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 1 of 6)

problem #102

Sep 102016

Prius 4-cyl

  • 106,600 miles


On September 10, 2016, while we are driving back to indianapolis from Chicago, the left dash screen became dysfunctional and went completely blank. There is no indication of the speed, the amount of gas in the tank, and the condition of the engine. We did not feel safe at all on the way home.on September 13, 2016, we took our vehicle to butler Toyota where we purchased it for a checkup. After the diagnostic, the service department advised me that the combination meter was out completely. This combination meter must be replaced to restore the reading on the dash board. They told me that this unit is not under warranty, and I must pay $1,698.42 (tax not included) for this replacement (see attached). This combination meter is a critical safety tool to monitor the driving mechanisms, the condition of vehicle, and when the driver should refill their fuel tank. To resolve the problem, I would appreciate your consideration of this work as a faulty product and should be replaced without cost to the customer. Enclosed is a copy of service from butler Toyota.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #101

Jun 012012


  • 36,000 miles
My low beam headlights became noticeably more dim -- dangerously so as I began to need to use high beams to see anything beyond 30' in front of me. This began in 2012. Then my low beam lights began to go out -- one side, then the other. We replaced them ourselves with high quality replacements (after we found out it would cost over $200 for labor and headlamp at our dealer). We were told by the dealer that the problem was only ours -- they had "never heard of it before." Over the past three years, we have replaced 6 headlamps! today was the 6th replacement and we had it done at the dealers where we were told, again, that this is a problem that they have never heard of before. Several times, I have had to drive home from work at night in the dark with no low beams (both went out) and use my high beams while cars heading toward me flashed their lights because of the blinding effect of using highbeams. Please help!!

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #100

Feb 112016


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving approximately 50 mph, the vehicle lost power without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the electrical system fried the inverter and shut down the entire system. The contact stated that the software was an ongoing issue and overheated the inverter, which caused the engine to shut off and the vehicle to completely stop. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 65,000. Updated 01/04/17

- Montrose, CA, USA

problem #99

Dec 012015

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,413 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the radio, turn signals, interior lights and dashboard lights functioned intermittently independently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who was unable to diagnose or repair the vehicle. However, the failure persisted. The vehicle was then taken back to the dealer who diagnosed that the wiring harness in the vehicle was coated with soy and that an animal chewed on it causing the failure. The technician diagnosed that the entire wiring harness needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 114,413. Updated 09/22/16 updated 10/05/16.

- Eau Claire, WI, USA

problem #98

May 312016


  • 153,000 miles
I have driven people for a living for over 30 years. I bought a Prius because of fuel costs. A month ago while transporting passengers, my power brakes go out and my dash lights up with ABS, brake, & traction control warning lights. I take it to the Toyota dealer who charges me $111 to tell me I have a brake problem and that it will cost $4418 to fix it. Code # C1391; they recommend replacing the master cylinder; and booster pump assembly saying there is an abnormal leak down of the brake accumulator. This is insane. I cannot afford to fix it and must continue to work to live; therefore driving about 200 miles/day with hydraulic only brakes. My research indicates there was a major recall for this exact problem on the 2010 model. The dealership and Toyota corporate both say my vehicle was not part of the recall. I feel as though it should be since, obviously, the problem has not been solved. I am not alone, as many owners on priuschat have the same problem. This is a major safety concern to not only myself, other vehicles or pedestrians, but also my passengers. An expanded recall is necessary and warranted. Anything you can do will help and make us all safer..

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #97

Jun 012016


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While attempting to start the vehicle, it stalled. While driving various speeds, a clanking noise was heard before the vehicle stalled. The check engine light illuminated. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the electronic control unit failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V053000 (electrical system, hybrid propulsion system). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 85,000.

- Garland, TX, USA

problem #96

Jun 022016


  • 65,000 miles


Low beam headlamp bulbs fail repeatedly in less than 6 months. This happens regardless of bulb brand or model. I have had these professionally installed at multiple shops. Happens on both sides, but the latest is on driver side.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #95

Jun 022014


  • 38,000 miles
June 2, 2016 two years ago my original headlights finally burned out. Since that time I have been replacing bulbs about every 3 to 4 months, with the last bulbs lasting only 2 months. Once one of the low beams bulbs burns out the other bulb burns out almost immediately. I have joined the Prius chat forum and have learned that this is a very common and ongoing complaint. It seems Toyota has elected to ignore this problem. The bulb on the passenger side is most difficult to replace, with me having to move the windshield reservoir out of the way. I am guessing this started about 2 years ago.

