Toyota Prius

Maintenance costs may outstrip fuel savings

  • Overall Satisfaction Rating
    1.72/5

    Based on 161 ratings out of 705 reviews

    • 5 stars7
      4%
    • 4 stars4
      2%
    • 3 stars11
      7%
    • 2 stars54
      34%
    • 1 stars85
      53%
    show rating distribution
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Consumer Complaints & Reviews

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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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!

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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!!!!

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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.

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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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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.

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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??

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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