really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,697 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2010 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #20

Jun 092015


  • miles


Driving on a extremely rough street, my car jerked to the left. I tried braking, but unmovable objects (street sign and phone junction box) provided the stop. Airbags did not deploy, but force of car pushed me hard into the steering wheel. I had my safety belt on, plus back brace. Emts noted 60% O2, in icu on respirator for a week, hospital for 2 wks. Distinctly, I remember the steering wheel jerked to the left.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #19

Mar 262016


  • 86,000 miles
There is a clunking noise in my steering column, feels loose when I turn it right and left. The steering clunking sound when turning the wheel is not normal.

- El Monte, CA, USA

problem #18

Mar 092016


  • 125,095 miles
Steering intermediate shaft and extension is prone for failure due to design and/or material

- Eastvale, CA, USA

problem #17

Dec 252015


  • 56,853 miles


Check hybrid system car shuts off and can not restart, tried system reset per manual but would not clear hybrid. Towed to dealer, dtc code P3004-800, tech said this was the only code, had recall eoe reflash 04-14-2014 ipm extended 15 years. Car was in motion per wife. (it had been raining) the dtc P3004-800 power cable malfunction

- Sugar Hill, GA, USA

problem #16

Aug 112014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
About a mile after having entered the freeway as I was merging towards the carpool lane the car shut off in the number three lane.the dashboard displayed the message, "check hybrid system", and would not respond. My speed was approximately 65 mph when this occurred. I immediately pressed on the brake but the car was not slowing down as it normally does. When I finally got over to the number 1 lane, I entered the emergency lane but was still having trouble coming to a stop. I brushed up against the freeway wall in order to come to a complete stop. After switching the car off and attempting to restart it, I would get no respond and all the dashboard indicators would remain on with the "check hybrid system" displayed. This incident was terrifying as I was driving with my two year old daughter and two other occupants. The car should have displayed a warning and not simply stalled out. If this incident had taken place a few minutes later, I would have been in the hov lane and could have resulted in a devastating accident.

- Montclair, CA, USA

problem #15

Dec 262012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 33,500 miles
My Prius iv, purchased new in 2010, intermittently had a lunging forward problem when going over speed bumps, pot holes etc. I would have to stop it by braking quickly, so I didn't collide with a car ahead. I informed Toyota of this problem within the first year. They tested it and said they could find nothing. I mentioned this to them on various occasions when I took the car for its periodic maintenance of 5000 mile intervals. On December 26, 2012 I was stopped waiting to go left when I was rear-ended. I went to pull over to the side of the road to assess the damage. When I accelerated to get to the side of the road, the car took off crazily, at a high rate of speed for about 6-7 seconds, zigzagging uncontrollably on the 2 lane road. If there were cars coming toward me, I would have been in a head on crash. I immediately called Toyota service of scranton, pa and asked them to see and assess the car's problem. They made an appointment and concluded.said there is no problem internally, and suggested removing the after market floormat. I then proceeded to show them the same problems many customers are having with the Prius, including an article by steve wozniak, the co-founder of apple company, who had acceleration problems with his 2010 Prius. I called the main Toyota headquarters later, explaining the problem and they too said there is no malfunction, only mentioning the floor mats again.. this is not the case as the car has had acceleration problems from the beginning and to further clarify, I was able to finally stop the car... the mat was no where near the accelerator. I am afraid to drive this for others' safety, my passengers and my own safety. I take care of my cars faithfully. You can view my records. I am also fearful if I trade this car, someone else might get injured or killed. Can you please check and advise.

- Swoyersville, PA, USA

problem #14

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 #13

Mar 172012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 20,600 miles
I was entering a parking space. Turned right into space. The vehicle accelerated, steering wheel locked, and brakes did not respond!.the car sped over the curbing and hit the left front fender of the truck in the next space.

- Citrus Springs, FL, USA

problem #12

Aug 232011

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated the tires wore prematurely. The contact had an alignment performed and the vehicle was inspected by several dealers and each time the contact was told there was no problem with the alignment or frame of the vehicle. The contact believed the failure to be a manufacturing defect because of the premature wear on the tires. The contact also owned a 2005 Toyota Prius in which the same failure occurred with the tires. The failure mileage was 17,000. Updated 10/12/11 updated 10/24/11

- Hillman, MN, USA

problem #11

Apr 012011


  • 31,634 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the vehicle stability control light began flashing ashe was driving and the contact started to feel a disconnection with the steering causing him to crash into a median. The contact was only able to accelerate forward and backwards after the failure without attempting any turns because the steering was no longer operable. The vehicle was towed and the towing company discovered that the front driver side wheel was facing straight and the front passenger side wheel was facing at a 45 degree angle. The failure and current mileage was 31,634. Updated 05/04/11 updated 2/1/12

- Needham, MA, USA

problem #10

Dec 042010

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving approximately 43 to 45 mph, the vehicle lost power steering, rolled into a ditch, and landed on it's side. The passenger sustained injuries to her sternum, ribs, and finger. The passenger was transported to the hospital via ambulance. A police report was filed. The vehicle was inspected by the insurance company and declared a total loss.the manufacturer was notified and they have not followed up with the contact. The failure mileage was approximately 17,000. Updated 03/15/11 the consumer stated there were two injuries. Updated 06/06/11

