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 3 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #62

Oct 252011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles


We have owned this vehicle since it has been new and have replaced the driver's side front headlight annually. This time it went out just 4 weeks after a local mechanic replaced the bulb. When I took it to Toyota and complained of the problem and asked about a warranty fix I was told that the prior bulb had been installed incorrectly and now the entire headlight should be replaced for $500. This is the same problem we have always had.

- Ames, NE, USA

problem #61

Jul 252014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 133,508 miles
The hybrid inverter assembly failed when I tried to accelerate from a stop onto a rural highway. This occurred approximately two months after receiving the motor generator ECU and power management ECU software update that was intended to prevent this type of failure.I was notified of this update/recall in late March 2014 and had the update completed at a authorized Toyota service center.

- Grass Valley, CA, USA

problem #60

Jun 252014


  • 50,000 miles
Was traveling about 65 mph on route 11 in ct when red lights come on and car slows to 20 mph.pulle to side of road and called aaa/towed to hartford Toyota in hartford ct. First told it was a hybrid battery then told it was the inverter which they said is on back order. Now I, M getting the run around from the main office in California.. brought car in for a recall on software update in Feb 2014 and from what I read this may cause the invert to fail thanks for your attention in this matter.

- Newington, CT, USA

problem #59

May 242014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 96,472 miles


I was leaving a parking space and exiting the parking area when both headlights went off leaving me in the dark. I pulled over and turned them on and off several times but nothing happened. I had the running lights, the turn signals, the high beams but no low beams. I drove home with my high beams on. I went today and replaced both bulbs then tried the lights again. Nothing. I took the bulbs back and exchanged them and still no headlights.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #58

May 012014

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
(40) fleet 2010 Toyota Prius. Consumer writes in regards to vehicles headlights malfunction. The consumer stated he had to routinely replace 7-8 headlamps per week on the fleet of 40 vehicles. The dealer informed the consumer the frequent burnout of the bulbs was likely due to wither security officers not properly caring for the vehicle or the vehicles being used more frequently for personal use. Also, the wiring harness failed on the vehicles. The consumer stated there is currently 1 vehicle in the shop now, and the dealer quoted a price of $8,000 to replace the wiring harness.

- Smithtown, NY, USA

problem #57

Apr 222014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 26,762 miles
The low beam bulb lamp came loose from its housing - melting the socket, and while still "working" did not provide proper illumination for night driving and perhaps posed a fire hazard. Upon taking to the dealer, they replaced the entire unit (for $720.08) and have ordered a retrofit bracket (it is on back order) that they will installed to prevent re-occurrence. Seems there is a problem - they know it - but the public bares the cost and possible safety issues associated with the problem. They are not taking any proactive action to install a retrofit bracket to prevent the working lamp on the opposite side of the car from dislodging and causing a similar problem.

- Alameda, CA, USA

problem #56

Apr 172014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


Vehicle was stopped at a red light with engine running. Engine suddenly stopped and would not restart. A check hybrid signal appeared on the dashboard and vehicle would not move in the middle of a busy intersection. It had to be towed.

- East Amherst, NY, USA

problem #55

Nov 052012

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
ODI # 10556900 further incidents with my Prius.

- Chatham, LA, USA

problem #54

Mar 312014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 36,718 miles
Fuse box cover left loose by dealer after Prius recall service. In the process of doing the engine software update for the Prius recall, apparently the Toyota dealer technician failed to engage the hooks & tabs at the back of the fuse box cover, and just "clicked" the front latch; this left the fuse box cover loose and exposed to water penetration. The loose fuse box cover might permit water to enter the fuse box compartment, causing a short. The short could shut-down car electrical systems causing a catastrophic shut-down of engine, air bags, power brakes, etc. This could easily result in loss of life, when the engine stops and safety systems (air bags) fail due to the short; this similar to the GM ignition recall issue. This is especially critical in a "drive-by-wire" car like the Prius. ==>the Toyota Prius recall is being done improperly (at least occasionally), leading to a much more serious safety issue. The could lead to passenger injury or death, at any time, without warning.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #53

