really awful
Crashes / Fires:
23 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
13 / 0
Average Mileage:
18,341 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #22

Feb 112010


  • 12,500 miles


I keep hearing about the momentary loss of braking on the 2010 Toyota Prius. However, I have encountered the same problem on my 2009 Prius. When passing over a slick, bumpy, or icy surface, I experience a momentary loss of braking, and a warning light that looks like a car skidding comes on for less than a second. This generally occurs at slow speeds, but has occurred at speeds up to 25-30 mph.

- Hurst, TX, USA

problem #21

Aug 102009


  • 4,000 miles
I have a 2009 Prius and on at least 4 occasions in cruise control my car has accelerated without my doing so. All of the times I was able to brake and bring down my speed. We tried to report this to Toyota but they were not concerned. We then reported this to the dealership and the mechanic told my husband that " that sometimes happens". no report was filed or action taken.

- North Oaks, MN, USA

problem #20

Sep 262009


  • 8,000 miles
I was driving a 2009 Toyota Prius and came to a stop at a friend's garage. All of a sudden the car accelerated forward, it hit an old fir tree and a brick wall. I checked and the floor mat was in the same position it always was. A friend pushed the fender back into place and the Toyota dealer buffed out the scratches. I have contacted the dealer several times about checking out the accelerator. But they always tell me that I have to wait for a letter. I am very nervous about driving this vehicle and am having nightmares about this incident.

- Southington, CT, USA

problem #19

Dec 042009


  • 10,000 miles


2009 Toyota Prius issue: Dealership: There has been no response/recommendation despite multiple voicemails and email dated 2/6/10 to Toyota-service@daytontoyota.com. Toyota: Awaiting response from Toyota case manager after two phone calls, once on 2/9/10 and one on 2/10/10. Summary: 1. I want to bring to your notice that I experienced a sticking accelerator problem several weeks back, while pulling out of the driveway, when the car was moving in reverse and would not stop despite the brake being pumped a few times. The car was finally brought to a stop by pressing the power button for an extended period. I do not have any additional floor mats in the car, besides whatever was available with the basic package. 2. when braking on puddles/pot-holes the car seems to stall and the orange light turns on.

- East Windsor, NJ, USA

problem #18

Nov 062009


  • 7,000 miles
Accelerator sticking on 2009 Toyota Prius

- Lexington, MA, USA

problem #17

Jan 132010


  • 8,000 miles
The unintended speeding also happens on 2009 Toyota Prius when driving on a bumpy road, this happens every time when I hit a pot hole on one tire, car pulls to the opposite side at an increased speed and brake seems too slow to react.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #16

Feb 012010


  • 10,000 miles


I noticed on my Toyota Prius 2009 takes about a second or two to actually brake. I noticed that even when I start braking slightly the car does slow down but I have to press harder (more than half way in) for the car to respond on braking.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #15

Jul 032009


  • miles
I purchased a 2009 Toyota Prius in April 2009. On at least four separate occasions I have had issues of my vehicle surging forward or being hard to stop after driving over a potholeand when driving on a washboard roads (1 time on the pot hole the other times were while on the dirt road). I just figured the vehicle didn't handle well dirt roads and pot holes so I am just extra careful in those conditions which is why I did not think to report this until now when I heard the report on brake issues with the Prius. I do not know if my problem is significant of not, I thought I would report it just in case. I do not have approximate dates, just between April and September 2009.

- Billings, MT, USA

problem #14

May 172009

Prius 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Prius. The contact was driving the vehicle at approx 10 mph, the vehicle suddenly accelerated as the driver's foot was on the brake trying to slow down. The vehicle in front was rear ended but the vehicle still did not stop accelerating so the driver swerved and hit a sign. There were no injuries reported at the scene, but after 3 people in the other vehicle reported injuries. A police report was taken at the scene. The contact took the vehicle to the dealership after the body repairs were done and the dealer inspected the vehicle. He was informed that they could find nothing wrong with the vehicle. He called the manufacturer and reported the problem. He was still awaiting a response at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was approximately 14,000. The failure mileage was approximately 5,000. Updated 03/12/10. Updated 09/30/10

- Fountain Valley, CA, USA

problem #13

Feb 032010


  • 11,000 miles
I recently read the following article money.cnn.com/2010/02/03/autos/prius_complaints/index.htm and would like to report that this problem occurs in my 2009 Prius. I have had it since 4/09 and it occurs consistently when I am exiting my workplace. I descend a fairly steep paved road and when I hit a specific bump in the pavement, my car accelerates for a split second. This is a regularly repeatable occurrence.

- Durango, CO, USA

problem #12

Aug 152009


  • 7,000 miles


While crossing a small bridge over an expressway, applying brakes at the point of bumpy transition caused the vehicle to lurch forward for approximately one second. This caused a sudden panic, but no other effects. This is the second occurrence at the exact same bridge transition and bump over the course of 8 months. There are no recognizable side effects. This has not been reported to the dealer, nor to the company.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #11

May 032009


  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Prius. The contact stated she was pulling into a parking space and the vehicle accelerated into a parking ramp and damaged the bumper of her vehicle.there were no injuries. Vehicle was driven to the dealer and they could not duplicate the problem they told contact if the failure happen again to bring the vehicle back to the dealer. The failure mileage 5,000 the current mileage is 13,000.

- Bondurant, IA, USA

problem #10

Jun 102009


  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Prius. The contact was driving approximately 45 mph on normal road conditions when the "engine" warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. There were numerous failures with various components within the vehicle. The consumption mpg screen on the instrument panel displayed inaccurate information. The engine exhibited a reduction of engine power. When depressing the accelerator pedal an excessive decrease in acceleration occurred. The fm and am radio selector failed to function properly. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing on two separate occasions. The technician was unable to duplicate the failures. There were no resolutions. The vehicle has not been repaired for the malfunctions. The failure mileage was 2,000. The VIN was rejected and will be updated upon receipt of the safety complaint form.

