really awful
Crashes / Fires:
32 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
10 / 0
Average Mileage:
10,714 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 14)

problem #265

Jul 162016


  • 127,000 miles


I was in a parking structure going approximately 15 mph when I removed my foot from the accelerator to press the brake. Before I could get my foot to the brake, the car quickly accelerated. It took at least two attempts at pushing the brake peddle before the car came to a stop. And, to be honest, the guardrail the car hit helped actually stop the vehicle. It was totally unexpected and extremely scary. In hindsight, I should have suspected that there may be a problem when I noticed that sometimes when applying the brakes to come to a stop there would be a feeling of the brakes slipping and the car lurching forward a bit. The dealership had the car towed in to get checked out, and I have been told that they will notify Toyota. In the meantime I am concerned about the safety of this car!

- Champaign, IL, USA

problem #264

May 252016


  • 85,000 miles
On 05/25/2016 at about 9am, while in motion at a rate of speed approx 25 mph on a street during construction (don't know if the bumpy road had anything to do with it), the change oil soon light appeared and seconds later all the lights on the dash came on with the message to check the "check hybrid system". I tried to stop the vehicle and it kept accelerating. I pressed on the breaks really hard and the traction control light kept flashing on and off like crazy but it barely had any impact. Although the vehicle slowed, it did not come to a full stop. I ended up hitting the vehicle in front of me. Thank god it was a truck and as able to stop the car from moving further or I could of ended up in the middle of an intersection. After the collision, the car would not stop although the park button was pressed and light was on. I even tried turning off the vehicle and the vehicle stayed on and in drive. I ended up in the hospital and don't know how it eventually got turned off but that was very frightening. I had my children in the car. On impact, the seat belts did not even tighten.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #263

Feb 212016


  • 187,000 miles
Brake booster pump assembly vehicle in motion when on highway when loss of breaking and steering took place. Vehicle lighted icons appeared on dash along with alarm sound. (ABS) (!) (brake) (ss). This unsafe condition could have been avoided if NHTSA would have forced Toyota to recall this defective part in 2013 when Toyota notified NHTSA of the defective braking system. Or Toyota mailed notice to customers as stated back in 2013, which prevention could prevent loss of life or harm. Or class action. www-ODI.NHTSA.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/ucm442011/rcmn-13V235-0909.pdf

- Ranson, WV, USA

problem #262

Feb 212016

Prius 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles


My Prius suddenly accelerated today. My wife was not in an accident. My VIN is [xxx]. I spoke with my wife and the incident occurred up a hill when she was parking (decelerating), she didn't notice that the floor mat was not stuck at the time and there was no warning of a problem. Also, this has not happened before. Vehicle was going up a hill on a city street, no ice, going strait, no damage to the car, unknown to what failed. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).?

- Stillwater, MN, USA

problem #261

Jan 012011


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving at 20 mph, the contact drove over a pothole and the vehicle veered to the right. In addition, the vehicle accelerated in excess. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who was unable to diagnose or repair the vehicle. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The contact was aware of NHTSA campaign number: 10V039000 (service brakes, air). The failure mileage was 15,000.

- Olney , MD, USA

problem #260

Apr 192015


  • 53,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving at approximately 20 mph and slowing down at a stop light, the vehicle accelerated without warning. The contact stated that the brake pedal was depressed to the floorboard while the rpms increased and the vehicle failed to stop. The vehicle eventually came to a stop. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but the failure was unable to be determined. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact mentioned that the failure was experienced in may of 2010 and the vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 53,000.

- Terre Haute, IN, USA

problem #259

Jan 282015


  • 180,000 miles


The headlight hid start to go on and off finally the left side went off. Also while driving the car desacelerated and increased speed by itself.

- Campbell, CA, USA

problem #258

Feb 122015


  • 55 miles
Today Feb 12, 2015 at approximately 11:40 am a white sports car license plate [xxx] was dangerously weaving in and out of cars and could have caused a crash. Location was on redmond way 202 going towards the 520 highway going towards seattle. This person is a reckless driver, please keep an eye out for this car. Thank you. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Sammamish, WA, USA

problem #257

Jan 012014


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving at low speeds over a bump or pothole, the vehicle would suddenly experience unintended acceleration. The contact mentioned that the failure occurred even when the brakes were engaged. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #256

Nov 222014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
I was going up the on ramp to I -75 exit 341 in Florida when I lost all power steering and braking and the check hybrid system light came on. Cars were coming at me at 70 mph and could have killed my wife and I. this is the second time I have reported the problem of check hybrid system light coming on and losing all power. This should be investigated a sap to prevent so eone from being killed.

- Westland, MI, USA

problem #255

Aug 302014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 132,000 miles


Accelerated to get on highway. Once on the highway the system hybrid warning light and other warning lights and audio alarms came on. We had to exit immediately because we lost the ability to maintain highway speed.

