Toyota Prius

Maintenance costs may outstrip fuel savings

  • Overall Satisfaction Rating

    Based on 35 ratings out of 726 reviews

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Consumer Complaints & Reviews

I purchased my 2013 Prius C because it was a four door, four passenger sedan. Unfortunately, the rearward visibility is SO bad with the rear seats up, and especially with rear passengers, that it is unsafe IMHO to drive in reverse. I backed into a low fence post that I couldn't even see. Thankfully, it wasn't a child, but it could have been. To further complicate matters there is NOTHING behind the rear bumper cover near the ends/corners. Nothing. It's soft and if you do back into something it completely destroys the bumper cover. Mine is torn beyond repair. And how did Toyota respond to my complaint? They said their engineers could back up using the rear view mirrors. DUH. So can I... but I can't see what's behind!

October, 14, 2015, I was traveling on route 66 to Manassas at 4.15pm. in my Toyota Prius. (I love Toyota Prius ). We were crawling and stopping intermittently. In one of those conditions a Jeep in front of me stopped again and I stopped also. After few minutes, there was a Big Bang at my rear. A vehicle crashed my car. My car skidded and crashed into the Jeep ahead and the Jeep crashed into another car. My car was totaled. The airbags did not deploy. Why?

I have read so many horror stories on here. We had our 2004 Prius since 63,000 miles. When my husband totaled it, it had 235,000. Great car. Sad to see her go.

August 31, 2015 I was starting to program the GPS in my 2013 Toyota Prius-v. When I touched the screen on the GPS the glass simply cracked. Toyota's service managers are saying it was caused by an outside entity. Who or what is the outside entity? There is only 9,000 miles on the car. The only drivers other than myself and wife were Toyota's service technicians.

Bought this car new and had a problem of vibration when going over 67 MPH. The dealer could not figure out the problem and had Toyota involved. Never did anything and all this time I was told that it was out of characteristic and was told that Toyota inspector will come and inspect the car, but he never did. At the same time front passenger seat would rattle at certain position and have MPG issues in the CITY ONLY which I get 23 mpg. The dealer tested the car on the highway and said, "Nothing is wrong," and my complaint was in the city driving.

Finally Toyota calls me and tells me that vibration is a known characteristic on all 2014 Prius V and still kept on selling the cars, and it took them a year to let me know that there is no fix for that and it's your problem. Asked about the rattle on passenger seat. Was told, "We fixed it and if it's still rattling then it's your problem." Come to MPG problem he insisted that they (dealer) test drove the car and did not find any problem. When I told him that it was only in the city then he said, "We test the way we want to and we will close your BTW when driving in the city." My hybrid battery stays low and engine keeps revving as if I'm accelerating all the time, even on deceleration. Anyone else has that problem? I have bought 6 Toyota's in 9 years. I guess it's time to switch as Toyota does not care about their cars any longer.

Toyota 2014 Prius V hybrid - On August 15, 2015 I was driving the above car to go to my friend's house around 2:15 AM. They have a gate in front of his house. I did stop the car, lowered the window and pushed the button to inform them and then they can open the gate. Suddenly car started moving forward and accelerated. It hit the gate hard and opened the gate. There was a Mercedes parked in front of the house, it hit hard the Mercedes, reversed itself and started going in different directions. It hit few objects in front of the house, reversed itself and got stuck in a water fountain. I thought that I will be gone forever. Luckily I got saved.

The Mercedes is a total loss and my insurance Allstate has given a estimate of $14,000.00 to get it fixed. I don't feel that I can drive that car. I still dream of this accident. I have complained to Toyota headquarters in Torrance, CA. They will investigate this accident and download all the data. Please let me know if similar accidents have happened. Recently I got mail from Toyota for updating a software but it is too late.

I have bought a Toyota Prius 2010, it was 47000 mileage. It has problems with noise, it makes so much noise. I took it to the service, they said it's all been done but it was not done. They always say it's been done, now I have to go there again. It was my biggest mistake to buy Toyota Prius. Problems with Toyota Prius - engine noise, steering wheel, barrel noise. And if you don't have a warranty it would cost you so much. Even though if you have a warranty they will not fix it. They will fix it for temporarily. After all it is a good car for me. It's all about the noise, I can't stand the noise. If it's a normal car it would make noise, I don't know more petrol or diesel car but not like this.