Aug 242013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
The left side of my electrical panel that displays the warning lights and the odometer went dark.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #52

Mar 162014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 128,000 miles


After driving for a combined time of 4 hours in a 5 hour period, my wife left a store she visited off zebulon road and I-475 near macon ga. When attempting to re-enter southbound I-475 the car failed and would not accelerate. A few seconds after the drive system shut down and would not restart. The dash indicators said check hybrid power system. The car was towed to a dealer rogers Toyota in macon ga, where it now is. The dealer says that the problem was the engine control module though the inverter is being replaced under an existing recall issued last week. It is not clear if the engine control module is covered by the recall.

- Charlotte Nc, NC, USA

problem #51

Feb 212014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
I started noticing a high pitch noise sporadically on my car after it was a few months old. If I stopped and restarted the car, the noise would go away. When I brought it to Toyota they could not reproduce the problem. It would happen about 1-3 times per month and some months not at all. On this particular trip about a month ago, I did not notice the noise on start up (I had a cold that affected my hearing), but did hear it after getting on the highway. There was no where to reasonably pull over and restart the car safely, so I kept driving. After about 15-30 minutes the speedometer cluster/dash that displays the speed, fuel and drive position went blank and the noise went away. Searching online there were at least a handful of others who either had their speedometer replaced under warranty or otherwise with the same issue. I also found a recall on the 2009, a year earlier, Prius for the same issue and yes the same company makes the part. I brought my car to the dealer asap and the dealer wanted to charge me $120 to diagnose. When I questioned them, they said they need to take the dash apart, which is a lie as this would be more expensive as per our conversation. I asked for a quick computer diagnosis and they refused. I then called Toyota who said my car is long out of warranty for this part and that because I didn't pay for a diagnosis they would not take it further. When I pressed on with them they hid behind confidentiality when I asked about others who had this issue and then they said even if I paid for a diagnosis and this was found defective there are no promises. They want ~$1,200 to fix this defect.

- Dix Hills, NY, USA

problem #50

Jul 162013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 47,902 miles
I was driving with the flow of traffic (around 30 mph) on a main surface street in a middle lane of a multilane street when suddenly the engine stopped, and I was unable to make the engine respond. The car immediately began to slow down; I could not make it accelerate to keep in the flow of traffic. I managed to carefully drift over to the right and maneuver through an intersection and glide to a stop on the right side of the road. I turned off the engine and repeatedly tried to restart it to no avail. I called for towing service and had the car towed to my Toyota dealer, where the service people said it was an "internal failure" and replaced the inverter assembly. What has terrified me is that I could have been on the freeway driving at least 60 mph, where the consequences would be devastating to me and others. I asked if Toyota would be reporting this to the NHTSA, and they said that was an internal determination. I asked if this had happened before to others and did not receive a clear answer.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #49

Jun 042012


  • miles
Driving 45 mph down busy 4 lane street when car just went out of gear from drive to neutral and wouldn't go into gear. Car came to a stop in heavy traffic and I was almost hit by several vehicles. Had to push to side of road. Called dealership and they sent a tow truck. They said they had never heard of this happening before but while I was sitting there waiting for a ride I went online and saw that this has happened to hundreds of people. The others affected by this defect said that heat causes a magnet to detach taking the car from drive to neutral. I am very thankful that this did not happen on the freeway or could have caused fatalities. Toyota has not recalled any vehicles or made notification to owners. This is dangerous and I'm only putting complaint in now since I didn't know how to previously. Found out 2 days after incident that the dealership has had this issue with more than 100 vehicles and that they were not being honest when they said they never saw this before. Toyota needs to get the word out before someone is killed.

