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 1 of 6)

problem #104

Jan 142017


  • 180,000 miles


I got in my Prius about a month ago and turned the headlight switch on, and neitherof my low beam headlights worked. I thought it seemed odd that both lights went out at the same time. I purchased the most expensive bulbs at my local auto parts store and replace the bulbs. They worked great until about an hour ago. I started my car and when I turned the head lights on, both of them came on for a fraction of a second and then immediately went out. I had to drive home with my bright lights on.I started reading Prius forums and came to realize that hundreds of people with the same Prius model and year were having the same exact symptoms in thier cars. There's obviously an electrical problem with the 2010 Prius. It's time to issue a recall. Now I'm going to have to by another set of bulbs which will cost me another $60. Please help us. It's unfair that 100's of us have to suffer from such a flaw. Thanks

- Angola, NY, USA

problem #103

Dec 202016


  • 93,000 miles
I've had to replace my low beam head lamps 4 times in the past 6 months. First I was on a 2 hour long trip when my passenger and I could specifically see both headlights were getting dim. After about an hour of driving they had both gone out completely and I was forced to use my high beams on the interstate. When we arrived in town, both bulbs were replaced and the driver's side bulb lasted 3 months before dying out. I rode around like that for a week because I kept forgetting until I'd drive at night and the shops were closed. So about a week after my driver's side bulb died, I went to the auto store and bought a new bulb, only to find out my passenger side bulb had gone out that same day; I didn't notice because it was during the day. Thankfully I was already at the auto shop and was able to have two new bulbs installed at the same time. Well...with my brand new bulbs I was confident that it was going to be fine this go-around and they were bright for a couple months. Until my driver's side bulb went out unexpectedly when I was parked in my driveway. I was getting ready to leave and saw the reflection on my neighbor's window -- no more driver's side light. I put my plans on hold until I went to the auto shop and they replaced the bulb no problem. Four days later, the passenger side bulb goes out. I'm fed up with having to get new bulbs every few months (or days for that matter). It's occurred when I was parked, driving slow in the city, and going fast on the interstate. It doesn't matter the state in which the vehicle was being handled. The lights are going out consistently and it's occurring far too frequently.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #102

Dec 122016


  • 95,000 miles
In 2014 my regular beam headlight went out. The dealers wanted $130 to put in a new bulb saying the bumper had to be removed. My husband bought a bulb at the auto parts store and installed it without removing the bumper. Since then I have replaced several bulbs on both sides and was finally told by sylvania that I need to change both at the same time which I did about a month ago. A couple of nights ago, I started the car and both headlights were out and the fuses were intact. I put in two more bulbs, but I can barely see with them although they are lit. The beam is very weak. The dealers want over $100 to do a diagnostic to find the problem or before they will give me a quote of the cost to remedy the problem as stated by Toyota in a technical bulletin. This was my third Prius, and last one.

- N Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #101

Nov 222016


  • miles


Headlights have burned out 4 times in the past 3 years- both at the same time and previously one burned out within a week of the other.

- Grandville, MI, USA

problem #100

Nov 212016


  • 140,000 miles
Low beam headlights go out at least 2 times a year. I have to replace the low beam bulbs at least twice a year. Wiring seems fine, no damage they just go out randomly throughout the year.

- Pilesgrove, NJ, USA

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problem #99

May 012016


  • 40,000 miles
My 2010 Toyota Prius began having chronic problems with exterior light going out, starting in May 2016 and persisting until now (November 2016). We have replace the bulbs repeatedly just to have them go out again. I consider this a very dangerous problem, and makes this vehicle unreliable. Dealership denies a system failure and suggests to replace bulbs with expensive ones. This does not remedy the pr oblem.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #98

Aug 262015


  • 100,000 miles


The low beam head lights constantly burn out. My car is at 108,500 miles, and I have replaced the low beam bulbs at least 5 times in the last 3 years. I have had this occur while driving on the interstate 5. another driver on the highway flashed lights at me, pulled up next to me, to indicate that my lights were out. I had to drive with the high beams on for over 20 miles. It was a very dangerous situation, because it was blinding to other drivers. However, if I had not done this, I would have been driving with no lights at all. This has happened to me three times after replacing the bulbs, which will last for a while, but quickly stop working. I have owned several cars and have never had to replace the headlights even once.

- Sumner, WA, USA

problem #97

Sep 052016


  • 130,000 miles
Three times in the past 12 months I have had my one or the other of my headlights dim and go out. The first time I replaced both headlights assuming the light needed to be replaced so I should just do both. It has occurred two additional times and finally, last night, I returned to my parked car to discover both headlights were out. I was forced to drive home switching between high beams and no lights. Replacing bulbs every few months seems excessive. Losing headlights in the dark is dangerous. This problem needs to be addressed by Toyota and a recall needs to be initiated.

- Poolesville, MD, USA

problem #96

Jan 052015


  • 100,000 miles
My low bean headlights keep burning out on my Prius. I have replaced them with oem replacement bulbs and other high quality after market bulbs and no matter which one it is it continues to burn out. They continually burn out after very little use and in a very short time frame. I make sure I follow the recommended handling and installation procedures to ensure I don't compromise or wrongly install the bulbs. This is a major hazard while driving down the road. I never know when my headlights are going to fail. This has occurred at night and in weather where headlights were needed. This is a major safety hazard and from reading forums, this is a common problem with 2010 Toyota Prius. This is a safety issue that needs to be addressed by Toyota.

