really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,310 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.

2012 Toyota Prius body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2012 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #14

Nov 042016


  • 40,000 miles


Really appalling that the airbags ware not deployed after a big collision when the whole front of the car was smashed as seen in the pic.this happen on downtown are in columbus in 5 and spring I

- Lewis Center, OH, USA

problem #13

Sep 062016


  • 50,000 miles
Mice in cabin. Since I've owned this car (bought new) I've had several occasions where mice get inside the passenger compartment. I've looked on-line and have seen numerous complaints and suggested solutions. Most have said their dealers deny any design problems and will not fix the problem. Frustrating!

- Appleton, WI, USA

problem #12

Oct 292014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
I was involved in a front end collision with a bobcat front end loader. I struck the implement broadside going 35 mph. There was no damage to the implement. My car was totaled and the airbag deployed. After going to the hospital and a chest X-ray, ultrasound, and ct scan, it was diagnosed I had fractured my sternum. I am six feet tall and had my seat all the way back. I am questioning whether there have been any other people sustaining a fractured sternum due to an air bag deployment at 35 mph?

- Riverview, FL, USA

problem #11

Sep 202014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 9,300 miles


Turning right from a stop sign stop, the car took off in an unintended acceleration and could not be stopped until it hit a curb. The force broke the ball joint of the driver's side wheel causing the wheel to turn approx 45 degrees. The car then skidded about 20 yards and came to a stop with the motor racing. It was a single car crash with no bodily injury.

- Port Orange, FL, USA

problem #10

Jun 172014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 25,070 miles
I was driving on my residential street and stepped on the brake to slow down to make a left turn into my driveway. The car failed to slow down or stop, and instead went over the curb, veering to the right and side swiped the left side of my neighbor's car, narrowly missing his garage.the car then side swiped a tree on my left (on property between my and neighbor's property.) the front end of the car crashed into a tree, saving me from rolling about 900 feet to the street below. The entire time of this incident the brakes never engaged (pedal was down to floor) and I frantically tried to steer to avoid hitting anything. A witness, standing on the street, confirmed my brake lights were on. Car was serviced by Toyota (world class inspection) 15 days before the incident. Inspection report indicated brake fluid level and brake lining were "checked and ok." After the incident the car was towed to a repair site where the operator demonstrated to me that the brakes were nonexistent and the brake fluid level was still appropriate. Car was deemed totaled.

- Newport Beach, CA, USA

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problem #9

May 222014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 8,800 miles
I was getting ready to pull out of a parking space in a parking lot. The car was in park, so I pressed on the brake, started the car and put it in reverse. All of a sudden there was a loud roar and the car shot full speed in reverse, completely out of control. It clipped the bumper of a parked car and some shopping carts, then backed into a wall which stopped the car. Miraculously no one was injured. The car has been totaled.

- Manhattan Beach, CA, USA

problem #8

May 012012


  • 5,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving approximately 65 mph, the front driver's side interior splash protector became disengaged from the vehicle. The contact had previously experienced the same defect with the front passenger's side splash protector. The contact indicated that the defect was due to the vehicle being too low to the ground and when parking the vehicle, the splash protectors would make contact with the curb causing them to become loose and eventually detach from the vehicle. The contact also stated that the protectors would also make contact with the tires once they became loose. The vehicle was diagnosed and repaired at the dealer. The manufacturer was notified and no solution was offered. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 5,000.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #7

May 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 72 miles
The windshield causes most light sources, particularly led lights, street lights, and oncoming headlights (basically any bright light source), to appear with a "ghosting" image. The "ghosting" appears in the windshield vertically below the light source as one, two, or even three images. The dealer has replaced the windshield twice already, but there has been no improvement. In fact, the first and second replacements are worse than the original. I also own a 2008 Toyota sienna, and I drive various Chevy equinoxes and Ford escapes where I work - I do not experience the "ghosting" effect in those vehicles. Personnel from the dealer's service department as well as representatives from Toyota have also observed this phenomena with the windshields in my Prius plug-in. I was told by a representative in the service department after the last replacement that even the Toyota engineers weren't happy with the replacement. It has now been two weeks since the last windshield was installed. I notified the service department (during my drive home that same day) at the dealership that the windshield was unsatisfactory, and I was told that they would notify me when Toyota decided what to do about it next. To date not only have I heard nothing, but the last three phone calls to the service adviser have gone to voice mail, and I received no reply.

