Toyota Prius

Maintenance costs may outstrip fuel savings

Consumer Complaints & Reviews

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.

I bought this car used after it was totaled by the insurance company because the left side body panels had all been damaged from sliding into a guard rail after an ice storm. It had 18K on it when I bought it in the spring of 2011 and I have proceeded to drive it 182,000 miles so far with no issues. I don't know why everyone isn't driving a hybrid with the price of gas these days.

Our 2004 Prius suddenly, after sitting for some 3 months unused, ran rough and would not make it out of our driveway. Dash lights flickered and flashed all sorts of warning lights. Called tow truck and had towed to nearest dealer some 80 miles away. They contacted me several days later saying the computer next to main battery pack was bad and heavy corrosion was found around buss works terminating on batteries. They also found a rodent nest at site but also listed that corrosion was due to salt air and water infiltration? My insurance carrier refused to cover it under my comprehensive coverage since the damage was determined to be from salt water intrusion?? Some $1800 later I got the car back. Forget Comprehensive insurance, a joke. You pay dearly for the coverage yet between the adjuster and the dealer the rodent urine wasn't the cause??? Just how does the salt water cause this problem and the mice urine didn't have any effects??

Both front wheel bearings failed and both rear coil springs fractured over a period of about 40K miles.

4 recalls, not one official notification from Toyota. Took pressure for Toyota to handle. Now, the AC evaporator doesn't work--$3000 estimate to repair. I am hoping that Toyota will respond.

I bought my 2012 Toyota Prius C2 brand new. I have been very happy - has 35k miles on it. Only problem I have had was just this week - all my brake lights came on, my doors would not lock (with the lock on the door or with the key fob), and the display system would show the doors were open when they were not. The dealership I purchased the car from has been wonderful - took it in the next morning, they figured out the computer system went back, and a new computer system was replaced the next day (all under warranty...thankfully I purchased the extended warranty). I do not believe that a 2 y.o. car should of had a computer system gone bad so quickly, but overall I am very happy with my car. I do not get the 53MPG that was on the sticker in the winter, but I am told that it's because of the winter blend gas that is given to us on the east coast.

Apparently all cars have lower MPG with the winter blend gas. Driving 50+ miles round trip for work this car does everything I need it to do and saves me the money I need it to on gas. Spending $21k on the car I was not expecting BMW quality interior cloth/leather. I just needed a vehicle to get me from point A to point B. This car does it and I have been given several compliments on how nice my car looks (an added and unnecessary bonus in my book). I am very happy with it and have not experienced any issues except for the computer system. When my children are older I will need to buy a bigger car, but for now this is exactly what I need and saving my family of 5 the money I knew it would. Very pleased customer.

Nail magnets! My tires at 34 thousand ran out, had to have two replaced prior. I can't understand Toyota require "W" tires on a Prius V wagon? They are high performance and cost more with less mileage and you generally will not get the full mileage.

Something similar happened to me. I was exiting off hwy and went over the line on left side (yes, this was bad driving I am fully aware) and went over the "slow down" bumps/grooves. I braked and nothing happened. Bumped all the way off road (honestly, I am not sure when the brakes did not respond but, at some point they did not) and then had to make a sharp right swerve to miss cars stopping in front of me. Crossed all lines on right side and ran almost head on into the barrier. Had my 2 kids in car. Car was totaled. Air bags deployed. We were stranded facing wrong way at night around a blind curve on the ramp.

I really did not understand what happened after I went over the slow bumps/grooves and why the car (or me) did not response well since everything happened too fast but, after reading more about the brake issue, it explains why the car did not slow down when I braked. I loved that Prius but, not sure I want to take that risk again. I thank the person that stopped and risked his life to direct cars away from me at top of ramp until Police arrived and the couple that stayed with me and my family to help with our nerves.

Navigation system directs me home on a road which was closed in 1947. Entune requires my phone to be tethered because it is an iphone. Nobody but nobody seems to know or care why I get directions home on a closed road. I have owned this Prius for one week. Wrote Toyota re same, no response.

