pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
96,000 miles
Total Complaints:
31 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (23 reports)
  2. replace faulty system (8 reports)
2009 Toyota Prius lights problems

lights problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2009 Toyota Prius:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2009 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #31

Feb 012017

Prius Standord

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles


These headlights were bad from the first day. They should be fixed under warranty. A dark highway is no place to lose the ability to see the road.

- Thomas P., Annapolis, US

problem #30

Jul 102017

Prius 4 Door Liftback 1.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


- Emily D., Gastonia, US

problem #29

Oct 172017

Prius 4 Door Liftback 1.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

Replacing the headlights AGAIN! First time was right, second time was left, third was right, fourth was left, fifth was right, sixth is left!

- Emily D., Gastonia, US

problem #28

Apr 272017

Prius 4 Door Liftback 1.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles


I'm having to replace the headlamp bulbs every couple of months. I've spent close to $500 to replace them.

- Emily D., Gastonia, US

problem #27

Jun 022017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

I bought this car used from a dealer. Both of the headlights worked originally. Then the drivers side would come on and randomly go out. I bought a replacement bulb and fixed the problem. Two weeks later, it went out again and wouldn't come back on. I replaced the bulb again, went out and has been out ever since.

- Jane L., Hagerstown, US

Search CarComplaints.com for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #26

Jun 182015

Prius Touring Standard

  • CVT transmission
  • 97,450 miles

bought the 09 Prius used, it was well maintained, with one owner, 97500 miles.. started noticing problem immediatly, did not bother with the dealership as they were a shady bunch to begin with. Passenger side headlight goes out or dims almost completely when in use. will work for a few minutes but almost always out by the time i reach my destination.. it's very dangerous and i've been stopped by law enforcement. I was dedicated to the Prius, but am now preaching a different doctrine.. Toyota is obviously so profit driven it's willing to lose loyal customers in trade of a short term profit. I will NOT ever buy a toyota again for this reason and will spend much energy dissuading others to do so as well. And i'm nothing if not persuassive..

often the light will come back on and dim to 80% almost immediately when switched off and back on.

this manufacturing flaw presents a clear and present danger of collision for oncoming traffic as well as the prius and it's occupants. One of the stupidest customer service decisions i've witnessed on the part of a corporation but very telltale as to where it's allegiance lies.

- Charles S., Jupiter, US

problem #25

Nov 232016

Prius Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


I do love my Prius, I average about 50 mpg. However, I have a left headlight that constantly goes out. It does not flicker, it just goes out. It's actually dangerous and I can't believe Toyota hasn't had a recall on this. It's very expensive to fix, just the headlight runs about $100 from Toyota and then the labor to replace it is a couple of hundred dollars. JUST RIDICULOUS. How some company can design a headlight that takes a trip to the dealer and hundreds of dollars to fix is beyond me. What gets me is that this is a dangerous situation when a headlight goes out and nobody seems to care that it's obviously a problem that Toyota was not made to fix. The Prius has too much going for it, Toyota should have been addressing this right away to show that they are a company that cares. Obviously, that's not true. It's that Japanese mind-set, they just can't admit that there is a problem.

- mikececilsmith, Charlotte, US

problem #24

Sep 052016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles

headlight failure started as an intemittent problem. first driver side goes out. now passenger side fails. sometimes turning lights on and off both return but fail again within minutes. this is incredibly unsafe and prevents me from driving my car when it rains and at night!

- Stan M., Chicago, IL, US

problem #23

May 012015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles

They want $600 to fix this. That is exorbitant for a that is well know and THEY caused by a stupid design. I have a bulb go out several years ago, Replacment cost $150. plus labor That's not right either.

- David T., Hendersonville, NC, US

problem #22

Oct 162016

Prius LX 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,500 miles

Headlights fail on average about every 6 months. Never have this problem with other cars.

- R C., Walla Walla, WA, US

problem #21

May 172016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,640 miles


I don't drive much at night, but when I do I would really like to see the road and be seen by other drivers. This is a potentially very dangerous situation. The driver's side headlight does not come on, except if I take the car in to a repair shop. Then it works. HELP!!!

Update from May 27, 2016: Happened again - this time the driver's side headlight went out.

Update from May 27, 2016: Another day without the passenger side headlight. What happens if both side go out at the same time?

- jbberend, Canandaigua, NY, US

problem #20

Jun 012014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

I thought I noticed lights flickering but wasn't really sure. After some time it seemed as if one light was out so I turned switch off and on and they seemed both to turn on. I then noticed when I drove into my garage that only one light was on, but when I turned switch on and off and turn both would be on. To be safe, had lights replaced but six months later driver's side is out sometimes. And, worse yet, driving home one night BOTH lights turned off. Prior to them turning off, I thought I saw the lights flicker and then they went off. I used switch to turn off and back and and thankfully they turned back on. Passenger light flickers and driver's side light is still sometimes out, but not always.

- joyceskowyra, Palmer, MA, US

problem #19

Sep 012015

Prius C2001 1.5L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,493 miles

light goes out intermittently, creating VERY dangerous situation. only time I know it is off is reflection from car in front of me. checked the fuses, connections. this car is our second car, thus very low mileage, 32K miles in 6 years. happened within the last 2 months, problem still on-going. irritated with the problem.

