really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
92,351 miles

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problem #49

Dec 252017


  • 158,000 miles
Vehicle's steering wheel begins to vibrate out of control when attempting turns. This violent shaking poses serious dangers to driver while making turns, and causes driver to pull off of road and completely turn car off. Problem noticeable for approximately 1 month intermittently before problem began occurring without fail every single time vehicle was driven. When taken to Toyota dealership in bloomington, in, mechanics said entire rack needed replacing, estimating a total much higher than value of car itself. No recall found for this problem, no paperwork provided to customer. Once customer paid for diagnostic charges and took vehicle back, power steering warning lights are permanently enabled and steering assist is completely off, causing turning to continue to pose threat, although steering wheel does not vibrate, yet.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #48

Sep 262016


  • 5 miles
I have Toyota Prius 2002 I was driving yesterday the steering had been making like a rubber-squeak noise when turned to the right at low speeds.I was driving, and the wheel started to sort of pulse in my hands like it was gaining/losing power assist.about 10 minutes later, failed. Big ps button on display, with the red triangle by the odometer. This morning I was driving the car when almost hate someone because a lost the control of the car and the steering was shaking.

- Collingdale, PA, USA

problem #47

Dec 182015


  • 100,060 miles
On Dec 18, 2015, driving at about 20 mph on a neighborhood street which curved left, the steering wheel on my 2002 Prius began shaking violently. I lost control of the car and struck a large landscaping rock. The car had $2233 in damages to the right front bumper, fender, wheel and tie rod. There were no injuries. After repair, the mechanic could not replicate the shaking. Prior to the accident, the Prius on rare occasion had brief episodes of steering wheel shaking, only while backing out of the driveway on cold mornings. In early Jan 2016 the steering vibration occurred again while driving on neighborhood streets and could be stopped only by turning the car off. We ceased driving the car. I talked to our Toyota dealer and were advised the probable cause was a defect in the electronic power steering system and to contact Toyota. I communicated by phone, email and letter with Toyota, provided a video of the shaking, and requested replacement of the power steering system. I got a case number and was scheduled for an inspection by Toyota at the dealer. Toyota by letter on 3/22/16 stated ┐we did not find any evidence that this incident was the result of any type of manufacturing or design defect.┐ when I picked up the vehicle, the violent steering shaking occurred in the dealer's parking lot and was witnessed by the technicians. This problem is well known to Toyota. In 2011 we received both a safety recall notice to replace the eps pinion nuts and a notice of warranty extension until Dec 2013 for problems related to unusual steering vibration. We had the eps pinion nuts replaced on 12/30/2011 under the safety recall. Many 2002 Prius are still on the road. As evidenced by the warranty extension Toyota knows about the power system flaws. My experience shows is dangerous to drive the car with these flaws. I request that Toyota be required to fix this problem.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #46

Feb 172016


  • 170,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Prius. While driving 55 mph, the steering wheel vibrated uncontrollably and the power steering warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the steering rack needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 00V285000 (steering). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure was intermittent. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 170,000.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #45

Nov 162015


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the steering wheel shook in very cold weather, but operated normally once the vehicle warmed up. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 140,000.

- Scarborough, ME, USA

problem #44

Mar 302015


  • 147,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that when making turns or reversing at a slow speed, the steering wheel would shake violently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 147,000.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #43

Mar 052015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 137,000 miles
I was driving onto the freeway, turning right onto the ramp that circled into the southbound interstate when the a red hazard triangle popped up and the screen on my car stated ps error. The steering wheel locked for a bit but fortunately I was still able to steer. I got off on the next exit and was barely able to turn. I turned off the car and looked up the error code to find out it was power steering, I checked the fluids and everything was ok. Turned on the car and the ps error had disappeared, it drove normally the rest of the way home.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #42

Jan 022015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
When in cold temperature the steering wheel will violently shake when making a turn at slow speeds.

- San Mateo, CA, USA

problem #41

Jan 082013


  • 55,080 miles
In a model 2002 Toyota Prius with less than 60000 miles, while starting out from park going into reverse the electric power steering violently started shaking and pulled the steering wheel from the drivers hands. This caused a temporary warning/caution light that quickly went out. After the incident the problem became more frequent, happening while driving at any speed and while stopped. Eventually the problem caused the steering assist to fail completely. When Toyota was contacted, they knew about the problem and said they had recalls on other year Prius models for the same issue. They reported the gear rack electronic sensor fails and the rack must be replaced but unfortunately the 2002 wasn't under the recall. When asked why, nobody seemed to know.

