really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,826 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.

2010 Toyota Prius electrical problems

electrical problem

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2010 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 2 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #82

Dec 022015


  • 68,250 miles


Headlights continue to burn out. We have changed one or both headlights at least six times since May 2015. This happens unexpectedly, going down the road at night one or both headlights will burn out. When you change them, will last a couple weeks to months. Very scary when going down a two lane back country road at night. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #81

Apr 102012


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the low beams failed to illuminate properly. Additionally, the low beams lights failed to function when driving. The contact had to apply the high beams when the failure randomly recurred. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who replaced the driver and passenger side low beams but the failure recurred three year after the repairs. The contact replaced three lights on the driver and two on the passenger side for the low beams but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 75,000.

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #80

Aug 122015


  • miles
We purchased the car used from a Toyota dealership in spring of 2013. We had never had to replace the headlights until one side had stopped working in May 2015. As we always have done with our vehicles, we went to an auto parts store and bought the correct head lights for our make, year & model. We replaced both of them in may and in August (3 months later), both had gone out with the initial outage having occured while I was using them in the dark on a freeway. Luckily I had brights that still worked but I have since had to replace both lights again and they still remain un-working. I am scheduling repairs, however, this seems to be a major defect either in the electrical engineering or possibly related to fuse shortages. We have made several phone calls to repair shops, other Prius owners, as well as read many safety concern forums regarding this very popular issue even with 2010 models. I understand Toyota seems to take no responsibility for the high-risk headlight failure in Prius models up to 2009 but this seems flat out ridiculous and I should not be required to return home before dark or be forced to drive with my brights while oncoming traffic flashes at me as if I'm being inconsiderate.

- Lake Stevens, WA, USA

problem #79

Aug 192015


  • 262,000 miles


The vehicle runs ok and a few minutes later the yellow triangle turns on, as well as the check engine light and the vehicle starts to lose power. After a few more minutes the red steering wheel light comes on along with the "check hybrid system" message and the rest of the lights and the vehicles loses all power and stops. It will normally turn back on but there was one occasion where it didn't and my husband had to push the car to a parking lot. I took the car in on the recall which should cover this but all they did was update the software and blame the issue on a car accident. I don't know if this is true as just purchased the vehicle but it sounds to me that they could have fixed the issue under the recall.

- Hightstown, NJ, USA

problem #78

Aug 012015


  • 99,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving at night approximately 55 mph, the headlights were very deem and visibility was diminished. After inspecting the vehicle, the contact noticed that the passenger side low beam headlight was out and two days later the driver side low beam failed. The light bulbs were replaced. The contact mentioned that the low beam headlight bulbs were replaced a total of four times. The vehicle was never taken to the dealer or an independent mechanic to get a diagnosis. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 99,000.

- Nebo, NC, USA

problem #77

Nov 052009


  • 500 miles
As many previous owners described, I am also having problems with the brakes at low speed since the beginning of owning this vehicle (October 2009). Dealer couldn't replicate the problem. Although the car went through the recall for the break system is still having the same issue ever since. The other issue with the brakes happens after rain. It makes a screeching noise without performance being effected. It goes away usually within a half an hour. This has been an ongoing thing too for few years by now. The other issue I had as well as others is dimming of lights that has been occurring since last year. We needed to switch the lightbulbs more frequently than seems normal. Didn't even think it was out of the ordinary until I read the comments here about it. The other problem I started to have is with a stereo display system and the voice activation for the bluetooth. The display had some weird lines on it after a very cold or a very hot day (radio was working fine just the display was not working properly). Eventually goes back to normal but this started happening the last year or so. The same time also had a problem with the voice activation unit which turned on unexpectedly and turned back on in 10 seconds after each time I turned it off. This was happening for a good 30 min at that time. This only occurred twice but both times was after a hot day last summer. This year so far haven't happened yet.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #76

Jul 192015


  • 125,000 miles


I was driving home from havenlock, nc on us 70, us 258, us 58 and us 264. I noticed that my low beam headlights were very dim making it very hard to see road marking or signs. There is a stretch of us 58 where they are repaving and they are no road marking at all and I could not see where my lane (2 way traffic). I considered this a very serious problem that the headlight are dim and could have led to a very serious accident. I have noticed that others have complained about the same problem with the Prius 2010. Not able to see more than 30 feet ahead on a very dark night is very scary and had me shaking.