- Brunswick, ME, USA

problem #9

Aug 192010


  • 7,548 miles
Brake failure. 2010 Toyota Prius iv -- the vehicle's brakes lose pressure and the brake pedal loses pressure (regardless of how hard I press on the brakes as this is happening). The brakes are temporarily disabled and the vehicle unexpectedly accelerates as a result of its momentum prior to initializing the brakes. The failure occurs when the vehicle passes over a dramatic change in the texture/friction of the road surface. I have experienced the failure dozens of times, when driving over metal surfaces (manhole covers, pothole covers, temporary construction covers, metal expansion inserts in bridges, etc), as well as small patches of condensation (such as small puddles under a bridge when the surrounding road is dry). The failure is not related to hydroplaning, and has occurred at speeds as low as 15 mph. The failure causes the vehicle to accelerate until a few seconds after it has passed over the slick surface. After returning to the regular road surface, the brakes slowly regain traction and resume their function of slowing the vehicle down. This failure occurs every time these criteria are met -- regardless of whether road conditions are wet or dry. So far no accidents have resulted from this failure on my vehicle, but I have been unable to control the problem or decrease its effects. Again, this problem occurs even at low speeds, such as in city traffic while braking to stop at an intersection. Many times it has caused me to nearly hit the vehicle in front of mine. So I have been forced to leave an extra 40 feet between my vehicle and anything in front of me, which is not always feasible because I live in an urban area. I have already taken this vehicle into the Toyota dealership as part of their recall to fix the software which controls the interactions between the hybrid brakes and the normal disk brakes. Local dealerships have consistently denied that there is a problem with the vehicle and the Toyota company will not return my phone calls.

- Evanston, IL, USA

problem #8

May 092010


  • 6,293 miles
My wife and 2 daughters were driving on interstate 90/94 when the entire steering column slowly dropped. I double checked the lever underneath to adjust it, but that was tight. I could see wires and bolts where the column had dropped several inches. I lifted the column up and thought it would lock in or click back in place. When I did this, the entire column collapsed in my lap. An alarm sounded and I had no control of the steering while going 70 mph. Somehow I managed to get the vehicle to the side of the road and had the vehicle towed to the dealership. Dealer fixed the vehicle and wrote, "upper steering column plate came out of bracket, possibly not locked in all the way from factory." Dealer had a field tech come look at and take pictures. Approximately 2-3 weeks later had a call from the dealer saying some engineers wanted to replace more parts and wanted vehicle again. This time they replaced the entire column rather than fixing pieces. At this point we had no faith in the vehicle and began dealing with Toyota to get a new vehicle as this Prius only had 6,293 miles.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #7

Apr 162010


  • 22 miles
Driving a 2010 Prius at speeds between 65 and 75 mph the car wanders in the lane and requires constant corrections. With windy conditions it is near impossible to stay in one lane. This is on I-75 in sw Florida which is newly paved, flat, and straight. This has continued to happen since the car was bought new in Dec. 2009. Software recall did not fix the problem.

- Bonita Springs, FL, USA

problem #6

Feb 222010


  • 1 miles
My 2010 Toyota Prius drifts when I'm trying to drive the car straight. The car is very difficult to maintain a straight ahead position. I have to constantly be turning the steering wheel left then right, especially while driving at highway speeds. The car drifts both to the left and right. It won't go straight for more than a few seconds. It's not the driver as I have let others drive the car and they notice it to. It is also not the road surface because it happens all the time on all roads. I now have about 10,000 miles on the car and I've noticed this problem from the 1st day I owned it. At 1st when I bought the car I thought it was me and that I needed to get used to the car. But the car still acts this way, drifting left and right when I'm trying to go straight.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #5

Feb 122010


  • 3,800 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. When the contact tried to pull down the visor, the garage door opener slipped off the visor and fell into the steering column. He had not taken the vehicle to the dealership but did have an appointment. He also had not spoken with the manufacturer to-date. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was approximately 3,900. The failure mileage was approximately 3,800.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 152010


  • miles
We own a 2010 Prius. Although the hesitation in the braking has been at issue, we quickly learned to overcome the hesitation. Of more concern for us is the inability to steer the car on wet or smooth surfaces. When on water or snow there is no communication between the computer and the steering wheel. Warning lights come on and all steering ceases. This has resulted in several near misses when driving in traffic. If you look on edmunds.com and Prius chat.com you will see that this is a major concern for Prius owners and could potentially be a deadly problem if it hasn't been already. A car that doesn't steer or brake is a deadly combination.

- Winchester, VA, USA

problem #3

Dec 102009


  • 3,000 miles
I have contacted my auto manufacturer about a steering problem. The car will not drive in straight line, it is ether going left or right. They have not responded to my complaint. I have to be very careful driving this car because it will wonder off of the road.

- Meridian, MS, USA

problem #2

Dec 182009


  • 200 miles
Events leading up to failure: Hitting the brakes and hitting a bump in the pavement of the road at the same time. How often: All the time, if you are hitting the brakes, and hitting a bump at the same time. What was done: Nothing. Toyota claims nothing is wrong.

- Lake Linden, MI, USA

problem #1

Aug 262009


  • 400 miles
2010 Toyota Prius steering wheel has a place where rings can snag causing an over or under turn situation. Toyota service manager said that replacing the part that causes this lock up would not help the problem. One time occurrence for me but was very scary at the time.

- Boise, ID, USA

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