2019 Toyota Prius Prime Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electronic stability control, wheels, and electrical issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2019 Toyota Prius Prime is a plug-in hybrid that is designed to maximize fuel economy. It has achieved many accolades, including becoming an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety TSP. However, customers find that this model is putting them at risk, with the defective electronic stability control, poorly-built wheels and a malfunctioning electrical system.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2020   2022

Problems with the Electronic Stability Control

With electronic stability control, people are expected to handle their car with ease, but the system in this Toyota is causing trouble.

One NHTSA review states, “When I drive the vehicle on the freeway, it feels unstable. It goes left and right. The vehicle is brand new. We just bought it last week. Tire pressure is good and the dealership said there is no recall on the car.”

Actually, there is a recall on this Prius model. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V544000 states that a faulty brake booster pump could fail and deactivate the Vehicle Stability Control system. If this occurs, keeping the Toyota on the road becomes harder than ever and could lead to an accident. Knowing this, one has to wonder how it earned such exceptional safety ratings. Maybe it doesn’t matter if a car runs off the road anymore – isn’t that what the shoulder is for?

2019 Toyota Prius Prime Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Electronic Stability Control
Service Brakes

Problems with the Wheels

danger if something were to go wrong.

That’s what is shown with this NHTSA review. “Car had 27,540 miles on factory original Toyo Nano Energy tires when the rear passenger tire blew out. I was 22 miles into my drive home. No TPS warning and I had visually looked at my tires before heading home. The entire tread separated from the sidewalls. The sidewalls stayed with the rim and I was able to safely stop the car on the grass median. This type of sidewall blowout has never happened in all my years of driving. I was on US-320 Northbound just after the exit going 70 mph at time of blowout. Not in a turn but nearly straight line driving. Weather was mostly sunny and 65 degrees.”

This situation is scary and should never be experienced. However, the 2019 Toyota Prius remains as a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS, even with blown out tires. When looking to Toyota for guidance as to why this would happen, there’s nothing mentioned. The automaker has failed to warn anyone about a tire malfunction that could leave people stranded. What’s worse – this car doesn’t come with a spare. Maybe it’s just a ploy to get more people using roadside assistance.

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Problems with the Electrical System

A look at the electrical system of the 2019 Toyota Prius should reveal plenty of advanced features that make life easier, but that’s not the case.

This Edmunds user says, “The lack of CarPlay and navigation system are terrible. I wind up looking for phone holders again even with an 11’’ screen. That is essentially useless. There are no ETune apps, note they were pretty much dropped. The car runs etune 2.0 non plans for updates, no plans to allow adding 3rd pet apps, such as Waze, no plans to allow updates to etune 3.0, no plans to allow retrofitting post production to the 2020 head unit which supports car play. I regret buying this car.”

What’s worse is how much more defective the electrical system can be. Service Bulletin #T-SB-0062-20 states that there could be an excessive buildup of lint, debris and dust on the HV battery intake filter and cooling fan. When this occurs, it reduces the efficiency of the 2019 Toyota Prius’ battery’s cooling system. As one of the premier plug-ins, the construction of the battery and cooling system should have been perfected a long time ago. The good news is – while this car is sitting on the side of the road because of the stability or wheel concerns, there is far less dust making its way into the system.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Toyota pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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