really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,338 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.

2009 Toyota Prius electrical problems

electrical problem

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2009 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #9

Aug 142011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 23,000 miles


Re: 2009 Toyota Prius. Approx. 23K miles. On Sunday, August 14, 2011 we were driving at about 40 mph when without warning, the car completely shut down - all systems and all information displays. In spite of compromised steering and braking we were able to stop car. Car was completely unresponsive other than being able to turn on hazard signal. Vehicle was towed to a Toyota dealer. Dealer just informed us that the cause was a water pump failure which caused the car to go into a "safe" mode shutting down the car without any warning or time for the driver to find a safe response. Upon questioning, the dealer also said this would also happen at higher speeds which in our opinion, could pose a life threatening situation not only for the operator but for those vehicles around him. Further when asked, the dealer said it did not know if the failure of any other components would cause a similar shut-down. Obviously, Toyota's definition of "safe" mode is 180 degrees off and this is a system design flaw that needs to be addressed before it results in a tragedy (if it hasn't already done so).

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #8

Apr 022011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 10,729 miles
This was the second time that the car would not start after a sitting for approximately seven days. It had to be towed to the dealer where purchased where checked and jumped. I was told to not let the car sit idle. Today I contacted Toyota directly at 800-331-4221. I was given case # 1108121588. Representatives were very professional and checked with Toyota technicians for the 2009 Prius. Apparently, the car should not set for 4 to 5 days, (7 days at the outside) without being driven. Concern: Dealer and Toyota do not mention this serious flaw. As a sole female driver in the household, I would no have purchased this car given this very pertinent information. It means that something as simple as taking this car to the airport for a trip is not a prudent possibility. Trying to do a personal part to use less gas and lessen emissions comes with a serious and not stated safety issue.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #7

May 062011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the fuel gauge would provide inaccurate readings of fuel levels. While driving 20 mph, the vehicle completely shut down without warning due to a bladder fuel tank problem. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who replaced the bladder fuel tank under warranty. The manufacturer was contacted who offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 43,000. The consumer stated Toyota paid for the repair. However, the gas gauge continues to be inaccurate and the consumer is unable to put no more than six gallons of gas in the vehicle. Also, at times, the vehicle would not shift into gear. Updated 06/30/11

- Port Orange, FL, USA

problem #6

Mar 102011


  • 33,126 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Prius hybrid equipped with an aftermarket 10kw kit. The contact was driving 10 mph with the 10kw plugged in when it caught on fire causing the standard hybrid vehicle to become an electric vehicle. The electrical wiring caught on fire which was located in the rear passenger side of the vehicle near the tail light. The fire was extinguished by the contact and there were no injuries. The fire department was called but the fire had been extinguished by the time they arrived. A fire report was not filed and the vehicle was towed to a mechanic shop who was unable to repair the vehicle. An authorized dealer was then contacted and they stated that because the 10kw was an after market part, they would not provide any assistance. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 33,126.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #5

Mar 142010


  • 2,900 miles
2009 Prius - on two occasion recently when I went to make a right turn my steering froze and the engine died. I almost hit a car. I have had it into piercy Toyota on two occasion and they still have not found anything. I am afraid to drive the car. It only ha 3000 miles on it. They have been nice, but no results. If the car is doing this now and they cannot find it what happens next. Not satisfied with there answer. I need your help.

- Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 042009


  • 8,000 miles
Re: 2009 Prius > upon arrival at church, engine would not shut off. Returned home, engine would not shut off. Could not remove 'key' from slot. About 2 hours later, car could be shut off. > called dealer and explained. Dealer said 'this has never happened, we will get back to you' which did not happen. Since then, there have been several times that the power switch had to be pressed several times to make the car shut off. > this is a very dangerous situation in the event of a crash or stuck accelerator. Dot should require manufacturers to use a conventional key switch to allow the driver to shut off the engine.

- Blairstown, NJ, USA

problem #3

Feb 022010


  • 3,600 miles


Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) several electronic malfunctions, all occurring when my blue tooth is connected. Some inadequately shielded wiring or connector(s) could account for this. I saw in the congressional testimony by a lady in a Lexus used her blue tooth connection to call her husband during the 6 minutes of struggle to stop her car's out of control acceleration by various methods including both feet onn the brake. I have a 2009 Toyota Prius that the dealer says is working "normal." These events have not been normal, and on one occasion my energy screen that was doing wierd things actually changed to the speed dial screen. In another incident, (smart key feature is disabled because it drains the battery) I locked the car with my key fob as usual, and when I returned could not unlock it that way and had to dig out the "key" to open the door so I could start the car. My battery has died 3 times and was finally replaced. I bought this Prius touring March 26, 2009. The dealer has no idea of what's going on, only tells me the car is "normal." I suspect something so simple as shielding from the weak blue tooth signal could well be causing a variety of problems, probably depending on where the faulty wiring is located. If nobody is investigating this, iit is a mistake!. [xxx]

- San Angelo, TX, USA

problem #2

Jan 272010


  • 4,000 miles
Toyota Prius yr/mdl 2009/1224 a I have attempted to have the following checked with Toyota of hickory where I purchased the Prius and was told that I needed to allow the battery to heat up before trying to place it into reverse or drive. My Prius will go into N, it will lock all doors and windows and not go into gear or start. I have been locked in the car during this past summer without air and I attempted several times to cut the car on and off before it would go into gear. This is very horrific to say the least. I was at lake norman Toyota yesterday and was told this was a common complaint. Yet no one offered to take this car in and check for problems. From the day I drove off the lot until now this hybrid gas/elec sedan has given me nothing but trouble.

- Mooresville, NC, USA

problem #1

Mar 272009


  • miles
Hi there, I have a new 2009 Toyota Prius. A couple of days ago as I was pulling into the parking spot at the garage my foot on the brake, the car started all of a sudden moving very smoothly without any resistance regardless of my attempts to stop it. It was hitting the wall in front of it a couple of times until I managed to power down the car. The front bumper of the car is completely destroyed and will need to be replaced. I took the car to a dealer to check brakes thoroughly. They did and told me that everything is fine with the brakes. Personally I strongly believe that the brakes have mind of their own and I sincerely hope that they will not fail on me in traffic since I am a mother, I have a 1-year old boy. His safety is a top priority for me. Right after my car was purchased it had to stay at a dealer for a week since there was some electrical problem, I believe with doors. Both that fact and now the brake failure make me wonder if my car is a lemon. Please help to sort this out. Thank you!

- Dallas, TX, USA

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