Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,872 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2009 Toyota Avalon lights problems

lights problem

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2009 Toyota Avalon Owner Comments

problem #17

Apr 012013


  • 80,000 miles


The headlights go out when operating the car without warning. This happens when driving on residential, highways and interstate roads. Cannot drive the car at night for fear that they will go out when I am driving. Dealer wanted $2,900 to replace the headlights. This is a safety issue which the manufacturer should address and be responsible for. The limited tsb which they issued would not have helped me. Was not covered under extended warranty.

- Crownsville, MD, USA

problem #16

Oct 052015


  • 51,000 miles
While driving during dark hours, the headlights go off or just driver side headlight go off at some time.I have to turn it off and back on by switch attach to sterling. They work back on for some time and then go off does happend every day to me on city street and highway. It's scary and unsafe. Its high risk safety issue while driving at dark time hours. Please make Toyota Corp. Fix this issue. They know about that problem, deffect for so long.

- Arlington Heights, IL, USA

problem #15

Aug 052015


  • 165,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Avalon. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, the headlights failed intermittently. The vehicle was repaired, but the details of the repairs were unknown. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 165,000.

- Pinole, CA, USA

problem #14

Aug 012013


  • 88,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Avalon. While driving at approximately 30 mph, the low beam headlamps shut off without warning. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed with the cause unknown. The high intensity bulbs were replaced, but the remedy failed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 88,000.

- Meridian, MS, USA

problem #13

Mar 152013


  • 49,920 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Avalon. While driving at various speeds, the driver and passenger side headlights failed to illuminate intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the head lamps needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 49,920.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

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problem #12

Mar 092015


  • 31,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Avalon. The contact stated that the high beam headlights failed to operate and caused the low beams to malfunction. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the headlight assembly needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 31,000.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #11

Feb 012014

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles


The high beams on our 2009 Toyota Avalon suddenly ceased to function last weekend. I took the car in to the dealership this morning and was told that this is a known defect in the housings requiring the replacement thereof but that this replacement is only covered for 5 years or 72,000 miles under the "enhanced" warranty. We bought the car new 5 1/2 years ago. The cost for fixing this defect was quoted at $2,626 and neither the dealer nor Toyota Corp. Were willing to absorb any of this cost to make it even reasonably affordable. Non-working high beams could be potentially dangerous. This malfunction is not due to normal wear and tear but rather is a known defect. It should not be covered under a limited warranty but should be a required recall so that people unable to afford the exorbitant repair cost are not put in jeopardy.

- Dyer, IN, USA

problem #10

Jan 142015

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 100,500 miles
January 14th 2015 while driving during the night, all of the headlights except for low beams quit working. This caused a dangerous condition while driving in the country on unlit roads because of requiring to drive substantially below the speed limit. These headlights had been replaced because one of them burned out on Dec 7, 2011 when the car had 38,640 miles on it. We were told the original bulbs were defective and the new bulbs would resolve the issue. After the work was completed we found out that there was a recall and we eventually were reimbursed. When these bulbs burned out we were told by two dealers (sebring, fl and cleveland, tn) that the real problem was the modules and that they would need replaced at a cost of well over $2,000. Total time for replacements lasted 3 years 1 month and ~62,000 miles. 3 sets of headlights required in slightly over 5 1/2 years of ownership. Toyota usa has refused to stand behind their car.

- Cleveland, TN, USA

problem #9

Jan 092015

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 31,000 miles
No high beam headlights just low beam. Hard to see. We got this used car 1 1/2 yrs ago without highbeams. Toyota wants to chg me 500$ to fix the problem and I have the extended warranty for and extra 2000$. I found a letter to the previous owner that these headlamps may have a short life and they will be replaced with new assembly and new bulb. I called Toyota customer service and got only aggravation. No satisfaction on helping me to replace this expensive bulb problem which occurred. I think Toyota should have rectified this before selling it to us. It is their problem to replace this assembly and new bulbs not mine. They sold us a malfunctioning headlamp unit.