5 different times, I have returned to my Prius and the car was running and doors were locked. 4 of them times the 5th unlocked and running for around 4 hours cause I was at work. Took it to dealership and got what I expected. There is nothing wrong... The list goes on and on. I drive at my new job and told dealership 2 times I can walk over highway 17 faster. I have other Priuses flying by like I guess I should get out and walk - it will be faster. Had to replace all head lights. When stepping on brake, it makes an awful clanking sound Toyota say is normal. I've had the car 6 months and in the shop 4 times, 3 within 1 and a half months of buying it.

After I made the deal on the 2011 Prius l! I was told there was only one key. I subsequently learned a key (electronic) would cost me $431. I was also provided an owner’s manual for a 2010 model. The car did not contain the Tow hooks for the front required to be installed in the event of towing. I can buy a new laptop computer with 4meg of ram, a 500gig hard drive and a DVD player for $338. The key price is my biggest miff because the dealer did not provide it or disclose it before I made the deal (I checked the key price with another Toyota dealer). I'm sorry I bought a Toyota and picked this dealer. I have owned a new Camry and a used Highlander in the past.

At less than 25,000 miles we had to replace all four tires on our new Prius, it is not yet even a year old. I have owned a few new vehicles and have never had this happen before. Toyota will not recognize the problem. I will most likely not buy again.

I brought my 2010 Prius into the Toyota Marin (California) dealer in January 2014 in response to the recall related to problems with stepping on the brake and having the Prius accelerate rather than stop. The corrective software was presumably installed. Fast forward to Father's Day, 2014. I am parking my Prius for a Father's Day brunch. I'm going about two miles per hour into a parking space. I put my foot on the brake. The car accelerates. I mentally double check that I have my foot on the brake. I do. Out of control, the car jumps the curb and smashes right into a tree. I feel traumatized and then I feel even more traumatized at the possibility of having tried to stop at a cross walk and killing a family on the way to their Father's day brunch.

This happened Sunday. Here are my two complaints:
--It took three days of constant calling and dysfunctional extensions to connect with a Prius case manager. Then she informed me it would take me more than a month to have my car inspected and get an assessment. If I rented a car there would be no assurance it would be covered.

--This problem happened after I responded to the recall. How can I trust a car that is automatically crashing after that precise problem has allegedly been addressed?

Anyone else having a similar problem email me at **. Please put Prius Brake Acceleration Failure in the subject line. If Prius' "corrective" software is not correcting the brake acceleration problem, our pressure on Prius could save a family's life.

I purchased my 2012 Toyota Prius on 8/25/2012, it had 30 miles on odometer when I took possession of car. 2012 Prius is a cheaply made car with extreme noise in cabin area like windows are open and no floor board on car, rattling/vibrating dash, glove box/center console rattling which required that I place home foam insulation around all door opens in cabin to diminish the rattling. I have to wear earplugs to ride in car, which is dangerous.

Toyota regional office refuses to do anything about the issues even though I have written documentation where I requested dealership where I purchased car to fix issues from the day I drove the car off the lot. Dealership insultingly told me to turn up radio, wear earphones/earplugs, that Toyota re-engineered the side mirrors and small windows near mirrors which causes the vortex wind sound around doors and that this is common of Prius and I need to get used to it. However, the noise only grows worse as each day passes. I owned a 2004 Prius and NEVER had these issues with that car. Engine sounds like a race car in full race mode, the rumbling/vibrating sound in car vibrates from feet to head. I have taken car to 4 dealerships in hopes of getting the problems fixed.

6/15/2014 Toyota Southeast Regional conveyed that they will not get involved, that I need to continue to have the issues addressed through dealership. I HAVE TAKEN CAR TO 4 DEALERSHIPS, they could not do anything about it. 6/15/2014 called last dealership and they indicated that they do not know what to do about this and will contact Toyota customer relations about this problem. I keep going in circles with this piece of junk car and Toyota.

I seeking help through my state's attorney general, arbitration, and lemon law. I paid, am paying too much for a car that is distressing/embarrassing when it should not be necessary. I believe this car is a lemon.