- Mojave, CA, USA

problem #48

Jan 132011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the low beam head lights failed and could not be re-illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection where they stated that the light bulbs needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred five times. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 40,000. Updated 10/29/13 the consumer stated both of the low beams went out simultaneously. Also, when the wires were wiggled the lights would come on. The dealer suggested to turn to the vehicle off, and then turn it back it on. The consumer believed there was an electrical or computer problem.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #47

Aug 302013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 49,312 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving approximately 15 mph, the engine stalled without warning. Upon restarting, the vehicle resumed normally but the failure later recurred. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis where the volt battery was replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 49,312...updated 10/30/13 updated 10/31/13 the consumer stated the dealership did not put the engine guard on the vehicle properly, the engine cover detached, the tires went flat frequently, lights needed to be replaced, and the battery completely powered off. A separate dealership informed the consumer that the vehicle was defective. The consumer stated that the second time the vehicle shut down was at 60 mph the vehicle powered off 10 within 10 minutes on the same day during rush hour. Updated 11/4/2013 the consumer stated the vehicle powered off twice while driving on the highway. The first time it happened, she was driving 15 mph and the second time it happened she was driving 60 mph and she lost power all together.

- Burtonsville, MD, USA

problem #46

Jul 032013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
While driving at ca. 20 mph a sudden jolt and clunk occurred and the car was stalled. Various dashboard lights came on, and the dash displayed "check hybrid system." Towed to a Toyota dealer, the problem was stated to be a failed inverter-converter that needed to be replaced.

- Yardville, NJ, USA

problem #45

Jun 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
I nearly hit a person while backing out of my driveway. The person was yelling but I could not hear them. Good thing they moved quickly. My radio was off and I was not using a cell phone. However the Prius beeps loudly inside the cabin while in reverse. It is loud, distracting and frankly annoying. Our Toyota highlander does not beep while in reverse. No other car I ever owned or operated beeped inside while in reverse. Some larger vehicles have an external beeper but none that I know beep inside. The dealer told me the beeping was necessary to remind me I was in reverse. The car is part electric so they say I need the beeper to know I am in reverse. That argument is plain stupid for the obvious reasons. The dealer stated that electric hybrids must have an internal reverse beeper by law. I think beeper is a hazard ie: I almost ran someone over. Is the reverse beeper indeed a law " can I get it disabled "

- Nazareth, PA, USA

problem #44

May 102013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
Our 2010 Prius suffered a near total power failure on 5/10/13 when the car suddenly and without any advanced warning, lost power decelerating from about 35 mph to about 4 mph in less than 5 seconds. Every idiot light came on at once on the dash panel and a "hybrid system failure" notice came up on the alphanumeric display. Luckily, I was on a city street and not the highway when this happened. I was able to get the car safely off to the side of the road and call for a tow. Our Prius has approx. 44000 miles on it, is regularly maintained at the dealer, not mistreated in any way and gave no advanced warning indication that there was anything wrong with the electrical/propulsion system. The car lost almost total power, limped about 50 feet past parked cars and just died at the curb after I put it in park. It would light up across the dash, but never start the engine. We have had this car about 36 months. As this is my wife's car, I am greatly worried about the safety of the car and having this problem happening again, especially to her at high speed, multi-lane highway driving. It has been repaired at a local Toyota dealership. They installed a new 12V battery and eventually the main fix, a inverter/converter. The car now runs like day one. However, how do we trust this car in the future if it did not give any warning of imminent propulsion failure ? I am getting nowhere with Toyota about their providing some kind of advanced warning to get the car onto the shoulder of the road and keep it running for about 1 - 5 minutes. Thank you

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #43

Feb 232013

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
The display that shows the speed indicator and which gear you are in has a double image and looks as though it is out of Focus. The rest of the display to the right looks fine. I took it to my local Toyota dealer and asked them to fix it and they said that this problem is on all gen III priuses. He took me to a brand new 2013 Prius and it to had the same problem. I believe this is a hazard and should be fixed. Here is a link to a website that talks about it. priuschat.com/threads/why-the-double-image.60604/.

- Richmond, MI, USA

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