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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,287 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.

2010 Toyota Prius lights problems

lights problem

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2010 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #78

Mar 152015


  • 51,000 miles


Low beam headlights repeatedly stop working. Replaced bulbs multiple times. They stop working every few months. Last week, they both extinguished at the same time. Had to drive home in the dark, until I realized the high beams worked. Toyota won't repair the defect.

- Asheville, NC, USA

problem #77

Dec 282015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 113,000 miles
Headlight out last year. Replaced both. One headlight out this month. Replaced the one with previous year good bulb. Now, both low beams out, only high beams work.

- North Haven, CT, USA

problem #76

Dec 172015


  • 38,000 miles
I replaced both headlamps after having the passenger side low beam go out about two weeks ago. This morning on my way to work, in the dark, I had that same lamp go out again. I turned around to head back home when the driver side lamp went out as well. I was only a few blocks from home at least but this is could have been incredibly dangerous.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #75

Jan 012013


  • 38,000 miles


Repetitive and frequent low beam bulb failures. Replacement bulbs lasting only 3 to 6 months before needing to be replaced again. Always drive with the headlights on low beam during the day.

- Bowling Green, VA, USA

problem #74

Dec 022015


  • 68,250 miles
Headlights continue to burn out. We have changed one or both headlights at least six times since May 2015. This happens unexpectedly, going down the road at night one or both headlights will burn out. When you change them, will last a couple weeks to months. Very scary when going down a two lane back country road at night. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

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problem #73

Dec 012015


  • 115,000 miles
Both headlights go out at the same time while driving. First time they just had to be screwed in but now a month later they are both out again. Has there been a recall?

- Davidsonville, MD, USA

problem #72

Oct 252015


  • 95,000 miles


Recurring double headlight failure, sometimes intermittently. No warning of failure.

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #71

Apr 102012


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the low beams failed to illuminate properly. Additionally, the low beams lights failed to function when driving. The contact had to apply the high beams when the failure randomly recurred. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who replaced the driver and passenger side low beams but the failure recurred three year after the repairs. The contact replaced three lights on the driver and two on the passenger side for the low beams but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 75,000.

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #70

Aug 122015


  • miles
We purchased the car used from a Toyota dealership in spring of 2013. We had never had to replace the headlights until one side had stopped working in May 2015. As we always have done with our vehicles, we went to an auto parts store and bought the correct head lights for our make, year & model. We replaced both of them in may and in August (3 months later), both had gone out with the initial outage having occured while I was using them in the dark on a freeway. Luckily I had brights that still worked but I have since had to replace both lights again and they still remain un-working. I am scheduling repairs, however, this seems to be a major defect either in the electrical engineering or possibly related to fuse shortages. We have made several phone calls to repair shops, other Prius owners, as well as read many safety concern forums regarding this very popular issue even with 2010 models. I understand Toyota seems to take no responsibility for the high-risk headlight failure in Prius models up to 2009 but this seems flat out ridiculous and I should not be required to return home before dark or be forced to drive with my brights while oncoming traffic flashes at me as if I'm being inconsiderate.

- Lake Stevens, WA, USA

problem #69

Feb 272015


  • 81,654 miles
On February 27, 2015, our house burned in the middle of the night while we were asleep. The fire started in the near vicinity of the right front headlight of the 2010 Toyota Prius. The car had been serviced just before the fire on February 25, 2015 at the local Toyota dealership. The car was off at the time and the key was not in the car at the time of the fire. While we were sleeping, the car evidently caught fire spontaneously at approximately 2 a.M. while it was parked in the garage. The garage door was closed. By the time we woke up, the garage was fully engulfed in flames. We were able to escape the fire. However, our house was too severely damaged (fire, smoke and water) after the fire to be livable, and it is currently being rebuilt. Our family of four (husband, wife and two children, 15 and almost 11 years old) is currently living in a rental house. We lost all three of our cars (the other cars were a Dodge durango and a Honda Accord) and a majority of our possessions. Damages are estimated to be likely in excess of $500,000 including house, cars, damage to landscaping, personal property, furniture, clothing, etc. Our homeowner's insurance is seeking a subrogation claim against Toyota for the expenses incurred regarding our claim. The Prius is scheduled to have a deconstructive exam soon with multiple parties present and is currently being held as evidence.

- Davis, CA, USA

problem #68

Aug 252014


  • 70,000 miles


I purchased the car new in 2010. About a year ago, the headlight bulbs started burning out repeatedly, as well as the marker bulbs and the license plate bulbs. The last incident was chilling. I returned from a trip, got off the plane, picked up my car at airport parking, turned on the headlights and they were both out. I had to drive 45 miles home at 10 pm either without headlights or with my brights on. It was terrifying. The bulbs had been replaced within the previous 6 months. This is a serious defect that NHTSA and Toyota must address. I have friends who are having similar problems. Additionally, the headlight casings are marred, which diminishes visibility. Toyota clearly has used defective parts to encase the headlights. Again, my friends with priuses have the same issue.