It is true about the headlight problem. I have seen this on multiple Priuses within my family and with friends. This is a systemic problem with Priuses and Toyota should be made to fix the problem. Otherwise it's a pretty good car. They also should improve the structural integrity of the driver's side armrest on the door, as it cracks pretty easily after you drive a while and you use it. After 130k I now have a warning light red car and "!". I am wondering if my car can be saved and if so, how much will it cost.

I have had this car into two different Toyota dealers not fixed yet. It is a safety issue plus it cost $3000 and doesn't work. Toyota knows there is a problem but has given a speech to its dealers to give to customers. DO NOT BUY THEIR NAVIGATION SYSTEM.

At 34K miles, the driver side headlight on my 2008 Prius failed. Research uncovered that this is a widespread defect with the 2006-2009 Prius. Being just a few months past Toyota's warranty on those parts, the same dealership where I bought my car just 10 months prior charged me $739.19 to replace a single bulb and its attendant modulator. This is a safety issue that should have been a RECALL. As a result, I have no intention of ever buying another Toyota.

Just bought Toyota hybrid when moving hazard light turns on automatically. If I go faster it blinks faster. When I stop the car it stops automatically. Anybody know how to fix it please email me on **. Much appreciated.

I've just learned that my two front marker lights are out on my 2011 Prius and it will cost well over $100 to replace the bulbs because the entire front bumper must be removed to get at them. Likewise, it will cost about $50 in labor simply to replace the license plate bulb. I consider this a ridiculous design element, the labor costs of which, frankly, should be covered by the dealership. (By the way, this is my only complaint with an otherwise superb vehicle after more than 80,000 miles!)

I have a 2004 Prius with 113000 miles. I have loved this car. It has been great. I have over the years had a recurring problem with the brakes. I was told it was the sensor for the brakes. They reset it. The first time this lasted a couple of years. The second time, they said the main computer was probably the culprit and it would be $1900 for the part, $2500 when all was done. I thought that was expensive but I love the car and it was still a good car otherwise. So I decided to do it until they told me, they wouldn't guarantee that this would fix the problem. I went to two different dealerships and they both said the same thing. I was shocked that they would expect me to pay that amount and not guarantee it to be fix. Now I don't know what to do.

Headlights would go out for no reason at all and would not come back on. The dealer said that the problem was relays and they replaced them but the problem came back about a month or so later. Tried to have this resolved but could not. This was a 2008 Prius 2. I got so frustrated with the car we finally just traded it for a Subaru Impreza (2013) which got me 36-37 mpg in my daily driving plus all-wheel drive. No comparison between those cars, the Subaru is a much better car.

My 2013 Prius Navigation System freezes up sporadically. The entire system will reboot itself while I'm driving. Took it in and tech could not duplicate issue. The last time it froze up, I drove it to Toyota in the frozen state. They saw the problem and said the unit needs to be replaced. Toyota does not want to replace the unit and the dealership says Toyota kicked the request to replace the unit back to try tweaks they have tried in the past. $35k for this!

I bought my 2010 Prius II brand new for about 24k. My profession required a lot of driving, so I thought the 40mpg would be perfect (which, btw, it really only got about 30). I test drove 3 before I bought one, but honestly, how much can you realize about a car just going around the block (or, well, 3 blocks) once. To be safe, I even purchased the complete care package, theft proof windows etc., etc. which racked up a hefty monthly payment, but I thought better safe than sorry.

So, where do I even start? First, there was the windshield. Out of the blue, just 3 months into ownership, right before my eyes while driving, a huge crack just rips out from under the front hood all the way across the entire windshield. So, I paid 500.00 (tragically the same amount as my insurance deductible) out of pocket to replace it and took 2 hours off of work to do it (this happened on a Sunday, so I had to get it replaced Mon morning). I asked the tech at Safelite (yeah, not Toyota b/c apparently the total care package only covers scheduled routine maintenance) if there was any kinda impact damage from a rock or whatever that had somehow gotten up under there and he told me there hadn't been. He told me he couldn't find any direct cause, but it wasn't totally unusual.

