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 1 of 2)

problem #39

Mar 242016


  • 48,000 miles


Vehicle lost power, stalled while driving at highway speed; "check hybrid system" displayed on dash; required replacement of inverter and intelligent power module

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #38

Dec 212015


  • 10 miles
Car would not drive, or reverse it shifts to neutral since first week I bought the car in Aug 2010. I bought a Toyota Prius III 2010 (from the dealership Toyota of kearney mesa in san diego) in 2010. The car from the beginning would shift back to neutral when I set it to drive or reverse. I bought the car and am the only owner). After I encounter this, within the week I took it to the dealership where I bought it (san diego kearny mesa) and they told me that it was not a problem. Yes, it was a problem and they refused to fix it. This has happen to my car from week 1. now 5 years later, today, the car would not engage in "D" or reverse. I tried at least for 10 minutes. I called a dealership now in seattle (since I take my car here for service) and I was told that they never heard about it. I searched online and I found that this problem/bug does happen. Today I could not set my car to drive or reverse for about 10-15 minutes. It's a safety issue. My steps: 1. depress power button (to turn on) 1.1. wait about 5-10 seconds 2. depress the break + engage in D (drive) or (R) reverse. 3. the car goes to "N" neutral and cannot be put in gear drive or reverse. 4. turn car off. Go back to step 1 until your car engages.

- Issaquah, WA, USA

problem #37

Aug 192015


  • 262,000 miles
The vehicle runs ok and a few minutes later the yellow triangle turns on, as well as the check engine light and the vehicle starts to lose power. After a few more minutes the red steering wheel light comes on along with the "check hybrid system" message and the rest of the lights and the vehicles loses all power and stops. It will normally turn back on but there was one occasion where it didn't and my husband had to push the car to a parking lot. I took the car in on the recall which should cover this but all they did was update the software and blame the issue on a car accident. I don't know if this is true as just purchased the vehicle but it sounds to me that they could have fixed the issue under the recall.

- Hightstown, NJ, USA

problem #36

Apr 302015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


I had just pulled into the garage and was at a complete stop when the car surged forward and slammed into to the back of the garage, I would tip overattempted to stop the car with the brakes and they were not working so I shifted the car to reverse and it speed out of the garage up an embankment into a fence. It. was up on it's side and I was afraid that it would tip over so in an attempt to bring it down level I shifted to drive and it speed off forward it then jumped a row of bushes into the front yard and did a large circle in the front yard missing three large pine trees and hitting a small tree that ended up stopping the car and deployed the air bag.

- Evans , GA, USA

problem #35

Sep 292014


  • 31,700 miles
On 4/24/14 I brought the vehicle into lynch Toyota in manchester, ct in response to a recall to fix a problem which involved losing power when attempting to accelerate. The invoice covering the repair indicated "software update for mg ECU and power management ECU as per campaign eoe". on 9/29/14 I was driving in moderately heavy traffic on I-84 in West hartford, ct when I attempted to accelerate to pass a slow moving vehicle. As I began to pass, the accelerator suddenly failed to work and the engine stopped and would not respond even though I continued to depress the accelerator, although I had no power the steering worked and I was able to glide to the shoulder across the right lane of traffic. I turned off the engine, restarted it and it has functioned normally since. I returned to lynch Toyota on 10/6/14 to have the problem addressed. They examined the vehicle but were unable to determine what was wrong and advised me there was nothing that could be done. I called Toyota customer relations at 800-331-4331 and spoke with an individual who identified himself as "[xxx]". he also advised me that since the dealer could not diagnose the problem that nothing could be done. I asked him if Toyota had received other similar complaints but he said there was no way to cross reference that information. The company's case number of my complaint is 1410062141. I am perplexed by the company's response because it has given me excellent service for the past 20 years. It seems very odd that it would not follow through further if for no other reason than the enormous liability exposure an obviously dangerous problem like this could present. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Tolland, CT, USA

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problem #34

Sep 262014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
Stopped at red light. Made left turn. Drove about 100 ft. Car engine stopped in traffic without any action on my part. Car rolled forward without power and then stopped.

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #33

Jun 102014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 121,943 miles


The inverter in the car failed while accelerating. I accelerated from a stop light while the car was in power mode. Within a few seconds, the car lost power, and I could not keep up speed. The car entered a safety mode that only allows minimal forward movement. A few seconds later, the car would no longer move. Before the car stopped, several lights illuminated on the dashboard including the check engine light and power steering light. "check hybrid system" also appeared on the dash. A few months earlier, this car had the software update offered by Toyota for the company's Prius recall.

- Burlington, NC, USA

problem #32

May 022014


  • 77,985 miles
Making a right turn at 15 mph and upon pressing gas pedal to accelerate after completing turn, power is reduced to 'limp home mode' at 10 mph. Check hybrid system message appears on center console. 1 mile later the vehicle loses all power and will not restart. Emergency towed to nearest Toyota dealership. Inverter on backorder from los angeles warehouse and estimate is 3 weeks to replace. Retail price of inverter plus labor and rental car expenses all covered under warranty is about $11,000 usd. Toyota has been exemplary in this ordeal and taking care of the customer. This is a heads up to other owners of inverter related to recall: Recall subject : inverter failure may cause hybrid vehicle to stall report receipt date: Feb 12, 2014 NHTSA campaign number: 14V053000 component(s): Hybrid propulsion system.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #31

Mar 162014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
After driving for a combined time of 4 hours in a 5 hour period, my wife left a store she visited off zebulon road and I-475 near macon ga. When attempting to re-enter southbound I-475 the car failed and would not accelerate. A few seconds after the drive system shut down and would not restart. The dash indicators said check hybrid power system. The car was towed to a dealer rogers Toyota in macon ga, where it now is. The dealer says that the problem was the engine control module though the inverter is being replaced under an existing recall issued last week. It is not clear if the engine control module is covered by the recall.

