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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 1 of 5)

problem #98

Aug 262015


  • 100,000 miles


The low beam head lights constantly burn out. My car is at 108,500 miles, and I have replaced the low beam bulbs at least 5 times in the last 3 years. I have had this occur while driving on the interstate 5. another driver on the highway flashed lights at me, pulled up next to me, to indicate that my lights were out. I had to drive with the high beams on for over 20 miles. It was a very dangerous situation, because it was blinding to other drivers. However, if I had not done this, I would have been driving with no lights at all. This has happened to me three times after replacing the bulbs, which will last for a while, but quickly stop working. I have owned several cars and have never had to replace the headlights even once.

- Sumner, WA, USA

problem #97

Sep 052016


  • 130,000 miles
Three times in the past 12 months I have had my one or the other of my headlights dim and go out. The first time I replaced both headlights assuming the light needed to be replaced so I should just do both. It has occurred two additional times and finally, last night, I returned to my parked car to discover both headlights were out. I was forced to drive home switching between high beams and no lights. Replacing bulbs every few months seems excessive. Losing headlights in the dark is dangerous. This problem needs to be addressed by Toyota and a recall needs to be initiated.

- Poolesville, MD, USA

problem #96

Jan 052015


  • 100,000 miles
My low bean headlights keep burning out on my Prius. I have replaced them with oem replacement bulbs and other high quality after market bulbs and no matter which one it is it continues to burn out. They continually burn out after very little use and in a very short time frame. I make sure I follow the recommended handling and installation procedures to ensure I don't compromise or wrongly install the bulbs. This is a major hazard while driving down the road. I never know when my headlights are going to fail. This has occurred at night and in weather where headlights were needed. This is a major safety hazard and from reading forums, this is a common problem with 2010 Toyota Prius. This is a safety issue that needs to be addressed by Toyota.

- Conway, AR, USA

problem #95

Jul 272016


  • 85,000 miles


For the past year, the low beams on my 2010 Prius continue to burn out within a few months of being replaced. I have had to drive twice in the dark with no low beams and had to use my high beams until I was able to get home/buy new bulbs. It doesn't matter what brand or type of bulb I use, they are burning out within 45-60 days of replacement. It's extremely dangerous especially since I spend a majority of my time driving for work. The Toyota dealer I took my vehicle to in May 2016 told me there was no problem, they'd never heard of any problems with the lights, and that I just needed to buy "expensive" bulbs. After installing the most expensive bulbs I could find, both headlights burned out within 60 days. It's very frustrating buying new bulbs every 2 months.

- Converse, TX, USA

problem #94

Jul 022016


  • 110,000 miles
Low beam headlights failed with less than 10,000 miles since last replacement.

- Chambersburg, PA, USA

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problem #93

Jun 022016


  • 65,000 miles
Low beam headlamp bulbs fail repeatedly in less than 6 months. This happens regardless of bulb brand or model. I have had these professionally installed at multiple shops. Happens on both sides, but the latest is on driver side.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #92

May 142016


  • 93,000 miles


My headlight caught fire and severely burned my car. I was driving down the road on a city steet and saw a wisp of smoke and pulled over into a store parking lot. I had no warning lights indicating anything was wrong. It began to smoke more, and I cautiously opened the hood to see a fire coming from my drivers side headlight area. Within seconds there was a blaze, and it took 3 fire extinguishers to put it out. The fire department confirmed that the fire originated from the headlight. I had previously experienced problems with my headlight becoming dull and cloudy. An earlier NHTSA investigation did not result in a recall. I think it's the same problem with the headlight, only much worse. If there were not multiple fire extinguishers available the car could have easily exploded before the fire department arrived. It could have easily caused harm to other people.

- Shoreline, WA, USA

problem #91

Mar 022012


  • 40,000 miles
Low beam bulbs constantly failing, have to replace every few months! sometimes both bulbs will fail at the same time, leaving you with only high beams. Toyota issued a tsb in 10/12 about a fix involving modification to the wiring harness but says they will only repair this problem for cars under 36K miles or 36 months from date of purchase, which means many of the cars with this problem were already out of the warranty period when the tsb was issued. No headlights is a serious safety issue and this repair should be made available to any owner with this problem at no cost. It appears that the cost of having this tsb done is several hundred dollars.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #90

