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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 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #38

Jun 292012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles


Low beam headlight bulbs burn out much faster than they should. I have replaced both low beam bulbs at least 6 times in the last 2 years. Typical bulbs should last well over a year, whereas mine only last 2-3 months. I do not drive with headlights on during the day. This happens with both low beams, but not simultaneously. As a result, I am installing new bulbs every other month. I never touch the bulbs (always wear disposable gloves) so this is not a result of finger oil reducing the bulb life.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #37

May 242014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 96,472 miles
I was leaving a parking space and exiting the parking area when both headlights went off leaving me in the dark. I pulled over and turned them on and off several times but nothing happened. I had the running lights, the turn signals, the high beams but no low beams. I drove home with my high beams on. I went today and replaced both bulbs then tried the lights again. Nothing. I took the bulbs back and exchanged them and still no headlights.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #36

May 012014

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
(40) fleet 2010 Toyota Prius. Consumer writes in regards to vehicles headlights malfunction. The consumer stated he had to routinely replace 7-8 headlamps per week on the fleet of 40 vehicles. The dealer informed the consumer the frequent burnout of the bulbs was likely due to wither security officers not properly caring for the vehicle or the vehicles being used more frequently for personal use. Also, the wiring harness failed on the vehicles. The consumer stated there is currently 1 vehicle in the shop now, and the dealer quoted a price of $8,000 to replace the wiring harness.

- Smithtown, NY, USA

problem #35

Apr 222014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 26,762 miles


The low beam bulb lamp came loose from its housing - melting the socket, and while still "working" did not provide proper illumination for night driving and perhaps posed a fire hazard. Upon taking to the dealer, they replaced the entire unit (for $720.08) and have ordered a retrofit bracket (it is on back order) that they will installed to prevent re-occurrence. Seems there is a problem - they know it - but the public bares the cost and possible safety issues associated with the problem. They are not taking any proactive action to install a retrofit bracket to prevent the working lamp on the opposite side of the car from dislodging and causing a similar problem.

- Alameda, CA, USA

problem #34

Dec 262013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the low beam headlights failed and had to be replaced every few months. The vehicle was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 95,000 and the current mileage was 100,000. Updated 6/17/14

- San Francisco, CA, USA

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problem #33

Mar 262014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
The driver's side headlight went out in late March 2014. It was replaced by the dealer on March 29. On April 12, both headlights went out while driving in the dark. On April 13, the smaller lights above the headlights were also out. They continue to not work. The lights in the rear of the car are functioning.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #32

Mar 152014


  • 57,000 miles


Both headlights (low beams) failed simultaneously, resulting in the owner having to sleep in the car overnight until sunrise. There have been 17+ similar reports

- Bartlett, IL, USA

problem #31

Mar 032014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
My daughter was driving hone from work and got on the freeway early Monday morning approximately 1:05 am and suddenly the headlights went out. She tried turning them back on and off and on again but still no lights, so she had to drive home in the dark with no head lights. She was almost hit by other drivers because they could not see her. It was a scary ordeal for her and my headlights are still not working. I just purchased this vehicle on December 10, 2013.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #30

Feb 012011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
Headlight bulbs keep burning out every few months, since we bought the car I have been changing bulbs every 2 to 3 months.

- Jamul, CA, USA

problem #29

Oct 152010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
I have had repeated issues with the low beam headlights since purchasing my 2010 Toyota Prius. The low beam headlight bulbs burn out and have to be replaced every 2-6 months. Replacement bulbs have included bulbs purchased from Toyota and auto parts stores varying in price level and lumens. I have had two instances where both headlights simultaneously malfunctioned would not illuminate. The first was when I had my car turned off for several hours and when I started the car the lights would not illuminate. I turned the car off and checked the headlight bulb connections. I had to drive home approximately 5 miles using the high beams. I took my car to oxmoor Toyota, the dealership where I purchased the car new, and the service department determined that my car was functioning normally. They replaced both low beam headlight bulbs with Toyota bulbs. The second time that both low beam headlights failed the car was parked but running with the low beam headlights illuminated. The headlights were switched off but the car remained running. When I switched the lights on, the low beam headlights would not illuminate. I turned car off and checked the low beam headlight bulb connections. The high beam lights, turn signals, backup lights, and brake lights functioned normally. I drove home approximately 20 miles with the high beams. Once home, I verified that the fuse was not burned out. Two months later the front driver's side low beam headlight would not illuminate. I decided it was time to return to the dealership where I brought my car to see if Toyota had found a solution to this issue. The service manager said that they only issue was the burned out low beam headlight bulb.

