really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,240 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2008 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Feb 022011


  • 42,000 miles


Incorrect fuel gauge/rubber bladder caused the engine to shutdown while traveling down the interstate. Gauge showed 2 bars 5 minutes before the engine shutdown.

- Eustis, FL, USA

problem #20

Nov 262011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
I normally get about 450 miles out of one 11.9 gallon tank. Recently, I discovered my fuel gauge light going off at 300 miles. When I filled up my tank it only took 7 gallons, leaving 5 gallons that should have been in the tank. After filling it up, fuel gauge light went off just below 300 miles. When I took my vehicle in for an oil change I asked about it thinking there was something wrong with my fuel sensor. I was advised by the clerk that it was the bladder, and to just keep it full-thats all. He gave other advise like make sure the tire pressure on my tires were good (they were rotated and checked a week prior to this), and to check my air filter. Now I am confused, and do not know how much fuel is actually in my tank. I have had my vehicle for 3 1/2 years and never had a problem till now.

- Lodi, CA, USA

problem #19

May 042011


  • 33,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While driving approximately 70 mph the vehicle stalled. The contact stated the fuel system warning light illuminated immediately before the vehicle stalled. The contact also stated the owner's manual indicated that when the fuel system warning light illuminated the vehicle should have had at least 3 gallons of fuel left. A tow truck appeared on the scene to deliver more fuel to the contact. The vehicle was not taken to have the failure diagnosed and was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 33,000.

- Prescott, AZ, USA

problem #18

Jun 202010


  • 35,000 miles


2008 Toyota Prius: Refueling started to become a problem at 35,000 miles. Tank would not refill completely and gas is "burped" out tank. Very frustrating refueling because gas hose clicks off repeatedly even though tank is not full. Typically tank will take an additional 2 gallons of fuel after the first time it clicks "full". it takes 5 minutes to put in last 2 gallons and then fuel bubbles up and pours out of tank. I could see the air bubbles working their way to the surface as the gas tank burps out the fuel. The bladder gas tank is clearly defective and it is impossible to know when tank is full. Michael's Toyota of bellevue, Washington has been worthless - first telling me they aren't aware of this issue and they had no problem refilling the car and the last time telling me there is nothing they can do and I should call Toyota. Great customer service... thanks heavens the car is out of warranty because I have no interest in doing further business with them. Toyota should acknowledge this defect and replace the bladder gas tank with a regular version.

- Issaquah, WA, USA

problem #17

Jul 282010


  • 59,000 miles
On 7/26/10 I purchased 2008 certified Toyota Prius. I didn't receive car until 7/28/10. I took the car back to dealership on 7/29/10 because the inside cabin smells like gas after the car is turned on for about 5 minutes. Dealership confirmed that it did smell like gas and it was dangerous to drive. Currently Toyota is looking at cause of problem. I fear this car might be a dangerous combination of high power voltage and gas fumes. Vehicle was not properly inspected and sold in a dangerous condition. Dealership I purchased from is longo Toyota located in el monte, ca.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

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problem #16

Jul 282010


  • 59,000 miles
On 7/26/10 I purchased 2008 certified Toyota Prius. I didn't receive car until 7/28/10. I took the car back to dealership on 7/29/10 because the inside cabin smells like gas after the car is turned on for about 5 minutes. Dealership confirmed that it did smell like gas and it was dangerous to drive. Currently Toyota is looking at cause of problem. I fear this car might be a dangerous combination of high power voltage and gas fumes. Vehicle was not properly inspected and sold in a dangerous condition.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #15

Apr 272010


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


S10 appropriate handling-letter to the secretary from re Toyota problems the consumer stated the brakes made a noise. According to the dealer, there may have been rust on the rotors, due to lack of driving. The vehicle was not getting proper gas mileage and the gas motor made a lot of noise.

- Kettering, OH, USA

problem #14

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 #13

Oct 122009


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While the vehicle was traveling at a speed of 55 mph the contact noticed that the check engine light appeared on the dashboard, moments later the vehicle suddenly shut off. The vehicle was taken to the dealership. The contact was informed that the failure was due to the fuel tank being empty. The failure mileage was 20,000 and the current mileage was 35,000.

- Silver Spring , MD, USA

problem #12

Oct 012008


  • 6,000 miles
The fuel gauge on my Prius registered 3 gallon fuel remaining (according to the owners' manual). I ran out of fuel on a busy expressway without warning. Fortunately, I was not hit. I was towed to a Toyota dealership who informed me that the Prius gas tank is a plastic bag and the fuel gauge does not register correctly. I asked what Toyota was doing about this. I was told that they were "looking into it". that was more than one year ago. The Toyota dealership told me to keep the gas tank 1/2 full in order to prevent my Prius from running out of fuel. Of course, this cuts the vehicle range in half. I assumed that Toyota would work for a solution, but frankly, after all the recent revelations, I wonder if Toyota has looked for a solution. At the very least, Toyota should inform all Prius owners to keep their gas tanks 1/2 full in order to avoid the potentially dangerous event that I experienced. (I am a registered professional engineer, mechanical, state of California.)

