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 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #17

Oct 102012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles


The passenger headlight comes on initially but during the drive will go off. I can turn the lights off and back on and the light comes back on. This is an ongoing problem and I don't know it has happened unless I pull up behind someone and see the reflection of my headlights on the car in front of me.

- Fuquay Varina, NC, USA

problem #16

Oct 022013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 126,000 miles
I narrowly missed hitting a pedestrian in a crossing walk at 5am in the morning. The reason-both of my headlights had turned themselves off. I have had a problem with the right one going off and am able to turn it back on by turning the light S off, then back on. But now they both are turning off at different times and it is hard to tell until something like this happens.(it's hard to tell as this car has 2 foglights that I normally keep on, and they give the illusion that the headlights are on). The problem is not in the headlight itself. I know as I had the problem prior to a front end collision about 6 months ago in which they replaced both headlights.the problem has to be in whatever computer controls the headlights. This is a serious defect and should be manufacturer recall issue before someone gets killed.

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #15

Aug 222013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
For some months now I have been having trouble with the right front headlight in my Prius which is an hid lamp. The lights goes out and then when I turn the light switch off then back on again the lamp lights again. I have to do this numerous times while driving. It either eventually stay's lit or I just give up and anticipate a ticket. On occasion when I try to get the light to come back on the drivers side light goes out, and then I am without headlights until I repeat the process. It is not only dangerous while driving in the dark, but when you try to get the lamp to turn back on, people think your flashing them from behind which causes them to become aggressive. It is very stressful and I knew if I looked this up online I'd probably find that there was a recall. I was not surprised to find out that there were complaint identical to mine, but no recall has been issued against Toyota to fix the apparent design problem. I am a 28 year volunteer firefighter and also a senior safety specialist for my company. Why do we have to wait for a serious incident to occur before Toyota is forced to fix the issue. I will not replace this expensive bulb since it appears that it only remediates the problem for a short period the of time before it happens again. I am entrusting in your organization to do something about the issue to ensure the well being of me, my family and those around us who either drive these models and/or become additional victims from our vehicles due to having to "completely" shut down the headlights in an attempt to get them back up. Again this sometimes creates both headlights to go out until repeated. Can that really be a bulb issue? I think not. Please force this large company to do something about the issue before statistics climb on accidents and or injuries resulting from these headlight failures. Thank you for your time and anticipated actions.

- Medford, NY, USA

problem #14

Jun 092013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 99,500 miles


We were driving on the interstate at 70 mph, when the headlights suddenly went out. It was dark and raining, and were unable to see the road edge. We pushed the emergency flashers and were able to see how close to the road edge we were. About two minutes later, the lights both came back on and we continued to drive to seek a safer area. Every 15 minutes the lights would flicker.

- Mazeppa, MN, USA

problem #13

Apr 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
I noticed some condensation in both front headlamps some time ago but just thought it was a cosmetic problem. About three days ago both my headlights went out. I took my car to the dealership and they informed me that the water inside the headlamps caused my hid lights to short out. I am out of the 36 month 36,000 mile warranty, but still within my extended warranty's limits. Toyota is not going to cover the replacement of the light bulbs or change out the headlights since I'm past the original warranty coverage limit. I was quoted by my Toyota dealership over $1,500 to repair this problem. I also found a memo from Toyota (memo # T-sb-0188-11) that talks about this problem and states that under the oem warranty, it should be replaced at no charge to the customer.

- Miami, FL, USA

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problem #12

Feb 252013


  • 26,500 miles
When I turned on the car, the headlights would not turn on. Both lights had been fully operational the day before. Both high and low beams on both sides did not work, so it is definitely not the case that four separate bulbs or fuses all blew independently. I tried turning the headlight switch on and off several times, but this did not correct the problem. The fog lights do illuminate, but that is not enough illumination for safe driving in my area.

- Arlington, MA, USA

problem #11

Feb 242013


  • 75,000 miles


Both low beams have gone out without any warning, but replacing bulbs and fuses doesn't fix the issue.

- Fairfax, CA, USA

problem #10

Nov 302012


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that water penetrated the headlight's plastic covering due to improper sealing and caused the light bulb to fail. The dealer replaced the light bulb housing but the failure was not corrected. The passenger light bulb failed numerous times. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000 and the current mileage was 100,000.

