumps or the pothole or man holes.

- Valley Stream, NY, USA

problem #36

Sep 042008


  • 4,000 miles
My mother has a 2008 Toyota Prius and was pulling into my driveway. The approach to the driveway is uphill and the driveway is more of a parking area with an access apron. For some unknown reason, the car's engine revved (very high rpms - I could hear it from the basement). The car grazed the side of the house, went through a short wall (brick - about 1 foot tall, 1 foot thick and 5 feet long) and an iron deck gate. The car ended up on the deck after breaking off two 6X6 support posts. The deck has horizontal stainless steel cables instead of pickets, and I believe that these are what kept the car from going over the edge - a 25 foot drop.

- Asheville, NC, USA

problem #35

Aug 302009


  • miles
This is about my Prius 2008 model. When it goes over bumps or uneven road surfaces, the car tends to surge forward suddenly and unexpectedly. It doesn't occur all the time, but more than enough times for me to notice. Usually, it is when I'm going between 35 and 45 miles an hour over a bump or uneven surface. I correct the surging by applying the breaks gently. I have not yet made the dealer aware of the issue. The approximate incident date I'm reporting is the date at which I noticed it started happening, about one year from when I purchased the car. But since then, it has occurred more.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #34

Jan 222008


  • 13,800 miles
On January 22, 2010, I was pulling into a handicap parking place outside a local restaurant when my 2008 Prius suddenly accelerated while my foot was firmly on the brakes. My car went over the handicap barrier and the curb and finally stopped when my car hit the restaurant landscaping. The next morning I called the dealership, talked to three separate people and they wanted me to drive my car in. I told them I didn't feel the car was safe to drive and they should tow it in. They told me they wouldn't do it. Next I called my insurance agent and made them aware of the problem because I was afraid to drive the car in fear of injuries that could occur if the car didn't stop again. They arranged to have my car towed in and repaired. The dealership said they checked the car and found nothing wrong with my car.

- Orange Park, FL, USA

problem #33

Feb 012010


  • 20,000 miles
While braking at slow speed, my Prius 08 suddenly accelerated making the car lung forward after going over a bump/pothole...vsc light went on nd then turned off. This has happened numerous times. Brought the car into my Toyota dealer on 2/5/10. They experienced the vsc light going on and said that was normal for the ABS system. They also checked all modules and said no codes came up. They also said this was normal for the ABS system on a hybrid. I have never experienced this in my previous Honda Accord that also had ABS.

- Rensselaer, NY, USA

problem #32

Apr 202008


  • 1,000 miles
I was driving my 2008 Prius at approximately 35 mph and it began to accelerate. I took my foot off of the accelerator, but it didn't stop. I pumped the brake, but it had no effect. It stopped suddenly, and the car operated normally. The incident didn't last long, and hasn't happened again. Until I read about the other, more serious incidents with the accelerator I didn't even know how to describe it - I'd never heard of such a thing happening. I would have felt foolish talking to the guys at the service center, so I decided to wait to see if it happened again.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #31

Feb 032010


  • 30,200 miles
The brakes fail to work immediately and/or the car speed surges temporarily when braking on a bumpy or surface, such as going over a pot hole. This started happening soon after I started driving the car and happens on a regular basis - the most recent being yesterday. At first, the short loss of control of vehicle speed concerned me, but I have come to expect it now when going over rough road. I started to think it was associated with the ABS system and thought maybe it was supposed to work that way. But now, after hearing about the problems with the 2010 Prius, I thought you should know the same problem exists in earlier Prius models.

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #30

Feb 022010


  • 25,000 miles
I am experiencing temporary loss of brakes while braking on uneven surfaces, bumpy streets, potholes, railroad tracks. This is not the same as normal ABS activating, but longer and complete loss of braking for a few seconds. Dealer informed me this is by design. All my other cars (with ABS) do not experience this in the same conditions. Incident repeated daily during my commute. I have to drive much slower because of this and I want this fixed since if it's by design then its a bad design!!! note this is on a gen2 Prius, 2008 model.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #29

Jan 152010


  • 25,000 miles
I wanted to include my voice in the recent complaints about the Toyota Prius brakes. I have a 2008 Prius and have experienced the same issue several times- the brakes seem to stop working and the slick-road warning light comes on when I go over a big bump or pothole while braking. Braking comes right back, but I can imagine this might be a bigger issue if there was a vehicle right in front of me, in inclement weather, etc. I have heard people only mention the 2010 Prius model year, so I wanted to let someone know that the 2008 Prius also seems to be affected... thank you.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #28

Feb 042010


  • 42,000 miles
Please include Prius 2008 as well in your investigation. We have a 2008 Prius. About once a week, sometimes more, we drive over a pothole, our car jerks forward/accelerates for a split second just like the 2010 Prius that is being reported. We didn't think about it until the issue with the 2010 Prius news came out.

- Corona, CA, USA

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