Toyota Prius

Maintenance costs may outstrip fuel savings

    Overall Satisfaction Rating
    1.81/5

    Based on 195 ratings out of 739 reviews

    • 5 stars12
      6%
    • 4 stars7
      4%
    • 3 stars13
      7%
    • 2 stars62
      32%
    • 1 stars101
      52%

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Consumer Complaints & Reviews

I am happy with my purchase. But I have few issue with this 2016 model. First, model TWO doesn't come with a garage door opener, which is a very very basic option and it would not cost more than $5 for the manufacturer, and almost every car has this option as standard. It is very DISAPPOINTING to carry a garage opener for 2 locations in my pocket all day. Second, the sun visor does NOT extend, so if you are taller than 4' and move your seat back the visor will not help. Such a pity that they couldn't have the same type of visor that they have in the Camry, which extends back. Again, another simple, and very cheap improvement which they could have done.

Third, hand rest of the left side is very far out and you can't rest your left hand while driving, nor you can grab the wheel on the bottom center to rest your arm. If you drive more than 30 mins your arms will get tired by holding the wheel. Fourth, your rear view is obscured by the hatchback section of the trunk, which is annoying, and does not gives you a clear view of your cars behind you. I just had the car for few days. I Will post more once I have more driving time.

I am looking for feedback on the 2016 PRIUS. My 70-year old parents purchase one about 2 months ago and they have been involved in two very serious situations. One incident occurred on the freeway and one on a large highway. Once my mom was driving and the other time my father was driving. Incidents less than a month apart. THE CAR JUST STOPPED! Decelerated from 60-65 miles per hour to stopped in less than a minute and an alarm came on. After stopping they put the hazards on. Had to hit park and start all over again and it took off. The first incident they thought was a fluke and that they had done something so they did something wrong since car was new. NOW both are afraid to drive it. Has anyone else experienced this type of problem?

Recently after shopping the hybrid battery system check light came on in my 2011 Prius. I immediately took it to the dealer where I purchased it. They found that a bottle of window cleaner had spilled onto the hybrid system and damaged the cooling fan. Fortunately they were able to dry out the battery and I only had to replace the damaged cooling fan. This is concerning because the I always put my shopping into the back of the vehicle and never would have thought that fluid would be able to get to the hybrid system. I am writing a letter to Toyota so that this problem can be addressed and not happen to anyone else.

Let me start by saying I have loved my Prius 2010. I can fit anything in that car... even my kayak! I get great gas mileage and commute 80 miles to work and back. I take it on trips (gas mileage not as good in the mountains). So I do a lot of open miles on my car... as of this writing I have 154,000. It has been unbelievably quiet and a smooth ride. BUT I AM SPENDING A FORTUNE ON BRAKES!

I have been a great driver for many many years and owned a lot of used vehicles; this is my first new car. I have always driven a lot to work and brakes usually last me 5 years. For the Prius, I replaced the front and back brakes in 3/2012 and again in 2/2014. The back breaks in 11/2015 and now the dealership told me both need replacing AGAIN! (6-2016). I have replaced the headlamps twice but that now seems like a cheap repair. The AC compressor has a hole in it I am now told and this will cost me over 2,0000! I want to cry right now. This estimate is now over 4,000!!! Is anyone else having this problem? I am at a loss as to what to do.

My 2013 Prius wants to go 8 MPH all the time. With the foot off the gas, anytime the car is on, it will start up on its own. If you are decelerating, it will get to 8 MPH and then add engine power to stay at 8. The dealer says this is normal. I think it is dangerous and annoying. If I am at a stoplight, I have to keep jamming on the brake to avoid lurching into the car in front of me. It also seems to waste gas. Because when I apply the brake, to get below 8MPH, the "energy display" shows that engine power is still being applied, meaning that the car is fighting my attempt to stop. I am afraid of inadvertently hitting someone due to this problem, and I think Toyota should be sued because of it.

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This was my first Toyota. I always heard of Toyota's going at least 300k miles before any major problems. I wish I saw this website before I bought this used 2007 Prius with 83k miles on it, probably would of gone with a gas powered Honda Civic instead. I am getting about 47.8 mpg average which seems good, but they claim 60 in city and 51 on highway so I would think I would average about 55.5? I have been having the dreaded headlamp problems already. Have been pulled over by the police for headlights and have only had the car about two weeks. I pull over for the police and they inform me about the one headlight out. I get out to check on that and both headlamps are on. Now the one side goes out and you turn them off and they light back up. Some folks are saying the ballast or the bulbs. I never saw a car that was so difficult to put in new bulbs for the headlights and that may not fix the problem.

