really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,906 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.

2010 Toyota Prius drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2010 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #19

Nov 052010


  • 5,600 miles


My 2010 Toyota Prius would not start after a brief 45 minute lunch with friends. When I released the parking brake and let off the brake pedal I didn't know the car was stuck in neutral. This error was on the dashboard "malfunction when parking, park in a flat place and apply parking brake securely". when I let off the brake the car rolled back into the middle of the parking lot. I had two coworkers in the car with me; they got out and pushed the car out of the way to a flat location. Car still was disabled. I called Toyota roadside assistance and waited an hour for a tow truck; after about 45-50 minutes of waiting I was hit by a woman that wasn't paying attention; she backed into the side of my disabled car. I was pressing on the horn and she didn't hear. The impact must have freed some stuck component or something because 2 hours later when the tow truck finally came, the car worked again; no warning lights etc. Toyota looked at the car and says there is nothing wrong. I took a photo to document the warning message (plus have 2 witnesses).

- Long Beach , CA, USA

problem #18

Jun 242010


  • 2,000 miles
I was backing my 2010 Prius out of the garage and the vehicle lunged quickly when I let off the brake. When I pressed the brake to stop, it jerked to a stop. I let off the brake again and it took off. This process of lunging and jerking repeated until I backed all the way out of the driveway and put the car into drive. It scared me. I did some research and a lot of other people have experienced similar issues. In fact, there are 27 pages of people with similar problems at the following link priuschat.com/forums/gen-III-2010-Prius-main-forum/65875-braking-in-reverse-16.html#post995838.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #17

Apr 272010


  • miles
2010 Toyota Prius II issue the consumer stated when the vehicle was in drive and the power button was pressed for additional power to merge on the interstate, or go up a steep hill, there was a brief lag when the gas pedal was pressed and the power was engaged. The lag did not always occur.

- Washington, PA, USA

problem #16

Apr 082010


  • 2,520 miles


Was parking 2010 Prius shifted into park and then car started going forward and hit building, driver applying back and car won't stop.

- Roseville, CA, USA

problem #15

Mar 202010


  • 1,120 miles
True! gear problem! remember airbus flipping our of control when they came out with fly by wire? the joy stick gear is default to shift into neutral when normal push bring it in to reverse. No way to put it in neutral. I thought the same thing & was in denial until I realize that its impossible to put it into neutral when thing is speeding out of control. Don't take it lightly- I did bought a 2010 Prius just now & realize - U can't put it - in neutral. I was in denial. Also, ventilator fan suddenly accelerates when U try to switch the modes.

- Louisville, KY, USA

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problem #14

Mar 172010


  • 6,905 miles
My make: Toyota model: Prius year: 2010 complaint number: 10311958 summary: My 2010 Prius completed its "recall" service yesterday. Today, the car lost power and died while I was driving on to the freeway. I was able to pull over to the side of the freeway and turned it on and off several times until it started. When I called the dealer which is located in thousand oaks, California, I was told by the consumer complaint person that the dealer would not fix the problem unless I was able to recreate the problem with a technician in the car.

- Hidden Hills, CA, USA

problem #13

Mar 022010


  • 2,000 miles


I may be able to help with your Toyota gas pedal problem. I rented a Prius out in Utah a couple of weeks ago. While traveling through the mountains, the car seemingly accelerated uncontrollably. I am a mechanical engineer by trade and a habitual gearhead. I also did not buy the accelerator sticking problem, so I began investigating the incident on my own. The second time it happened, I was traveling up the side of a mountain in a neighborhood. The car suddenly lurched forward. The problem is actually quite simple. The cruise control is attached to the steering wheel and moves with the wheel. If the cruise is activated, sometimes in a turn it is possible to bump the cruise lever and "resume" or "accelerate". don't believe me - sit in one and look for yourself. Need more proof, have a 6'2" person drive the car and position the wheel between his/her legs. I bet you agree! [xxx]

