really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
232,467 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2010 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #25

Nov 182014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles


After taking my son to school which is 2.2 miles away, came back home and parked the vehicle on the driveway and noticed smoke from the engine bay. Before the vehicle was shut off, car gave off "heater smell" and the heater was turned off. My wife came up and got me up, I went down maybe 2 minutes away and found the car fully engulfed in fire. Fire spread to the portion of the garage before it was put of by fire department.

- Mill Creek, WA, USA

problem #24

Oct 222014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 270,000 miles
I was driving about 55 mph with heat on and all a sudden check engine light came on and the all lights in dash board came one with check hybrid system sign and engine lost power and came to complete stop I pulled over and waited few minutes after it was fine but when ever I turn heat or ac on it does the same I did my research it look like inverter issue or they have some code in there software because we bought 2 car pretty much same time and both has same problem same time and this year both cars had hybrid battery issue with both car same time Toyota send letters to 2013 and 2014 Prius owner if they experience same issue its covered under warranty but we have same issue but they didn't address it means they know.

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #23

Jan 022014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 46,033 miles
Around 4pm on thu Jan 2nd 2014, we were driving eastbound on bel-red rd just about to come to the intersection of ne 116th St when I noticed the ABS lit up, along with that a whole bunch of other lights lit up on the dashboard and I lost power to the car (no accelerator/brake/steering). All electricals seemed to work. I tried to power down and restart the car. I called Toyota of kirkland and checked if they had a towing service, they didn't. a cop offered to call a towing service. The tow truck came by and he agreed to give me a ride to Toyota of kirkland as well. At the dealership, they just did the paperwork and said they'd call tomorrow. Friday Jan 3rd 2014 I waited until 11:15am. No call from Toyota of kirkland. I called them. I specifically asked for the error codes. He called back a little while later and said that it looked like the inverter was faulty. This would be covered under the drive train warranty which was for 3 years or 36,000 miles whichever came first. So, I would be looking at paying about $3300 for the part, $300 for labor, $110 for the diagnostic test and taxes. They could get the part in tomorrow and potentially have it fixed sat or latest Monday. The error codes were P0A94 & P324E I looked up online for these error codes. There were some other complaints that were very similar to the one I had and the problem was the inverter. And it also seemed that there was a recall on the inverter (or parts) for the models from 2005-2009. So, called 1-800-331-4331 (Toyota customer something). She took down all the details. While she put me on hold to look up the warranty information, Toyota of kirkland called and left a message saying that he had misunderstood the warranty and that it was all covered and he could order the part in, it would be there tomorrow (sat) and the car would be ready Monday! the case # with Toyota is [xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Redmond, WA, USA

problem #22

Oct 102013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 63,512 miles


We noticed that the carpet was saturated. The dealer told us it was because there were spider webs blocking the drain from the A/C. it was repaired at a cost of $1,554, the work included drying the air bag module and replacement of carpet. We believe this should be the subject of a recall as it is the identical problem recalled for the Toyota Camry.

- Essex, MA, USA

problem #21

Jun 122013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 5,089,894 miles
In the last year or so, most noticeably ranging 50K mileage, I've started falling asleep at the wheel. I've never fallen asleep driving nor have I felt this way while operating any of the 4 vehicles I've owned. It happens during my commute to/fro work generally 40-70 minutes long, long and short drives but more often on commute and 30 min or longer trips. Its at random and I've analyzed its not the basic and obvious issues causing it; lack of sleep, food, adequate hydration etc. It got so bad I could not drive to work in the morning or evenings without pulling over and taking a 20 minute nap. Sometimes its worse than other times and it feels like I'm passing out, not quite tired and drowsy, I am all-out can't keep my eyes open, rolling eyes, head bobbing. Eventually when I make it home safe, thinking I'll go to bed right away I am alert and active all night - this is the behavior over and over. I've discussed with the doctor as well and I've been generally fatigued for a few years now, I've owned the Prius since 2011. Someone said online in a forum "its a common occurrence of people when they're exposed to high levels of electromagnetic radiation to feel extremely tired and fatigued." But folks say its not enough to cause this type of behavior. Another user also mentions falling asleep in this forum (June 5th 2013) and there's been other notations on the internet, for example priuschat.com/threads/Prius-emf-radiation-and-Toyota-bold-face.116044/page-6#ixzz2vyi4P2S7.

- Attleboro, MA, USA

problem #20

Apr 252012


  • 35,643 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While traveling 40 mph, the contact noticed a beeping sound coming from the vehicle followed by the seat belts locking. Moments later, the vehicle decelerated to a complete stop independently. The contact was able to resume normal operation. The vehicle was not diagnosed and or repaired. The current and the failure mileages were 35,643.

- Snyder, TX, USA

problem #19

Apr 252012

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,643 miles


The contact was driving a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact was driving 40 mph when the vehicle stopped in the street. Prior to the vehicle stopping, a beeping/alarm sounded, the seat belt locked in place and the warning on the dashboard flashed brakes.

- Snyder , TX, USA

problem #18

Dec 082010


  • miles
During cold temperature startups the engine knocks loudly for about 7 seconds. The problem happens only during cold temperature. This has happened about four times. Went to dealer and they were not able to fix or find the cause. 2nd trip they replaced the engine mount but the problem is still there.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #17

Mar 022011


  • 14,000 miles
Engine knocks upon starting but goes away after about 10 seconds. The vehicle doesn't do this very often and it is difficult to duplicate. Reference this youtube video for an exact replication of the problem: youtu.be/tcbg97ubx5S.

