really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,425 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2010 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 3 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #64

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 #63

Nov 292011


  • 14,000 miles
The low beam headlights on this car have been burning out frequently (approximately every six months) since this first incident. In one incident in December, 2014, both lights burned out at the same time.

- Wisconsin Rapids, WI, USA

problem #62

May 182015


  • miles
Vehicle's brake lamp bulbs stopped working (headlamps on/off no change except the upper bulb on the rear lights are illuminated w/headlamps/high beams on as they should be while the rest of the light is indifferent to brake pedal application, changing from park/drive etc). The bulbs were replaced but the issue persists, suspect it is something to do with the wiring harness. Please remedy because any electrical diagnostic is hundreds of dollars at the dealership and may not even be obligatory if a known issue & cost effective solution exist. Regardless of cost Toyota should offer any remedy that protects the safety of their consumers. I just don't want to have to pay a bunch of money to determine the problem was a loose screw. Anyway, faulty brake/tail lights increase the possibility of collision & endanger other drivers when a defect of this nature presents itself. Both right & left are affected, there is no visible warning the vehicle is slowing rather than driving, stopped, idling, or accelerating.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #61

Jun 152011


  • 10,000 miles


This was approximately the date when my first headlight blew. The other headlight blew within a couple months. I went for three years changing headlights every six months or so. Twice, both headlights blew and I had to unsafely drive home (70 miles) with my brights on. I took my car to the dealer and was told that this model and year had a wiring harness "bullet" and the cost to replace it was on me. At the time, that was almost $400, which I did not have. This issue has cause me to replace one (sometimes both) headlights every six months (if I'm lucky to go that long). It has also caused the headlight housing to overheat and has made the inside of the housing "fuzzy." This, in turn, makes it nearly impossible to see in the dark with just my dim lights on so driving at night is dangerous. Toyota needs to make this a recall because it is dangerous. Both headlights going out at one time because of a faulty wiring harness creates a dangerous situation. Having to drive with my brights on creates a dangerous situation for oncoming traffic. Driving at night with my dims on is like driving with no lights on at all.

- Athens, OH, USA

problem #60

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

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problem #59

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 #58

Apr 242015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles


I purchased the Toyota certified pre-owned Prius in July 2013. I first had an issue with the headlight in August 2014 when the headlight kept coming loose from it's casing. This happened again on April 24, 2015 only this time the headlight fell to rest on some plastic and caused the headlight assembly to start on fire. No one was injured. I used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. I believe the socket part of the headlight assembly was defective.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #57

Apr 242015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
Since owning the vehicle, I have experienced the low beam headlights burn out within 9 months. Recently, one bulb burned out within 3 months. I was pulled over by the city police, driving with one headlight out is not only a safety issue, but could result in a citation.

- Bellevue, WA, USA

problem #56

Jan 282015


  • 180,000 miles
The headlight hid start to go on and off finally the left side went off. Also while driving the car desacelerated and increased speed by itself.

- Campbell, CA, USA

problem #55

Jul 012014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Low beam headlights both went out at the same time while driving down the road. The driver's side has since been replaced twice over the last 6 months and is now out again and the passenger side has been replaced twice.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #54

Nov 102014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


Passenger low beam headlight went out first then a few months later the driver low beam headlight went out and has now gone out for the 3rd time. Had to use high beams all the way home cause I could hardly see anything with low beams. Have been pulled over a few times by the cops for this problem. Pulled over 2 times in just one night because of this problem.

- Mooers Forks, NY, USA

problem #53

Feb 012011


  • 40,000 miles
The low beams on this vehicle fail on a regular basis. Initially moving the wiring harness where it connects to the light will cause the low beam to come back on, but then will fail again without notice. After doing this several time over an undetermined period of time (undetermined because it can happen at any time) moving the harness fails to resolve the problem and the light bulb needs to be replaced (I'm assuming moving the harness to get the bulb to relight eventually causes the bulb to fail). I purchased two new low beam bulbs approximately one month ago and am now returning to the store this morning this morning to purchase another set of bulbs, which will then lead to moving the writing harness to get the bulbs to relight, which will then once again lead to early failure of the new bulbs.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #52

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 #51

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 #50

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 #49

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 #48

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 #47

Jan 182015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 112,236 miles
Both low beams went out at same time at night. High beams operational. Bulbs had been replaced a month ago. A quick search finds many instances of this happening. It shouldn't be the bulbs. Makes for very dangerous driving.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #46

Jan 182015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Low beam headlights stopped working during night driving. Had to drive home with high beams only at night. Felt endangered and very unsafe both for myself and the public.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #45

Jan 132015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
I was driving back home from work on a country road at night when my low beam lights both went out. I had to drive home with my high beams on. This is the 4th set of headlights in a year that we have replaced.

- Lexington, KY, USA

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