- Mechanicsville, VA, USA

problem #12

Mar 022010


  • 320 miles
Having noticed an apparent braking lag on several occasion with our 2010 Prius on Tuesday 02 of 2010 I was coming up to a stop sign about a mile from our home on a country road. I started stopping quit some distance from the corner stop sign and observing the dash display showing the power usage of the Prius to try and get a indication of how many seconds of lag between the regenerated braking before the electric hydraulic brakes I could expect. While watching the display, with my right foot on the brake while applying light braking pressure to the brake pedal only I noticed that when the display showed regenerating braking stopped. I was doing less then 10 mile per hour approximately I experienced a loss of braking as before but also noticed that the display now showed power being applied from the battery to the electric drive motor and to the drive wheels. I push hard on the brakes and the car came to a stop in time the display showed when I applied the brake hard that the power stopped being delivered to the wheels this time and after stopping the display showed the drive wheels stopped rotation as usual. This road was not bump and relatively smooth the full length of the road having been resurfaced several years ago. I think there may be another problem other then the one being reported as brake lag by the company. It also seems to be interment when it hits and duration of loss of braking. I hope this may shed some light on what there problem is.

- Battle Creek, MI, USA

problem #11

Jan 192010


  • 1,110 miles
At 08:00 while parked & in ready mode my Prius V-at shifter would not physically move out of park.

- Cinnaminson, NJ, USA

problem #10

Feb 252010


  • 6,703 miles
During the first 5 minutes of operation in the morning the car RPM increases and the speed of the car increases. At first I thought I had my foot on the accelerator but after several mornings of recreating the event my foot was not near the pedal. Both drivers of the car experienced the same event.

- Dix Hills, NY, USA

problem #9

Oct 012009


  • 1,000 miles


I have 2010 Prius. I am experiencing an energy surge from my back wheels when I step on my brakes while simultaneously going over a bumpy surface like rail road tracks, pot hole or rough ground. It occurs several times a week. The result is that my car suddenly speeds forward when I least want it to - I am braking. I have it thrust me into an intersection. I reported it to my service dept in Nov 09. They told me they had never heard of this problem before and had no other complaints. With a front wheel drive I didn't understand why the power seemed to be coming from the back wheels. Now I am assuming it is some kind of connection to the ABS system. This happens most notably at lower speeds, rounding a corner. But I think it may also be happening on the highway, but the surge is harder to detect at higher speed.

- Barre, VT, USA

problem #8

Aug 142009


  • 1,000 miles
Between August and October 2009 I experienced three incidents of sudden acceleration by the vehicle in low speed city driving, 25 -30 mph. These events were always preceded by bump or irregular surface on dry asphalt or concrete surfaces. In each event I had to apply the brakes to counter the sudden and unexpected acceleration. I have not experienced any further incidents with the advent of colder weather and winter driving conditions. Current mileage is 7,707.

- West Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #7

Feb 112010


  • 87 miles
We bought our Toyota Prius, 2010 in end of January. It has been nothing but a great car for the most part. But three days ago, February 11 as we were turning into the parking lot of a blockbuster (which is somewhat lower than the street level) we had a stark and unusual incident. As I was turning right and pushing the break pedal as soon as the car got with its right front wheel over the ridge the car sped up and leaped forward as if I did not use the breaks. The car launched good three or four yards forward before it slowed down again. If we had anybody/anything within that distance we would have had an accident. I am not jumping on the band wagon of Toyota recent problems and in fact have owned before this card Prius 2006 model and was happy with that car. But this incident have really scared us raising question what should we do to insure it does not happen again. Can we return the car or change it to another model?

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #6

Feb 012010


  • 3,600 miles
When slowing down, such as to make a turn or to change to reverse, when the brake was applied, there was some acceleration also occurring. This has happened 4-5 times in past few months, the last time was about 7 or ten days ago. The car did brake with no further problem and no harm occurred and there was no damage.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #5

Nov 102009


  • 200 miles
Occasionally when backing out of the garage the car lurches backward, and then slightly depressing the brakes causes the car to immediately stop. Releasing the brakes causes the car to again lurch backwards and then slightly pressing on the brakes again causes the car to immediately stop. It's a whiplash type movement. It occurs sporadically. My solution has been to shut the car off and start over (basically, "rebooting" the car). I purchased the car at the end of October 2009.