- Decatur, IL, USA

problem #8

Dec 222014


  • 57,000 miles
Turned on engine and turned on high beams. Bulbs shattered. Took to the bobby rahal dealer. Told that the extended warranty of five years had lapsed. Was under the 72000 mileage limit, however.. had to pay $166 to just replace the bulbs. To replace the entire housing would cost $900. This is a factory design defect and the warranty was extended to take care of the problem with the installation of a redesigned housing. If the design was faulty from the onset, why aren't all headlight assemblies being replaced at no cost to the owner? the internet contains hundreds of similar complaints. There have been no reported fatalities so I guess this expensive repair is the owner's responsibility....

- Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

problem #7

Jul 142014

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 51,000 miles


My high beam and daytime running lights are both not working. The Toyota dealer acknowledged the problem and stated I need to replace the light assemblies along with a new type bulb. I see where this is a common problem with many Toyota cars and Toyota will not cover my car due to it being over their extended warranty period of 5 years by just over a month. I also have a Toyota platinum extended warranty but was told it does not cover my problem. I believe this is a safety issue which should be repaired by Toyota as they know of the problem but restrict the time for repairs for which they extended to 5 years but not for us who are just over by less than two months or even longer. I believe after researching this problem that my vehicle may have more lighting problems which are not present at this time. This is a safety issue and Toyota should be required to repair it at their expense as this is not a cheap repair of more than $1000 per light assembly.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #6

Apr 012011


  • 40,000 miles
Today 16 June 2014 I cannot drive at night, no headlights functioning. I purchased a 2009 Avalon new. Had severe headlight problems from the beginning. Headlights were too dim for drive at night safely (come to find out I was driving on the fog lights only, the dim headlight would come on and then turn off so just the fog lights were on), and the dealer would not adjust them stating that it was against the law to adjust them more than the manufacturer's settings, and then the headlight started turning off completely when driving (which was more than terrifying), but the indicator light inside the car said they were on. I took the car back to the dealer many times, always got the same answer: "your car is fine, " "that's just the way they operate". I am 71 years old and I guess they think I'm stupid (not). Finally after many trips and the headlights turning off completely, they tell me the headlights are defective, but I have to pay to have them fixed. $2600 for 2 headlights. My dealer received a letter from Toyota stating the headlights were defective a long time ago, but my dealer never informed me and put me off and would tell me the car was fine until the offer to fix them had expired. I'm not going to just let this go without a fight. Toyota knew these 2009 Avalons had defective headlights and did not recall them. I will spread the word that Toyota will not stand behind their cars and if people are smart they will go elsewhere to buy their cars. I am joining with class action suit to make Toyota fix all these defective headlights.

- Silverdale, WA, USA

problem #5

Oct 032013


  • 62,842 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Avalon. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph, the driver's side headlight failed. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was advised that the high intensity discharge (hid) lamp bulb needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The approximate failure and current mileage was 62,842.

- Meridian , MS, USA

problem #4

Mar 082012

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 82,568 miles
High beam headlight bulbs shattered because of faulty design which utilizes them as drl, build up on filament causes high heat to shatter bulbs prematurely. I called and spoke to Toyota but they declined to stand behind their product saying they only cover for 5 years or 72,000 miles. This seems to me to be very disingenuous since how are miles related to this safety concern. I can understand a time cut off but I do not understand the mileage cutoff. This is a safety problem and it is their design that causes it so why aren't they standing behind their product?

- Big Lake, MN, USA

problem #3

Jun 082011


  • 58,000 miles
High beam bulbs failed. These are daytime running lights as well. These may have failed much earlier and not been noticed.

- Wayne, NJ, USA

problem #2

Mar 052011

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
March 2011 notice high beam light out on my 2009 Toyota Avalon. Went to replace it & found no bulb just electrical connection. After review of bulb area I noticed the bulb had disappeared within its confinement area. Bulb must have melt away.

- Stafford, TX, USA

problem #1

Oct 012010

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
2009 Toyota Avalon XLS [xxx] in service 10/31/2008; mileage at failure unknown, but less than 42,000. Both high beam bulbs exploded on the vehicle. Based on internet research, this seems to be a known problem. Toyota issued a tsb 0044-10 on this failure 1/27/2010, yet they refuse to take ownership of the issue. The bulbs failed despite a cumulative use of less than 2 hours on the high beams in the life of the vehicle (I live in a metropolitan area). If the bulbs are replaced, they will fail again due to the design of the housing. Is this purely a safety issue, likely not because the driver still has low beam headlights. However it further illustrates Toyota's reluctance to address a known failure. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Hartland, WI, USA

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