Not resolved

In recent Consumer Reports, the second generation Prius has shown to have issues with the electrical reliability of the vehicle despite its overall high reliability ratings. As an owner of the second generation Prius (2005), I have experienced electrical issues with the vehicle concerning the combination meter and the braking system. The hybrid regenerative braking system is dependent on the electrical reliability of the vehicle and is an important factor in the safety and reliability of the vehicle.

Because of the complexity of the Prius, it is difficult to determine the source of an electrical issue without spending an ample amount of money. A reasonable fix would be to repair the faulty combination meter that misfires codes related to the electrical components of the vehicle.

I have seen multiple forums about faulty combination meters on the Toyota Prius, and it appears that about 3% of Prius owners have experienced a loss of braking when the dash lights (combination meter) are out.

In my experience, when the combination meter has failed the brakes are still power assisted, but the ABS won't kick on in a "panic stop" extending the stopping distance. I still had some control over the wheel, but lost power steering. I did still have some braking power with the brake all the way to the floor mat and I reactively resorted to the E-Brake out of fear of not being able to stop. Fortunately three of the four times this has happened I was only going 8-20 mph. The other time I was going apx. 65 mph and had enough time to slow the car down to get off the side of the road. Fortunately when this has happened I have not been on the highway and there was no snow or it could have been very dangerous.

The braking issue has happened to me 4 of the 100+ times my dash lights were not working. I have never had an issue with the braking of the vehicle when the dash lights are functioning normal. This issue has only happened when there is a malfunction with the combination meter.

I understand a malfunctioning combination meter may create many issues within the vehicle including braking difficulties. The response of the Manager at my local Toyota shop said "well, at least you have brakes, you just won't have them in an emergency stop." This seems completey irrational to me as I have read accounts of people going 65 mph and losing brakes when this has happened which could be very deadly.

I'm surprised at Toyota's response with this possibly fatal issue. I'm also surprised that the Combination Meter Failure has not been recalled. At what point does a "warranty" become a "recall"? Please note that this issue is separate from the "accelerator recall".

In 2012 Toyota released an extended warranty of the combination meter. Recently I was denied coverage of the extended warranty as I am one year past the nine year extended warranty. I have also been denied a Goodwill warranty to repair this part that has been faulty since 2012 (which was the same time they initiated the extended the warranty in the fall of 2012.) According to the warranty enhancement, this covers this failure for a period of the longer of 9 years from date of first use (DOFU) (no mileage limit) or before September 30, 2013 (whichever is longer for the condition described).

Technically I was in the shop to address this concern before 2013, but two of the dealerships I went to were unaware of such an issue and did not fix it. I only recently discovered through my own research that other Prius owners experience this same problem and now have been quoted a cost of repair for $809.37.

It’s unfortunate the Toyota would not offer a Goodwill Warranty given that I have had these issues within the time period of coverage, but was overlooked as a Manufacturing defect. I hope Toyota will reconsider their decision for this potentially hazardous issue.

Reason of review: Warranty issue.

Monetary Loss: $809.

Preferred solution: To cover my vehicle under the extended warranty for the combination meter..

Company wrote 0 private or public responses to the review from Mar 12, 2015.
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I took mine in 2 different dealerships within the time period and was denied because of mileage. One had my car all day and then didn’t get it done.

The other put it off until it was past the 9 years, then denied me.

I will never buy another Toyota. I am in the 3% that has braking issues.

Columbia, South Carolina, United States #1279216

We have a 2014 V with 32k miles. The combo meter had to be replaced at 20k miles.

The initial issue was the dash clock gaining more and more time (14 minutes by the time Toyota replaced it).

About 3 months after it was replaced, the clock began gaining time again and my husband has experienced issues with the ABS as well as the nav screen going "fuzzy". Our local dealership is now ignoring us and we don't know where to turn to have the problem addressed.


Bought refurbished combination meter on ebay for about $ 150. Didn't trust myself to put it in, cost $220 in labor.