- Conway, AR, USA

problem #95

Jul 272016


  • 85,000 miles
For the past year, the low beams on my 2010 Prius continue to burn out within a few months of being replaced. I have had to drive twice in the dark with no low beams and had to use my high beams until I was able to get home/buy new bulbs. It doesn't matter what brand or type of bulb I use, they are burning out within 45-60 days of replacement. It's extremely dangerous especially since I spend a majority of my time driving for work. The Toyota dealer I took my vehicle to in May 2016 told me there was no problem, they'd never heard of any problems with the lights, and that I just needed to buy "expensive" bulbs. After installing the most expensive bulbs I could find, both headlights burned out within 60 days. It's very frustrating buying new bulbs every 2 months.

- Converse, TX, USA

problem #94

Jul 022016


  • 110,000 miles


Low beam headlights failed with less than 10,000 miles since last replacement.

- Chambersburg, PA, USA

problem #93

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 #92

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 #91

Mar 022012


  • 40,000 miles
Low beam bulbs constantly failing, have to replace every few months! sometimes both bulbs will fail at the same time, leaving you with only high beams. Toyota issued a tsb in 10/12 about a fix involving modification to the wiring harness but says they will only repair this problem for cars under 36K miles or 36 months from date of purchase, which means many of the cars with this problem were already out of the warranty period when the tsb was issued. No headlights is a serious safety issue and this repair should be made available to any owner with this problem at no cost. It appears that the cost of having this tsb done is several hundred dollars.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #90

Apr 142016


  • 40,300 miles
On April 14, both my low-beam stopped working. Unfortunately I was forced to drive home in the dark, on a winding canyon road alternating between no light and high-beams. I took my car the next morning to Toyota of N. hollywood for repair. I assumed it would be a fuse or loose wire. I thought it highly unlikely that both lights would go out at the exact same time. My service manager informed me this was not uncommon. He quoted me $110 for parts and labor. Reluctantly I gave the "go-ahead" for the replacement (what choice did I really have"?"). about an hour after leaving my car for the replacment, I received a call from the service mgr. Informing me that the housing on for the left light was "melted" and it would need to also be replaced at a cost of $350. I asked if this was covered under warrenty (2010 car with 40300 miles) and was told no. I said that this sounds like a design flaw, as surely the when the housing was created, the heating element and output of the standard light bulb would be taken into consideration in the desgn. My service mgr. Informed me that it was not uncommon as it happens to Tacoma's quite frequently. Again, I reluctantly gave the green light for the repair, and requested that I be given all parts upon when I picked up my car. After getting off the phone, I realized through an online search that 1) there was a recall in place for 2004-2009 Prius for lighting issues; and 2) there was a recall for Tacoma's for the melting issue. Clearly this is still a issue. I found another person on this very site who shared the very same problem he had four days before me. The recall for the Prius must be extended. Looking online, there are hundreds of complaints going beyond the scope of the years included in the original recall. This little repair cost over $540 dollars. Shameful on Toyota.

- Studio City, CA, USA

problem #89

Mar 142016


  • 120,000 miles
One of my headlights went out a couple of months ago, so I replaced both. A few weeks later, I was driving on an interstate highway at night, roughly 8pm, and my both of my headlights went out. They would not come back on. Only the high-beams were functional. After speaking with my local Toyota dealership, this is a known issue of a faulty wiring harness. The local dealership refused to replace the faulty wiring. I find it difficult to comprehend how a car's most basic safety feature, maybe aside from the brakes, is suffering from a known issue and nothing has been done. Without an intervention in this matter, Toyota's willingness to ignore this problem, as they have with many others in the past, will certainly lead to death.

- Boulder, CO, USA

problem #88

Apr 042016


  • 94,000 miles
Both of my low beam headlights went out suddenly. I didn't realize it until I was driving onto the freeway and had to turn on my high beams so I wouldn't crash while on the dark onramp of the freeway. The housing of the left low beam is blown out. I brought in my Prius to the dealership and they would not cover this even though I have the platinum warranty.

- Millbrae, CA, USA

problem #87

Mar 252016


  • 101,000 miles
Over the last 3 years, my dim bulbs have been blowing frequently. I usually don't notice this until I drive at night, which I try to avoid. Last weekend, it happened again. They had been replace about 3 months ago. Bright lights work fine but no dims. I have never had this problem with other cars. It is really more aggravating now that my son has moved far away and I have to search for someone to replace them. I recently read online that this is a problem with Prius cars. Why no recall?

- Eastman, GA, USA

problem #86

Mar 282016


  • 170,000 miles
Low beams continually blowing. This time together. I am told this may be a costly fix. Very dangerous.

- Clemson, SC, USA

problem #85

Mar 182016


  • 85,000 miles
2010 Toyota Prius headlights burn out frequently. One of the headlights burn out every 5 to 6 months. I can't just replace the burnt out bulb as the other one then burns out.

- Swansea, MA, USA

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