Some of the prices I am seeing to fix the Prius are just astounding. I have an old 2004 Ford Taurus with 245k miles and never had any problems with it so far. Am I lucky or is the 2004 Taurus just reliable transportation at 23 mpg. I see there was a recall on this headlamp problems but it has expired. When you hear the stories of both headlamps going out that is definitely a safety concern and I do a lot of night driving. I also have this slight knocking noise on the passenger side front you can hear going slow over a dirt driveway or slow on a bumpy country road. Could be struts maybe or sway bars or steering gear? Whatever a car with 83k miles should not being making that sound on one side. The older corollas never had any of these type of problems. Agree with the seating ergonomics are quite terrible in the 2007 Prius. When I sit back into the 2007 Taurus it's like ahhh... so comfy for long distances.

I would like to believe that Toyota makes some decent cars but I guess it was not the Prius. I will post again about this 2007 Prius, I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can fix these two issues and have many more carefree miles before something else happens and it costs a boatload of money to fix. I am 60 years old and have had many cars in my lifetime, mostly domestic cars and never had many problems with them. I trying to give Toyota a chance but after reading many of these posts I just don't know? The worst car I ever had was a Fiat 850 Spyder. Nice name but a nightmare of problems.

I totaled it when an suv struck the front left fender. We had no repair issues, but because I drove with the headlights on for safety, had to replace bulb frequently and the manual didn't say how to approach that. My wife who is only 5'2'' loved to drive it (so if she's happy, guess what!) We had almost 215000 miles when I was hit by and SUV in the left front and the insurance company totaled it. We loved every minute of it. Acceleration was good, ride very comfortable, quiet, agile maneuvering and about 44 in summer and 37 mpg in winter. I'm going to buy a 2013 plug-in to replace it!

In 2014 I purchased a new Toyota 4runner 4x4 Limited fully loaded. Myself, friends and family all noticed my 4runner was lisping badly on the passenger side. Long, long story short they kept my car for a month and the service bills came to over 9 thousand dollars in fees. Fortunately I did not have to pay that. Unfortunately they were not able to fix my car and flat out lied to me about fixing it in the future. They will not return my calls and have no interest in fixing my car.

I bought my Prius July 2011 and to date (3/24/16) I have spent $9,184.23 on maintenance. I even had the extended warranty but it only covered the "big" things. I just replaced a defective seat belt at a cost of $898. Ridiculous! I feel soaked every time I take it in. I will probably, no make that NEVER, buy another Toyota product. Oil changes are $70 every 10K miles but the oil change alert comes on every 5K miles. No one bothered to tell me that I was changing the oil twice as often as I needed to until I was at 90K miles. The seat belt issue which should have been covered under a warranty, was the last straw. DO NOT BUY A PRIUS. WHAT YOU SAVE ON GAS YOU WILL SPEND ON MAINTENANCE! !

I wish to respond directly to: Jabir of Ogdensburg, NJ on Sept. 9, 2015 who wrote this: "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?" Here is my response to that:

YES! mine too. It just starts revving for no reason. (This brings me to another topic. This car needs an RPM gauge, a TEMP gauge, and I mean engine temperature, not indoor/outdoor temps for the fan, and also an engine oil gauge, although using the dipstick periodically does suffice for that). Sorry to digress, let's get back on the main point. The engine revs. It's weird behavior, but maybe it's designed that way, to charge the battery or something. So I won't fault this too much. But now I present problem #2. My engine, especially in B mode (engine braking, i.e. downshift into low gear) will sometimes (it's not always) make a rattling sound. I brought the vehicle to the dealership for repair, but they said they can do nothing since the problem is not reproducible (it's random).

That noise, rattling or grinding, kinda hard to describe it, just a loud engine basically, which is definitely different sound than the normal engine which I have been driving for 10s of thousands of miles (currently at 30k miles in my 2014 brand new Prius) so this sound sucks. I hate it, and I am pretty sure it's not normal. Waiting to break down. Ryan. Peace out. Oh yeah, maybe I will mention my avg MPG since everyone else is (I heard numbers 40-52 was the highest, so far). Well my MPG is avg 38 but I made adjustment (started using ECO mode always) and now I get 40-41 MPG. So I don't know how people are breaking into the 50s. Also I coast in Neutral whenever possible. It should save the engine, and maybe improves MPG, although I do realize Neutral will not charge the battery. (Engine must be engaged for charging to occur).

