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 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #37

Aug 192014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 89,761 miles


There has been no injuries or vehicle damage. I left off total repair cost because the repair shop has not finished solving the problem. In 2013 I started have having headlight problems and have it about three months since. I have replaced the headlight bulbs several times on both sides. One time the headlights would operate opposite( one side would be high beam only and the other would be low beam only and when switching the switch inside to high beam the headlights would switch as to what they did only. On wed 8/20/14 the low beam quit working. I earlier purchased a new plug and 2 new bulbs in case I had a problem. I took the car to an independent repair shop( my only Toyota dealer in my town can not be trusted) where I live. He installed the new plug and we tried each of the two new bulbs and they exhibited the same problem - the low beam was just a spec of light; not enough for the low beam. He tested the voltage in the ground side of the plug and the fuse position in the fuse assembly and it lit up his voltage tester with a spec of light. He had no idea what system sent the voltage to the low beam side for the passenger side headlight. I am taking the car back on wed 8/27/14 to finish the job.

- Wichita Falls, TX, USA

problem #36

Jul 302014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 36,117 miles
Left front headlight began to flicker, then failed completely on highway while driving at night. Taken in for repair on 8/2/14. Was told that entire hid assembly unit and computer sub-assy had to be replace.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #35

Jul 122014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 134,000 miles
While driving at night, both headlights, without warning went out. Immediately, I pulled to the side of the road and turned the headlight switch to off. Then, paused a moment before relighting them, unfortunately relighting them normally failed. So again, I worked with the switch, only to discover that these would relight if and on if I held the lights on using the 'dimmer mode' to bright the road. Unfortunately, mine like others, is unpredictable at best - so reproducing this incident 'on demand' is difficult at best. In reading other consumer complaints, this seems to be an ongoing and costly problem. After further review, I have discovered that this headlight challenge has been part of a class action lawsuit. Shame on Toyota for not issuing a recall on this matter - Prius owners, as well as fellow drivers whom we share the road with are at high risk.

- Travelers Rest, SC, USA

problem #34

Aug 132013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles


Headlight on right side (passenger) fades out randomly - getting worse over past 6 months. Now both lights go out. Turning off/on *usually* fixes, but doesn't last.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #33

May 282014


  • 89,546 miles
Headlights either passenger or driver side will go out for no reason. Turning the lights off and on will relight both headlamps, but only for a short period of time.

- Marietta, GA, USA

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problem #32

Feb 062013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
Headlights at first seemed to only flicker then I had a headlight go out then I noticed that I could flip the lights on and off get it to come on. Now its to the point we can not use this car at night. Its become a safety hazard and I do T think its something I should pay to repair and think Toyota is stupid for not recalling.

- Florissant, MO, USA

problem #31

Mar 072014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 99,300 miles


I had just bought my car on February 19, 2014 and noticed a headlight out on the way home. I called the dealership and they said they would replace it. I took it in on February 26, 2014 but they didn't have a replacement bulb. They were going to call me when it came in. The driver's side headlight would randomly shut off. On March 10, 2014 on the way home just after dusk the car in front of me slammed on their brakes to avoid a deer. I slammed on my brakes to avoid hitting them and my lights just went off. I could not tell how close I was to the car in front of me and had no clue if all my lights were off and whether the car following me could see me. I was scared. I mean I was really scared. I turned the lights off and back on and they worked. The dealership changed the driver's side headlight on March 13, 2014 and told me that a short in it had caused the headlights to shut off. I am scared to drive at night. On May 14, 2014 the passenger side headlight shut off for the first time since the incident. I am afraid a short in it will shut off both lights so I only drive at night when I absolutely can't keep from it. This car is going to get me killed if I drive at night.

- Antlers, OK, USA

problem #30

Apr 182014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 130,101 miles
On multiple occasions prior to the most recent incident date listed, the previously mentioned 2009 Toyota Prius has had intermittent complete or partial headlight failure. On multiple occasions that seem to be random in nature either the drivers side or passenger side headlight will fail individual while the counterpart (opposite headlight) will continue to operate. Also, as random as one individual headlight failing both headlights have gone out or failed simultaneously. The operator has been able to rectify the immediate hazard by simply turning the main activation switch for the headlight from "on" to "off" and then to "on" again. This procedure will, on most occasions temporarily rectify the immediate hazard but the intermittent failure has and will continue. Operator conducted research on the issue and discovered this is a common problem the 2005-2009 Toyota Prius is displaying. Toyota corporate was contacted by the operator and stated that a customer care initiative was directed to all Toyota service departments to reduce the cost of replacement bulbs. However, what is unique about this situation is a headlamp hid bulb on the drivers side was replaced approximately one year ago and is the more frequent headlamp failure occurring. This seems to invalidate the remedy that Toyota corporate has devised which is to replace the bulbs.

