Toyota Prius

Maintenance costs may outstrip fuel savings

  • Overall Satisfaction Rating
    1.72/5

    Based on 169 ratings out of 713 reviews

    • 5 stars7
      4%
    • 4 stars4
      2%
    • 3 stars12
      7%
    • 2 stars57
      34%
    • 1 stars89
      53%
    show rating distribution
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Consumer Complaints & Reviews

I bought my 2012 Toyota Prius new at the dealer. After 38,000 miles my dealer tells me that I need new tires. It apparently is a concern of the Yokomoto tires. My dealer agrees tires should last longer than 38,000 miles. The dealer tells me I have no warranty! I have to buy new tires. A new car with tires should last more than 40,000 miles. It's a great car with rotten tires! I have spoken with other Prius owners with similar stories. My dealer will help with new tires, not yo too tires!

Initial problem on 2007 Prius was that first one, then both headlights blinked off while I was driving. They would go back on if I switched them off and back on, but the first time it happened on the freeway at night, it was frightening. The dealer replaced them with what I hoped was an improved lamp but the same thing happened a few years later, post-warranty, and I paid about $500 to have it fixed. Today (May 31, 2015), while driving on a curved 35mph road, the car spontaneously shifted out of gear into neutral, rolled to a stop on an uphill stretch, and would not shift out of neutral. This was a spot with no shoulder; luckily, I was able to roll back to a wider spot for safety (?!).

I don't like to think about this happening in the left lane of a freeway or in remote areas where I sometimes work without cell reception. Apparently, there are any instances of this quirk (as evidenced by this site, carcomplaints.com, and proud chat rooms) but no recall has been issued. I find this surprising and frankly, unconscionable. Toyota? Oh TOYOTA??! I thought we were friends.

We bought our Prius from my wife's sister. It had less than 30,000 miles on it. We now have around 90,000 on it. It gets 45 mpg in the winter and 52 mpg in better weather. We started having the brake problem we have been reading about around six months ago. The brakes would stop working normally and we have nearly had accidents while getting to a repair shop. After several resets to the system and it failing again and again we decided we had to have it repaired if we wanted to keep it. We decided to use a repair shop that only works on Toyotas because of the ridiculously high price Toyota charges for repairs. The technicians at the shop we chose receive the same technical information daily that the Toyota places do. They ran the diagnostics and decided to replace the ECM to the tune of 1800 dollars! Toyota wanted 2400 dollars!

We also discussed the possibility of the brake stroke sensor being the problem. After very thoroughly checking the sensor out we decided not to replace it. The car worked for about three months and it started having the same problems again. It will reset itself if you shut the car off and restart it. This car is unsafe! We don't know what to do with it. If I could afford it I would have it crushed and buy a Honda. We have a 2005 CRV and we have never had it into the shop. Toyota should be ashamed of itself. This car should be recalled or the government should shut Toyota down until they get their act together and fix all of these problems I read about!

I bought my 2008 Toyota Prius brand new and have taken care of it all along. At the 115,000 oil change I was told there was 1/2 a quart of oil in the engine and it needs the rings replaced for $2,600. I bought the 100,000 mile extended warranty and up until the 115,000 oil change my oil level was just fine. In doing a little internet digging I found a lot of Prius owners complaining about oil usage problems. The dealer even said there is a ring problem for some engines made between 2007-2011. I even found a Class Action suit under way for some models but not the engine itself. I plan to make as much noise as I can until Toyota recalls these crappy engines!

I bought a 2010 Prius V for my daughter. She moved to NY within a few months, and left the car with me. In other words, it was rarely driven the first two years. During the 3rd year, the driver seat torn on the side and warranty refused to fix it. We started to hear rattles and noises inside the car while driving. The rear door will not open from the inside, and the tire pressure warning light continually turns on and off. Dealer won't fix it.