- Aromas, CA, USA

problem #67

Aug 012015


  • 99,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving at night approximately 55 mph, the headlights were very deem and visibility was diminished. After inspecting the vehicle, the contact noticed that the passenger side low beam headlight was out and two days later the driver side low beam failed. The light bulbs were replaced. The contact mentioned that the low beam headlight bulbs were replaced a total of four times. The vehicle was never taken to the dealer or an independent mechanic to get a diagnosis. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 99,000.

- Nebo, NC, USA

problem #66

Aug 152012


  • 40,000 miles
One or both headlights and front parking lights have had to be replaced four times now, starting in 2012. Latest incident is July 2015.

- Oakton, VA, USA

problem #65

Nov 052009


  • 500 miles
As many previous owners described, I am also having problems with the brakes at low speed since the beginning of owning this vehicle (October 2009). Dealer couldn't replicate the problem. Although the car went through the recall for the break system is still having the same issue ever since. The other issue with the brakes happens after rain. It makes a screeching noise without performance being effected. It goes away usually within a half an hour. This has been an ongoing thing too for few years by now. The other issue I had as well as others is dimming of lights that has been occurring since last year. We needed to switch the lightbulbs more frequently than seems normal. Didn't even think it was out of the ordinary until I read the comments here about it. The other problem I started to have is with a stereo display system and the voice activation for the bluetooth. The display had some weird lines on it after a very cold or a very hot day (radio was working fine just the display was not working properly). Eventually goes back to normal but this started happening the last year or so. The same time also had a problem with the voice activation unit which turned on unexpectedly and turned back on in 10 seconds after each time I turned it off. This was happening for a good 30 min at that time. This only occurred twice but both times was after a hot day last summer. This year so far haven't happened yet.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #64

Jul 192015


  • 125,000 miles
I was driving home from havenlock, nc on us 70, us 258, us 58 and us 264. I noticed that my low beam headlights were very dim making it very hard to see road marking or signs. There is a stretch of us 58 where they are repaving and they are no road marking at all and I could not see where my lane (2 way traffic). I considered this a very serious problem that the headlight are dim and could have led to a very serious accident. I have noticed that others have complained about the same problem with the Prius 2010. Not able to see more than 30 feet ahead on a very dark night is very scary and had me shaking.

- Wake Forest, NC, USA

problem #63

Nov 292011


  • 14,000 miles
The low beam headlights on this car have been burning out frequently (approximately every six months) since this first incident. In one incident in December, 2014, both lights burned out at the same time.

- Wisconsin Rapids, WI, USA

problem #62

May 182015


  • miles
Vehicle's brake lamp bulbs stopped working (headlamps on/off no change except the upper bulb on the rear lights are illuminated w/headlamps/high beams on as they should be while the rest of the light is indifferent to brake pedal application, changing from park/drive etc). The bulbs were replaced but the issue persists, suspect it is something to do with the wiring harness. Please remedy because any electrical diagnostic is hundreds of dollars at the dealership and may not even be obligatory if a known issue & cost effective solution exist. Regardless of cost Toyota should offer any remedy that protects the safety of their consumers. I just don't want to have to pay a bunch of money to determine the problem was a loose screw. Anyway, faulty brake/tail lights increase the possibility of collision & endanger other drivers when a defect of this nature presents itself. Both right & left are affected, there is no visible warning the vehicle is slowing rather than driving, stopped, idling, or accelerating.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #61

Jun 152011


  • 10,000 miles
This was approximately the date when my first headlight blew. The other headlight blew within a couple months. I went for three years changing headlights every six months or so. Twice, both headlights blew and I had to unsafely drive home (70 miles) with my brights on. I took my car to the dealer and was told that this model and year had a wiring harness "bullet" and the cost to replace it was on me. At the time, that was almost $400, which I did not have. This issue has cause me to replace one (sometimes both) headlights every six months (if I'm lucky to go that long). It has also caused the headlight housing to overheat and has made the inside of the housing "fuzzy." This, in turn, makes it nearly impossible to see in the dark with just my dim lights on so driving at night is dangerous. Toyota needs to make this a recall because it is dangerous. Both headlights going out at one time because of a faulty wiring harness creates a dangerous situation. Having to drive with my brights on creates a dangerous situation for oncoming traffic. Driving at night with my dims on is like driving with no lights on at all.

- Athens, OH, USA

problem #60

Jun 122013


  • 55,000 miles
When flashing the low beams/high beams on/off I routinely blow the low beam bulbs. Not both at the same time but eventually both will blow. I understand from reading forums that this is a known problem however Toyota will not address it unless you are under the 36K warranty. This should be a mandatory recall.

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #59

Feb 042015


  • 60,000 miles
I recently replaced one of the low beam headlights, only to discover a few weeks later that both of the low beams had burned out. I've never had two headlights burn out at the same time! tonight I discovered that another of the low beams has burned out. That means that this bulb burned out in less than two months and only about 1000 miles. I am afraid to use my headlights during the daytime for fear that they will burn out and not be available when I need them to see again at night. This must be a wiring/configuration defect! please do something about this!

- Victoria, MN, USA

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