- Belvidere, IL, USA

problem #16

Oct 112011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 40,500 miles
Cheap thin black plastic engine cover for oil pan is defective with one edge cracked 100% after only 5 oil changes similar to aircraft aluminum metal fatigue. This plastic flap under oil drain plug is now dragging on the road hanging by a single bolt. Ridiculous to fail after opening and closing oil drain pan cover 5 times. We view this as a defect covered under our bumper to bumper 7 year 100,000 mile platinum extended warranty contract for which we paid $1870 on 07-14-2009 for a new vehicle. Minor scratches and dust are not proximate cause of failure.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #15

Jun 222011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles


Second occurrence of this problem in three weeks. Driving downhill on a residential street at 25 mph, slowing to a stop without applying the accelerator. Suddenly lost engine power. Applied accelerator, no response. Continued to lose speed as I rolled silently downhill toward the intersection. Applied brakes and stopped. Restarted the engine and it started up fine. The previous incident also occurred on a downhill grade, on an exit ramp from an parking garage. Fortunately both incidents happened at low speed and not in heavy traffic. I previously reported the first incident. Toyota dealer checked vehicle after each incident and could not replicate the incident or find a computer code that would explain it. Since this was the second occurrence and was familiar to me, and since I was not in traffic, I let it happen while observing my own actions, trying to check for driver error. My foot was not on the brake.the car was in drive. While the car was slowing, I tried pressing the accelerator deeply and then pumping the accelerator to see what would happen.. there was no response, and no sound. The same was true three weeks ago-no response to pushing the accelerator, even deeply, and no sound. Three weeks ago, the first time it happened, I also tried cycling through the "modes" (ev, Prius, eco, power) with no effect. Each time, I hit the power button to power off, and then I hit it again to restart. Powering off and then restarting, both times, seemed like "rebooting" a computer. Fortunately traffic conditions both times gave me ample time to reboot. Will this happen again?

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #14

Jun 132011


  • miles
Car stop on crowed warning appered on dash hybid over heating car stop. Had to restat car. By time pulled to shoulder warning light whent off. Car smelled of burning this happen on Friday on sat brough car to santa monica they had no answer. As needed more info had car towed on Monday left car till sat. Their diagnosis using gas and brake at same time how do you do this with one right foot?. you never drive with the left foot computoe is in error

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #13

Jun 082011


  • 3,000 miles
Exiting from a parking garage. After passing through the pay line, I headed down the exit ramp toward the street. The vehicle refused to accelerate as I pushed on the accelerator.. it did very slowly accelerate to 11 mph and then started to decelerate. I stopped the car on the ramp, turned the engine off and restarted it. After that, everything was fine, and I was able to drive home.. if this had happened while I was trying to merge into traffic. It would have been hazardous.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #12

Mar 112011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 23,002 miles
Dear sir or madam, a few days ago I found abundant evidence of mice activity in the cabin of my 16 month old Toyota Prius. After some internet research I found out that this is unfortunately an extremely common problem with Prius model cars and other Toyota models. The presence of rodents in the engine area is of course unavodiable but this is the first time I hear about the car design allow mice to easily move into the cabin. This obviously has severe consequences: I already have to replace the air filter and the padding behind the gloves compartment and I am not sure if any other parts have been chewed away. More importantly this is certainly a health and safety concern. I have to get the car detailed and the air system flushed to avoid toxic contamination from mouse excrements, and this endangers me every time I drive: A mouse crawling in the cabin of the car while I am driving is a major safety issue! it appears that the placing of screens in as few as 4 parts of the air system would stop the mouse access to the cabin, but Toyota, both my local dealer and the national service center, claim there is nothing the can or will do, and that, despite the abundant evidence to the contrary, this is a normal occurrence in all cars. Many people have posted online about mice and rodents in their Prius cars. A feel this is a major safety issue with the car, and I am extremely disappointed that neither the local dealer nor the Toyota corporate services are willing to helo me solve this situation and prevent it from happening again. I think the consequences of this design defect should be covered under the warranty and Toyota should design a scree part to cover the vents where necessary to prevent this from happening in the future.

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #11

Feb 242011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 11,800 miles
The car was not used for about 4 days or so. When I started it, it exhibited a "rough engine start" for the first time. This happened when the gas engine initiated and lasted for about 10 seconds. During this time the engine made a very loud noise as if the car was chocking and engine wanted to get out of the car's hood. This has happened only once. The car stopped making the noise after 10seconds or so.

- Santa Monica, CA, USA

problem #10

Dec 152010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
My wife and I own a 2010 Toyota's Prius. On the morning of December 15, 2010, she was coasting the vehicle into a parking spot at her office in reston, va. The accelerator was not depressed and the brakes were not applied. As she got into the space, the gas engine engaged, not uncommon at various times, and the vehicle suddenly accelerated out of control striking the curb and some bushes. The vehicle sustained about $400 in body damage and she was injured. She called the dealer who immediately referred the issue to Toyota corporate. After 6 weeks of waiting for a decision, Toyota said it's not their problem. The dealer refuses to examine the vehicle due to Toyota?S restrictions and we cannot even pay to have it examined at that dealer or any other. We are locked out of anything except taking the vehicle back. No warranty work, no maintenance work. Nothing.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #9

Dec 162010


  • miles
After a accident where the car rolled on its side, the engine would not turn off.

- Vienna, VA, USA

problem #8

Aug 312010


  • 18,135 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid. The contact was driving approximately 70 mph when the system indicator light illuminated and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the inverter cooler pump had overheated. The vehicle was repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 18,135.

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #7

May 072010


  • 19,600 miles
My 2010 Prius momentarily speeds up at times when I hit a large bump in road. Car has previously received the software update by Toyota dealer.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #6

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

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