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Even after the "wow factor" of the Prius's hybrid design wears off, the car is still an inviting, well-designed, functionally useful car. Its remarkably high fuel economy makes this a cost-effective commuting car, but the Prius is also practical on longer trips. The gas/electric drivetrain works flawlessly and doesn't call attention to itself.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2002 Toyota Prius has been recalled 2 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
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Worse Better
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02
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 500,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2018 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2002 Toyota Prius owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

“Had to replace front struts and sway bar links. An expensive repair but more of a wear-and-tear item (140,000+ miles) than a mechanical failure”

Anonymous, OH (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“First time service on front struts; rear struts replaced in 2012”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Springs or torsion bars

“At 105,000 miles I figure it's just normal wear”

Roger H., MI (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Sway bar links needed to be replaced. This is a wear-and-tear item (140,000+ miles)”

Anonymous, OH (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“One rear wheel bearing failed at 100000 miles. Probably to be expected with age/mileage on car, but I still consider it a serious problem”

Edward A., AZ (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Bushings

“noise on turning”

Anonymous, MN (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

“SLIGHT LEFT PULL”

Leonard G., CA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Steering wheel vibration

“Power steering drops out because of a problem with the electronics. Dealer indicated $3000 to repair, but mostly not a problem”

Alan V., WA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Tie rods

“front left tie rod and ball joints failed, had to be replaced. Again, not a surprise after 150,000 miles”

Mic J., IN (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Tire wear is uneven

“I have had uneven tire wire since I bought the car, and have had to replace the tires every 20-30K for the life of the car. It is my only complaint about the car. Most recently when the tires were replaced, there was something in the back tire that”

Anonymous, CO (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

“Replaced by aftermarket converter”

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Cost me 1,700 for a new catalytic converter”

Anonymous, VA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Had to replace cat converter”

Anonymous, GA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Red problem light came on. Computer found cat. at fault. Cat. replaced; light went out”

R F., NJ (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Failed emissions test”

Anonymous, WI (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Had to replace the whole system”

Anonymous, NH (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Muffler

“Had to replace exhaust system which was connected to the catalytic converter”

Donald H., NJ (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Hybrid/electric battery replacement

“August of 2015, required a new hybrid battery at a cost that was was the approximate value of the car ($2,850.00). However the auto was in very good shape and I believed I could extend the auto's useful life for at least another three years for the cost of the new battery. Time will tell. So far, so good”

Ralph T., UT (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Battery needed to be replaced this year for $2800. Almost bought a new car but couldn't swing the cost. Otherwise the 15-yo car is in great shape”

Anonymous, IL (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Dead cell meant battery had to be replaced. First done with aftermarket battery (without my knowledge) which also failed in first 300 miles. Replaced under replacement battery warranty with new Toyota battery, by dealer”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Hybrid/electric system and battery (excluding replacement)

“Check engine light came on, as well as Hybrid system warning light”

Anonymous, VA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“water pump for motor and hybrid system”

Anonymous, OR (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Spark plugs or wires failure

“Needed a tune up”

Anonymous, PA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

“Main hybrid battery went bad and had to be replaced”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The hybrid battery needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, NC (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Battery Assembly HV had to be replaced”

G R., CA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Inverter Coolant Pump/Valve Failed and was replaced”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Warning lights indicated a problem. Was told the high voltage cabling need replaced. After replacement was told it was now the high voltage batteries needed replaced. I continue to run the car without difficulty and the warning lights come on inter”

Daryl D., WA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Driveshaft or axle

“Rear axle hub very noisy, had to be replaced”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

“some signal that the entire gas tank needed to be replaced (~$1700) and if not, the emission control devices would not pass state emission test. Engine warning light subsequently went off for a couple months and recently reappeared. No action taken, yet”

Anonymous, WA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Replaced catalytic convertor”

Robert O., OR (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The exhaust pipe and catalytic converter come a single $1600 unit. What I have leaks a bit and is slightly noisy but the car will still pass inspection so I haven't replaced the exhaust system”

Anonymous, NH (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“replaced charcoal canister”

Anonymous, OH (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Fuel pump

“Fuel pump got flaky. Upon ignition, all the warning lights would go on and the engine would stop. Then, it would work just fine, although with warning lights still on”

N B., MI (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“CO2 sensor faulty, so Check Engine light is always on”

N B., MI (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

“Rotor was extremely rusty. Mechanic said it needed to be replaced”

Robert J., NY (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Antilock system (ABS)

“had to replace entire system”

Anonymous, OR (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Calipers

“Frozen guide pin caused caliper to lock to one side”

Anonymous, WI (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Front brake calipers were replaced in the past year. Again, this seemed to be normal wear, not anything unusual. (The car now has 250,000 miles on it)”

Randall G., NY (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Normal routine brake wear