- Alexandria, LA, USA

problem #94

May 252016


  • 85,000 miles
On 05/25/2016 at about 9am, while in motion at a rate of speed approx 25 mph on a street during construction (don't know if the bumpy road had anything to do with it), the change oil soon light appeared and seconds later all the lights on the dash came on with the message to check the "check hybrid system". I tried to stop the vehicle and it kept accelerating. I pressed on the breaks really hard and the traction control light kept flashing on and off like crazy but it barely had any impact. Although the vehicle slowed, it did not come to a full stop. I ended up hitting the vehicle in front of me. Thank god it was a truck and as able to stop the car from moving further or I could of ended up in the middle of an intersection. After the collision, the car would not stop although the park button was pressed and light was on. I even tried turning off the vehicle and the vehicle stayed on and in drive. I ended up in the hospital and don't know how it eventually got turned off but that was very frightening. I had my children in the car. On impact, the seat belts did not even tighten.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #93

Mar 242016


  • 48,000 miles
Vehicle lost power, stalled while driving at highway speed; "check hybrid system" displayed on dash; required replacement of inverter and intelligent power module

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #92

May 022016


  • 60,000 miles


Electronic door locks continue to fail. I have taken my Prius back to Toyota two or three times to fix broken electronic door locks. At that time, vehicle was under extended warranty and the cost to replace the electronic door lock was covered. Vehicle is no longer under warranty and Toyota is quoting over $400 to fix. The fact that this continues to happen (and to different doors) leads me to believe there is a known defect in the electronic lock mechanism. I do see a few other complains of the same issue. This represents a real safety concern as the affected door remains unlocked while driving and can be opened while vehicle is in motion (such as by a child). This is also a theft concern as the door does not lock unless walking around to the affected door to manually lock it.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #91

May 142016


  • 93,000 miles
My headlight caught fire and severely burned my car. I was driving down the road on a city steet and saw a wisp of smoke and pulled over into a store parking lot. I had no warning lights indicating anything was wrong. It began to smoke more, and I cautiously opened the hood to see a fire coming from my drivers side headlight area. Within seconds there was a blaze, and it took 3 fire extinguishers to put it out. The fire department confirmed that the fire originated from the headlight. I had previously experienced problems with my headlight becoming dull and cloudy. An earlier NHTSA investigation did not result in a recall. I think it's the same problem with the headlight, only much worse. If there were not multiple fire extinguishers available the car could have easily exploded before the fire department arrived. It could have easily caused harm to other people.

- Shoreline, WA, USA

problem #90

Jan 152015


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving 45 mph and depressing the accelerator pedal, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was able to be pulled over. The vehicle was restarted and resumed normal operation. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer and the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 78,000.

- Vero Beach, FL, USA

problem #89

Mar 082016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While driving at 10 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle required multiple attempts to restart. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the integrated power module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact mentioned that the vehicle was serviced under NHTSA campaign number: 14V053000 (electrical system, hybrid propulsion system); however, the remedy failed to repair the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown. Updated 05/26/16

- Palto Alto, CA, USA

problem #88

Jun 142015


  • 143,889 miles
Keeps blowing the low beam on the passenger side, 6 times in 6 months.

- Concord, GA, USA

problem #87

Feb 042016


  • 201,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid. The contact stated that while driving at 40 mph, the temperature gauge began to indicate hot. The contact stated that the temperature warning light illuminated and the vehicle emitted smoke. The vehicle was parked and diagnosed by an independent mechanic, who stated that the water pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 201,000.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #86

Dec 252015


  • 56,853 miles
Check hybrid system car shuts off and can not restart, tried system reset per manual but would not clear hybrid. Towed to dealer, dtc code P3004-800, tech said this was the only code, had recall eoe reflash 04-14-2014 ipm extended 15 years. Car was in motion per wife. (it had been raining) the dtc P3004-800 power cable malfunction

- Sugar Hill, GA, USA

problem #85

May 302015


  • 113,250 miles
On May 30, 2015, our home burned to the ground. The firefighters are certain the cause of the fire was my 2010 Prius - they know the fire started in the rear of the garage, the only other item in that area was a bicycle. Arson, faulty wiring and accidents were ruled out. Investigations continue, but they have identified an arc between the battery and the relay switch. My homeowners insurance carrier (erie) is trying to decide whether they should expend the additional $1,500 to open the relay switch box to see if they can determine if the arc was the cause of the fire, or a result. From the video footage, it is obvious that the water being poured onto the garage increased the intensity of the fire, which was due to the magnesium battery. Thestarpress.com has all the video: www.thestarpress.com/videos/news/2015/06/03/28436619/ we were trapped in an upstairs bedroom for 40 minutes - and given up for dead before the 911 operators heard my labored breathing over the still-open phone line. A heroic firefighter threw himself through the wall of our second-story bedroom to rescue us. My husband was not breathing when he was removed from home, but we have both recovered. We had been out to dinner earlier in the evening, but the car had been parked in our garage for several hours. I have heard of many other Prius fires, and wanted to alert you to our experience.

- Muncie, IN, USA

problem #84

Dec 082015


  • 93,000 miles
Both headlights (low beam) go out at the same time. No apparent issue with the fuses. Replacement bulbs experience a shorter than expected (approx. 6 weeks) life before burning out again.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #83

Dec 042015


  • 95,000 miles
My cars low beam headlights fail quite often; sometimes lasting less than two weeks. At other times, the bulbs put out very little light. The failures most often happen when the lights are first turned on, or when switching between high and low beam.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

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