I called Toyota just to see if maybe I could get a little gratuity kickback for spending 1/3 of my hard earned (and as a homecare nurse working in one of the worst neighborhoods in the US at the time, I mean, hard earned) paycheck to fix something on a brand new car, and they basically laughed me off the phone. So ok, I told myself, can't blame a girl for trying, and chalked it up to force du jour. Then, there were the tires. And when I say tires plural, I mean I must have replaced all four tires about 3-4 times in the 3.5 years I owned the vehicle. If you think about the average cost of a tire being about 70-100 bucks a piece, then I spent about a grand plus on tires alone. Of course, that wasn't covered either.

Then there were the brakes. I noticed I had a lot of trouble coming to a complete stop on uneven ground such as gravel or a pothole even when it wasn't icy or rainy, like the service guy at the dealership told me. Again, they blew me off. I learned to compensate for the brake issue by braking way before a red light or stop signs, but there were some hairy moments when I thought I might rear end someone, or just skid out into oncoming traffic (for instance when I didn't see said pothole until the very last minute).

Then, there was the plastic piece under the front of the car that always got snagged on things like those cement parking markers, speed bumps, curbs etc. that one day, during the winter, after it had snowed about a foot, just fell out from under the car to the shock of my neighbors. But wait, it didn't completely fall off. While I was driving to a job in Baltimore, the remaining chunks went flying off my car, piece by piece, onto the highway, making this ungodly noise. I had to stop every so often to pull more of it off so no unsuspecting motorist would be surprised by a chunk of my undercarriage smacking their windshield. And because the plastic part of the front of the car fell off, the grill would then partially slide out causing it to drag on the ground creating this horrible scratching sound.

One winter, I drove through a patch of ice at 20 mph and ended up on a high curb, and I heard something break. I got off the curb and parked the car thinking it was a headlight, or part of the body, but to my amazement, I couldn't see any external damage. I was so puzzled, wondering what the heck happened. It wasn't until I started moving again and noticed this horrible pull to the right that I knew something was really off. I mean, the car always seemed to pull a bit to the right, but this was really bad. I took it to the dealership who said the axle (I think) was bent and it wasn't safe to drive, but still insisted I drive it to their affiliated body shop around the corner (huh?) to get it fixed.

The service guy there said whatever it was that was bent was certainly bent, which he couldn't believe I could have done at 20mph, but regardless, he could tell it had already been slightly bent (and said it probably had been since I purchased the car) because after I told him my tire woes, he noticed I had way too much wear on a tire he could tell was brand new.

On a less dangerous note, the 2 car chargers simply stopped working. I had to buy a DieHard battery with a 12 volt outlet just to charge my phone while I was on the road. The tires, even though I replaced them about every 3 months, had absolutely zero traction in the snow and it took me an hour, sometimes, just to get out of my back driveway even if there was only a few inches of accumulation on the ground. My neighbors must have thought I was nuts as I would vehemently fight for a space in the street in front of my house on snowy days.

Then there were the dents, scratches, and dings caused by a few parking snafus which usually entailed me bumping into a plastic pole or some other inanimate object (no damage to the object mind you) at 2 mph, or sometimes for just some mysterious cause. It seemed like if you sneezed near the car, it would produce a blemish. Parallel parking in a busy city with tight spots was always nerve-racking. I think the last straw was when I took it to be inspected in March of this year, and the service person told me I needed new brake pads (totally expected at around 50,000 miles), but he also said I had to replace a tire I had just replaced in Jan. (What?!)

I was looking online to find the cheapest place to replace the brake pads on a 2010 Prius when I found out about the 2010 recall on the brakes for the very problem I had already described here. Then, with a little more probing, I found out about the Feb 2014 recall for an electrical problem that could cause the car to stop operating while you're driving it. No one notified me of either recall. I thought that's it. I'm done paying 500.00/month for this! I took it back to the dealership and told them I was not leaving in that car. I traded it in for a used car- which is not a Toyota. Why a used car, you may ask? Because it doesn't depreciate drastically by simply driving it off the lot, and hey, it can't be any worse than the one I bought brand new.

