hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,925 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.

2009 Toyota Prius lights problems

lights problem

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2009 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #57

Jun 012015


  • 100,000 miles


Driving at night, the drivers side hid would flicker and then shut off completely. Last night for the first time while driving a dark road, both hid shut off leaving me in total darkness.

- Corona, CA, USA

problem #56

May 272015


  • 98,000 miles
This has been a recurring problem. The headlights will turn off without any warning. They turn back on if I flip the switch off and then back on again. The fact that the lights are on every time I leave the house (I can see their reflection against the garage wall) means they are not burnt out, but the fact that I have almost been hit multiple times by people who then honk and flash their brights to tell me my headlights are off means that they are turning off on their own. Through internet searches and chat forums, I have learned that I am not alone in this dangerous issue with my 2009 Toyota Prius.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #55

May 012015


  • 80 miles
My 2009 Prius right headlight goes out periodically and without warning. If I turn the headlights off & on again, it works again, but only for a period of time.

- Palatine, IL, USA

problem #54

May 012015


  • 76,000 miles


The hid lights have become intermittent. First the left one would randomly go off and then later come back on, on more than one occasion. More recently the right one is showing the same behavior.

- Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #53

Mar 112015


  • 150,000 miles
Both headlights go out without warning when driving down the highway.

- Stanwood, WA, USA

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problem #52

Apr 302013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Headlights intermittently fail. Bulbs are ok. Headlight can be restarted by turning them off then back on. A dangerous situation!

- Mclean, VA, USA

problem #51

Apr 172013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles


About two years ago one or another of my headlights would go off intermittently. When I turned the switch off and back on, they'd both be on. This was irritating but it was random and sporadic enough that I didn't take it in for service until both lights started going off in recent weeks. I then discovered on the internet the history and extent of this problem. The service people at the dealership only indicated that this problem had occurred with the 2005-2009 Prius but weren't forthcoming with other background information. $500 later I have new lights. My plan is to have "problems" with them every 11 months as long as I own the car, if they don't go off on their own, so that I can get the problem fixed under the dealer's 12 month warranty. Fortunately, most of my driving is downtown in a large city where other lighting is available. I did think whenever I was on the freeway at night I'd better have the lights checked. Although there apparently isn't a body count with this problem, or is there?, it certainly would have been helpful to have received some written information from Toyota or NHTSA that this problem is pervasive and could be very dangerous.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #50

Jan 282015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Toyota Prius 2009 headlights were on and off finally the left side went off totally. The seal outside the headlight didn't prevent of water came into the system and damaged it. Also while driving the car accelerated and decelerated by itself. And while stopping the car jump.

- Campbell, CA, USA

problem #49

Jan 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
My passenger headlight will turn off while I am driving. Now both headlights will turn off at once. Usually one will come back on. This is very dangerous! this began in January 2013.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #48

Feb 022015


  • 84,200 miles
2/14/2015 as I was checking my vehicle I saw a lot of condensation in the drivers side hid headlight assembly. After researching I saw this is a common problem with subsequent problems of headlights going on and off with no warning. The headlight seal problem is a common issue and there was a class action lawsuit. Unfortunately it ended 2011 and I didn't know at that time I would experience the issue at a later date. There should be a recall for this $400 plus repair. The part alone is $375.

- Roseville, CA, USA

problem #47

Jan 022012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles


I purchased this 2009 Prius from my elderly parents who didn't drive at night so the hid issue was not discovered until after warranty. My wife and I were driving at night in Jan. 2012 and both headlights went out. I called Toyota (limbaugh and hoover) in birmingham, al. About the safety issue and they said they weren't aware of any issues and Toyota had no recall. At this point, I'm out approximately $400 and my time and the issue keeps coming back. Can you please help? thank you.

- Hoover, AL, USA

problem #46

Nov 282014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Driver's side headlight will go out without warning. Later the light will go out again. The headlight has been replaced as well as the amplifier. The new light bulb was left on for 3 hours while car was parked but then when it was driven, the light went out again.