After religiously maintaining the car after 100K miles the car alarms start to light up erratically so I brought it in for a check. They said it's a battery issue which I replaced but at the same time there was a recall for the electric motor cooling system which they fixed. After it was repaired I noticed that the car had no power or hard to accelerate above 70-80 mph. The car would rev higher than normal.

Keep in mind, I used Royal Purple 5w-30 synthetic after the break in which is supposedly the best oil out there but after the service I noticed that I needed higher revs to increase speed. So I decided to check the oil level which to my surprise it was almost not noticeable on the dipstick (No Alarm). Keep in mind, before this issue I have never had to fill and add oil in between oil changes. The engine visually wasn't leaking oil anywhere.

Since I couldn't find any issue I brought it to the Toyota dealer which they found out that I needed a new catalytic due to the power loss and plugging of the converter. They didn't even have an explanation on why this happened. Plus they wanted charge me $2200.00 for the converter and labor (INSANE). I took it upon myself to purchase a used catalytic ($300) and installed it myself which work out for the best. The car runs better but still has oil consumption issues. I did notice that the original converter had whitish pebbles that plugged the converter. Hoping this is not an engine ceramic issue which I believe Toyota needs to deal with.

Owned the 2011 Prius new. At 60K when we hit a small bump in the road, vehicle begins to made irritating chirp noises from under the dashboard in multiple locations. Very irritating. Would not buy this car again.

I own a 2010 Prius and like many others, I've now replaced my headlamps 4 times! Who designs a car that requires major deconstruction (removal of the entire front end and bumper) to access a known regular maintenance issue like changing a headlamp? And why does the end user bare the cost of a clear design flaw? Replacing a headlamp should NOT cost $400! I have had to replace my headlamps every 24 to 32 thousand miles! Unbelievable! When I get upset at the dealer where I bought my car and have it serviced, they say "it's not us, it's Toyota Corp!" This is not a new issue, and there have been class action suits that Toyota settled, yet they fail to address the basic problem they DESIGNED into the car. Although I have owned many Toyotas, this experience has made me want to swear off the brand forever.

We have a cracked tail light on our Prius C. The customer service was of no help. We paid extra money for a warranty which was of no use. I don't understand what is the point of paying for a warranty when the company tells you no, nothing can be done.

After extensive research we found out that the issues I've been having with my car were under an extended warranty that Toyota did not repair when the car was under warranty. It's a manufacturing defect and a safety issue. It's unfortunate that such a large corporation is willing to risk this and their liability. It's undeniable that the main advantage of owning a Prius is for the fuel efficiency, but I'm beginning to see there are more disadvantages to owning a hybrid vehicle. Many of us know the controversy of the Prius being an environmentally friendly vehicle. Prior to buying my second generation Prius, I did my research and know that the vehicle production is more energy-intensive and results in higher production emissions than conventional vehicles, but this is offset by the Prius's lifetime carbon emissions. However, I did not anticipate the amount of repairs and the frequency of them.

I knew that the hybrid battery was an inevitable expense when I purchased the Prius. I was relieved to find out that there are alternatives to the estimated $4,000 battery replacement. Often times one or two of the cells are bad in the battery, which does not warrant a brand new battery - just a replacement of the cells. It's unfortunate that Toyota does not offer such a repair given that the production of hybrid batteries require much more energy than producing a standard car battery and results in higher emission levels of gases like sulfur oxide. Also, the production of the battery relies on rare earth elements often coming from China who ignore the environmental safeguards during the mining process like removing topsoil and using acids that enter the groundwater.

The production and the disposal of the hybrid batteries have given the Prius a bad reputation. Fortunately in 2010 Toyota launched a battery recycling program which may offset the carbon footprint, but it does not offset the expense and waste of creating a new battery. This does not seem like an environmentally friendly solution to me.

It seems to me that Toyota's strategy is to put you in a new Prius, but buying a new car does not resolve anything - again not very "environmentally friendly". Hybrid cars require more energy to produce than conventional cars, emitting more greenhouse gases and burning more fossil fuels during the manufacturing process. The production of hybrid batteries, in particular, requires much more energy than producing a standard car battery and results in higher emission levels of gases like sulfur oxide.

