really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
10,112 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.

2013 Toyota Prius seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2013 Toyota Prius Owner Comments

problem #4

Oct 172016

Prius 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles


I was driving straight on a city road with the flow of heavy traffic at about 40 miles per hour when the car in front of me came to a sudden stop. I immediately slammed on my brakes very hard. At the time I did this I had plenty of safe distance between us. But, the brakes never came on and I ended up running into the rear end of an SUV at apparently full speed without any noticeable slowdown. The brakes did not come on. They didn't grab, and they didn't make any screeching noise and there were no tire marks on the road. Also all of the airbags deployed and this was a frontal impact, which was very surprising and suffocating. A cloud of dust filled the cabin of the car and I could not breathe. I was literally suffocating until I was able to open the door and get out of the vehicle. I didn't even feel the seat belt tighten up before the crash. The brakes never felt like they came on at all.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #3

Nov 022014


  • 9,800 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving at an unknown speed, another vehicle crashed into the rear end of the contact's vehicle. As a result, the seat belt failed to retract and the air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed. The contact sustained a head injury that required medical attention. The front seat passenger sustained head and neck injuries that did not require medical attention. The vehicle was towed to a dealer. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 9,800. The VIN was unavailable.

- Boone, NC, USA

problem #2

Nov 132013


  • miles
We purchased a 2013 Prius V in July. When we bought it, I was concerned about the back seat middle body restraint being attached to the inside roof behind the back passenger seat. But my boys are 6, so felt they would be okay. This week, one of the boys got tangled in the seat belt. When he tried to release the belt, it racheted up and tightened with the belt wrapped around his neck. He & his brother told us he was caught & asked us to stop. We were on a highway, & had to turn off & find a safe place to park. In the meantime, he became more distressed, & said he was having trouble breathing. We looked back & he was wrapped in the belt, stretched in the seat. Needless to say, we were very upset. We stopped, & tried to get the belt loose, but it just pulled tighter. The belt is permanently attached to the lap belt section, & could not be released. We were in the country. No one nearby. We don't carry knives. Fortunately, I had bought years ago, a tool for breaking auto glass, with a cutter in it for seat belts. I was able to find it, and cut the belt. It was very tough, & took a lot of effort. Our son was bruised, frightened, but otherwise okay. We will not be repairing the seatbelt, as this is a definite safety hazard. Our son would have hung in the back seat, if he had not been able to tell us he was caught, & couldn't breathe well. This could happen to a child too young to realize what was happening, and be fatal. This is a design flaw that could be fixed by allowing the belt to be released from the lap component of the belt.

- Elberfeld, IN, USA

problem #1

Jun 182013


  • 650 miles
I own a new 2013 Toyota Prius V-5. while on the freeway taking an interchange. I had cruise control set at 65 mph, disengaging it as I approached the interchange that slows to 35 mph due to the curve. I was coasting when the car suddenly brake, internal warning light flashing, alarm beeping and seat belt locked up. I was alone in the car (thank god) with no cars behind me or in front of me. It was an extremely windy day and was told by Toyota that it is possible something blew in front of the sensor. That in itself is another safety issue. Can I not drive my car on a windy, rainy or snowy day, in fear of the pre collision system misinterpreting what is in front of the sensor" I immediately took the car to the dealership only to be told today that they couldn't find anything wrong and that I am more than welcome to take a drive with their technician to see if I can replicate what had occurred. I inquired if the edr had recorded the event and they told me no. Is there something wrong with the edr? shouldn't it have recorded something like that" I can't understand why the pre-collision system (pcs) would act as if it were trying to prepare for impact if there was nothing if front of the vehicle. I could have been rear ended or lost control of the vehicle. This is a serious safety issue.

- Lathrop, CA, USA

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