pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
104,950 miles
Total Complaints:
23 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (13 reports)
  2. replace bulb (7 reports)
  3. toyota needs to replace (3 reports)
2009 Toyota Prius lights problems

lights problem

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2009 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Nov 012018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles


Last year one of my headlights went out. I replaced both of them. This year I have the same problem. One of the headlights is out again. My friend has a 2010 Prius and told me that his car had a recall on this. Toyota replaced the headlight wiring harness on his car. So, I contacted Toyota. The first person I spoke to was very rude and just told me that this problem is not under recall. I asked to speak to a supervisor and she didn't want to put me through. I insisted, so she said she would give her supervisor a message. The supervisor called me back the next day and said I need to have a diagnostic done on my car, which will cost at least $130. After they see this, they will evaluate it and see if they might pay for some of the problem. They will not cover the diagnostic and will not pay for the whole problem. I have been reading the Prius chat and this same problem is happening to many Prius owners. This is obviously a defect in the car and is very dangerous. This should be fixed by Toyota -- not the owner. Someone could get into a very serious problem.

- Janet K., Santa Monica, US

problem #22

Feb 012017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 167,000 miles

Headlights flicker then go out. Have read that lightbulbs need to be changed but more information on this being a flaw in this model of car. Very frustrating not knowing the fix and having the lights go out while driving at night

- Danny H., Anoka, MN, US

problem #21

Nov 012017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 215,000 miles

This has been a problem for me as I use my car for business. I work nights but I am unable to work nights and lose out on potential money because my light will not stay on. I just replaced the bulb in this in October and now that bulb has blown. This is very frustrating as It affects my income.

- Chris B., Lancaster, US

problem #20

Jan 022017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 196,000 miles


problem was most annoying when it lit and went back off...was stopped several times by police for headlight being out but could fix issue temporarily by turning lights on and off....

- Michael M., West Boylston, US

problem #19

Feb 012016

Prius 2 LI I4 1.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

I have the headlight issue, sometimes left, sometimes right, sometimes both headlights go off. I have to constantly check headlights at night and turn off/on to get back on. I'd like this fixed but can't find any solution. Replacing headlights is obviously not solution as they are not burned out.

- Lynn R., Woodinville, WA, US

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problem #18

Apr 012017

Prius 1.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

I can't understand why this wasn't a recall issue. Repair estimates $600 - $1800.

- coachjodyhale, Orange Park, US

problem #17

Nov 142016

Prius V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles



- dvpl1234, Katy, US

problem #16

Oct 012011

Prius Touring Hybrid

  • CVT transmission
  • 141,000 miles

I have had to replace the drivers side head light every year since 2009. service writer laughs everytime I come in to have it replaced. new car this year will be a Honda.

- dustycoates, Orchard Beach, MD, US

problem #15

Oct 182016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

It is very scary. It has happened twice in the last month, both times very dark and no street lights. Lights go out, so I turn off the light and once I turn them back on they go back on. I also have had my left headlight changed but it keeps going out. I love my Prius but want it fixed.

- Rebecca W., Washington, DC, US

problem #14

Sep 072016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

Lights go off spontaneously or dim, then if you turn off and on the lights come back on, and sometimes only one light goes off. This has been happening for weeks.

- Sima M., Berkeley, CA, US

problem #13

Jul 012016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 141,000 miles


This appears to be a recurring problems with Prius and yet there is no relief for owners. Doesn't seem right. Help!!!! Anyone have any fix ideas that don't involve hundreds of $$ at dealers?

- Robin C., Asheville, NC, US

problem #12

Jun 232016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,000 miles

It is PUZZLING that Toyota knows about the issue with the ballast in the headlight and never did a recall. All of a sudden, the two HID bulbs that were just replaced last week ($100 cost, after buying the parts on Amazon) started flickering, and they go out within 45 seconds of turning the headlights on. It's not the lights. They work. If you turn off the lights, and turn them on again, they do come on, for about 30-45 seconds then go off again.

I went to the mechanic: it's 900 dollars for the repair. By getting the ballasts on Amazon, I can bring down the cost to $600. Yet - extremely dangerous and can cause death. My lights went off at 8 pm and there was still enough light to get home safely, but what if this happens at midnight on the freeway (which I use EVERYDAY?!?) - this can cause so many accidents and possible death. TOYOTA SHOULD DO A RECALL. THIS IS BAD BUSINESS PRACTICE, AND PUT PRIUS OWNERS LIVES AT RISK! I don't know if I ever want to buy another Toyota (and so far, I only had Toyotas, but this brand is becoming not trustworthy).

- Denise R., Los Angeles, CA, US

problem #11

Oct 012015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

My right front headlight intermittently shuts off. Sometimes it will stay on but it usually will be on for awhile then go out. If I turn my lights off then turn them back on it will stay on for awhile then go out again. Occasionally the light will stay on for long trips after turning them on and off several times. I have been pulled over by the police and been warned.