These more efficient technologies of hybrids often have higher upfront costs because the additional technological element and electric components in them seem to create more issues to fix and more difficult to work on them independently. Toyota has a monopoly over hybrid parts and services for these vehicles making them much more expensive for repairs because they are newer technologies and basically have to amortize development costs over a smaller number of units produced. For example, the cost to replace the center multifunction display on the Prius runs anywhere from $1,500-4,000!

Since my car turned 150,000 years I have had to replace the Hybrid battery with an estimated cost of approx. $4,000 and the 12 Volt Battery with an estimated cost of approx. $450. Now I have a proposed estimate of $3,660.26 to fix the combination meter and the brake actuator which seems to be a manufacture defect and is out of its extended warranty. The total cost of repairs for this would cost: $8,110!!! (This is not considering the annual maintenance and costs for expected wear-and-tear on vehicles over its lifetime.)

The cost to repair a Prius is absurd. It's cheaper to buy a used Prius, so it's no wonder that most people opt to buy a new vehicle. It's unfortunate that we live in a generation where we think that everything is disposable and not repairable. I think we are going to continue to see more issues as we move to more technologically advanced vehicles in the future and these issues are not going to be cheap or easy to fix. I have always loved Toyota for the longevity and integrity of their vehicles, but I have to say I am quite disappointed by their inability to uphold to their mission "To attract and attain customers with high-valued products and services and the most satisfying ownership experience in America."

I am happy with the way our Prius has performed but very unhappy with the body. The body started rusting badly after 5 years (before then I could address it with some touch up paint). The back lift gate mechanism melted (the rubber part); it was a costly repair. After I had it repaired, the entire panel fell off. I have it duct taped on because I don't want to spend another $450 to replace it. The horn squeaks when I press on the brake often. The dealer says he's never heard of it and hasn't a clue. The dealers should take responsibility for these problems, even if the car is past warranty. They are clearly manufacturer errors. I'm very very disappointed and won't buy another Prius. Wish they had put the same energy into the body that they put into the engine.

I have had my Prius since 2009 (and we are a Toyota family with two 2009 Priuses and a Highlander), but this is the first year I've lived where there's snow. We put Blizzak snow tires on the car which definitely helped, but we've been having major issues with the traction control. On my way to work, the traction control initiated over 5 times, and one of them was on a slight incline and the car literally stalled in traffic because when it initiates it cuts power to the gas and the wheels and there's nothing you can do but wait until the car decides it's over. My husband then took it to work, and had a worse time with it (his drive is only 6 miles from home to his office and completely flat). He experienced it 6+ times on that short drive (!!) and one of them almost caused an accident when it cut power at a traffic light mid intersection and the cars behind him almost rear ended him. It's completely unsafe how over reactive the traction control is.

We got on the phone with Toyota Corporate to tell them the scary experiences we both had. We are newly married, in our 30's and simply cannot afford a new car right now - so that seemed like the only option. To their credit, they were very prompt in calling us back, but they basically told us there's nothing they can do. That I needed to take it to a dealer and they would need to recreate the issue before they could do anything about it. SO I waited until a snow day (today) and just rode with a technician while he drove my car. The traction control initiated 3 times (we're on the east of Denver, so no hills unfortunately) and he said that's normal - that's the way it is designed. Which we all know is a complete design flaw. They are running more tests on it, but they've basically told me that it looks completely normal, it's designed to cut power and even apply breaks to the wheels like that, and there's no solve for it.

I feel unbelievably frustrated that I have a car that stalls on the slightest inclines IN TRAFFIC and puts my life in danger when driving to work. And Toyota won't do a thing about it. I know I'm not alone either after reading Consumer Affairs reports (THANK YOU). There's sites all over the web that I found that report this same problem in 2009 Priuses. So this is me continuing that conversation - it seems like all I can do right now is to document everything because I am terrified it's going to cause a wreck. And I want to 100% make it known that this issue is NOT safe.