- Davie, FL, USA

problem #9

Jan 242010


  • 18,500 miles
November of 2008 I bought a 2009 Toyota Prius. Since then I have experienced 4 incidents where the accelerator became partially depressed causing an unprovoked acceleration, the most recent being on Sunday, January 24, 2010. I contacted the Toyota dealership where I bought my car the very next day (1/25/10) and reported all 4 incidents. I was told by the Toyota representative that there was nothing that they could do. I was given an 800 number to call to report my concerns. I received an automated reply telling me to call back at another time. I have been calling back but to no avail. I live in the high desert where it sometimes snows and the highway can get icy during the winter. I fear for my safety and the safety of other motorists if I continue to drive my Prius due to the unpredictability of the accelerator sticking. I am retired and live on a modest income and cannot afford to pay for the repair of the accelerator problem. In the incidents that I have described the sticking of the accelerator was not caused by the floor mat or any other accessories.

- Morongo Valley, CA, USA

problem #8

Dec 122009


  • 3,200 miles
2009 Prius purchased May 15, 2009 has 4,675 miles on it. Acceleration/surging forward or not properly accelerating at other times. I do not have the floor mats mentioned in the recent recall. I am concerned about other possible issues with sudden engine acceleration and problems controlling vehicle. Have taken car to dealer several times and they told me it is "bad gas" or my driving habits. Called Toyota and they told me to take car to dealer for them to try and repair it. Dealer still claims they cannot "replicate the problem" therefore there is no problem. Car mileage now down to less than 17 mpg. Lacks heat or heat does not properly function. Have had 5 instances of surge /acceleration "incidents. Some when going up hill and had trouble gaining power then when I put foot on brake it suddenly lurched forward rapidly;maybe to 60 or more mile per hour at an exit ramp. Had to keep braking in order to stop. Other times only leaving driveway..went from reverse to drive and car hesitated then "surged" forward rapidly before I was able to brake approximately 20 ft ahead. This had happened three times like this & twice when going up hills where I lost power and then the car suddenly surged forward and I had trouble stopping it. Very frightening, especially when dealer tells me nothing is wrong with my car and won't do anything about it..even when I have contacted them numerous times and have driven there to speak with them about this. Something is wrong with this car. Now the mileage has dropped right off to 17 mpgs. What is going ?

- Ithaca, NY, USA

problem #7

Aug 172009


  • 2,485 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Prius. While attempting to approach an intersection at 20 mph the vehicle would not decelerate. Consequently the driver rear-ended another vehicle, which caused that vehicle to rear-end another vehicle. A police report was filed. There were no personal injuries. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and the front bumper was replaced. The failure mileage was 2,485. The current mileage was 5,023. The VIN was unavailable.

- Liverpool, NY, USA

problem #6

Oct 222009


  • 17,500 miles
Hi. I have a 2009 Prius that has had 5 separate episodes of accelerator sticking. Since I bought the car 11-09. The last incident was Oct 09. No floor mats in the car. It has only occurred when, at 55+ mph, I accelerate rapidly to pass another car. The accelerator felt like it had remained depressed with continued speed acceleration. This did not respond to pushing down on or pulling up on the accelerator, or to depression of the brake pedal. The episodes lasted less than 10 seconds and resolved spontaneously. I was unable to identify why the acceleration suddenly stopped, but when it finally did stop, the speedometer indicated over 70+ mph. I pushed continuously on the brake pedal to slow the car during the episodes, with only minimal slowing of the vehicle. I have not taken the car to the dealer yet, as everything in the media indicates that they deny any problems with the care and have had no explanation for the events except the car mats.

- Flagstaff, AZ, USA

problem #5

Sep 102009


  • 4,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Prius. While making a turn at 25 mph, the vehicle accelerated without intention. After repeated brake application the vehicle would not stop. He struck a curb which damaged the front driver side tire. The vehicle has not been inspected. The current and failure mileages were 4000.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #4

Apr 122009

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Prius. While applying pressure to the brake pedal at 10-15 mph, the vehicle forcefully surged forward. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for inspection. The technician was unable to duplicate the failure. The vehicle was taken to the authorized dealer on a separate occasion for the identical failure which there was no resolution. The failure mileage was 5,000. The current mileage was 10,000. The vehicle identification number was unavailable. Updated 2/26/10 the consumer stated the vehicle would surge at times upon starting the engine. It would also lurch while in park. The consumer stated there were 2 incidents where her foot was still on the brake and the vehicle accelerated which caused 2 minor accidents. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for electrical and brake work. However the vehicle continued to surge when started intermittently. Updated 08/24/10

- Bondurant , ID, USA

problem #3

Sep 102009


  • 7,500 miles
I was first in line at a red light. The light turned green. I accelerated aggressively in order to change lanes as I pulled away. When I was across the intersection I lifted my foot off the gas pedal and it continued to accelerate. Shocked I depressed the brake, but it had no effect on the acceleration. There was nothing in front of me so I pulled to the right side of the road and hit the power button and the car stopped. I got out and immediately checked the mat. They were not near the gas pedal. I started the car again and it seemed fine. I took all side streets to get home and stayed away from all cars and people. I brought the car to Toyota the following morning. They could not duplicate the event and said there was nothing wrong with the car. My car was a Prius 2009 package #3 with 7500 miles on it. Until that day, it drove perfectly and I was very happy with it. I won't drive the car again.

- Clark, NJ, USA

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