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 6 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #27

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 #26

Jan 152010


  • 35,000 miles
2008 Prius: Temporary surge in acceleration when you drive over a pothole or a bump in the road. "traction" light comes on at the same time. Happens frequently but not daily. Same experience as is being described in the news today (2-3-10) in relation to the 2010 Prius. Toyota reports that they have not heard of this problem in previous years' models, but we have experienced this problem many times.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #25

May 102009


  • 30,000 miles
I was stopped and ticketed by a chp officer on highway 5 South of sacramento, ca after being clocked at 93 mph, while I had set the cruise control of my 2008 Toyota Prius at 80 mph.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #24

Jan 012008


  • 500 miles


2008 Toyota Prius - brakes slip when trying to stop at low speeds, especially on wet roads or on roads with bumps (including manhole covers). This has occurred repeatedly since I bought the vehicle. The dealer, on three separate occasions, said that they ran diagnostics and found no anomalies. I read today that this problem has also been reported on new (2009-2010) Toyota Prius models, and that the Japanese government had ordered Toyota to investigate. However the article said that Toyota was unaware of any problems with older vehicles. I am filing this complaint in the hope that Toyota will extend its investigation to series 2 Prius models (2004-2008) as well.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #23

Jan 062010


  • 22,000 miles
We were stopped at a neighborhood intersection. As we began to let off of the brake to make a left hand turn, the car accelerated uncontrollably. Depressing the brake had no effect on the acceleration. Before we turned the wheel to the left to begin the turn, the car had sped across the 35 foot street, jumped a 6 1/2 inch curb, went through a fence, across another street, and was stopped when it hit a second fence. The total distance traveled from being stopped at the corner until the vehicle was stopped by the second fence was 81 feet. The streets were dry and there were no skid marks on the road. However, due to previous rains, the grass areas were moist. There are no tire marks in the grass from the curb until approximately 6 feet before the stopping point. The front lift of the Prius is around 7 1/2 inches. The vehicle had to have significant momentum to go over a 6 1/2 inch curb in just 35 feet. We filed a claim with our insurance on Jan. 7 and requested that the vehicle be inspected for accelerator issues. The car was towed to Toyota whom, upon their own investigation, stated that there was no evidence of acceleration malfunction. The car is being repaired at a body shop with initial damage estimated at over $6000. We have photographs of the damage to the car as well as the scene of the accident and measurements of distances traveled. In 2009, we received a recall letter from Toyota concerning floor mat issues with our Prius. We inspected our factory-installed floor mats, as instructed by the recall letter, and were awaiting their 2nd notification when the "campaign remedy" became available. The floor mat on the driver's side has a locking mechanism and could have, in no way, obstructed the accelerator pedal. The car should be repaired and ready next week. However, we do not believe it is a safe vehicle to drive. What recommendations do you have?

- Beaumont, TX, USA

problem #22

Jan 212010


  • 44,000 miles
My 2008 Toyota Prius suddenly & unexplainably accelerated.

- Gardner, MA, USA

problem #21

May 012009


  • miles


S10 appropriate handling - letter to the secretary from Mrs. Judy haley gizmo disputing claim by Toyota that unintended acceleration of Toyota vehicles due to faulty floor mats. The consumer disputed Toyota's claim that the many cases of unintended acceleration were due to faulty floor mats. The consumer stated the crash she had was not due to faulty floor mat's which were latched down, but was due to acceleration/brake problems in the computer and electrical systems of the vehicle. The consumer stated she backed the vehicle out of the driveway, she exited the garage and pressed the button to close the garage door. After closing the garage door, she sated she wasn't sure if she placed the gear in drive or neutral, but suddenly the vehicle lunged forward going up to 15-20 mph. Within 5 seconds the consumer crashed into the garage door, rammed into the inside kitchen wall causing extensive damage. The air bags didn't deploy. The consumer suffered injuries.

- Dubuque, IA, USA

problem #20

Nov 182009


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While idling at a stop light, the engine revved, and then the vehicle accelerated. She has called the Toyota manufactured, and was advised that the floor-mats caused the failure. She was waiting for a representative to call her back. The vehicle has not been taken to the dealer. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Sherman, CT, USA

problem #19

Dec 242008


  • miles
Accelerator pedal on vehicle failed to return to non accelerating position after accelerating on freeway. Vehicle continued to accelerate even while braking. I had to wedge my foot underneath the accelerator pedal to lift it to the full upward position. This incident occurred while accelerating sharply, and has not occurred with gentle acceleration. I have avoided any sudden acceleration with this vehicle, for fear of a recurrence of this problem. There was no floor mat interference while this was occurring, it felt as though the accelerator pedal was being operated without foot contact, as I could feel the pedal depress underneath my resting foot. I am a very experienced driver and have driven commercially for 20 years and have never experienced anything like this.