- Mike B., New York Mills, MN, US

problem #10

Apr 092015

Prius ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,567 miles

My 2009 Toyota Prius started having head light flickering, first in the left headlamp in April 2014. Was told it was the head lamp itself. Purchased and had new headlights installed, several months later the left side started flickering again and then going out completely. Turning off the headlights and then back on seemed to fix the problem and it only occurred maybe 10 times over the next 12 months. Now both headlamps are flickering and sometimes both go out completely while driving at night. Have had both bulbs replaced and problem has just surfaced again in 2015. This is some sort of defect and it is not the bulbs as I've replaced them twice now!

I understand there was a class action law suit filed over this, but the specifics of the law suit say it's only covered for the first 5 years or 50k miles from purchase, my mileage is just under 70k. Have been told it will cost between $600.00 and $800.00 per light to replace a bad ballast (?) - Seriously, I've looked online and MANY people have reported this problem and yet Toyota won't do a recall to repair it?????

- Jeffrey T., Katy, TX, US

problem #9

Mar 182015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

I'm not exactly sure when this started. I'm only guessing it was when I hit 200K, but it might have been quite a bit earlier. One of my headlights goes out unpredictably. It generally comes on again if I flick the lights off and then back on, but the problem is that most of the time I can't tell from inside the car if it's on or off. And I have no idea how costly it will be to fix. I've come to understand that this is a manufacturer's defect. I worry every time my daughter and grandson go out that they'll be stopped by the police.

- Sandra H., Star Tannery, US

problem #8

Jun 012015

Prius Touring

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Well, I bought this car from CARMAX and its been stellar! Love it to death being that I have to drive so dam much. Months ago, the single headlight would flicker and come on and off. No big deal. Last night on a lonely dark road, both lamps went out!!! DAMM!!!

Obviously I have to do something about it because I do drive at night but reading about that so many others that are users of this car, have no fix for it but to replace the bulb? Seriously???!

- Ron M., Corona, CA, US

problem #7

Jan 092013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles

I purchased the 2009 Prius used Dec 28th, 2012. The following week, not even a week after having it, I had an issue with the car being dead. Finally after hours of back and forth with the dealership it was the battery and it wasn't holding a charge. I, at that same time, kept mentioning the headlights flickering. I was told, oh had to do with battery most likely. Then again it happen when it was back in the shop for the window to be tinted since replaced prior to my purchase but they never tinted it. I mentioned again hey the headlights flicker...

A few months later, I brought the car back in for some recall issues, as well as then saying, hey headlights flicker. Was told na didn't do anything... They knew then that there was an issue and just made a choice to not deal with it... I was not at that time aware of the class action law suit or that Toyota extended the warranty for the headlights to 50,000 miles...

Again had a battery issues months later spring/early summer and mentioned hey one of my headlights sometimes goes out and this needs to be looked at. Was told hey ya nothing same time argued about the battery going back out again so was thrown at oh battery issues causing...

Now it's been two years and the last year I have driven with one headlight and now at times for the last 8 months that one headlight goes out. I managed to flick them off and on and sometimes both will stay on for no more then a few minutes. Now it is constantly both headlights out after a few minutes... If I am having a lucky night I can get one to stay on for about a half hour sometimes less but I will have to flip them on and off...

This is becoming a danger and Toyota is aware of this issue. I have had no luck with making them cover it. Get told oh it's not showing up on anything when you have taken it into the shop. I get told by main Toyota website that they have reduced the price for the headlights to 300 each but the issue is most likely not just the headlights all forums and other complaints show others saying it's more then the headlight something with a control unit for the headlights and the way I look at it is that I have been fighting and complaining since well prior to 50,000 miles now I have 113,000 miles and i have exhausted myself with this. I can't drive past dark because I am afraid I will not have lights.

- Heather L., Saint Louis, MO, US

problem #6

Feb 042013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

So I at first thought I was crazy, then the headlights started to really flicker more and more. Then about 4 months later I had one bulb go totally out. I realized this was an issue. Starting looking into it online and asked Toyota as it has been in for service a lot for battery issues. Was ignored, now I see it's been going on for bit.

My concern is when I bought my car it had 46,000 miles, why didn't Toyota fix prior to me getting it? I have been pulled over five times in less then a month and no longer have my daughter drive it at night. I drive a lot for work and have a issue with back roads, I'm going to end up on a road dead.

- Heather L., Florissant, MO, US

problem #5

Nov 222013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

I bought this 2009 Prius as a certified pre-owned vehicle from the local Claremont Toyota dealership. The headlights problem has been on-going for about 2 months, but this was my first opportunity to get it fixed. Since I purchased the extended warranty, I thought it would be a simple fix. When the service manager informed me that it would be 600.00 out of pocket, and nothing was covered, I was shocked. I started researching and realized that I'm not the only person affected by this. I called the Sales Manager for pre-owned vehicles and he said he'd get back to me. I thought Toyota would stand behind their cars much better than this. Merry Christmas!

- Jeanne K., Claremont, California, US, canada

problem #4

Sep 022013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

Headlights turn off while driving. I can turn off the headlight switch and turn it back on and the lights will work for a period of time and then the episode is repeated. it's very annoying.

- Anthony C., Powder Springs, GA, US

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