“Parking brake cable seized up, which caused wear on the rear brakes and required replacement of the rear brakes. At the same time, I had to replace a rear wheel bearing. While expensive, none of this seemed out of line given the age and mileage”

Randall G., NY (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Refrigerant leaks

“A/C stopped working, mechanic refilled last July (2016) costing about $370, it stopped working again recently, mechanic recharged again, this time charging me only about $30”

Lea D., CA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Unable to repAir leaks”

Jim L., MA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Leak found in interior/labor intensive repair that required disassembly of entire dash area”

K S., TX (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
A/C compressor

“The compressor failed -- it had to be replaced. Not surprising after 150,000 miles”

Mic J., IN (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Headlights

“Headligt is relatively inexpensive, but requires removing a lot of parts to access it. It's a 5 minute job that takes several hours with a total price of around $300”

Roger H., MI (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Had to replace entire assembly in order to replace severely fogged plastic cover lens”

Anonymous, WI (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Warning lights

“light stays on. no problem with car”

Anonymous, SC (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

In-dash navigation system (GPS)

“Failed and over $1000 to replace”

Anonymous, CT (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Stopped working and we were told it could not be fixed. Cost of replacement was $300+ so we decided to return to paper maps instead”

David B., DC (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
CD player

“not working”

Anonymous, WA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Water pump

“no warning of problem. need gauges to see tempatures”

Anonymous, OR (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

“The Prius is apparently NOT a car for the hot desert climate of Las Vegas, or similar climate (Phoenix, etc)... The Hybrid Engine Cooler Inverter failed abruptly. Cost over $4,000 to replace. Service man said I was not alone with this problem!!!”

Betty C., NV (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

“three areas - anti-locking brake system had to be replaced, trans-axle replaced, and finally, battery replaced!”

Anonymous, OR (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Windows

“The rear windows had to have the track replaced because they kept slipping off and/or out and slipping down into the door. I live in a very wet area (Oregon) and park outside. That may have something to do with it”

Anonymous, OR (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

“There is a constant annoying buzz which can only be stopped(till we brake) by pressing and holding the odometer button before turning on the car. It is the ABS buzzer according to my husband”

Priscilla H., MI (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Rust

“Just a spot of rust on the drivers side fender”

Anonymous, NH (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Transmission leaks

“A warning light & noise came on. I took it in. Estimated $2200. 3 days later I came back, paid $2300 and on the way home (less than 7 miles) the same light and noise occurred. Returned to dealer. 2 or 3 days. $2400 more. The problem was solved”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Compare 2002 Models

Similar Cars
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Honda Civic
Toyota Corolla
Toyota Prius
This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
STEERING:ELECTRIC POWER ASSIST SYSTEM
Jun 01 2011
LOSS OF POWER STEERING, PARTICULARLY WHEN AN OPERATOR IS ACTIVELY INTENDING TO STEER THE VEHICLE, MAY INCREASE THE RISK OF A CRASH.
Summary:
TOYOTA IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2001 THROUGH 2003 PRIUS PASSENGER CARS MANUFACTURED FROM JANUARY 28, 2000, THROUGH MAY 30, 2003. THE STEERING LINKAGE MAY LOOSEN, RESULTING IN REDUCED ELECTRIC STEERING ASSISTANCE WHEN MAKING A LEFT TURN.
What should you do:
TOYOTA WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE NUTS IN THE STEERING LINKAGE FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON JULY 8, 2011. OWNERS MAY CONTACT TOYOTA AT 1-800-331-4331.
For more information:
OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO <A HREF=HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV>HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV</A> .
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 11V304000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 52377
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING
Jul 19 2006
ENGINE OIL INSIDE THE SENSOR WIRING CONNECTOR COULD CAUSE EXPANSION DUE TO THE HEAT OF THE ENGINE AND COULD DEFORM THE SENSOR WIRING CONNECTOR. THE CONNECTOR MAY BECOME DISCONNECTED, WHICH COULD CAUSE THE ENGINE TO STALL WHILE DRIVING AND NOT BE ABLE TO BE RESTARTED INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
Summary:
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES, DUE TO IMPROPER MOLDING OF THE RESIN BODY OF THE CRANKSHAFT POSITION SENOR INSTALLED ON THE ENGINE BLOCK, ENGINE OIL MAY PENETRATE THE SEAL AND ENTER THE SENSOR WIRING CONNECTOR. THE WIRE HARNESS CONNECTOR MAY NOT BE SUFFICIENTLY ATTACHED TO THE LOCKING TAB OF THE SENSOR WIRING CONNECTOR.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE CRANKSHAFT POSITION SENSOR FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL BEGAN ON JULY 26, 2006. OWNERS MAY CONTACT TOYOTA AT 1-800-331-4331.
For more information:
TOYOTA RECALL NO. SSC 60G.CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 06V266000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 34771
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