hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,160 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.

2011 Toyota Prius engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #15

Dec 142016


  • 150,000 miles


At approximately 120,000 miles we started receiving messages from our dealership that the car was starting to use oil even though we have performed all required maintenance and on time. Then between 130,000 and 140,000 we starting getting an oil light that would come on during cornering. We were told to keep a gallon of oil with us and fill it between changes and we did. It would use about 1 to 2 quarts between changes. Then at 150,000 the engine blew up. It was within the time limits of the warranty but not the mileage so Toyota would not help us out on a new motor. After that I researched on line and others are having similar problems. Most if not all our miles were highway cruising miles so easy miles. We drove this thing like a baby. We have owned many other vehicles to well over 250,000 so this is not a case of we don't take care of our vehicles. The motor right before it blew was making a loud screeching noise but no lights on on the dash to indicate that anything was wrong.

- Clear Lake, MN, USA

problem #14

Dec 012016


  • miles
Iive had my Prius from 4-14 to the present 2016. I keep having issues with the dealership I take it to for repairs. Bob smith in la crescenta ca. After mentioning and describing issues, the staff there says that unless the dash lights up with a message and gives a code, they cant fix it. So in order for them to look into it any further than me telling them dash light is nec. Ive told them about the ac noise from the first say I took the car in to grt services at 33K. They say they dont hear or see anything. My ac compressor sounds like ita going ro explode when ac is on. Brakes have been extremely diff. To explain because of terminology. They seem to lose their power when being pressed and ABS seems to malfuncion?? so they drive it and tell me its nohing I need to worry about and will be fixed when changed. Change brakes and the prob persists. Not only ABS but Firestone says my hardware has issues as well. I brinf it to the attention of the staff and nothing seems to get donw about it... my odo. Speedom is/was off +2 mph. My weather seals have been stripped and ripped off the vehicle which now causes water leaks from every crevise.. and the biggest two of all my complaints are 1- hybrid batt. Fan never worked and I wasnt told...hyb batt has nwvwr worked properly (drains way too fast when stopped at a light or in traff) along with the heat created by the batt and the engine that fill up the cabin and qwill have the temp raised upwards of 90+ on a 75 deg day. 2- the ECU's ipm's (or something like that) has not been calib. Or updated. Even received coverage stickers from toy hedqrts stating full coverage if a.B.C. (listing of problems or malfuncions) I desctibe thw exact same symptoms to them and get the same respons"no code, no fix" help and ps I just checked the VIN onlne 4my veh & it says a diff pakage w/a bunch of extras that I never got upon purchae"??_hmmm?"

- South Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #13

Apr 022016


  • 140,000 miles
"takata recall" this is our first Toyota purchase and we are extremely let down with the fact that it is losing an excessive amount of oil. This is a safety issue. In the event that the engine may cease if it runs out of oil. We previously have only had american vehicles, and were told that Toyota is a much better product.. well as of this past April, we had this brief light go on. It doesn't stay on very long and only appears when you turn a curve. Then the "oil maintenance due" light appeared. That's odd, because I just had my oil change done 2 months ago! I went to a local oil service station immediately and found out I was down to only one quart of oil in my engine. I've never had this happen before! they looked for a leak and didn't find one. They topped off the oil and I was free to go. Well, the same scenario happened again in July, only 3 months after the last top off. I made an appointment with the dealer to have him look it over. They said it needed a system engine cleaning, there were no leaks, they gave it an oil change, and the spark plugs looked fine.. $300 for this to be done. Then they told me to bring it back in 1900 miles... well this seemed to work... until... now.. in October/November (2-3 mos later) the same issue happened, and now they are telling me I need a new engine that will cost anywhere from $3000 to $5800. I have only had this car going on 5 years. I have never had to replace an engine on any car before.. where is the Toyota quality we were told Toyota stands behind"?"

- East Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #12

Oct 272016


  • 80,000 miles


Hard knocking when turning on engine until I compress and decompress my break. Has happened 3 times, only during the cold months

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #11

Jul 152015


  • 110,000 miles
Request help with 2011 Toyota Prius oil consumption, quality, safety, & air pollution issues: I bought the car new. Just after 100,000 miles I noticed it was using oil between oil changes. It has gotten way worse to now at 145,000 miles it used 3 qts in 2000 miles. It does not warn you that the oil level is low until you are 3.5 qts low & a messages says you have low oil pressure. This is unsafe in that the car could go dry on oil and the engine sieze up. There is a tsb on this for other Toyota vehicles, but not yet Prius. I believe Prius needs to be added to the list & I want Toyota to replace my engine or at least the piston rings. So far Toyota is not admitting to oil consumption problems with the Prius. This is also a possible emissions issue. I contacted Toyota's customer experience center in Feb 2016 and they set-up case no. 1602170764 to track my complaint. They referred me to alamo Toyota in san antonio. I do not believe that Toyota is being proactive in addressing this problem. After researching this issue on line, I have found many other Toyota Prius owners with the same problem. The problem does not show up until you are close to the 80,000-100,000 miles point and so for those folks that drive less, the problem may not show up for another couple of years. I thank you in advance for any help that you can provide to me. I spent over $23,000 for this car and hoped it would give me trouble-free transportation for more than 4 years and 100,000 miles.