- Rye, NY, USA

problem #4

Jun 012009


  • 10 miles
Every time my 2010 Prius goes over a dip in the road while braking, the car seems to accelerate or "lunge forward." It has happened since I purchased the car in May 2009. I have not asked the dealership about the issue.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #3

Dec 042009


  • 7,954 miles
I own a 2010 Prius with approximately 8,400 miles on it. I have only recently began to experience problems that have been reported before by others. When driving over some extremely rough spots, the car accelerates by itself. It feels like the brake pedal becomes an accelerator. My experience is that it only lasts about 2 or 3 seconds but is very obvious. Also, I would like to say that I have owned a sienna, Camry, avalon and a 2005 Prius prior to purchasing my present 2010 Prius. This 2010 Prius has more squeaks, rattles and stress noises than all of my other Toyota products combined. For the last 13 years, I have driven only Toyota's., but have become disillusioned with this car. The road noise is excessive and the mpg shown on the display shows 2-3 mpg more than actual mpg. If I could trade this car in for near the amount I paid for it. I would do it tomorrow. Though it is only my opinion, I feel that the quality of Toyota products has decreased dramatically during recent years. This is also supported by the excessive number of recalls during recent years.

- Maumelle, AR, USA

problem #2

Sep 012009


  • miles
2010 Toyota Prius with 2500 miles. Since purchased on 8/2009, I had more than ten experiences of unexpected acceleration (sudden unintended acceleration) on reverse that feel like two or three time (stronger) faster than normal reverse. Accompany the higher speed reverse, a heavy, abrupt braking with a slight touch of the brake during this event. The big "jerk" (braking) rock the entire car and banged heads again the headrests.this only happened with electric mode and most time with the car parked a slight incline. This unintended acceleration sometime happen a few time a day or it can go two, three weeks without any problem. The dealer can not find anything wrong with my car. And Toyota have no information about this problem. However, if you go to priuschat forum under gen III 2010 Prius main forum-braking in reverse, there are many people with the same problems. I strongly believe this is very dangerous if a new driver get in my car and not know about it. There is one post in priuschat forum that best explain the problem: Just yesterday, my Prius-III backed up with sudden unintended acceleration, with my foot only on the brake pedal.... I recognized what was happening because it happened once before, just over 2 months ago. Just a few days after I got the car. When I was backing out of an inclined driveway... I suspect that some unusual element of the timing of turning the car on and shifting into reverse, and possibly the internal state of the computer and the hybrid power system combine to produce this "abrupt" reverse acceleration as I am gently easing off my foot pressure on the brake pedal... the abrupt braking effect does occur, but only in response to the much more dangerous "unexpected, unintended" reverse power (acceleration), to stop the car motion. No matter how gently the brake is eased further on to stop, the stop is "abrupt" by garygid orange county, ca. I am trying to work with Toyota on this issue. Thank you.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #1

Sep 162009


  • 1,000 miles
On three occasions, while driving on clean, dry road surfaces, my 2010 Prius suddenly and briefly accelerated without any warning after I drove over minor bumps and, one 1 occasion, a manhole cover, while braking. The sensation was that of the engine suddenly surging and accelerating. I was fortunately able to apply harder pressure to the brake pedal, regained control of the vehicle and avoided crashing into the car in front of me. I spoke with a Toyota field technical specialist today who told me that the mechanics of the car are such that if a wheel hits a bump or moves onto a surface that causes it to rotate at a different rate versus the other wheels, the car thinks it is going into a skid, and the ABS system kicks in. Also, the system that generates energy to recharge the battery, which also effectively brakes the car, suddenly ceases to operate. Consequently, you have the sensation of acceleration when in fact, according to the Toyota specialist, the car stopped decelerating. Nonetheless, this sudden deceleration is unexpected, and if I was not focused at those exact moments and failed to immediately apply significant pressure to the brake pedal, I could have easily crashed into an object, or car, or person, in front of me. I do not feel safe in this car, and am worried that my wife or son could have a major problem responding to this sudden lack of control. There is great potential for serious injury or death from this type of incident. My car is about 1 month old, with 1,250 miles on it. I understand from the specialist that Toyota dealerships on long island have had at least one other similar complaint.

- Dix Hills, NY, USA

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