Toyota Prius Problems and Common Complaints

Whether you’re looking to buy a Prius or taking preventative measures for your eco-friendly sedan, it’s always a good idea to know the most common issues found in this car.

Note: The list of problems below is organized by vehicle generation. Scroll down to find your model range.

2016+ Prius – Common Problems

2017 Prius problems

A 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Premium

Good news: there's nothing to report so far! Be sure to check back once in a while because we update the information on this page regularly.

2010-2015 Toyota Prius – Common Problems

2010 Prius Problems

A 2010 Toyota Prius

Ineffective Headlight Wiring: It's not uncommon for a Prius owner to experience intermittent -- and sometimes total -- HID headlight failure. It's because the wiring is set up to overheat the bulbs and burn them out. Sometimes the wires themselves will melt. Replacing the wiring and/or harness will fix this problem.

Cracked Brake Pressure Accumulator: Many Prius owners reported a loss of brake pressure or an unexpected release of the brakes while driving over bumpy roads. This is because the brake pressure accumulator can crack from excessive vibration. Toyota issued a recall in 2013 and had thousands of Prii inspected. If necessary, they also replaced the brake actuator for free.

Clogged Piston Rings: Toyota gave 2010-2015 Toyota Prii thinner piston rings and an updated piston design, both of which turned out to be not so effective. As a result, the Prii in this generation are prone to clogged piston rings, which leads to excessive oil consumption. Many Prius owners have found success by replacing the piston and piston rings.

Cracked Side Curtain Airbag Inflators: The side curtain airbag inflators are made of two pieces welded together. A small crack can develop in the weld area, causing the airbag to inflate unexpectedly. In 2016, Toyota recalled affected Prius models and had dealers install retention brackets free of charge.

Intelligent Power Module (IPM) Malfunction: The IPM, which helps handle mileage and power performance, is prone to failure under high operating temperatures. As a result, the Prius either stalls completely or starts operating in a reduced power mode. In an effort to solve this issue, Toyota had its dealers either update the software in the motor control module and hybrid control module or completely replace the IPM in affected Prii.

2003-2009 Toyota Prius – Common Problems

2004 Prius Problems

A 2004 Toyota Prius

Ineffective Headlight Wiring: See 2010-2015 Toyota Prius -- Common Problems

Cracked Brake Pressure Accumulator: See 2010-2015 Toyota Prius -- Common Problems

Clogged Piston Rings: See 2010-2015 Toyota Prius -- Common Problems

Premature Steering Intermediate Extension Shaft Wear: The extension shaft in older Prii was manufactured with metal splines that weren’t hard enough to withstand a lot of pressure over a prolonged period of time. As a result, the driver may experience loose steering or a complete loss of steering. Toyota reacted by recalling all affected Prii and having dealers inspect the extension shaft and replace it if necessary.

Corroded Coil Wire in the Water Pump: Some of the water pumps were accidentally scratched during manufacturing, resulting in corrosion in the coil wire. Once the wire breaks (possibly causing a short circuit), the water pump stops working and the Prius either overheats or stalls. In 2012, Toyota recalled and replaced the electric water pump in about 350,000 Prii free of charge.

2000-2002 Toyota Prius – Common Problems

2001 Prius Problems

A 2001 Toyota Prius

Cracked Brake Pressure Accumulator: See 2010-2015 Toyota Prius -- Common Problems

Throttle Body Failure: Many Prius owners have experienced a sudden drop in engine power while on the road. This is attributed to throttle body failure, and replacing it usually fixes the problem.

Loose Steering Linkage: The steering linkage in first-gen Prii tends to loosen over time, resulting in reduced power steering, usually when a left turn is made. A recall was issued by Toyota in summer 2011 to replace the nuts in the steering linkage in over 50,000 Prius vehicles.

2001-2017 Toyota Prius TSBs

To find these TSBs, you can try Googling the TSB ID #, the name of the TSB, or some combination. You can also go to https://www.safercar.gov and search for the TSB by entering your VIN.