Let me begin by saying that no car is perfect, so in spite of the benefits, this car does have its rotten eggs in the basket too. Now, I have owned a 2013 Prius brand new for a few years, and I would highly recommend this car for occasional leisurely driving. But if you are a kind of person who likes to take long trips, this car is not the holiday car as the Toyota manufacturers have erred in the ergonomics of the driver side. That being said, this car drives beautifully, gives excellent gas mileage and comes with a range of features equipped to quench your thirst for technology.

As far as maintenance goes, about 13,000 miles, this car has given me no trouble since I am a smooth driver and take care of my engine. I do not think any car is perfect, and that at one point or another, all cars start giving trouble. However, the Prius maintenance costs outweigh their non-hybrid counterparts and therefore it is important to keep in mind to maintain your vehicle every six months by rotating tires, keeping all fluid levels in check and changing the oil once every year or every 5000 miles.

Read the manual, take care of your car and it will take care of the ride. One major drawback for this car is the lack of comfort in driving. So if you do not have a strong lower back, this car is not for you. You need to keep yourself fit to drive this car. This is where Toyota needs to address the problem of ergonomics, but all in all this is a fantastic vehicle that should last many many years.

I have the latest generation 3 Prius, now driving for 4 years. Unfortunately, the battery failed, but the warranty expired at 100,000 and we drive kids to school and sports and put on 30,000 per year. Dealer wanted $6000 to replace it! Car is worthless to trade in until battery fixed. A local hybrid shop replaced the bad cell (# 4, 5, 9 slightly low, but #8 very low) for $675. This solved the problem and module 8 still good, but now #4, 5, 9 gradually becoming weaker requiring hybrid resets. Toyota doesn't care. Ridiculous to have a worthless car after only 4 years. Will never buy from Toyota again. We have frequent 90 degree days here in summer, and that is apparently the reason. Don't buy unless you live in Canada or the border states because everywhere else in the US it is too hot. The Prius hybrid is a joke, and Toyota just tells me "tough luck".

Bought a 2005 Prius new. In the first 3 months it broke down, had it towed to the dealership. It took them 6 weeks to figure out that the brain was no good, a year later the inverter went out again. Took the dealer 10 days to fix. 6 months later the inverter cooling pump went out while out of town, spent the night before it was ready. 2 years went by with some minor issues then the inverter pump quit working again. Now not in warranty, $975 out of pocket plus tow charges. 7 months later the inverter once again went out. This piece of crap gets good gas mileage but the tow truck it sets on does not. I will never buy another Toyota product again. I will stick to Ford's, never a problem with them, at least none I could not fix myself. I think Japan is getting even for losing the war!!!

I change oil on my 2009 Toyota Prius. After 3 weeks the oil light came on saying oil is low. I took it back to Sears where I changed the oil thinking maybe they did not add enough oil. So they add oil and checked if there is any oil leak. There was no oil leak. Again now 3 weeks later I checked the oil. It's almost no oil in the engine. What I should do? Can someone give me some advice?

My car is working great! If I bought another hybrid, I'd probably go for the extended warranty.

Original Review

We have a little over 39,000 miles on our 2012 Prius. We started hearing a roaring noise from the rear of the car about a month ago. We've been told the right rear wheel bearing is bad and will have to be replaced at the cost of $587! We've owned several Prius, a Camry, a Corolla, and a Four Runner putting high miles (we have 250+ thousand miles on our Corolla and never had any problems) but we've never had a bearing go bad on any of these Toyotas.

I've called Customer Service since this is really low mileage for such a problem. They have issued a claim to Warranty assistance, and I was told they would call me back in 1-4 days. We'll see... We had considered trading a car in for the new Rav4 Hybrid, but I'm really wondering about Toyota's quality control. Our 2009 Prius lost a cylinder that had to be replaced at 30,000 miles, but at least that was under the warranty. Maybe that should have been a warning to us. We've already had to replace lights which I see as another issue.

Prius 2012 - The navigation screen shattered using a finger to move the clumsy map program around. The cost to replace the whole unit is $9,558 at the dealer. Adding sale tax the total cost is $10,155.37. It is one third the cost of the whole car! The navigation system is a clumsy and more or less useless system, it was not something we ordered special and we were not impressed with it from the start. Now we are really unimpressed with the whole vehicle. I can buy at least 15 iphone 6's with that money...what is Toyota thinking. I will never buy a Toyota again.

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,, 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.

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