- Shepherdsville, KY, USA

problem #28

Jan 152014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 105,016 miles


After leaving a skating event with 4 kids in my car at approximately 8:30 pm, I noticed that I had no headlights which had worked 2 1/2 hours prior. Both lights went out at the same time. All other lights worked, including high beams which I used to continue driving that evening. I called the local Toyota dealer who informed me that "this was a common problem in the 2010 Prius. I made the appointment to take my car in for repair and was informed that it would be $800 to fix the problem since my car was out of warranty. When I dropped my car off, the service rep showed me a spec sheet stating that I needed a "headlamp durability enhancement" (spec sheet was issued Oct 2012) and stated that the problem was "low beam headlamp bulb lifetime was shorter than customer expectation". that wasn't the problem, the problem was that both lights went out at the same time which is a safety issue. I requested to have the old parts returned and an experienced friend went with me to question why I was charged for joints when none had not been taken off my car. I was told that this was not on my car previously and that I could review a technical service bulleting (tsb-0204-12) on the Toyota website which I cannot locate this document anywhere online. A formal recall for this problem was never issued even though Toyota knew that this was a recurring problem in the 2010 Prius model.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #27

Nov 132013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
The headlights went out suddenly while driving. My husband changed the bulbs but that didn't help. All fuses are good. I read online that it is the relay and that many other Prius owner's have been having the same problem.

- Midland Park, NJ, USA

problem #26

Sep 052012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 5,500 miles
I own a 2010 Prius, purchased new in February 2010, one of the options I purchased with the car was hid headlights, which came already installed in the car. The right headlight went out in 9/2012 & the left in 10/2013. I knew right away that when the 1st light went out that the replacement was not an hid light which I had initially paid for & the car was still under warranty. Now with the other bulb being replaced in Oct 2013, again with a non hid bulb, we can no longer drive the car in the dark without using the bright light beams because we can not see the road in front of us as well as beyond. This is an accident waiting to happen. I also owned a 2006 Prius with headlight problems. I never received the $365 settlement in 2011 for this problem, why?

- Grapevine, TX, USA

problem #25

Jan 132011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the low beam head lights failed and could not be re-illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection where they stated that the light bulbs needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred five times. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 40,000. Updated 10/29/13 the consumer stated both of the low beams went out simultaneously. Also, when the wires were wiggled the lights would come on. The dealer suggested to turn to the vehicle off, and then turn it back it on. The consumer believed there was an electrical or computer problem.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #24

Jul 102011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
My car is constantly blowing light bulbs. It started after only one year with headlights. Both tag lights and several front marker lights have blown. There has to be an electronics problem.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #23

Aug 062013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 39,830 miles
Last night, at 10 pm, on getting back to into my car to drive to my house 7 miles away, both the headlights did not work. The high beam lights were working, but the regular headlights did not. As a result, I was driving in dark on a single lane highway, and it was a very scary experience.

- Belle Mead, NJ, USA

problem #22

Aug 032013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
While on vacation on Aug 3, 2013, we were driving in the smoky mountains in gatlinburg, tn, via the scenic loop down from cades cove. I was driving and my husband, our 13 year old son (only child) and his 13 yr. Old buddy (my friend's only child) were the passengers. The route was a steep mountainside with typical winding mountain roads, pitch dark at ~8:30 pm. Suddenly, both headlights went out, together, at the same time. The dashboard showed that the headlights were on, no warning signs came on. I had driven through a tunnel a bit earlier and the headlights were both working. Panicked, I pulled over at the next lookout ledge, turned the car's power off and on several times, turned the lights off and on several times while the car was running - nothing. No cellphone service was available in the area. As I was hysterical and terrified beyond my wits, my husband took over driving duty and drove with the emergency flashers on. After a few miles of sheer panic and incoherence, it occurred to us to try the high beam, which fortunately worked and we are alive to tell the story today. As soon as we got cellphone signal we left messages for our friends in case we died they would know why. Get a grip, Toyota! I loved my Prius - this is my 2nd Prius, but I am now petrified to step in this car again. I found thousands of similar complaints online regarding both the Prius headlights failing at once, so Toyota you know I am not an isolated case. Horrible, dangerous problem with the 2010 Prius, you are risking lives!

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #21

Nov 012012


  • 30,000 miles
There is a chronic problem with the headlights on this car. They continually burn out, or, go out and than come back on when headlight is 'tapped' lightly. Dealer and independent repair shop(s) have replaced numerous times and problem recurs.

- Paradise Valley, AZ, USA

problem #20

Apr 142013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 28,000 miles
Both headlights failed to go on. Both functioned the day before. High beam lights still functioned. Extremely dangerous drive home.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #19

Nov 012012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
My headlight went out while driving. The dealer indicated the replacement cost would be between $300 and $400 for a single light bulb. The dealer indicated that I only use the lights when needed to prolong the life of that type of bulb.

- Lansing, IL, USA

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