- Wake Forest, NC, USA

problem #75

Jun 122013


  • 55,000 miles
When flashing the low beams/high beams on/off I routinely blow the low beam bulbs. Not both at the same time but eventually both will blow. I understand from reading forums that this is a known problem however Toyota will not address it unless you are under the 36K warranty. This should be a mandatory recall.

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #74

Feb 042015


  • 60,000 miles
I recently replaced one of the low beam headlights, only to discover a few weeks later that both of the low beams had burned out. I've never had two headlights burn out at the same time! tonight I discovered that another of the low beams has burned out. That means that this bulb burned out in less than two months and only about 1000 miles. I am afraid to use my headlights during the daytime for fear that they will burn out and not be available when I need them to see again at night. This must be a wiring/configuration defect! please do something about this!

- Victoria, MN, USA

problem #73

Dec 032014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 187,000 miles
Most Prius 2008-2009-2010-2011 they all have a big problem on the multi-information display do not show not thing when the car is cold after 10 or 15 minutes the display show. It's danger because the driver can not see how fast he is driving of if and thing wrong with the car you can not see the display. Most of my friend have this problem. I called the dealer and they say ther is no recall. I try to send a photo with my message and the photo can not add on to my message. This might be some thing that you might not know ! if you try to call my cell phone and if I do not pick up my call ! please leave a message and I will call you ! because I am driving on the road every day. Thank you for helping me with this information above ! this problem been going on for 5 months.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #72

Jan 112015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 59,000 miles


The dash display mph and mileage totally went black. Looked it up on the internet and seems like it is a common problem for the 2010 Toyota Prius. Sounds like Toyota use to cover this before this year model, but not now, even though it is still happening. They may have done their dash alittle different, but it is still having the same problem.

- Quitman, AR, USA

problem #71

Feb 262014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 33,350 miles
I purchased a certified used 2010 Toyota Prius from the East coasts number one certified used Toyota dealer. I was presented with papers showing all the checks performed with a certified used Toyota and that the vehicle I was purchasing had pass all the inspections. I test drove the vehicle during the day and did not use the headlights. Once I was home (over 3 hours away) I used the headlights for the first time in the next few days. The driver┐'s side lights were very dim. I took the low beam bulb out and notice a lot of corrosion on the bulb and moisture in the headlamp assembly. I let it dry out and replaced both the drivers and passenger side low beam light bulbs. Over the summer I noticed a few time moisture would build up but would be gone within a few days. Now during the winter the moisture has frozen inside the driver side headlamp assembly and impedes on the effectiveness of the headlamp. My visibility is reduced and has now become a safety issue. I have not owned the vehicle for a full year yet and even purchased the top of the line extended Toyota warranty. My local dealer stated it was not covered under any warranty and that would cost around $500 to be replaced. Toyota has a technical service bulletin on this issue and should repair at no cost to owners due to a safety hazard.

- Perryville, MD, USA

problem #70

Jan 172015


  • 114,000 miles
After returning to vehicle, low beam headlights failed to properly illuminate. I replaced both bulbs with new ones, and they still fail to cast enough light. The bulbs appear to be on, but are too dim to be effective.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #69

May 022014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
One of the headlights (low beam) stopped working sometimes in 2013, then it came back. Over the course of 2013-2014, the front right light went out and I had the light bulb replaced. Then it died again. I replaced both bulbs based on the aftermarket recommendation but the lights are not bright enough. The front left parking light also died twice. Something is screwy with the electrical for the lights.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #68