- Hyannis, MA, USA

problem #40

Sep 182014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 168,000 miles
Made a left turn out of my driveway after starting vehicle. Steering began to violently shudder and shake, causing temporary loss of control (my grip was lost on the wheel). I was able to grab the wheel more forcefully and regain control and complete the turn. Had this happened on an interstate ramp, I may not be here to file this complaint. According to the Toyota national service registry, my vehicle has already received the service covered under NHTSA campaign 11V304000 which makes me very, very very nervous. Please contact me for further details.

- Zionsville, IN, USA

problem #39

Jan 142014


  • 109,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that without warning, the steering shook violently when making a turn. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering rack and the nuts in the steering linkage needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the vehicle was previously serviced under NHTSA campaign number 11V304000 (steering). The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 109,000.

- Fort Lauderdale , FL, USA

problem #38

Jan 222014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 251,191 miles
Turned on car in cold weather (under 10degf). Started up and tried to turn right. Steering wheel shook very hard, fast, and loudly. Turned off car and restarted, did ok for one shallower turn. 50 feet later again tried to turn right and same thing happened. Let it shake for a few seconds then turned off car and restarted. Less than a minute after restart it happened again. After that left car off for a few hours. Restarted. Let car warm up for 2-3 minutes before moving. Drove straight out of driveway. Right turn 100ft later was ok. Problem did not recur on 30min drive. This is the second day I've had this problem. The first was a few weeks ago, also in very cold weather and also on a right turn when car was first started. So far I haven't had it happen on a left turn, but maybe that's just because I don't do one of those immediately on startup. I've never seen the problem if temps are above about 10 degrees F.

- Waltham, MA, USA

problem #37

Jan 062014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 143,769 miles
I was driving along the interstate I-75 returning from East ridge, tn, and the power steering light and warning lit-up on the screen panel. The steering wheel became very rigid while I was driving, and I had to clasp the steering wheel firmly to control the steering of the vehicle.

- Cleveland, TN, USA

problem #36

Nov 252013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 180,000 miles
Violent shaking in steering wheel upon ignition; sporadic jerky steering; repeated loss of power steering at various speeds including highway speeds. This seems to the same phenomenon that was the subject of a safety recall of 2001 priuses. The recall should be broadened.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #35

Jan 012006


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the vehicle would shake abnormally when first started. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and serviced under NHTSA campaign number 11V304000 (steering), however the failure was not corrected. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 100,000 and the current mileage was 170,000.

- Rockingham, NC, USA

problem #34

Aug 282013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 90,200 miles
I was exiting off (turning) the highway in exit 10.270 md, when the steering wheel became really hard and a warning ps signal appeared, I had to pull over and after switching off the engine and back on. I continued driving.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #33

Jul 122013


  • 147,800 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while attempting a right turn, the power steering assist failed and the steering wheel seized. The power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument panel as the failure occurred. The contact spoke with the manufacturer and was told that entire power steering and motor system needed to be replaced. The VIN was not available. The failure and the current mileages were 147,800.

- Deshler, OH, USA

problem #32

Apr 022013


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving various speeds, the power steering assist failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who informed the contact that the power steering rack needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that the vehicle was previously serviced under NHTSA campaign id number: 11V304000 (steering). The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 120,000.

- Sussex, NJ, USA

problem #31

Mar 012010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Violent shaking of the steering wheel while stopped or at slow speeds. Particularly in the winter time, first thing in the morning. Stopping the vehicle and sometimes shutting off and back on will address the issue.

- Framingham, MA, USA

problem #30

Aug 052011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 123,099 miles
Toyota issued a recall in August 2011 on gen. 1 Prius for a steering issue. We took the Prius into local dealer and they replaced steering nuts per recall. Within a week after recall fix, we noticed a violent shake to the steering wheel during a cold morning start. It had never done that before the recall. We took the car in after it occurred again and were told that our rack and pinion was wore and needed to be replaced. During the recall work, the dealership did a complete inspection of the car and nothing unusual was noted. How did they do work on a rack and pinion and not notice wear on it then? we believe when they torqued the new nuts to the steering pinion, this created undo stress on the torque sensor and is why the afterwork shaking is occurring. Toyota needs to come clean and replace these racks free of charge for possible damage to alot of gen. 1 Prius's when they did the nut recall. There is more of a safety issue now with the violent steering wheel shaking out of unsuspecting drivers than a nut that's going to break off. NHTSA, force them to do a recall now!!!!

- Stockton, CA, USA

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