I'm writing this now, not as an effort to talk smack about Toyota, but rather, to let others know that if you bought something and you truly believe something is not right about it - trust your gut and don't let them brush you off and tell you it's whatever their manager told them to tell you. See the GMC recalls. It might just save your life.

My 2008 Toyota Prius headlights quit for no reason. Sometimes one goes out, occasionally both go out, sometimes the taillights also go out (they may go out regularly, but those aren't as obvious as when the headlights go). The quick and simple fix is to turn the lights off and back on again and then they work fine. Toyota says the headlight is going out and needs to be replaced. Okay, I did that and I still have the same issue. I've gotten pulled over twice and given a warning by police about the lights.

Last night I was stopped at a light and apparently one light had gone out, as I pulled out to turn left, both lights went out... and lucky me, there was a police car right across the street who assumed I intentionally turned off my lights. I explained my issue and thankfully as they were talking to me, one light went out again, so it was clear it wasn't me turning off my lights (besides that, what kind of idiot turns OFF their headlights when it's dark outside?).

This is so completely annoying because Toyota refuses to admit that it's an issue. They just want me to spend another $600.00 to get the headlights replaced again - even though I've tried that and it doesn't help. This is clearly a safety issue and Toyota needs to be held accountable. I love everything else about the car, but this one issue is about to send me to another make of car simply because of their attitude about this not being a real problem! At this point, I'm scared to drive the car after dark.

*** Toyota (2010-2014) Prius navigation saftey recall needed *** - While using Navigation with traffic, your screen will freeze and render it useless. This is a safety issue and should be addressed ASAP. I've contacted Toyota about it and they just dismissed it. I find that insulting... If you are in unfamiliar area (such as traveling) and you want to stay clear of accidents and/or traffic you may get into an accident because the navigation stops working and will not work until you turn off the car and then restart it. I have videos and pictures if needed. I posted two pictures here.. .This can be reproduced over and over. It's a huge bug between Entune traffic and Navigation. I bought this product and it should work as advertised!! I would love for a lawyer to contact me ASAP and get this class action law suit going...

I purchased a 2013 Prius Persona in May 2013. Soon after purchase I had problems with the anti skid light coming on and the car not able to move until light went out. Then started having problems with the reverse camera coming on when I was driving (just randomly), the whole dash system failed and went completely dark when I was driving at night, the display goes black and displays an error. I've taken my car in many times and since the dealer cannot get these random issues to repeat they do not know how to fix them. In an effort to help they checked all wire connections but issues are still randomly happening.

I filed a report with arbitration but case was closed because they decided that the issues didn't pose a significant safety issue. I've also gone back to the dealer and asked them to buy or trade my car. I was offered thousands less than what the car is worth. It seems that I am expected to take a financial loss because the car has electrical issues and the dealer said that it isn't their issue, it is Toyota's issue and that I should go back to them or try to sell my car on my own (though it has electrical issues).

I have been a lifetime Toyota owner, from 4Runner, to Camry, to Prius and now a 2nd Prius. I have lost all trust in Toyota, not just because my car is plagued with issues, but the way I am being treated and both Toyota and the dealers lack of interest in taking care of me, the customer. I am now stuck with a 2013 Prius Persona that is not functioning properly. Will I buy another Toyota... NO! Will I recommend Toyota's to others ... NO! I am not satisfied and will keep at this until I am. Wish me luck... looks like I'm going to need it!

I bought a used Prius, around 60000 miles. A few months later headlight was flickering and I had to pay for it to be replaced at Metro Toyota, which I felt was unfair, but feeling it would be great on gas at the time, I took it in stride. Last year, I picked up a friend to take her to the airport, I left the car in park position, as I opened the trunk, the car started moving, slow enough so that I could run, open the door, jump in and hit the brake. Thank God, I was in an open space because it may have done some damage to other cars. Has anyone else had this experience? Will I buy another Toyota? No, I find extremely high cost of repairs, bearings, headlights, extra key, etc... do not offset the value I get from extra miles per gallon.

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