- Jamul , CA, USA

problem #18

Nov 162009


  • 20,453 miles
Vehicle body lurches forward when gas engine starts. This happens when the vehicle starts from cold, or when the vehicle is in park and the gas engine starts. We told the dealership this, but they said it was nothing. This happens every so often, not sure what leads up to it.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #17

Oct 092009

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,368 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota pruis. While driving with the cruise control set at 60 mph, the vehicle began to accelerate without intention. After repeated brake application, he was able to stop the vehicle. However there were small flames inside of the passenger and driver front wheels. The fire was extinguished. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer. The technician was unable to duplicate the failure. The front brakes were replaced under the warranty. The failure mileage was 16,368. The current mileage was unknown. Updated 12/07/09. The consumer stated the floor mats were not the cause of the incident. Updated 12/08/09

- Boling Springs , NC, USA

problem #16

Apr 102009


  • miles
Needing maximum acceleration to avoid being struck from behind, I thrust the accelerator to the floor in my '08 Prius. Safely avoiding a possible collision, my auto continued to accelerate. The accelerator was stuck in the full down position and could not be budged either by hand or by repeated stomping to release it. I made sure the floor mat was not interfering with the accelerator, which it wasn't. I braked hard and turned off the 4 lane street to the right and was about to turn off the engine when it released as rapidly as it began. I reported it to Toyota at my next oil service - but they had no prior experience of this type of complaint. I have since refrained maximum acceleration - but am afraid to let anyone else drive my auto. Now that I am aware that there is no direct mechanical connection to to investigate or correct in the fuel system, but instead an electronic one, ("fly by wire" like the new commercial jets), I am even more on edge. Thank god, the Prius is underpowered. In a more powerful auto, the engine would have overpowered the brakes and led to a possible disaster. Electronics malfunction sporadically! please investigate!!!

- Del Mar, CA, USA

problem #15

Apr 042008


  • 500 miles
I own a 2008 Toyota Prius. In April of 2008, 4 months after I bought the vehicle, I was pulling into a spot in the parking structure at work. All of a sudden the engine gunned and the car lurched forward, went over the bumper guard in the spot, and was stopped by the concrete overhang, which totally crunched the hood. At the time, I said to myself, "why aren't the brakes working?" I think this problem may be related to the gas pedal problems currently being reported concerning the Toyota. Thanks for your assistance.

- Fountain Valley, CA, USA

problem #14

Nov 182007


  • 10,000 miles
I have a 2008 Toyota Prius that has an acceleration problem which is not attributable to the floor mat. I also had a 2004 Toyota Prius with the same problem that resulted in a collision that totaled the vehicle. The 2008 Prius was taken to the dealership for the acceleration problem but they can not reproduce it. The 2004 Prius was totaled in a collision where the vehicle would not stop.

- Potomac, MD, USA

problem #13

May 192009


  • 30,000 miles
While driving my employer's 2008 (or 2009) Toyota Prius several times in summer of 2009, I pressed the accelerator pedal to the floor to pass, and the pedal stuck in the wide open position. This happened several separate times during the summer of 2009. The car was sent to local Toyota dealership, where it was supposedly fixed, however it stuck several times again after repair? this problem had nothing to do with floormats. This happened to other drivers at work of this same car too. I am a professional driver with 40 years of driving experience.

- Canton, NY, USA

problem #12

Oct 262009


  • 13,051 miles
I am not being melodramatic when I say that I thought I was going to die today. My 2008 Prius accelerated almost out of control. I was merging onto an expressway when the accelerator seemed to have a life of its own and took off at an incredibly high rate of speed. It would not stop, kept getting faster and faster. I managed to slow down the vehicle. It was fine for the 20 minute drive down that expressway. After getting off and getting into city traffic I was stopped at a red light. When the car lunged forward. Thank god I had my foot hard on the brake. It did not brake away only lunged 6 - 12 inches.

- Chiicago, IL, USA

problem #11

Sep 072009


  • 39,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius hybrid. While entering the parking garage the vehicle accelerated without intention. As a consequence the vehicle crashed into a parked vehicle. Prior to the failure he noticed that the electric power "off" switch was engaged. The estimated cost for damages for each vehicle was $1,000. The failure mileage was 39,000. The current mileage was 40,000.

- Markesan , WI, USA

problem #10

Sep 162009


  • 38 miles
Driving on pch in corona del Mar, ca at a speed of approx. 25 mph. Trying to brake at a pedestrian crosswalk where a car was already stopped in front of the Prius. Car did not brake, instead it accelerated and the car that was already stopped at the crosswalk was rearended. Driver of Prius injured ankle. Prius is totaled. Police report was filed.

- Corona Del Mar, CA, USA

problem #9

Aug 142009


  • 20,000 miles
Was stopped in traffic, at a light. Light changed to green. Car ahead of pulled forward. I moved forward, ~15-20mph. Car ahead stopped. I released accelerator and pressed on brake pedal. Car did not slow down, kept moving forward as if accelerator was pressed. Brake pedal felt 'hard', it did not move down. I kept pressing the brake pedal. Brakes finally took hold and car stopped. Luckily I did not hit the car in front of me.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #8

May 122009


  • 4,200 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While driving 60 mph, the vehicle accelerated unexpectedly. The contact depressed the brake pedal, but the vehicle did not stop accelerating. The vehicle was literally in a "runaway" mode and the engine had to be turned off in order to stop the vehicle. The failure has occurred at least 12 times in the past year. Toyota claims to be unaware of this failure and refuses to investigate the complaints. The failure mileage was 4,200.

- Washoe Valley, NV, USA

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