After reading many of the reviews on this site, I finally finished laughing at almost all of them and decided to give my own review. From what I can see, most of the people who leave the reviews on here, haven't got a clue about cars. Most even seem to complain about dealerships, not the actual cars. Anyways, I have had my 06 Prius since 08. The car has 300,000 kms on it and not a single issue. It has been bullet proof. Averages 52 mpg constantly. No issues with brakes, car taking off on its own, car starting itself etc. It's my first Toyota, and if it ever dies, it will be replaced with another Toyota.

It sounds loud, vibrates real bad, terrible noise, car just shakes real bad. Until about 5 miles...that was at 9 degrees. It was in the shop in Greenbay, Wi Toyota dealer...last winter...Same problems not taken care of. I do have receipts for car and work done on it...2010 for the year.

On October 1, 2014, my wife pulled into a parking space, touched the accelerator to move ahead 8 feet, and the accelerator floored, jumped a curb structure and ended on a hillside pile of rocks before stopping. The Toyota response was filled with cover-up language. One 20+ year Toyota man claimed never to have heard of this problem and 2013 lawsuit settlement because he "did not read newspapers". No one would visit the accident site which would prove only faulty acceleration could have caused this accident. I hope there is another lawsuit in the future before people are killed. If our problem had occurred at a different venue, people could have been.

We have a 2013 Prius. We've put 24k miles on it. It suddenly went out of alignment for no reason. Pulls hard right on the freeway. Tires are not wearing unevenly but man are they wearing fast. Service advisor guy told me Toyota puts "cheap throwaways" on new cars.

Well thanks, that is really comforting to hear! Smh. Interior has become so loud with rattles and road noise it's like driving an old Datsun B210, but probably less safe because the Prius is built with the cheapest metal and plastic in existence. When someone shuts the door even moderately hard you can hear the thin metal door panel flex and warp very loud. You could sent a door by simply leaning on it too hard.

Don't kick the Prius tires; they might just fall off (and cost $4k to put back on). It's an incredibly CHEAP car and I would not buy another one. We will get rid of ours before the extended warranty is up for sure.

I have a Prius that won't get into gear. I know how to start the car but it will only go from P to N and not anything else. I have tried everything I can think of and the All Star Hybrids have been working on my car for months trying to figure out what is wrong with it. It can happen suddenly while driving; the dashboard lights up like Christmas tree and then when you stop and park, it won't get into gear. It will however start and will light up. Thank you. Can you let me know if the car can be recalled? The car has over 200 k miles on it.

I am an experienced driver who has driven all types of vehicles (from buses to bikes) in different countries for more than 25 years. I was a big fan of Toyota because of their reliability, safety, and comfort all this time. I have owned Corolla and Camry and now Sienna and Prius, very proudly. I have never got into an accident where I have been at fault, until the Prius brakes just froze on me yesterday. There were no mitigating circumstances, the weather was fine, there was no rain, I was 15 miles from home and had driven the Prius for more than 15 miles at that point and braked several times and the car was warm.

This driver brakes in front of me on 495 (Beltway) and I apply brakes normally and nothing happens, it seemed like the brake pedal didn't want to move, it felt as if it was against metal. I am 6'1" and 185 lbs, I had my full force against that brake pedal but there was negligent amount of deceleration. Needless to say, I got into a fender bender. The same evening (yesterday), I took it to Koons Tysons Toyota for looking into that matter. Guess what?? They didn't find anything, probable cause: additional rubber mat!!!!!!! I have tested my Prius braking the same way at different speeds, every time it braked fine.

