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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,342 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.

2011 Toyota Prius lights problems

lights problem

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2011 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #25

Jul 012015


  • 45,000 miles


Headlights burn out frequently or stop working intermittently; headlight assembly on passenger side appears to have leakage and low beam appears at a lesser brightness than driver side beam. Had at dealer 4 times in same day for issue with driver headlight in summer 2015 and now at dealer for passenger side issues. This happens in unpredictable circumstances including after long operation or after having just started the vehicle - inconsistent.

- Asheville, NC, USA

problem #24

Jun 232016


  • 69,000 miles
My headlight on the passenger side keeps dying out of nowhere after about three or four months of use (about 6,000 miles of driving). It has been doing this for the past year now and occurs about three of four times a year. It would happen out of nowhere. Today it occurred while driving in the rain during work (I deliver food, needing my car to drive).

- Cherry Hill, NJ, USA

problem #23

May 012016


  • 20,000 miles
Headlamp, 2011 Prius 5 door hatchback, I have replaced the right headlamp 5 times since purchasing the vehicle in 2012. Recently the lamp above the the headlamp has also gone out. If you move the wiring I noticed the lights will work for a while then go out. The headlamps will work for a while when replace but with the last replacement the right new headlamp will not work.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #22

Apr 202016


  • 155,000 miles


There is a service bulletin concerning driver side low beam headlight malfunction Toyota will be glad to fix the problem for $300 bs head lights should work !! this should be a recall

- Delton, MI, USA

problem #21

Apr 162016


  • 75,000 miles
The headlights in my 2011 Toyota Prius have burned out 3 times in the last 6 months, two of the times being at night and I've had to use my high beams so that I can see. When I brought it to my mechanic, I was told that it's a defect with the 2010 and 2011 Prius and that the only way to repair the issue is to install an enhancement kit, which cost me over $500. When I called Toyota about this problem, I was told that my extended warranty does not cover burned out headlights. I keep trying to tell them that I don't expect them to cover burned out headlights, but that they are burning out because of a defect with the car. They keep brushing me off. I am very upset by the fact that it's a known problem with the car and Toyota is not standing by it.

- Doylestown, PA, USA

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problem #20

Mar 162016


  • 100,208 miles
Low beams failing. Increasing in frequency. Both low beam headlamps will go out at the same time. Happening monthly and usually in damp weather. Frequency is increasing. Safety is a major concern.

- Centreville, VA, USA

problem #19

Nov 272014


  • 62,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Prius. While driving at various speeds, the low beam headlights failed. The vehicle was taken to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the headlight wiring harness needed to be replaced. The contact stated that the failure was intermittent. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 62,000.

- Senoia, GA, USA

problem #18

Mar 102015


  • 110,000 miles
Lights keep going out. I've replaced 5 times in the last year. Still keep going out every 2 to 3 months.

- Torrance, CA, USA

problem #17

May 012015


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Prius. While driving at a low speed, the headlamps failed. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was not diagnosed. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #16

Sep 102015


  • 28,400 miles
I own a 2011 Toyota Prius which I purchased in November of that year from arlington Toyota in arlington, va. Since that time I have had to replace the headlights three times. As of Nov 2015, the car had 29,105 miles on it which indicates I do not put a lot of miles on the car. On all three occasions, both low beams were inoperable when I started the car. Fortunately, I was not on the road driving. On every occasion, the dealer told me the bulbs were burned out. The most recent occurrence was the night of Sept 10, 2015. This time the dealer told me Toyota has a wiring solution that would extend the life of the headlights, but that I would have to pay for it. The "solution" would be expensive. I told them that statement tells me there is a defect in the wiring or electrical system, and the fix should be paid for by Toyota under a recall notice. I have noted that Prius owners have been complaining of this same issue since 2007 and a recall had happened in 2011 for earlier year cars. The problem remains, and there is defect in the car's wiring or performance. Given the current VW diesel fiasco, I hope this issue can be addressed by the nhsta and force Toyota to provide safe lighting to us Prius owners.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #15

Sep 222015


  • 50,000 miles


I was pulled over by the police, (while on a village street) because my headlight bulb was burned out. (again!) I have had 4 headlight bulbs replaced on the 2011 Prius and it is only 4 years old! Toyota has a technical service bulletin on the wiring harness, that shorts out the bulbs prematurely, but no recall. Please recall the Prius for the wiring harness, so I can stop getting pulled over by the police! 09\15 thank you!

- Bloomingdale, IL, USA

problem #14

Jun 012014


  • 75,000 miles
Toyota Prius 3 headlights quit working on low beam without any indication upon starting car. It appears that if one bulb burns out, both headlights fail to work, possibly due to the other headlight shorting out the working headlight. Each time the lights have worked just a few hours before and when we return to car, they will not turn on.this has occurred approx 3 times now forcing us to drive significant distances with high beams on. Lights appear to work ok after replacement of both bulbs. Please issue a repair recall to fix this issue which leaves a driver with absolutely no lights.

- Canal Winchester , OH, USA

problem #13

Jan 162015


  • 36,000 miles
VIN # [xxx] Toyota Prius 2011, driving on interstate 80 East, at 65 mph, smoke came out of the hood, headlight and wire smelled and burned, car was almost in fire. Shut off car and headlight and smoke stop. Both headlight are damage due to fire. Kept both head light off, got home and did not use the car for a few months. Car is still under warranty but dealer refuse to repair the problem, telling me I have use an aftermarket bulb. The bulb that cause the problem was the bulb that came with the car as new. I tried to tape up the burned wire to get the car safety home. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #12

Dec 262014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
Both head lights stopped working at the same time, only high beam will work, regular beam stopped working and will not come back on.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #11

Jul 032014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
Driving in rain in dark on unlit road. Both front headlights went out. Nothing would make them come back on - turning lights off and on, turning car off and on. Very scary. Very close to driving off road into ditch. This must be a recall. Toyota as usual will deny the problem so the NHTSA must act.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #10

May 192014


  • 73,451 miles
The headlamps burned out on vehicle start-up for the fifth time in 73,451 miles. The headlamp bulbs last an average of 14,700 miles. I wear latex gloves and am critically careful to never touch the bulbs, but the essence of the problem is that the car clearly has a poorly regulated power supply that stresses the bulbs at start-up. My previous 2006 Prius ate hid bulbs, so I intentionally purchased a 2011 model variant that used conventional halogen bulbs to escape the constant bulb failure issues with Prius. To no avail. Constantly burning out headlamps is a continuing Toyota safety hazard that NHTSA needs to finally address.

- Temecula, CA, USA

problem #9

Apr 302014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Wednesday April 30 2014 I went to church, when I came out and got back in my car light was out. They were burning.

- Flomaton, AL, USA

problem #8

Jan 302014


  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the passenger's side head light suddenly failed as the driver's side headlight became dim. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the headlight assembly would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and no solution was offered. The failure mileage was 86,000. Updated 04-29-14

- Lodi, CA, USA

problem #7

Feb 112014


  • miles
Since the first set of bulbs have went out in the vehicle at around 48,000 miles I will now be installing the 4th set of bulbs... original + 3. the bulbs in the Prius fail within 24 hours of eachother each time and it is going threw headlights around every 10,000 miles at this time. This is completely unacceptable and dangerous for a commuter vehicle.

- Elkton, MD, USA

problem #6

Apr 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
Within 2 years of purchasing new 2011 Prius vehicle, hid headlight lamp failed.

- New Windsor, MD, USA

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