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Pete
Pete, Auto Service Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 27156
Experience:  Over 17 years diagnosing and repairing automobiles various makes and models with some training and certifications.
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2013 Prius V My wife parked/turn off car went across street

Customer Question

2013 Prius V My wife parked/turn off car went across street to yard sale. About 10 minutes or so later she and others saw the car moving down a level street with no one inside as it hitting another parked car. When she got to the car it was running and in gear.
what/how does this happen? She now scared to drive it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.

Hi my name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist with this today.In some cases I may need more info to assist better.I apologize for any delay.

Looking into some info on this here the only way this could occur is if the start/stop/power button was not fully pressed to turn off the engine when this occurred and it was in gear or it is slightly possibly the on/off/power button has shorted out causing the engine to start but this wont put the vehicle in gear at all.

Ive looked through many resources on this here,the button itself can be an issue but this wouldnt explain being in gear so having this occur all together like this seems impossible unless it was still in gear and wasnt shut off properly.

The best thing to do here is to have the codes checked to see what codes are set.This has to be done using a scan tool that will plug in and communicate with all computers.If there are any codes set related to the stop/start feature there is a possibility the button or possibly even computer is at fault but this is a long shot unfortunately.

In most cases I see where this occurred it was user error I hate to say when the vehicle was still in gear and vehicle was not shut off properly.I know some of these models had a remote start system installed that can cause the vehicle to start on its own when it acts up needing replaced but this wont cause it to engage in gear to go down the road or in neutral.

I would start with having codes checked and the signal from the start/stop button checked into as well as remote start if equipped as these would be the only things that could possibly cause this here.I know this may not be the answer you wanted to hear but it's the only thing that makes sense with what occurred.

If more help is needed, use the reply tab to continue our conversation. If no further assistance is needed, kindly rate my service.You can rate at any time and we can continue to work on your question as this will not close out your question.Keep in mind in some cases it can be difficult to fully diagnose or help repair your vehicle without seeing it and I work on delivering the best possible answer from what I see to work with.

Thanks Pete

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If the car was still in gear and not shut off or in park once you take you foot off the brake the car moves before you can get out.
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.

This is true unless it is on an incline then it may slowly start to move possibly and be at a stand still when it was first stopped until it slowly creeps forward.

If she is sure it was turned off in park the only things I can think of is a remote start failure,the on/off button or a fault with engine ecu but to have both a restart and placed in gear is a long shot to happen on its own.If I had to guess at one of these as the cause here to cause a restart and to engage in drive or neutral to roll like this it would be the engine computer.

You will have to get the fault codes checked/read out to see what codes are set and then from there if any have set related to this issue they can be diagnosed to locate and repair the fault.

I searched some forums as well as technical mechanic forums to see if anyone had this same issue here as well as technical service bulletins and no issues were found related to this except one where the person thought the vehicle was in park and turned off but actually wasnt.I have seen this occur before some times.But if she knows for sure it was off when she got out then there is a problem in the vehicle and may be the engine computer itself at fault.

Let me know if you need anything else and feel free to rate my help here.

Thanks Pete