- El Cajon, CA, USA

problem #45

Jun 032014


  • 114,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving at 70 mph, the headlights failed without warning. The contact deactivated and activated the headlight switch and the headlights illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 114,000.

- Lakeville, MN, USA

problem #44

Dec 142011

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
My 2009 Prius has headlights that intermittently flicker or extinguish at random times. Sometimes the right headlight will extinguish, sometimes it's the left headlight, and sometimes both extinguish at the same time. Some times the light(s) come back on without any action, and sometimes it is necessary to turn the headlight switch off and right back on. To date, the lights have resumed normal operation when they are turned on and off, at least so far it has worked every time. This can be extremely dangerous and frightening especially on the freeway or a mountain road. This phenomenon seems to be increasing in its frequency of occurrence. Why hasn't Toyota been forced to recall the Prius for this life threatening safety issue? I was told by the Toyota dealer that it's a bad filament in the headlight, I've never seen a filament behave that way.

- Aptos, CA, USA

problem #43

Dec 022013


  • 100,000 miles
Headlight goes out randomly and requires the headlights to be turned off then on.

- Loves Park, IL, USA

problem #42

Sep 172014


  • 104,000 miles
Headlight will intermittantly go out. Turns back on when lights are turned off and on but keeps recurring with no warning.

- Mount Vernon, IA, USA

problem #41

Aug 092014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 84,000 miles
Passenger head light started flickering on and off, I pulled over turned car off then back on, head light came on but was dim. I don't do much night driving and this was very concerning. I still have this issue, and have now found on line that this should be a safety recall. Up to $400 to fix, just for a head light. You got to be kidding. As soon as the other head light starts acting up as well I won't be able to drive at night. I don't have $800-$1000 to replace head light. This is a real safety issue. There needs to be a recall.

- Carrollton , TX, USA

problem #40

Oct 082014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 122,000 miles
Driving on a dark road I went from high beams to low and the entire lighting system went out. I was quick so cycled the headlight switch, everything came back on but the passenger headlight. Tried replacing the light bulb, it still wont work. I paid extra for these H I D headlights. Now I'm told 1000 dollars to fix them.

- Lakehughes, CA, USA

problem #39

Dec 312012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
I had just purchased my 2009 Toyota Prius the evening of Friday December 28th 2012 and had only driven that weekend. Then on the 31st I noticed when I was pulling into a gas station I had only one headlight working... didn't think to much about it. Then when I was leaving noticed that both lights were on working. A few hours later I noticed a flicker like a light was going out. Noticed again passenger headlight was going out.. I had the car back at the shop over a battery issue on January 2nd as my battery had suddenly died. When I took it up to Toyota I mentioned the headlight was told oh nothing they can see. Then months later it continued. Then again every now and then.. I would flip the lights on and off and sometimes it wouldn't do it again for months... then in Sept 2013 it started to do it on both sides. Again contacted Toyota nothing. Then my teenager daughter had the car and called me hysterical saying no headlights were on. She had just gotten her license days prior. Her first outing without me. Then again battery issue went back to Toyota was told not a clue. Now reading the info I've come across with 2001-2009 Prius headlight issues I'm pissed that Toyota is aware of this and lied and said theyhad not heard of such a thing. Now October 2014 I am no longer able to drive the car in the rain or at night. As I now have no headlights. I find this a major safety issue and considering how many people have stated this and the fact someone can be killed or injured seriously as one overlooks I think is a major serious issue and concern. I am not paying to have headlights replaced or electrical issues as this is something that needs to be recalled and fixed by Toyota.

- Florissant, MO, USA

problem #38

Aug 182014


  • 80,000 miles
The hid headlights started to flicker and went off. Repeatedly happened. First the passenger side then the driver side. I had the hid headlights replaced two days ago. The passenger headlight was still dimmed, the driver's side seemed fine. Today, the driver's side went off again and won't turn back on. The passenger side is still working, but dimmed.

- Malibu, CA, USA

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