- Gresham, OR, USA

problem #6

Aug 132013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 15,815 miles
While driving, a loud popping noise (cracking) was heard with no observed damage, and later that day the windshield grew a long crack in windshield while the car was parked. An edge crack formed on the windshield extreme outer edge in the chamfer about 2/3 of the way up on the driver"S side A-pillar. The windshield by it"S design appears to be rather thin, and the windshield edge is exposed, not covered or embedded in plastic or rubber or trim material. The windshield edge as observed has a very small chamfer and does not have a generous bevel (round) that is highly polished such as found on the passenger window edges or older windshields I am familiar with. I took the car to Toyota of bowie and was told by the service manager, he believes there was an impact to the windshield at the very extreme edge of the windshield where the crack root is on the chamfer and their dealership would not replace it under any warranty. The service manger did not look at the crack with any tools, for example, a magnifying class or the use of a ball point pen to determine any impact location or if it is in fact a stress crack that has formed. The service manager did not offer to arrange to have the car repaired and told me to go to a glass company. When the service manager was asked about any problems or concerns with Toyota windshields or exposed glass edge windshields with a small chamfer, he said there were no problems or recalls. I have only owned the car eight months and plan to write Toyota to learn when a more robust crack resistant windshield can be made available. Note: Pictures can be made available.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #5

Aug 122013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 15,600 miles
There is a noticeable halo effect in the windshield when viewing oncoming lights. It is bothersome and irritating on the eyes especially when driving for long periods of time. I am writing Toyota directly to learn when a different windshield can be provided.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #4

Nov 302012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 12,400 miles


Design of car includes a flaw causing a huge vertical blindspot on both the right and left side of the car. Because there is a bar that runs vertical on both sides at the beginning of the driver and front passengers' windows, this, along with the pillar coming down the windshield contribute to an extremely large spot where objects in road cannot be seen. This is especially hazardous for pedestrian foot-traffic crossing perpendicular to the car. Peds in crosswalks or in parking lots are at times, completely masked by this blind spot by the combination of the front windshield pillars and front window sub-pillars. Other cars (such as Honda insight) with a dramatically angled windshield avoid this by using a smaller sub-pillar on the front window, allowing for things to be seen far more easily. This issue should be addressed before it causes a pedestrian injury or death. This is not something that can be repaired.

- Concord , CA, USA

problem #3

Jan 132012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 6 miles
When starting to drive the car after is has been sitting for about 3 hours and especially first thing in the morning, the vehicle makes a groaning noise which seems to be coming from the left rear tire area. It lasts for about the first 50 feet and then it stops making the noise. This has happened with temperatures varying between 40 to 75 degrees. When it is really hot in the morning, the noise is not present. The dealer has looked at the vehicle several times and they say that this is a national problem with no solution. I have owned this car for 4 days short of a year with 12,250 miles on it and it does it all the time. This is very frustrating because the car is fine otherwise.

- Alpine, CA, USA

problem #2

Sep 082012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 2,200 miles
On September 8, 2012 my wife was on her way to our rental and was hit as she readied to turn to the house. Our 2012 Toyota Prius 3 was thrown into the air and bounced back to a diagonal position across the road. Upon impact, the steering wheel air bag did not deploy until after impact--her seatbelt did not restrain her from hitting her chest on the steering wheel nor did the knee air bag deploy until after she hit her knees on the lower dash. Fortunately for her and me, she suffered deep bruising but no broken bones etc. As of today, 9/26/2012, her chest still hurts but the pain is diminishing. I contacted Toyota and filed a complaint on 9/8/2012 and was told they would investigate--case #[xxx], my concern since we have heard nothing is that you too will hear nothing and if this issue exists in other Prius cars on the road, someone will suffer more than my wife. If this is an isolated case--good for Toyota but how does this help us? I called Toyota today for an update but have not yet heard back. If more information is needed plz contact me. We would like to know the out come of this complaint. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Graysville, TN, USA

problem #1

Aug 182012


  • 81 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that as his vehicle was parked a vehicle crashed into the rear of his vehicle at 10 mph which caused extensive damage to the frame and bumper. The air bags failed to deploy but the air bags warning lamp illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 81.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

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