- koa1095, Hilo, HI, US

problem #18

Oct 222015

Prius Hybrid

  • CVT transmission
  • 160,000 miles

Wife was coming home from church when the headlights went completely out and nearly crashed into the ditch. We live rural and there are no streetlights and it is pitch black. I found that this has been a known problem and I can't believe that this has not been a recall. Someone better be glad my wife was not injured or worse. I thought Toyota was all about quality but apparently they aren't anymore.

- Gary L., Brooksville, MS, US

problem #17

Nov 192015

Prius LX 1.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 43,000 miles

My Prius 2009 started having problems with HID headlights. The right headlight randomly goes out. Sometimes if I turn the lights off and on, the light stays on for awhile. But eventually it goes out again. I am losing respect for Toyota over this...First, the local dealer told me I would need a diagnostic to determine the cause of the problem, for which I must pay more than $100. At the National Toyota office, one person told me I wouldn't have to pay for the diagnostic to determine the cause and later another person told me I would. As for the warranty, as a result of the class action lawsuit --one Toyota person told me I was covered under an extended warranty because I had less than 50,000 miles on my car. Another person told me I would not be covered because the car is a few months over the 5 year purchase period. Evidently it is not an "either--or" condition as it appears to be

From my calculations of costs: bulbs cost more than $300 apiece, so that is more than $600, plus labor, plus a diagnostic, I am looking at over $1,000, maybe $2,000. And if it the circuitry is the problem, the whole process could repeat with associated costs. It infuriates me as this appears to be an operating defect, not really a burned out light. If the light didn't ever come back on, I could accept that it was burned out. Duh! And some report this 'lights going off problem' continuing for years. Burned out bulb? Give me a break! Toyota needs to honestly face this defect. Obviously, they are aware and for that reason they discontinued using HID lights after 2009.

Being retired now on a fixed income I am choosing not to have anything done. So I will try to do day driving and when I must at night, I will have to resort to turning the lights off and on. I wonder how many years that will go on. I am furious that such a wealthy company doesn't honor its customers better. No more Toyota for me. And I once loved my Prius.

Update from Jan 13, 2016: Two days since my earlier complaint. I had to lead a meeting at 7 pm here. Turned on Prius, and both lights went on. Drove to meeting place 10 minutes away, and upon arriving both lights were out! An hour and a half later when leaving I turned on lights and they went on, and I drove home. Upon arrival both lights were still on ?

- Marcia D., missoula, MT, US

problem #16

Dec 242015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

The headlights turn off. This needs to be fixed and is not.

- Christine S., Oceanside, CA, US

problem #15

Oct 012015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

I absolutely LOVE my 2009 Prius....but.....

In the time that I have owned it, it has given me very few problems until very recently. Within the last few weeks, the headlights randomly turn off. Sometimes the driver's side, sometimes the passenger side...sometimes both at the same time.

Tonight, I had both headlights and dash lights shut off while driving home down a dark, wet, very curvy, leaf covered road. Quickly turning the lights on and off briefly solved the problem.

This should NEVER happen and poses a tremendous threat not only to the drivers/passengers in the Prius, but to other travelers as well. I am extremely disappointed in Toyota for refusing to be accountable and accept responsibility for the safety of the many consumers who have experienced this problem.

While I have read articles claiming this problem usually surfaces between 20 - 50K miles, my vehicle is an example that it can happen at any time! Shame on you Toyota!!! I will have to strongly consider whether or not this faithful Toyota consumer will remain faithful. I promise that if I, or one of my family members is injured as a result of this defect and your company fails to rectify it...you will be sued and lose! I don't care how big of a company you think you are!. You have a responsibility to consumers for the safety of your product.

- Helen S., Milford, US

problem #14

Jul 122014

Prius ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Headlight does not stay on - cost $150-200 every time to change the filament. Get various reasons why -- but can't get it fixed. This is not safe!

- shboyle, Green, PA, US

problem #13

Jul 152015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

The HID light on driver side goes out without warning, I have to turn the lights off then on again to get the lights to work again, this only last for a brief period, then it happens again, and I repeat the process until I get home, hoping not to have an accident or be stopped by the police because my lights are out. I took the car in for service and was told the bulb is $187.00 and the labor is $178.00. Additionally, replacing the bulb may not correct the problem.

I am recovering from a patient on nurse assault and I have very limited income at this time. I try not to drive at night for fear the lights will go out and not come back on. This is a significant safety issue, for myself and others on the road. I was surprised when I ran across this site where others complained about the same issue, with no response from Toyota. I am praying this issue is resolved, Toyota should stand behind their product and value their customers safety.

- Geri Z., San Diego, CA, US

problem #12

May 012015

Prius Touring 1.5L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Right headlight just goes out periodically for no reason. If I turn the headlights off & on again the headlight works fine. I heard many other Prius' have this same issue.

- Mary B., Palatine, IL, US

Read the next 11 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?