YEAR MAKE MODEL TSB NAME TSB ID DATE ISSUED
2013-2016 Toyota Prius - All Models Vibration/Tapping and/or Misfire After Cold Soak 196628 10/14/2016
2013-2015 Toyota Prius - All Models MIL "ON" DTC P0A80 Due to Dust or Debris in HV Battery Cooling Fan 194925 6/24/2016
2012-2015 Toyota Prius - All Models Abnormal Entune/Navigation Operation For Display Audio (Non-HDD Type) 195716 8/1/2016
2012-2014 Toyota Prius - All Models MIL "ON" DTC P0A80 or P0A7F due to Dust or Debris in HV Battery Cooling Fan 182309 11/18/2013
2012-2014 Toyota Prius - All Models Combination Meter Cloudy Lens 189793 5/21/2015
2010-2017 Toyota Prius - All Models HVAC Evaporator Drain Hose Clogged Due to Insect Intrusion 198794 3/8/2017
2010-2016 Toyota Prius - All Models Misfire While Driving With EGR Active 195712 8/11/2016
2010-2016 Toyota Prius - All Models MIL "ON" DTC P2111 and P0A0F After Cold Soak 196179 9/8/2016
2010-2014 Toyota Prius - All Models Inverter Failure may cause Hybrid Vehicle to Stall 183795 2/12/2014
2010-2014 Toyota Prius - All Models MIL "ON" DTC P0A94, P324E, P0A1A, and/or P3004 194501 5/12/2016
2010-2013 Toyota Prius - All Models MIL "ON" DTC P0A0F, P3190, P3191, P0171 Due to Purge VSV Vacuum Line Separation 190245 6/30/2015
2010-2012 Toyota Prius - All Models MIL "ON" DTC P0A80 due to Dust or Debris in HV Battery Cooling Fan 175353 7/13/2012
2010-2012 Toyota Prius - All Models MIL "ON" DTC P0401 and/or Rattle After Cold Soak 193624 3/31/2016
2007-2010 Toyota Prius Headlamp Condensation 172496 12/7/2011
2006-2009 Toyota Prius IG1 RELAY FREEZING 147235 1/19/2009
2006-2009 Toyota Prius HID BULB - INTERMITTENT OPERATION/FLICKERING 153728 11/3/2009
2006-2008 Toyota Prius NOISE FROM AUXILIARY PORT WITH EXTERNAL DEVICE - REVISED 142856 5/21/2008
2005-2010 Toyota Prius Steering Intermediate Shaft Rattle Noise 161959 5/3/2010
2004-2011 Toyota Prius ELECTRICALLY-DRIVEN A/C COMPRESSORS & SPECIAL LUBRICANT (ND-11) 185861 8/1/2012
2004-2010 Toyota Prius PARKING BRAKE PEDAL PAD FEELS LOOSE 151216 8/24/2009
2004-2009 Toyota Prius FRONT SEAT SQUEAK NOISE - REVISED 147813 2/23/2009
2004-2009 Toyota Prius M.I.L. "ON" DTC P0AC0, P0A1F, P0A7F, and/or P0AFA 149042 5/28/2009
2004-2009 Toyota Prius Combination Meter - Intermittent Display 150810 6/11/2009
2004-2009 Toyota Prius SRS Light "ON" DTC B1821/B1826 Open Front Side Squib Circuit 169619 5/23/2011
2004-2009 Toyota Prius Vehicle Returns to Neutral 171381 9/14/2011
2004-2009 Toyota Prius MIL "ON" DTC P0A80 or P0A7F due to Dust or Debris in the HV Battery Cooling Fan 181840 10/8/2013
2004-2009 Toyota Prius ABS Brake Warning Light On 199319 4/18/2016
2004-2008 Toyota Prius ABNORMAL NOISE FROM COOLANT HEAT STORAGE WATER PUMP 143342 6/5/2008
2004-2008 Toyota Prius ABNORMAL KNOCK NOISE FROM FRONT OF VEHICLE 145115 9/18/2008
2004-2008 Toyota Prius MIL ON DTC P0AA6 OR P3009, INFORMATION CODES 526 & 613 - REVISED 145512 10/3/2008
2004-2007 Toyota Prius MIL "ON", DTC C1341, C1342, C1343, OR C1344 AFTER BRAKE PAD REPLACEMENT 135808 12/14/2006
2004-2007 Toyota Prius PARKING BRAKE WARNING LIGHT STAYS ILLUMINATED AFTER PARKING BRAKE IS RELEASED 138231 6/13/2007
2004-2007 Toyota Prius MIL ON DTC P1121 - REVISED 140747 1/23/2008
2004-2007 Toyota Prius BRAKE ACTUATOR NOISE - REVISED 145513 10/6/2008
2004-2007 Toyota Prius MIL "ON" DTC P1121 177707 11/29/2012