Bought a 2014 Prius for my daughter so that she can commute to college and back. What a junk! Barely 2 years old and making all kinds of noises. Going over a pothole feels like the car will break apart. Gas mileage ain't that great either. Has been in the shop multiple times over the past year and half with different issues. Overall maintenance cost has been higher than my BMW M6. Garbage car. Garbage company. Would never buy Toyota. Disgusting.

2012 Prius 4 & 2010 Prius 3 & 2007 Prius 2 were ALL electrically inept where we'd been exposed to life threatening defects. 1st car was eventually bought back so it looked like a fluke until discovering other people died from these defects! That car appeared 'possessed' & dismantling, it was the only remedy that Toyota really had! We bought another Prius that seemed to be a solution, White one on a commercial but that one started failing when the entire computer system required replacement. It got worse when seats turned mushy from seat heater module defect & interior's fabric was falling apart.

So we received a fake "Authorized Factory Sale" voucher to trade it on a "qualified" replacement from a dealer who didn't have to honor it after switching the loan from our customary Credit Union over to their predatory lender instead. We were stuck with an extra $8333 on the loan by them not honoring this initial deal. Then that car's problems began with higher mileage as on the other two w/ intermittent airbag light illuminated-computer screen flickers-heated seat module

& PUSH BUTTON NOT TURNING VEHICLE OFF. That defect killed 13 people but it was not recalled - as it's NOT REPAIRABLE!!

Our car experiences were disastrously disappointing to say the least! My daughter was terrified to ride in the front seat as we had NO IDEA when and if the airbags would deploy unexpectedly! We were not notified of recalls then saw them on National News Programs & Good AM America! When you come across internet articles & see your exact car on tv it's Despicable! We had to purchase another used car to have reliable transportation as the lender auctioned the vehicle to an unsuspecting person after we warned them. We'd been in the process of having an independent expert examine the car for buy-back again. This car caused what physicians referred to as "Prius PTSD" with physical symptoms such as migraines & nose bleeds from so many years of repeated stress!

My new Prius has nearly 15K miles and overall I like it so far. It has decent power and handling, good gas mileage, no major maintenance issues, has been very reliable transportation and deserves five stars. The low use engine and transmission design, infrequent friction braking, keyless entry and ignition, all make me expect (hope) that significant maintenance will be infrequent. I particularly like being able to start the car on electric power without spending a few minutes warming up a cold engine. And the idea of the keyless entry is great, saving me time when my hands are full of kids or groceries, but I am concerned about security issues described below. And I like the way the floor mats lock down.

That said, I have some gripes as follows: The a/c condenser in the car is starting to smell AWFUL! In the summer heat I was always leaving the a/c on and the vent on recirculate. After reading a few articles on the internet from others with similar problems, I now turn off the a/c and set the vent to outside air a few minutes before parking. This has helped a lot, but not completely removed the smell. I never had this problem in my Honda. Neighbors are reporting people breaking into Prius using a microwave amplifier. I asked the local dealer about preventative measures and possible recall and they had no idea what I was talking about.

The average MPG over the 12,000 miles I've driven so far is 43. Not as high as I had hoped. I wish I'd bought a darker color interior to hide dirt better. I had a long trip (7 hours) hauling equipment slightly too long for the trunk, so I tied the hatchback door down with equipment sticking out the back. I kept the windows open to prevent any exhaust fumes from accumulating. Nevertheless there was an EXTREMELY ANNOYING WARNING BEEP throughout the 7 hour drive, which was not easily disabled. So I had to wear earplugs throughout the drive to tolerate the constant beeping. My Honda hatchback never used to beep when driving with lumber sticking out and the hatch up or tied down.

The reflective sun cover, from the dealer, has a piece of velcro to tie it closed when it is all rolled up. This velcro keeps adhering to the dashboard cover, also from the dealer. When the velcro is adhered, and I remove the sun cover, it lifts the dashboard cover right off the dashboard and it takes me three minutes to straighten and put everything back in place. These accessories were not engineered to work well together.

The owners manual talks only about RECEIVING a jumpstart does not CLEARLY AND EXPLICITLY say whether the Prius can GIVE a jumpstart. If the prius 12V supply cannot give a jumpstart please SAY SO CLEARLY. When I called the dealer the people I spoke with were not sure. If it is a design limitation that is fine just TELL ME CLEARLY. They dont make mud flaps/guards for this car. The dealer says it would interfere with the aerodynamics.

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, 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!