I had taken the car in for another brake behavior the previous year/s which I noticed, and other drivers agree. While driving at a moderate speed, on a bumpy road, when you apply brakes lightly, the brakes car will 'give-in' before catching on again. I think it could be due to the transition between the fly wheel and the actual braking system. Although that gives a feeling of insecurity, the situation was manageable. This recent incident and how it was handled has now made me rethink my decision to stick to Toyota for so long despite the issues it has had. I always thought that these things happened to someone else, in this case, it happened to me. What if my family was there with me? What if it happened on a highway in mountains? What if...?? I will look into getting rid of it ASAP and getting a Honda/BMW/Merc/Acura for safety reasons. Good bye Toyota. You just lost a very big fan and customer. No Toyotas for my children or relatives any more.

Trouble starting the car. Depress the start button; all lights turn on, but will not go into gear. This happens on and off and takes several times to get it to fully start. Other owners are having similar problems. Otherwise, the car has been great. Toyota needs to help fix the problem.

I have a 2008 Toyota Prius. I have the same problem that I read about on a lot of the other previous owner's comments. My headlights will go off for no reason. I have pulled over been pulled over several times and thankfully issued warnings however instead of going to the prettiest dealership to change my headlight my husband YouTube it and found that we could buy it at AutoZone and do it ourselves and it's really not that hard. Now I am having a new problem my maintenance light is on again and this time every time I step on the gas I hear a squeak. I still have not quite figured out what it is and I don't want to pay a lot of money to have it checked out!

I really love my car and I love the gas mileage that I get however there are several little things that make it kind of scary sometimes. Oh and one last thing Toyota sent me a letter that I had a recall. After consulting with the place that changes my oriole they told me that it actually takes less oil than what's listed on the oil container under the hood so I have to make sure whoever changes my oriole knows that it only takes for the set of six, or whatever it is. I have it wrote down in my glove box. I guess I just don't understand this whole headlight thing and why Toyota won't recognize It!! We pay a lot of money for these vehicles and we expect quality!

I have been having trouble starting my Prius 2012 for the past 6 months. With brake depressed and Start Button briefly pushed, all the check engine light came on but the ready light did not. When this first happened, I called Toyota Care but while waiting for them to arrive, I tried to start the car again after about 15 minutes and it started. After this incident, I continue to have trouble starting the car, usually having to wait several minutes or attempting to start the car several times. I have brought this into my dealership at Toyota North in Chicago 3 times now and each time they said they can't replicate the problem so can't fix it since there are no diagnostic codes. Has anyone has any success with getting this resolved from your Dealership? This is unacceptable as I bought the car new and it's barely 2 years old since I bought. At this point, my opinion of Toyota is that they do not make reliable car as advertised. I can't rely on my Prius to start when it should and Toyota guys can't get to the problem to fix it. Who do I have to talk to to get this rectified?

With the cost of gas, I had traded in my Infinity G37x for a Prius expecting to save money on my gas. Since then, I had to change the bulb 3X's within a span of 6 months. Now I had just had my oil changed and front tires changed and ready for the winter when Lo and Behold all my warning lights are on, you name it, it's either in red or in yellow and one green. This Prius is costing more money than my G37x would have and it doesn't even come close to compare inside and out. This car cheaply made inside. I WOULD NOT PURCHASE ANOTHER TOYOTA EVER and WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND ONE EITHER.

Went out to start car and it won't start and no ready light. Dash message is depress brake while pressing start button (paraphrased). No brake lights. Tried over the course of several hours with no luck. Troubleshooting over phone with service and they said it needed to be towed. Tow truck driver got it to start but it would not go into gear and I am not sure how he did it. Toyota service says there is no computer trouble code and it now starts. It does not seem to be a battery issue as all the lights are strong except non-existent brake lights. Has anyone ever seen this before? I am nervous about taking the car back and getting stuck possibly in bad weather.

I was sitting in the driver's seat when I realized there was item in the back seat that I needed. I opened door and had my feet on the ground when the powerful high speed lunge happened. There is a retaining block of concrete in front of my car to prevent the car from hitting the concrete blocked 6 ft. wall. My car lunged over the retaining concrete and into the wall at a high rate of speed. I was parked at a bit of an angle so the left front was damaged the most. I can send pics in mail as well as paperwork involved when they tested my car and said that there was no known cause for this to happen. In other words I wasn't telling the truth.