2004-2006 Toyota Prius MASTER, HYBRID, & MIL "ON" DTC P0A94, INFORMATION CODE 588 & DTC P0A78, INFORMATION CODE 279 OR 306 - REVISED 137642 5/30/2007
2004-2006 Toyota Prius MIL ON DTC P0A93, INFORMATION CODE 346 - REVISED 138656 7/26/2007
2004-2005 Toyota Prius AUTOMATIC HEADLIGHT LEVELING SYSTEM WARNING LIGHT "ON" OR FLASHING - HID HEADLIGHTS 133387 4/28/2006
2004-2005 Toyota Prius MIL ON - DTC P3191, P3190, AND/OR P0A0F - REVISED 139053 8/11/2007
2003-2009 Toyota Prius UPPER/LOWER WINDSHIELD/REAR GLASS TICK NOISE - REVISED 147810 2/2/2009
2001-2004 Toyota Prius MASTER, HYBRID & MIL ON - DTC P3190/P3191 & P3101 - REVISED 139336 9/1/2007
2001-2003 Toyota Prius IMMOBILIZER SYSTEM: VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH TRANSPONDER ECU 120889 10/24/2003
2001-2003 Toyota Prius MIL "ON" DTC P3101, P3190 and/or P3191 150816 6/17/2009
2017 Toyota Prius - All Models Parking Brake Cable may Disengage from Lever 196565 10/14/2016
2016 Toyota Prius - All Models Parking Brake Cable may Disengage from Lever 196565 10/14/2016
2016 Toyota Prius - All Models Click Noise From Rear While Driving 196632 10/5/2016
2016 Toyota Prius - All Models Click Noise From Rear While Driving 197840 1/26/2017
2016 Toyota Prius - All Models Buzzing Noise From LH Side Under Dash 198799 3/2/2017
2015 Toyota Prius - All Models Rear Wheel Opening Extension Pad Installation 186485 8/11/2014
2015 Toyota Prius - All Models TPMS Incorrectly Calibrated/FMVSS 138 191287 8/13/2015
2015 Toyota Prius - All Models Radio/Navigation Touch Screen Intermittently Inoperative 191675 10/29/2015
2015 Toyota Prius - All Models MIL "ON" DTC P2610 195323 7/6/2016
2014 Toyota Prius - All Models The Occupant Classification System (OCS) that activates/deactivates the passenger seat air bag system may be improperly calibrated 188943 2/1/2015
2014 Toyota Prius - All Models MIL "ON" DTC P2610 195323 7/6/2016
2013 Toyota Prius - All Models Loose Windshield Dam at Lower Right Corner of Windshield 180099 6/13/2013
2013 Toyota Prius - All Models Rear Brake Groan or Squeak Noise when Cold 180102 6/28/2013
2012 Toyota Prius - All Models Roof Sunshade Abnormal Noise 173310 2/13/2012
2012 Toyota Prius - All Models Rear Wheel Opening Extension Pad Installation 173311 2/9/2012
2012 Toyota Prius - All Models Premium HDD Navigation Abnormal Operation 174186 4/30/2012
2012 Toyota Prius - All Models Premium HDD Navigation Abnormal Operation 174871 4/30/2012
2012 Toyota Prius - All Models Abnormal Radio Preset Display 174872 5/4/2012
2012 Toyota Prius - All Models Addition of iHeartRadio, MovieTickets, and OpenTable to Entune Applications 175163 6/28/2012
2012 Toyota Prius - All Models Premium HDD Navigation Abnormal Operation 175350 7/10/2012
2012 Toyota Prius - All Models Gap in Front Door Window Glass Run 176022 8/13/2012
2012 Toyota Prius - All Models Center Console Lid Fabric Loose 176027 8/6/2012
2012 Toyota Prius - All Models Rattle Noise From Headliner Near Sliding Roof 176333 9/26/2012
2012 Toyota Prius - All Models Back Hatch Door High Closing Effort 176898 10/12/2012
2012 Toyota Prius - All Models Safety Connect Low Speaker Volume 177401 11/6/2012
2012 Toyota Prius - All Models Uneven Wear on Rear Brake Pads 177717 12/21/2012
2012 Toyota Prius - All Models Glove Compartment Rattle over Rough Roads 180096 6/4/2013
2012 Toyota Prius - All Models Loose Windshield Dam at Lower Right Corner of Windshield 180099 6/13/2013