Been good to go since.

2008 prius 263000 miles, although combination meter says 124000 now. ....

Red Bank, New Jersey, United States #1256522

Just happened to my 2005 Prius and quoted around $1000 to fix. Called Toyota Customer Relations and they were not helpful at all.


This is very frustrating. We have 2 prius' both 2005.

One now has problems with this combination meter. I have just put a deposit down on my new toyota highlander hybrid and I feel Toyota should show me some loyalty here. This is obviously still a big problem by looking at these comments. The inverter cooling pump went out a while ago and that was covered by a recall, but I just found out online here that it was first just a technical bulletin.

TOYOTA YOU NEED TO HELP US WITH THIS, NOT OUR FAULT. This is an expensive fix too.

Patterson, California, United States #1249538

I let Toyota know that I HAD customer loyalty, wanted to buy a new one in January, always serviced car at a Toyota dealership...and they still offered NOTHING.

Patterson, California, United States #1249532

My Prius is a 2007...same exact problem. Quoted $879.21 to fix, and Toyota Customer Care said there was nothing they could do since my warranty expired six months ago. Seems like there are a lot of recent issues, and I agree that a RECALL is needed.

Patterson, California, United States #1249528

I just had my combination meter go out. First I was told it was the 9V battery, so that set me back about $350 plus.

The problem occurred again, and that is when I was told the combination meter needed to be replaced at an additional cost of $879.21! I called customer care, because the warranty for this part ended six months ago, and they claimed they could not do anything for me.

I let them know that my next car will NOT be a Toyota!

La Place, Louisiana, United States #1247932

I'm having this problem with my 2012 Prius. A few years ago it was happening, took to dealership and they said my dash rug was blocking something and that was the problem.

I don't think that was the problem, nevertheless it worked again just fine until recently. When I start the car the dash lights would be on but when I turned headlights on the dash lights would go out.

Now the dash lights are very faint when I first start car. I use my plug in GPS so I know how fast I'm going and always make sure I have fuel.

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada #1245707

I am having this same problem. Is there anything we can do?

Hinesville, Georgia, United States #1230672

I am having the same issues with my Prius. I bought the 2006 Prius from my father.

But let me tell you, if you don't replace the Combo Meter, IT. WILL. GET. WORSE.

By vehicle safety standards, my car is un-driveable and a safety hazard.

First off my combo meter shut off and so I was "driving blind" for a while. I didn't mind that too much. Now my car will shut down AS I AM DRIVING which has caused my car to come to a complete halt. I could be going 50-70 miles an hour but that won't matter, my car is a *** deathtrap because of the Defective Combo Meter.

Luckily, I was able to avoid causing 3 car accidents. But I had a nice bruise on my head when I hit my head on the steering wheel trying to pull off the road asap so I wouldn't die. And my car over heats because the gears will shift constantly.

I tried talking to Toyota about getting it fixed because I was deployed and was not able to make it back in time and they said they couldn't do anything for me. Do not trust Toyota.

Rowland Heights, California, United States #1224140

I also have the same problem with my prius and was denied of warranty, and I even spoke to the people at Toyota headquarters. Does anyone wants to start a class action lawsuit against Toyota on this issue.

It *** me off because my service adviser said this won't happen to me, because I am not in an colder climate area. What Toyota did was hired lawyers to find ways out of recalling and replace these units. 9 years and unlimited miliage is nonsense I told them. Average driver drives 10k per year, multiply by 9 years, you are capped at 90k mile warranty.

Nobody really drives 24 hours per day without sleeping. Toyota should just replace the unit through out the life time of the vehicle as problem comes in. That way, they are not out of pocket too much.

At the same time cover consumer safety.

Sacramento, California, United States #1220399

I recently purchased a 2007 Prius with 118,000 miles on it, and the dash goes out intermittently, can;t see what gear I'm in, nor see speed or gas gauge, and sometimes can't get key fob out and engine is still running! Local dealer here in Ca says out of warranty and he has no authority to cover.

