really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,746 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #9

Sep 082015


  • 20,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the vehicle independently accelerated while pulling into a parking space with the brake pedal applied. The contact applied extreme force and the vehicle continued to unintendedly accelerate at a high rate of speed. The vehicle turned right and crashed into a trash dumpster. The driver and front passenger sustained whiplash. Medical attention was not required. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer's collision center who repaired the body damages and was to send a third party to investigate the cause of the failure. The contact was waiting on the dealer and the manufacturer to determine the remedy to repair the vehicle. The approximate failure mileage was 20,000.

- Mission Viejo, CA, USA

problem #8

Jun 172014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 22,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while traveling 45 mph, the vehicle accelerated without warning. The contact stated that the vehicle jerked and made a loud noise. The vehicle resumed to its normal acceleration after the brakes were applied. The failure occurred on three occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 22,000. The consumer stated when she applied the brake lightly, the engine revved up and the vehicle did not slow down. The consumer has since sold the vehicle. Updated 09/23/14

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #7

Jan 252014

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
2012 Toyota Prius. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle sudden acceleration. The consumer stated as he entered a parking lot and turned to go down an aisle, he hit the curb too closely and the vehicle accelerated at an incredible speed. He put his foot on the brake and it went to the floor; he tried to turn the power off, but the vehicle did not stop. At the rate the vehicle accelerated, he passed by 2 parking aisles and was stopped by hitting a parked vehicle, which the force of his vehicle was pushed under a fence and onto a railroad track. The vehicle was badly damaged because the emergency brake was on and the impact destroyed the transmission. The dealership reviewed the computer data and concluded the vehicle did not accelerate on its own. They implied his foot was on the accelerator and not the brake.

- Santa Cruz, CA, USA

problem #6

Sep 052013


  • 30,000 miles


While traveling in a rain storm at 17mph, I tried to engage the brakes to prevent from crashing into an 18 wheeler and the brakes did not work. I repeatedly tried to stop the car and the car was accelerating even thought I was applying the brakes not the gas. The car would not shut down, go into park or neutral. I did crash into the 18 wheeler because the engine was accelerating and I wanted to stop.when I crashed the airbags did not deploy. Even after impact the car was still accelerating like it was trying to push the 18 wheeler. Eventually the car powered down after repeatedly pushing every button possible. I had the car towed to a Toyota dealership. I phoned your hotline but the VIN number I gave had a number that was wrong my prior confirmation number is 10542285. Toyota is aware and I am waiting for them to call me back.

- Pearand, TX, USA

problem #5

Sep 052013


  • 30,500 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving 17 mph, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and the contact crashed into another vehicle. The contact stated that the brakes would not respond. The contact was not injured and a police report was not filed. The contact additionally stated that all of the lights illuminated on the dash board as the vehicle abnormally accelerated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but was neither diagnosed nor repaired. The failure mileage was 30,500.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #4

Mar 252013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 2,374 miles
Parking car in handicapped spot - speed approximately 2 mph - gas engine cut in and the car accelerated at a very high speed. It went over space stop (concrete) - crossed the sidewalk onto grass and I had both feet on the brake and stopped the car approx. 3 feet from a wall of a building and shut off the engine. The handicapped sign scraped the whole right side of my car and there are several dents. The sign was fine.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #3

Mar 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 2,500 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving at low speeds, the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The vehicle veered into oncoming traffic, ran onto the sidewalk, then crashed into a tree. Upon impact, the air bags failed to deploy. The driver received injuries to the nose, back, and knees and also sustained two black eyes. The passenger did not sustain any injuries. The police were contacted and a report was available. The vehicle was later towed to an independent mechanic and the vehicle was deemed destroyed. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and current mileages were approximately 2,500.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #2

Sep 032012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 4,944 miles
Driving 70 mph car began to go into high RPM, then accelerated to 74 from 70 mph. I tried to decrease speed then vehicle shut off got a long beep and message on display "check hybrid system, pull over immediately" all lights on dash were indicating failures. Coasted to safety with 5 passengers in vehicle across traffic at 9:30 pm to shoulder. Tried to restart several times then vehicle went into high RPM then engine knocked loudly and was completely disabled. Lost brakes, pedal was hard, lost power steering, difficult to maneuver. I still had 2 bars indicating plenty of fuel in car. Prior fillup was 7.6 gallons at pump, usually get over 500 miles per tank, trip meter only showed under 400 miles since fill up so had plenty of fuel and there was no low fuel indicator. Reported all problems to dealer. They only noted the car shut down but told me they confirmed everything I said and that Toyota engineers are trying to resolve this since they are aware of this type of problem. So far dealer and Toyota have not addressed the high RPM, the acceleration, loss of electronics and hybrid system failure and told me they havenever heard of any Toyota ever having a report of a high RPM or acceleration without intent to accelerate form the driver. Vehicle is unsafe, has 4944 miles and this problem occurred about a month after purchase. Toyota still does not know what the problems are and in possession of the vehicle.

- Menifee, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 272012

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,400 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that as she was entering a parking space at 3 mph, the vehicle did not stop when the brakes were applied. The contact crashed into a tree. The contact was not injured. The police were notified and a police report was filed. The contact's insurance company was contacted who advised that they would inspect the vehicle. The manufacturer was notified of the failure who sent a representative to further asses the failure. After inspection, the representative noticed that the brake and accelerator pedals were depressed simultaneously and advised that there were no failures within the vehicle. The failure mileage was 2,400.... updated 08/15/12

- Pompton Plains, NJ, USA

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