Purchased brand new. It's a rattletrap. All parts appear to be plastic. Leather seats have discolored. Was in an accident and took $6,000 to repair. A month later the compressor died and thank goodness I had extended warranty. Gas mileage is good but I will never purchase another Toyota product. Expensive car and very cheaply made. DO NOT recommend.

I have had issues since day 4. I did purchase used almost two years ago this Dec 2014. The first issue was when my battery kept dying out. And I love when you are on the phone with Toyota repair for thirty minutes and they haven't a clue, get told "well we can tow it, you will pay" and we will see... I was almost out of my warranty at that point... Then I find out through AAA it was a battery dead. I even asked, was told oh well, no clue. Then a week of fighting with them about that. It wouldn't hold a jump even after it was taken back to Toyota..

Then 6 months later it did it again (even after a new battery). Then it happen a year ago October. And guess what, it's October and I just was checking things and it's low again and not holding the right charge.. So only a matter of days. But I now keep a jump box in my car (Not ideal for a 2009 car)... Now to a real serious issue, I've always had issues with one headlight going out since I purchased the car. Was told "oh well don't see any issues." Well it's because it would only happen at times. Then about a year ago it started to flicker really bad... Now I drove home yesterday and both damn lights are out... Issue is that 2001-2009 were involved in class action lawsuit. But I'm well past the miles and time frame for this and guess I am screwed...

The liftgate handle on our 2008 Toyota Prius began to melt this year. When taken to the dealer, I was told that the entire liftgate assembly would need to be replaced at my expense, even though I purchased the Platinum extended warranty from Toyota. I decided to put off spending the $422 to repair the assembly. Two months later the entire trim piece that is connected to the liftgate handle came loose and made it impossible to open or close my liftgate. I returned to the dealer and opted to spend the $422. After checking Prius forums online, I find that this is a common problem with the 2nd generation Prius.

This is obviously a design flaw that affects the safety of the driver. If you cannot open the rear hatch, how are you going to change a tire if it goes flat? Toyota should be made to recall the Prius for this defect. I purchased my first Toyota with this Prius because family members praised their Toyotas for having 200,000+ miles on them. My Prius has 82,000 miles and I see the writing on the wall. In the last 6 months, this vehicle has been in the shop for repairs no less than 3 times. Not to mention, the gas mileage that I use to get with this vehicle has decreased by at least 20% since the vehicle turned 70,000 miles. This will be my first and last Toyota.

I own a 2008 Prius and recently needed to have both headlights replaced. I thought it was some kind of joke when I was told it would cost $300 to buy the two new lamps and $180 to install them because the entire bumper had to be removed to do so -- but it was no joke. I also could not believe it when I was told the new $300 bulbs were under warranty for only ONE year. Buyers beware!!!!

I have a 2013 Prius C. My light is cracked and I was not in an accident, so I called Toyota Care and was told to go to a service center to have it inspected and have the issue put on file. The car was taken to the dealer the week before and they were told about the cracked tail light and the issue was ignored, they did not put the issue on file. I took the car again and was told to bring the car on a later day because the manager was not in. Toyota Care and the service center have not been helpful. I have a warranty and so far nothing. I have read on online forums about people who have had similar cracked light issues and their issues have been resolved.

I have a 2007 Prius with 116,000 K on the clock. I have had 7 years of trouble-free motoring. Until it developed a flushing noise after breaking. My garage tells me that it is the brake actuator which is ready to fail. The cost to repair this is a staggering 4,100! It appears that the cost of the part is 3,500. From reading other reports it would seem to me that Toyota Prius parts are overpriced. The only explanation is that this is a deliberate scam on the part of Toyota. I will never buy Toyota Prius again.

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