Apr 142016


  • 40,300 miles
On April 14, both my low-beam stopped working. Unfortunately I was forced to drive home in the dark, on a winding canyon road alternating between no light and high-beams. I took my car the next morning to Toyota of N. hollywood for repair. I assumed it would be a fuse or loose wire. I thought it highly unlikely that both lights would go out at the exact same time. My service manager informed me this was not uncommon. He quoted me $110 for parts and labor. Reluctantly I gave the "go-ahead" for the replacement (what choice did I really have"?"). about an hour after leaving my car for the replacment, I received a call from the service mgr. Informing me that the housing on for the left light was "melted" and it would need to also be replaced at a cost of $350. I asked if this was covered under warrenty (2010 car with 40300 miles) and was told no. I said that this sounds like a design flaw, as surely the when the housing was created, the heating element and output of the standard light bulb would be taken into consideration in the desgn. My service mgr. Informed me that it was not uncommon as it happens to Tacoma's quite frequently. Again, I reluctantly gave the green light for the repair, and requested that I be given all parts upon when I picked up my car. After getting off the phone, I realized through an online search that 1) there was a recall in place for 2004-2009 Prius for lighting issues; and 2) there was a recall for Tacoma's for the melting issue. Clearly this is still a issue. I found another person on this very site who shared the very same problem he had four days before me. The recall for the Prius must be extended. Looking online, there are hundreds of complaints going beyond the scope of the years included in the original recall. This little repair cost over $540 dollars. Shameful on Toyota.

- Studio City, CA, USA

problem #89

Mar 142016


  • 120,000 miles
One of my headlights went out a couple of months ago, so I replaced both. A few weeks later, I was driving on an interstate highway at night, roughly 8pm, and my both of my headlights went out. They would not come back on. Only the high-beams were functional. After speaking with my local Toyota dealership, this is a known issue of a faulty wiring harness. The local dealership refused to replace the faulty wiring. I find it difficult to comprehend how a car's most basic safety feature, maybe aside from the brakes, is suffering from a known issue and nothing has been done. Without an intervention in this matter, Toyota's willingness to ignore this problem, as they have with many others in the past, will certainly lead to death.

- Boulder, CO, USA

problem #88

Apr 042016


  • 94,000 miles


Both of my low beam headlights went out suddenly. I didn't realize it until I was driving onto the freeway and had to turn on my high beams so I wouldn't crash while on the dark onramp of the freeway. The housing of the left low beam is blown out. I brought in my Prius to the dealership and they would not cover this even though I have the platinum warranty.

- Millbrae, CA, USA

problem #87

Mar 252016


  • 101,000 miles
Over the last 3 years, my dim bulbs have been blowing frequently. I usually don't notice this until I drive at night, which I try to avoid. Last weekend, it happened again. They had been replace about 3 months ago. Bright lights work fine but no dims. I have never had this problem with other cars. It is really more aggravating now that my son has moved far away and I have to search for someone to replace them. I recently read online that this is a problem with Prius cars. Why no recall?

- Eastman, GA, USA

problem #86

Mar 282016


  • 170,000 miles
Low beams continually blowing. This time together. I am told this may be a costly fix. Very dangerous.

- Clemson, SC, USA

problem #85

Mar 182016


  • 85,000 miles
2010 Toyota Prius headlights burn out frequently. One of the headlights burn out every 5 to 6 months. I can't just replace the burnt out bulb as the other one then burns out.

- Swansea, MA, USA

problem #84

Jan 152016


  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the low beam headlamp bulbs were dim. The headlamp bulbs were replaced, but the failure persisted. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 94,000.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #83

Feb 062016


  • 113,000 miles
Headlights stopped working. I got into my car to drive to work and found one bulb out. That night I got into my car to drive home and found the other bulb out. I had to drive home in the rain with no headlights, using my high beams whenever possible. Changed out the bulbs numerous times and nothing came on. When taken to the dealership was told an updated wiring harness was needed and would cost me nearly $800! if the wiring harness needed to be updated, Toyota clearly knew there was an issue causing the headlights to short. I now have a vehicle that I cannot drive safely because I cannot afford to fix Toyota's defective equipment!

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #82

Jan 262016


  • 45,079 miles
Headlights have gone off while driving at night. Replacement of the bulbs began in 2013. Only recently while driving at night on the interstate and back roads, did we realize that were sometimes working and this was a reoccurring issue.

- Fairborn, OH, USA

problem #81

Jan 242016


  • 25,000 miles
Low beam headlamps contiually fail. I've had to replace lights no less that 8 times since 2012! not only an expense, but poses a significant hazard. I was told recently the the cause is a known defect in the wiring harness which has since been corrected. However, on 2 occasions the local Toyota dealer told me that the "system" I fine and that I have to be more careful in replacing the bulbs. The car can be parked, or active. There is now warning or specific milage. Seems random. Most recent occurrence 01/24/2016.

- Peyton, CO, USA

problem #80

Dec 012015


  • 76,000 miles
Burning oil issue. Front head light short circuit or burned out. Leather seat separated twice.

- Fullerton, CA, USA

problem #79

Dec 052014


  • 62,000 miles
Headlights started getting dim. Replaced bulbs with new hid bulbs. Headlights still dim. Dealer claims water is in both headlights. Requires me to replace both headlight assemblies for $1,000. Not covered under warranty. As an engineer I claim poor design.

- San Anselmo, CA, USA

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