- Spring Branch, TX, USA

problem #10

Jul 202016


  • 129,098 miles
Prius started consuming oil around the 105,000 mile mark. Two months ago, I took it to the dealer and they had me come back after 1100 miles after my oil change. They said it was consuming oil because the piston rings were leaking. The lady tried to sell me a used engine for 3,000 or 5,000 dollars. I told her that is why I bought Toyota because I didn't want to spend money after 100,000 miles. I have looked online and this practically happening to all the 2010-2011 prii. My buddy owns and Camry and just had his block/piston rings changed for the same problem. This morning, I am a 100 miles from the need of an oil change, and when apply the breaks I get a yellow light coming on saying "not enough oil pressure". I google this and people are saying it is because my oil is low again. I think Toyota is trying to avoid having to recall this.

- Pitman, NJ, USA

problem #9

Nov 012014


  • 100,000 miles


This car consumes oil... it dose not leak the oil and the dealer says that one quart in 1200 miles is normal... this oil is polluting the atmosphere and is expensive. I fi was told that it would consume this much oil at 100K, I would not have purchased the car.

- Yardley, PA, USA

problem #8

Feb 082016


  • 215,000 miles
Found out the violent engine shaking and the mystery loss of coolant without any noticeable leaks is due to a leaking head gasket that his common to many owners. Car now runs rough and mileage is affected. Many other owners reporting the same issue priuschat.com/threads/new-service-bulletin-for-engine-knocking-at-startup-T-sb-0012-10.102200/page-40

- San Carlos, CA, USA

problem #7

Jan 032016


  • miles
On start up in cold weather, <40*, after several days of not being used, the engine rattles like there's a loose engine mount. It lasts several seconds, then stops. After the engine warms up it's fine. This happened several years ago and I had tsb-0204-11 installed at 38,000 miles (12/18/13) and had no problem the problem reoccurred yesterday, 1/3/16, 76,000 mi, and I'll check with my mechanic for codes.

- Newfields, NH, USA

problem #6

Sep 012015


  • miles
Excessive oil consumption. Recently I notice oil pressure low light lights frequently. It used the oil was changed every time the maintenance light come up. About every 5000 miles. Now the low oil pressure comes almost every 1000 miles. The car only has 89K miles.

- Granada Hills, CA, USA

problem #5

Sep 012015


  • 63,000 miles


There are 3 issues I am having with this Prius. The brakes are the first problem. As others have stated, I too have the same lurching forward when braking over bumby or rough roads. This has been ongoing over the last few years. Second, the suspension is creaking and crunching when making turns at low speeds under 20mph. This happens when the wheels are turned all the way right and all the way left. This crunching noise happens when backing out of the driveway, making U-turns, coming to a stop on an incline, and braking over speed bumps. I've had the dealer look at this for the last year when I come in for service and one tech says they can't figure it out, another tech says he hears it but can't find the root of the problem, the service mgr. Also went on a drive with me and reproduces the noise concern but the techs couldn't find it. Most were suggesting new front suspension components-struts, towers, links, etc. I replaced the two front struts and all of the extra components-the noise concern is still there. I am very upset about this. Third issue is the ice-motor. When stopped at a red light and the engine shuts off, the car lurches forward and makes a creaking sound. It's appears that something is not right. The engine seems like it is loose. The engine also makes rattling sound when cruising lightly at 15-25 mph with the accelerator pressed slightly. The sound is coming from the passenger side, under the dashboard-glove compartment area. This is a rattle sound coming from the engine. I've had this looked at as well and the dealer states they cannot duplicate it. I have recorded all sounds related to these concerns and am taking it back to the dealer this month.

- West Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 302015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 208,000 miles
Upon start up in the cold the engine shakes violently for 15 seconds.

- San Mateo, CA, USA

problem #3

Jan 182014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 43,800 miles
On Jan. 18th, 2014 I was leaving fl to return to nc, when I started up my Prius and waited for the gas engine to start, it did not want to start. It sounded like a diesel engine, making a loud knocking noise and the whole car shook. I turned the car off and then restarted it a couple of times, but did not experience the issue again. I drove back to nc and did not experience the issue at all. The car was due for maintenance, so B-4 taking it in, I researched the issue online. I found numerous people that have experienced the same problem on the "priuschat.com" web site, there were also links to youtube vids that showed the same problem. I also found that there is a tsb out for this issue, but it only covers certain vins and the dealers usually require that they can duplicate the problem B-4 they will perform the tsb. The repair is to replace the intake manifold, but this does not appear to be resolving the problem. The problem appears to have started with the 2010 model with the 1.8L motor and has yet to be resolved.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #2

Oct 082012


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that she noticed a leak coming from inside the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where the contact was advised that there were spiders in the HVAC drainage hose and the spiders had created a nest egg in the hose, which caused the leak. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and they advised her that the failure was not covered under her warranty. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were approximately 20,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Ocean , NJ, USA

problem #1

Jan 052012


  • 3,500 miles
Started car after prolonged period of cold soak (parked for one week outside in temperatures around the freezing mark). Engine exhibited a loud knock/rattle and had a delayed throttle response as I was pulling out onto the street. Had to shut engine down (with vehicle located in street, safety concern) to stop loud knock and re-start engine. Rattle/knock had disappeared. Toyota dealership when presented with issue and Toyota issued tsb (T-sb 0012-10) on this very issue declined to perform necessary work since they were not able to "recreate" the issue. I explained that this only happened once and to replicate they would need to park it in the same conditions for a week. I cannot leave my car with them for this long and therefore this is an unreasonable request. Multiple owners have experienced this problem (as a quick search on youtube will confirm) yet Toyota is denying to fix this.

- Lambertville, NJ, USA

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