- Bel Aire, KS, USA

problem #254

Apr 012014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 46,200 miles
I am writing due to having had my 2010 Toyota Prius self accelerate while driving on four occasions. This began occurring after I took my vehicle to Toyota of clermont, Florida for a routine service on 3/31/2014. While the vehicle was there, the dealership also performed a recall on the vehicle. This recall is referenced as: Tech(s) : 20799 recall eoe motor generator and power management update perform software update for mg ECU and power management ECU agg09A 0.7 as of 8/5/2014 my vehicle has had unintended acceleration on 4 occasions. In 3 of the 4 I know it has occurred as I released the brake. This release is confirmed by the fact that it is necessary to reapply the brake to stop the acceleration. The 4th occurrence may also have occurred after a brake release. I have attempted to resolve this problem via both my local Toyota dealer and Toyota customer experience center at 1 800 331-4331. I am being told the problem is operator error. I have done the research to see if this is even possible. For me to apply the brake and fuel simultaneously would be both extremely difficult and very obvious. Additionally if this diagnosis were correct the vehicle would stop accelerating when the brake was released. In fact the vehicle accelerates when the brake is released not while the brake is depressed.

- Clermont, FL, USA

problem #253

Apr 232014


  • 67,655 miles
April 23,2014 entered a parking structure, when parking the car, the car accelerated, without reason. Car hit and broke the parking barrier, which was a oak log. Reported to Toyota dealership but did not want to view the car, claimed it was probably operator error. Foot both on gas and brake at same time. I do not drive with two feet, said did not think it was that. He then referred me to the Toyota corporate line, I have a file with them about the acceleration issue. Just happy this happened in a parking structure and not in a crosswalk situation where a pedestrian could have been hit.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #252

Apr 182014

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
If the vehicle hits a pot hole while slowing down, there's a sudden loss of braking power and the vehicle moves a few feet forward. The vsc light comes on at the same time. I'd noticed this a few times in the past but with the roads deteriorating after a bad winter, the pot holes are bigger and this is very prominent and scary. Going to take to the dealer for inspection. I feel it's definitely an issue with the braking system.

- Hamilton, NJ, USA

problem #251

Nov 052012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 23,717 miles
When parking, my 2010 Prius accelerated forward causing it to go over a curb form damaging the front bumper. Unexpected acceleration has caused four accidents damaging my car. I have records of these repairs. The hybrid system went out 8/30/2013 and in March,2014 the back brakes fell off: No bolts, pads, caliber, fluid were in place when it was towed to robbins Toyota in texarkana, tx. The front right booster was blown out while in this shop. My vehicle there over a month for various reasons.

- Chatham, LA, USA

problem #250

Mar 152014


  • miles
As I was approaching a red light I applied the brakes and then shortly after hit a pot hole and the car lunged forward as if accelerating on it's own. Fortunately there wasn't another vehicle in front of me as I would have most definitely rear-ended it. I almost shot into the intersection and most certainly shot past the normal stopping spot for waiting at a red light. Scary incident to say the least.

- Hamburg, NY, USA

problem #249

Mar 212014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I came to a red light and was braking and as it almost came to a complete stop it jerked forward. Thankfully there wasn't a car in front of me otherwise I would of hit it. I'm taking it in soon. I don't drive it everyday and when I do it's less than a mile.

- Kettering, OH, USA

problem #248

May 172011


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph on a bumpy road, he depressed the brake pedal but the vehicle lunged forward. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection but they could not determine the cause of failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 10,000....updated 02-03-15

- Merrillville, IN, USA

problem #247

Feb 212014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
I started noticing a high pitch noise sporadically on my car after it was a few months old. If I stopped and restarted the car, the noise would go away. When I brought it to Toyota they could not reproduce the problem. It would happen about 1-3 times per month and some months not at all. On this particular trip about a month ago, I did not notice the noise on start up (I had a cold that affected my hearing), but did hear it after getting on the highway. There was no where to reasonably pull over and restart the car safely, so I kept driving. After about 15-30 minutes the speedometer cluster/dash that displays the speed, fuel and drive position went blank and the noise went away. Searching online there were at least a handful of others who either had their speedometer replaced under warranty or otherwise with the same issue. I also found a recall on the 2009, a year earlier, Prius for the same issue and yes the same company makes the part. I brought my car to the dealer asap and the dealer wanted to charge me $120 to diagnose. When I questioned them, they said they need to take the dash apart, which is a lie as this would be more expensive as per our conversation. I asked for a quick computer diagnosis and they refused. I then called Toyota who said my car is long out of warranty for this part and that because I didn't pay for a diagnosis they would not take it further. When I pressed on with them they hid behind confidentiality when I asked about others who had this issue and then they said even if I paid for a diagnosis and this was found defective there are no promises. They want ~$1,200 to fix this defect.

- Dix Hills, NY, USA

problem #246

Jul 162013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 47,902 miles
I was driving with the flow of traffic (around 30 mph) on a main surface street in a middle lane of a multilane street when suddenly the engine stopped, and I was unable to make the engine respond. The car immediately began to slow down; I could not make it accelerate to keep in the flow of traffic. I managed to carefully drift over to the right and maneuver through an intersection and glide to a stop on the right side of the road. I turned off the engine and repeatedly tried to restart it to no avail. I called for towing service and had the car towed to my Toyota dealer, where the service people said it was an "internal failure" and replaced the inverter assembly. What has terrified me is that I could have been on the freeway driving at least 60 mph, where the consequences would be devastating to me and others. I asked if Toyota would be reporting this to the NHTSA, and they said that was an internal determination. I asked if this had happened before to others and did not receive a clear answer.

- Irvine, CA, USA

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