- Atwater , CA, USA

problem #9

Jan 302013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
The headlights have been going out randomly for the last few months but only one at a time. This evening while driving home from a late meeting, both headlights went out while driving at 55mph. I pulled off the highway and tried turning the car off and on again. Headlights went on when I turned the car back on, so I resumed driving only to have the lights go out again! this time I flicked on the high beams and the lights came on. I stopped to grab a bite to eat figuring I could do the high beam trick again. When I started the car, the lights went on and high beams turned on when I engaged the lever. While driving home, less than 2 miles from where I started the car, headlights went out and the high beams did not work either when I attempted to turn them on. I pulled over to turn the car off and on again but with no luck this time. Very slowly drove the last mile home on the less traveled road with my flashers on...this situation is incredibly dangerous.

- Rehoboth Beach, DE, USA

problem #8

Dec 142012


  • 51,000 miles
Headlights go off by themselves. When I start the car both headlights go on, but after driving a little while the left or right, or sometimes both headlights will shut off.

- Oak Park, CA, USA

problem #7

Dec 032011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 42,501 miles


Headlight and tail lights failed to work at start up, after a while the highbeams did work so car could be driving home. Later that evening everything worked fine at startup.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #6

Nov 102011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
One week after being at the dealership for its routine oil/vehicle check-up (55,000-60,000), my red brake light, the yellow warning sign and the ABS lights come up on my dashboard. Towed it back to dealership since the brakes didn't work. They found I needed to change my brake actuator and the solenoid that is stuck. According to what I've read, this should not happen period paragraph but if it does it would be on a much older vehicle with a lot more miles with a stop and go history. According to the customer service representative at the dealership this is a malfunction of the part. When I called Toyota they gave me the go around about being out of warranty. I need help. Also there is a reflective line of light that shines on the driver side of the window from my dashboard.

- Lockhart, TX, USA

problem #5

Feb 242011


  • 71,000 miles
While driving at night, the passenger headlamp assembly (every bulb, not just the main high-intensity bulb) went out. Wiggling the connector at the back of the headlamp assembly when the headlamp gets in this condition does not fix the problem. I can get the assembly back in working condition by turning off the lights and turning them back on again. This is dangerous! when the light came back on again, it was slightly flickering at first and now seems dimmer than the driver side light. I have also had connector-related issues on the rear brake lights, where they go out at random times. Turning the lights on and off does not work to get the brake light working again. I have to manually tighten the connector at the back of the brake light assembly to get the light working again.

- Queen Creek, AZ, USA

problem #4

Aug 222009


  • 24,500 miles
Headlamp failure on 2006 hid Toyota Prius.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #3

Sep 202009


  • 42,000 miles
On our 2007 Toyota Prius the drivers headlight will go out shortly after turning it on I have replaced the bulbs with the same problem recurring currently trying to get Toyota to resolve problem at no cost to me.

- Round Lake, IL, USA

problem #2

Sep 092009


  • miles
I have noticed for some time now allot of Toyota Prius cars driving in dark conditions with no headlights on. The tail lights are on but no headlights. This would suggest to me that there is a manual headlight switch or else different parameters for the head and tail lights. As for the reason, I believe to conserve power on the electric batteries. If the driver is in control of the headlights this control should be taken away. It is rare in this day and age for a manual headlamp switch even on the most basic cars, so I believe Toyota was fully aware of what they were doing and what the drivers were likely to do. But yet Toyota made sure they were legally covered with the tail lights. After all if the driver hits a car or pedestrian its the drivers fault but if Toyota Prius cars suddenly start getting rear ended, its Toyota's fault. If the headlamp is not in control of the driver why the difference in timing when they come on? I would suggest again to conserve power and make their cars go farther on electric power at the expense of public safety. I am writing this primarily from a pedestrian point of view because I am a runner and have had a couple of semi close calls because of the headlight issue and one closer call because they are so quiet.

- Michigan, MI, USA

problem #1

May 052009


  • 54,455 miles
Passenger side headlight goes off intermittently. I noticed it around May 2009, and reported it during my may pre-paid Toyota scheduled maintenance., which was the last one for my plan. Toyota said they found no problem. The incident is noted on my Toyota paperwork.

- North Bend, WA, USA

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