Did you have any luck? Seem's like a clear safety issue to me!!!

New Port Richey, Florida, United States #1212203

I, too, am having the same issue with my 2005 Prius. I did not start having the issue until this past spring and was told it was a limited warranty.

The service tech I spoke with couldn't believe that Toyota issued a recall for a cracked dash problem on 2005 Corolla's but wouldn't issue one for this.

I did find a way to "trick" the meter to come back on. It's crazy but it has worked for me every time.

1. Once you are in the car and you start it and see the display is off, immediately turn the car back off.

2. Press down on the break.

3. Turn on the lights.

4. Lock the car using the key fob.

5. Turn off your lights. 6. Unlock the car using the key fob.

7. Remove foot from brake.

8. Press the brake again while starting your car.

to Anonymous #1216385

Same problem here with my 2007 Prius. I just paid the dealer $3500 for a new battery system.

Then this problem started a week later - at least once a week I cannot see the Mph gas gauge, gear gauge, etc. I was told it was not related to the battery, and when I had it tested that it could not be duplicated but I can pay $800 to get it fixed (yes, pay $800 to fix an issue Toyota says doesn't exist but I have to live with as a weekly surprise). This was by the Toyota Dealership on Brookpark Road near Cleveland, Ohio. Terrible customer service and prices.

I was never told about the warranty then. I learned about the combination meter warranty online from other folks in the same boat. But alas, I too am several months past the date. I was told by Toyota Customer Experience Center I was past warranty and that I should leave my car at a Toyota dealer several days to retest - I am in the military and need to travel daily so this is not practical.

Plus, there was no promise of a rental. That is not practical, and I already paid them about $100 to say to me it could not be duplicated. I'm going to figure out how to fix the issue myself like I have with other problems I have encountered with this car. I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER TOYOTA.

I've also had issues with the window weather stripping, the upolstry rubbing off, my electric key dying, and the handle on the hatchback ripped right off in my hand a couple months ago when I went to open the door (quoted another $500+ for that).

The list could go on.

to Anonymous #1456117

Thank you, thank you! I have no idea how or why this worked, but it did.

Cupertino, California, United States #1209534

I have same issue with my 2007 prius

Vallejo, California, United States #1209489

I too am having a problem with my 2009 Toyota Prius combo meter. Toyota says I'm 4 months past the deadline, so they won't cover it.

They said I should have gotten the paper work from the person I bought the car from. I bought it from Toyota. Hello. They still won't fix it.

It started doing it as soon as I bought it about three years ago. It only had 54, 000 miles on it. I thought that was just something that electrical cars do since I had no experience with electrical cars. The problem begin happening more frequently now, and that's when I talked with Toyota.

They said call corporate. Maybe they should call corporate. Anyway I might fix it, in which case, I will try and sue them for the cost, since I didn't receive full disclosure when I bought the car from them; or I may just sell it and never by a Toyota vehicle again, and inform others that their reputation is not what it's cracked up to be. Their business model is not customer friendly at all.

I'm done. On to Honda or Nissan, or anything but Toyota.

Elk Grove, California, United States #1188373

I had the same issue on 2007 Prius, I took it in for service and was told they had to reproduce the issue before doing the repair. Of course they couldn't reproduce it the first couple of times I took it in, but a few months later I was able to go by the dealership with the dash lights out for them to verify.

But now I was told it was 34 days past my 9 year warranty extension and they couldn't cover it. I called US Toyota customer service to see if they would allow the coverage, but was told they would not. Reason being, I have no brand loyalty. This was my first Toyota and had purchased it used.

So even though it was only 34 days out and I had complained about the issue before the warranty ran out but the dealer''s instructions are not to do any repairs without first duplicating the problem and they couldn't the first couple of times. Now it's my problem, definitely not a way to build customer loyalty.


I just called and it happen that my prius 2007 was purchased in October 2006 so 6 months more even if i didn't know whats up with that.

Did I really lost my chanse?

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