- Adrian, MN, USA

problem #29

Jul 182013


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving at night, the driver's side head light failed. The contact turned the switch back on and then the passenger's side headlight failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection where they stated that the hid headlights needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 65,000.

- North Haven , CT, USA

problem #28

Feb 122014


  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the headlights would stop working sporadically. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician diagnosed that the bulbs needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 94,000.

- Gloversville, NY, USA

problem #27

Feb 112014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


The right headlight sporadically shuts off while driving. I have had this happen nearly every time I drive with my headlights on. I have been pulled over twice by a police officer because of this issue. I find that if I turn the headlights off and on again, the issue corrects itself, but then occurs again, sometimes during the same driving trip. Not only do I have to incorporate extra time during my night commutes because I may be pulled over by a police officer, but this is dangerous and is a known issue. Please correct this issue by having Toyota recall the Prius.

- Epping, NH, USA

problem #26

Jan 222014


  • miles
My right headlight started going off without warning, now both lights are going off without warning. Scary scary scary and dangerous. I have to turn the head lights on and off for them to come back on; it is dangerous when I have to drive at night. It makes if difficult to concentrate on the road, and it becomes hazardous and freighting.

- Yuma, AZ, USA

problem #25

Mar 152013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
My driver side head light goes out at least once every time I drive with them on. It may go out several times before I arrive at my destination. I have to turn my lights off and then on again to have the light come on. It is very hard to see when the light is out and I have even been stopped by the police because I have only one headlight. As you can see by all the complaints from the people that have taken the time to file this form, it is not just a headlight bulb. Every time I drive at night I'm worried that both lights will go out as some of the complaints have recorded. This is a safety hazard. Toyota should be held responsible to find an answer and be forced to issue a recall before there is a death.

- Port Aransas, TX, USA

problem #24

Nov 272013


  • 68,000 miles
My right headlight goes off without warning. I have to turn the head lights on and off for it to come back on; it is dangerous when I have to drive at night, and the headlight goes out, . this is a continuous problem, it make if difficult to concentrate on the road, and it becomes hazardous and freighting. It is also bothersome to others when I have to turn my lights on and off.

- Yuma, AZ, USA

problem #23

Jul 012013


  • miles
Beginning in July 2013, the headlights on my 2009 Toyota Prius started flickering while driving at night and then both lights went off. The headlights continue to turn off while driving. Sometimes it is one light and sometimes it is both lights. When it is one light, it is never the same light that goes out.

- Atlantic Beach, FL, USA

problem #22

Jul 012012


  • miles
The headlight(s) go off while driving without warning and it becomes hazardous and frightening.

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #21

Nov 182013


  • 54,000 miles
I noticed that the driver side headlight appeared to be out, so I checked it and it was. When I turned the lights off and back on the headlight came on for a period of time and went off. I had the headlamps changed with oem part and the lights worked for a day and now it is out again, which might be ballast or something else. I have read many complaints online for the 2006-2009 models have premature headlight failure and great expense to fix. It is dangerous when I have to drive at night and I like to leave the lights on during the day for safety.

- Palmdale, CA, USA

problem #20

Dec 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 68,050 miles
Left headlight went out while driving. Then both headlights went out a minute later. Turned lights off and back on and they were ok for a minute. Then the left headlight went out again. This keeps on recurring.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #19

Oct 192013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
We are having an issue with the left headlight going out after about 15 minutes of driving. We've taken it into the shop multiple times and have not been able to get the issue fixed. We took this to the shop the latest time and they told us it is a known issue with the Toyota Prius hybrid.

- West Valley City, UT, USA

problem #18

Oct 012013


  • 74,000 miles
Same basic complaint as in other similar 'safety complaints'; for about the last year, headlights go dim, flicker, one or the other will go out for no apparent reason, and more distressing and importantly, in the last couple months, they will both just turn off completely and at the same time while driving down the road at any speed. I have to turn the headlight switch off and on to 'reset' the lights and get them back on. I took the vehicle to the official Toyota repair shop; they would not acknowledge that it is a widespread problem. Blamed the bulbs, which is in conflict with the owners manual instructions, and wanted to charge me $ 550 to replace only the two bulbs. This needs to be a recall item as it is very dangerous to have all lights suddenly go off without any warning, then having to fumble around in the pitch black to turn the light switch off and on again to 'reset' this failure.

- Eagle, ID, USA

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