2012 Toyota Prius - All Models Rear Brake Groan or Squeak Noise when Cold 180102 6/28/2013
2012 Toyota Prius - All Models Curtain Shield Air Bag Inflators May Crack 195285 6/30/2016
2011 Toyota Prius Rear Brake Squeak 170765 8/17/2011
2011 Toyota Prius Front Brake Rattle Over Bumps 171376 9/12/2011
2011 Toyota Prius Vibration from Engine after Cold Soak 172484 12/23/2011
2011 Toyota Prius MIL "ON" DTC P030# after Cold Soak 172934 1/10/2012
2011 Toyota Prius Smart Key Inoperative 173309 2/15/2012
2011 Toyota Prius Fender Rattle/Tick Noise 174190 4/16/2012
2011 Toyota Prius Uneven Wear on Rear Brake Pads 177717 12/21/2012
2011 Toyota Prius Curtain Shield Air Bag Inflators May Crack 195285 6/30/2016
2010 Toyota Prius Coolant Leak from Transaxle Drain Plug 153200 10/6/2009
2010 Toyota Prius Static-Laden/Distorted Bluetooth Sound Quality 154398 1/1/2010
2010 Toyota Prius Rear Brake Squeak 159486 4/8/2010
2010 Toyota Prius MIL "ON" Code P0456 161961 5/13/2010
2010 Toyota Prius MIL "ON" DTC P261B or P261C - Coolant Pump Control Malfunction 163801 6/7/2010
2010 Toyota Prius Poor FM Radio Reception 165673 7/29/2010
2010 Toyota Prius Abnormal Noise when Brake Pedal Released 167739 12/22/2010
2010 Toyota Prius MIL "ON" DTC P2420 168842 4/7/2011
2010 Toyota Prius USB/iPod Not Recognized 169901 6/24/2011
2010 Toyota Prius MIL "ON" DTC P0A2D/249 169906 6/28/2011
2010 Toyota Prius Rear Brake Squeak 170765 8/17/2011
2010 Toyota Prius Front Brake Rattle Over Bumps 171376 9/12/2011
2010 Toyota Prius Vibration from Engine after Cold Soak 172484 12/23/2011
2010 Toyota Prius MIL "ON" DTC P030# after Cold Soak 172934 1/10/2012
2010 Toyota Prius Fender Rattle/Tick Noise 174190 4/16/2012
2010 Toyota Prius Uneven Wear on Rear Brake Pads 177717 12/21/2012
2010 Toyota Prius Curtain Shield Air Bag Inflators May Crack 195285 6/30/2016
2009 Toyota Prius BODY ELECTRICAL DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR 185880 1/1/2009
2007 Toyota Prius MIL ON DTC P0125 143343 6/6/2008
2006 Toyota Prius EVAP SYSTEM PRESSURE TESTER UPGRADE 132377 9/14/2005
2006 Toyota Prius MIL ON DTC P0125 143343 6/6/2008
2005 Toyota Prius FAILURE TO INITIALIZE CAN INTERFACE MODULE 127338 3/11/2005
2005 Toyota Prius MIL ON - DTC P3009, INFORMATION CODES 526 & 614 127561 4/20/2005
2005 Toyota Prius NO "READY ON" AND/OR MIL ON, DTC P3140, P3141, OR P0A0D 127833 5/13/2005
2005 Toyota Prius MIL ON, DTC P1151 127836 5/17/2005
2005 Toyota Prius FALSE MIL "ON", DTC P0A7A, INFORMATION CODE 325 128823 7/6/2005
2005 Toyota Prius MIL ON DTC P0171 OR P2195 130958 11/16/2005
2005 Toyota Prius MIL ON DTC P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, OR P0304 131374 12/16/2005
2005 Toyota Prius PARASITIC DRAW FROM JBL AMPLIFIER - REVISED 131767 2/3/2006
2005 Toyota Prius MIL ON - DTC P0AA6 OR P3009, INFORMATION CODES 526 & 614 - REVISED 133810 6/7/2006
2005 Toyota Prius MIL ON, DTC P0A60, P0A63, P0A72, P0A78 OR P0A7A - REVISED 137636 5/30/2007
2005 Toyota Prius MIL ON DTC P0125 143343 6/6/2008
2004 Toyota Prius HV ECU SOFTWARE UPDATE - WILL NOT "READY ON" AFTER RUNNING OUT OF FUEL 122078 2/19/2004
2004 Toyota Prius MOBILE SPEEDPASS INTERFERENCE WITH SMART KEY SYSTEM 122080 1/7/2004
2004 Toyota Prius 2004 PRIUS EMERGENCY RESPONSE GUIDE LOCATION 122644 4/5/2004