- Charlotte Nc, NC, USA

problem #30

Jun 042012


  • miles
Driving 45 mph down busy 4 lane street when car just went out of gear from drive to neutral and wouldn't go into gear. Car came to a stop in heavy traffic and I was almost hit by several vehicles. Had to push to side of road. Called dealership and they sent a tow truck. They said they had never heard of this happening before but while I was sitting there waiting for a ride I went online and saw that this has happened to hundreds of people. The others affected by this defect said that heat causes a magnet to detach taking the car from drive to neutral. I am very thankful that this did not happen on the freeway or could have caused fatalities. Toyota has not recalled any vehicles or made notification to owners. This is dangerous and I'm only putting complaint in now since I didn't know how to previously. Found out 2 days after incident that the dealership has had this issue with more than 100 vehicles and that they were not being honest when they said they never saw this before. Toyota needs to get the word out before someone is killed.

- Mojave, CA, USA

problem #29

Jul 272013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 37,189 miles


Driving on the highway in albany, NY area, slowed down to go through tollbooth as I began to accelerate to continue on highway, check hybrid light came on and engine abruptly stopped. I was able to coast the car from left lane over to the breakdown lane. Turned off car and was unable to restart. Toyota dealership found that the power inverter had failed and needed to be replaced. Error codes listed by dealer: P0A94 DC/DC converter performance.

- Wellesley, MA, USA

problem #28

Jul 032013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
While driving at ca. 20 mph a sudden jolt and clunk occurred and the car was stalled. Various dashboard lights came on, and the dash displayed "check hybrid system." Towed to a Toyota dealer, the problem was stated to be a failed inverter-converter that needed to be replaced.

- Yardville, NJ, USA

problem #27

Mar 092013


  • 33,950 miles
The incident occurred when I attempted to accelerate onto a two-lane highway. Because of a slow and sharp U-turn which precedes the short on-ramp, I disabled the eco mode for better acceleration. When I pressed down on the gas, the car immediately emitted a loud sound, became unresponsive and was unable to gain additional speed. Even so, there was no other option but to merge onto the roadway while doing no more than 30 mph. In the meantime, the instrument panel showed a "check hybrid system" message along with several warning lights. I managed to avoid oncoming traffic (from behind) and safely pulled onto the grass. Attempts to restart the vehicle were unsuccessful with the previous message reappearing each time. The car required a tow to the nearest Toyota dealer. I received a call from them the next business day, and they explained the cause to be a defective inverter based on the diagnostic code. Fortunately, the repair will be covered under Toyota's hybrid warranty. It remains to be seen and I am hopeful this repair will fully resolve the issue.

- Lake Grove, NY, USA

problem #26

Mar 092013


  • 61,000 miles
Rear wheel bearings failed at 61000 miles.

- Valatie, NY, USA

problem #25

Oct 012010


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While stopped, the contact depressed the power off button to shut the engine off while the vehicle was still in drive. The contact stated the vehicle was designed to automatically go into park when the power off button was pushed. The contact exited the vehicle and the vehicle rolled away, crashing into a pedestrian. The pedestrian was transported to the hospital and sustained a broken tibia and crushed right ankle bone. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The VIN was not available. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 15,000.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #24

Sep 102012


  • 28,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving 15 mph, the vehicle started to lose power lunged forward. The contact attempted to apply the brakes however, the brakes were inoperable and caused the contact to crash into another vehicle. The passenger of the second vehicle claimed an injury and was transported to the emergency room. The police were notified and a report was filed. The vehicle was inoperable and was towed to the dealer who had not yet diagnosed the failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure who advised that the vehicle diagnosis was going to take four to six weeks and offered no additional assistance. The failure and current mileage was 28,000.

- Lynchburg , VA, USA

problem #23

May 042012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that whenever braking to drive over any uneven road surface, the braking distance was increased. The contact stated that the vehicle also seemed to push forward as if another vehicle had abruptly crashed into the rear of the contact's vehicle. The vehicle was not inspected. The failure mileage was 36,000 and the current mileage was 38,216. The consumer stated the vehicle was inspected by Toyota. Toyota found no recalls or failures with the vehicle. The consumer stated to the service employee the vehicle lunged, all loose items flew back in the seats and the consumer was thrusted against the seat. The service employee replied that the consumer was mistaken. Updated 09/20/2012

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #22

Mar 172012

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
I was entering a parking space, I approached the space about 5 mph. The vehicle suddenly accelerated, the steering locked and the brakes went to the floor. The vehicle jumped the curbing and hit the truck in the next righthand space. It connected with the trucks left front fender. That stopped the vehicle.

- Citrus Springs, FL, USA

problem #21

Feb 012012


  • 13,560 miles
While the car was parked in a hill with the parking brake it suddenly went backwards and hit the wall of the residency across the street like 500 feet down. Car was almost completely damage back, train suspension and all doors out of frame. Repair will take 8 weeks at a cost of $14850. There were no passengers in the car.

- Beverly Hills, CA, USA

problem #20

Dec 182010


  • 10,870 miles
2010 Toyota Prius was placed in "parking" in my home garage, as I turned off the "heating" switch to the seat, the car rolled forward on its own and hit a work bench chair in front of the vehicle. No personal injury was sustained, but the car had some dents to the front end.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

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