Mar 252014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
My 2010 Prius has had an ongoing problem with the main headlamps blowing, becoming inoperative and effectively leaving me with diminished visibility. This has happened approximately every 3 months since March 2014. Either one or both headlamps will blow. This is due to a known problem with this model and is covered under a Toyota/NHTSA service bulletin (tsp-0204-12). In my case, I purchased the car used, from a Toyota dealer with the Toyota certified car warranty, but this failure of the wiring harness is apparently not covered. Judging by the percentage of complaints in the safercar.gov database for this model, this is a common problem and my experience has been typical. In the most recent incident, it was raining heavily and I ended up driving 150 miles with a blown headlamp, unsafe for me and unsafe for those whom I shared the road with.

- Sammamish, WA, USA

problem #67

Nov 252014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Toyota has issued a warranty enhancement program for certain vehicles to extend the warranty for certain internal malfunctions of the intelligent power module {\9ipm). This warranty is extended for 15 years. In the event this described condition in the enhancement program occur, and, if verified, an appropriate remedy will be performed. However Toyota further states, "the warning lights and stored hybrid system diagnostic trouble codes (dtcs) can be triggered due to conditions detected not specific to the inverter assembly and its internal components. These additional conditions may require diagnosis or repairs not specifically covered by this warranty enhancement. Please be aware that if the condition is not covered by this warranty enhancement, you may be responsible for the initial diagnostic fees and any other repairs you may "decide" to have performed. Any authorized Toyota dealership can determine if a condition is covered by this warranty enhancement. My local Toyota dealership, larry miller Toyota, has already recommended costly inspections to be performed for the hybrid battery coolant system, which have not been recommended by a Toyota technical service bulletin or any other qualified engineering person at Toyota. Now Toyota is asking the owners to trust their dealer's if what the dealer's are deciding needs to be performed. The Toyota dealers do not engineer, test nor manufacture the vehicle. Toyota corporation is responsible for the condition of the vehicle not the dealer. What specifically may cause the dtcs to be triggered to simulate a problem with the ipm? what are these conditions, are they a serious safety risk and, how can I as a consumer, be 100% confident that if a dtc condition occurs in my vehicle what exactly is the cause. II the dealer is left to decide, will I be treated fairly. Toyota is the car manufacturer not their dealers.

- Sun City West, AZ, USA

problem #66

Apr 032013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
This has happened several times over the past two years. As I brake at low speeds, the car surges ahead as though your foot is on the accelerator. Sometimes it was so subtle, you wondered if it really happened. Today (11/23/14) there was absolutely no mistaking it. The car surged forward a couple of feet as I was slowing to turn left. If someone had been stopped in front of me, I would have hit them from behind.

- Essex Junction, VT, USA

problem #65

Nov 182014


  • miles
Vehicle was being driven when a smell of smoke was detected. Upon stopping, smoke came from the engine compartment. Within 3 minutes the vehicle started on fire, extending to the roll up garage door. The fire burned the engine compartment, passenger area, garage door and siding before the fire department extinguished.

- Everett, WA, USA

problem #64

Oct 262014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 68,041 miles
Driving home at night going approximately 40 mph both low beam head lights went out at the same time. Turned on the high beam and they worked ok. Bought new bulbs the next day and installed but did not resolve the problem.

- Eagle, ID, USA

problem #63

Oct 072014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 64,930 miles
2010 Toyota iv Prius: Returning home at night in a dark, rural country area of Pennsylvania. Windy, two-lane road with frequent opposing traffic. Left front headlight goes out making it very difficult to see with remaining headlight. Switched to high beams which worked ok until opposing traffic appeared and had to switch back to low beam (singular). A dangerous situation with opposing headlights in your eyes and not enough light from my own car to illuminate the road in front of me. Later, it turned out that the headlamp bulb was ok and "something" was making it either intermittent or go out completely. Sometimes striking the headlight lens assembly with the heel of your hand would get the light to come back on. My wife recently was cited for driving with a headlight out in our local area. This is not a safe situation and the local dealer says he can't help us.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

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