- Ross, CA, USA

problem #11

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 #10

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 #9

Aug 182009


  • 62,013 miles
My 2008 Toyota Prius has a defective fuel tank. I can't reliably fill it up or rely on the fuel gage to determine endurance. Running out of fuel in the left lane on a busy highway is a major safety hazard for myself and other drivers on the road.

- Evanston, IL, USA

problem #8

Feb 092009


  • 15,000 miles
Over period of several weeks car would refuse to accept fuel. Stated capacity is over 11 gallons. Vehicle has never taken more than 9 gallons to fill up at an indicated empty point (1 bar on fuel gauge). Car would not accept fuel without burping fuel all over the side of the car and pavement surrounding. Each successive fill up would require less fuel before burping at fuel cutoff from pump. Toyota claimed that I had been doing to many MINIfill-ups (not intentionally since gauge was malfunctioning). Toyota dealership "reset" fuel system early March 2009 and since has functioned properly. Believe Toyota (and us gov't Agency that approved this faulty system in the first place) should replace fuel system with version the europeans are using as I haven't seen any complaints in europe on this issue.

- Palm Bay, FL, USA

problem #7

Mar 202009


  • 350 miles
2008 Prius, can not fill gas tank without continuous stops and starts, and then fuel percolates out of the tank, onto shoes and ground. Very unsafe. Can cause fire. This is due to defective "rubber bladder gas tank". dealers can not fix.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #6

Feb 092008


  • 22,000 miles
2008 Toyota Prius, is advertised to have an 11.9 gallon gas tank - yet when you fill it up it will only take 7 gallons. The dealer says that they cannot fix it. I am uncomfortable with a gas tank that does not work properly and I feel this is a serious safety issue.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #5

May 252008


  • 2,500 miles
The first time this happened was approximately 3 weeks after purchasing my new '08 Prius. I was attempting to fill my nearly empty gas tank, when the gas nozzle clicked off after about 2 seconds of filling. I repeatedly tried to continue filling only to have the nozzle repeatedly click off without filling any further. I would squeeze the handle, a little gas would go into the car and the nozzle would click off. After about 5 minutes of this frustration, I removed the nozzle from the car and whatever gasoline was in the tank came gushing out of the gas tank. A lot of gas, poured down the side of my new car and onto myself. After this, the gas gauge was apparently stuck on "full?, as I drove the car a about 100 miles and the gas gauge remained at the ?full? setting even though I had not even put in 3 gallons of gas in my seemingly empty tank. With most every subsequent fill after this it would take forever to fill the tank with the nozzle constantly clicking off?plus it is difficult to tell when the tank is actually full. The gas has continued to pour out onto my car and myself on occasional fills over the course of the last 5 months. I've put 16,000 miles on my Prius and it has most always been the same routine when fueling"the nozzle constantly clicking off and me standing there squeezing the nozzle handle over and over and trying to guess when the tank is actually full. I often could not put more than one second of fuel in my Prius before the fuel nozzle would click off and I keep having to pull the pump spigot out until it just barely squirts gas past the little flapper door, and even then it keeps shutting off. It takes me almost 20 minutes to put less than 6 gallons of gas in this car and it is an environmental and a safety concern to continue having gas pour out of the tank to the ground and onto my clothing/body. Toyota will not remedy this problem and it is both an environmental and safety concern to myself and others. There is documentation since 2004.

- Saint Cloud, MN, USA

problem #4

Oct 192008


  • 415 miles
Gas tank does not operate as advertised and poses a potentially very serious problem for consumers who run out of gas or can't refill the tank as advertised. The gauge does not appear to work accurately and does not truly reflect the amount of gas remaining or the consumption of gas.

- San Marcos, CA, USA

problem #3

Jul 272008


  • 700 miles
I own a 2008 Prius. The fuel gauge does not work at all and the dealer has told me it's a function of the bladder gas tank. I cannot fill the tank because it will not take enough fuel before the pump shuts off. This is a common problem I am told now by other owners. Toyota should tell people before they buy the car. I have less then 1000 miles on the car now.

- St. Augustine, FL, USA

problem #2

Jul 282008


  • 2,400 miles
Fuel gauge and fuel tank report lower than expected values which lead to miscalculated trips between fill ups. On the first day, the tank reported full at around 11gallons. The second time of filling up, I could only fill up 8 gallons because the fuel pump sensor would stop at the gas station. The third, and fourth time would only allow me to put in 6 gallons, and 4 gallons. This makes it extremely inaccurate in reporting how much gas is left in the car. I nearly ran out of gas going through AZ for a long drive because of the inaccurate amount of reported gas. Toyota makes a european version which does not have this bladder problem. (the fuel tank capacity for a european nhw11 without the bladder is 50 litres ) why not modify or replace the american version which is clearly reports bogus gas readings? it's a serious problem when you run out of gas on the highway or overestimate to the next refueling station. Prius 2008 model, purchased 6/2008.

- Torrance, CA, USA

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