2004 Toyota Prius MIL ON - HV BATTERY DTC P3000/P3056 AND/OR OTHER DTC'S - REVISED 124587 7/12/2004
2004 Toyota Prius REAR DOOR FRAME BLACKOUT TAPE WRINKLED 125086 8/12/2004
2004 Toyota Prius MIL ON - DTC P0136 AND/OR P0138 125707 9/3/2004
2004 Toyota Prius MULTI-DIS[PLAY FUNCTIONS ARE INOPERATIVE 126904 1/10/2005
2004 Toyota Prius FAILURE TO INITIALIZE CAN INTERFACE MODULE 127338 3/11/2005
2004 Toyota Prius MIL ON - DTC P3009, INFORMATION CODES 526 & 614 127561 4/20/2005
2004 Toyota Prius NO "READY ON" AND/OR MIL ON, DTC P3140, P3141, OR P0A0D 127833 5/13/2005
2004 Toyota Prius MIL ON, DTC P1151 127836 5/17/2005
2004 Toyota Prius FALSE MIL "ON", DTC P0A7A, INFORMATION CODE 325 128823 7/6/2005
2004 Toyota Prius MIL ON DTC P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, OR P0304 131374 12/16/2005
2004 Toyota Prius PARASITIC DRAW FROM JBL AMPLIFIER - REVISED 131767 2/3/2006
2004 Toyota Prius MIL ON - DTC P0AA6 OR P3009, INFORMATION CODES 526 & 614 - REVISED 133810 6/7/2006
2004 Toyota Prius FUEL GAUGE INACCURACY - REVISED 135175 11/2/2006
2004 Toyota Prius MIL ON, DTC P0A60, P0A63, P0A72, P0A78 OR P0A7A - REVISED 137636 5/30/2007
2004 Toyota Prius MIL ON DTC P0125 143343 6/6/2008
2003 Toyota Prius CD FITTING KIT ADAPTED HARNESS 119002 6/9/2003
2003 Toyota Prius BLANK MAP SCREEN IN NAVIGATION SYSTEM 119009 6/4/2003
2003 Toyota Prius MIL ON - DTC P3130 AND POSSIBLE DTC P3125 124586 6/28/2004
2003 Toyota Prius MIL ON DTC P3130, INFORMATION CODE 346 - REVISED 139337 9/21/2007
2002 Toyota Prius MASTER, HYBRID AND MIL ON DTC P1120 116343 9/12/2002
2002 Toyota Prius NAVIGATION, ENERGY MONITOR, CONSUMPTION, AND CASSETTE EJECT MALFUNCTION - REVISED 116344 8/2/2002
2002 Toyota Prius AUDIO CONTROL SWITCH INOPERATIVE CONDITION 116746 11/28/2002
2002 Toyota Prius MASTER, HYBRID AND MIL ON - DTC P3125 INFORMATION CODE 287 116750 11/20/2002
2002 Toyota Prius MIL ON - DTC P3130 AND POSSIBLE DTC P3125 124586 6/28/2004
2002 Toyota Prius MIL ON DTC P3130, INFORMATION CODE 346 - REVISED 139337 9/21/2007
2001 Toyota Prius HEADLIGHT SERVICEABILITY 46430 8/18/2000
2001 Toyota Prius DOOR TRIM PANEL PEELING 112888 1/26/2001
2001 Toyota Prius ENERGY MONITOR, CONSUMPTION, & CASSETTE EJECT MALFUNCTION 112946 12/1/2000
2001 Toyota Prius HYBRID VEHICLE WARNING LIGHT ON: DTC P3109, INFO 220 SET 113319 3/9/2001
2001 Toyota Prius HV ECU HIGH SPEED COORDINATION CONTROL LOGIC CHANGES 113602 5/4/2001
2001 Toyota Prius MIL ON- ENGINE MISFIRE P0300/01/02/03/04 113603 5/18/2001
2001 Toyota Prius MASTER, HYBRID AND MIL LIGHTS ON - P3115 113748 6/1/2001
2001 Toyota Prius SQUEAK NOISE FROM FRONT SEAT TRACK 114490 11/9/2001
2001 Toyota Prius MASTER, HYBRID AND MIL ON DTC P1120 116343 9/12/2002
2001 Toyota Prius NAVIGATION, ENERGY MONITOR, CONSUMPTION, AND CASSETTE EJECT MALFUNCTION - REVISED 116344 8/2/2002
2001 Toyota Prius MASTER, HYBRID AND MIL ON - DTC P3125 INFORMATION CODE 287 116750 11/20/2002
2001 Toyota Prius MIL ON - DTC P3130 AND POSSIBLE DTC P3125 124586 6/28/2004
2001 Toyota Prius MIL ON, DTC P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304 - REVISED 136789 3/2/2007
2001 Toyota Prius MIL ON, DTC P0420 - REVISED 136795 3/2/2007
2001 Toyota Prius MIL ON - ENGINE MISFIRE DTC P0300/P0301/P0302/P0303/P0304 - REVISED 138232 6/18/2007
2001 Toyota Prius MIL ON DTC P3130, INFORMATION CODE 346 - REVISED 139337 9/21/2007
Written by Jason Lancaster