definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,614 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.

2012 Toyota Prius accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2012 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Aug 012015


  • 625,000 miles


Wind shield wiper switch quit working at 62,500 mile.the wind shield wiper motor is now making grinding noises and needs to be replaced(74,000 miles). Both parts broke when we were traveling out of state, during rain storms.

- Leland, NC, USA

problem #23

Nov 112013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 8,500 miles
I bought a 2012 Toyota Prius plug-in. The windshield creates a ghosting effect on lights, especially at night. Lights from other cars and streetlights are glaring through the windshield with a ghosted image above and below so I see three lights. The effect is so pronounced that it is impossible to read lit highway safety signs at night because the ghosting obscures the letters completely. The lights look fine through the side glass, so it is clearly an issue just with the windshield. I contacted the dealer and they dismissed my complaint. However I see that many people have mentioned the exact same thing online and our local news channel in the san francisco area kabc channel 7 has begin a "7 on your side" investigation. Please urge Toyota to recall these dangerous windshields.

- Mountain View, CA, USA

problem #22

Nov 012012

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
Prius is not safe to drive at night. The windshield distorts light sources and causes a ghosting/multiplying effect. Traffic signals images are doubled, tripled or more - not safe as it is distracting and confusing. This issue is very prominent at night. It is not just traffic signals but other light sources as well. In December 2012, I contacted Toyota and was referred to dealer. Service manager confirmed issue and said that he is waiting on Toyota on how to fix - no resolution after one year of waiting.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #21

Nov 192012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 400 miles


I have noticed ghosting of images most obvious while night driving. Particularly noticeable in led lights. It looks like a duplicate image of the lights created. It can be very glaring and hard to judge distance of other vehicles.

- Nottingham, MD, USA

problem #20

Oct 232013


  • 17,570 miles
On Oct. 23, 2013 at 6am in the morning in about 45 degrees Fahrenheit, my Toyota Prius 2012 rear window emitted a loud punching sound and then shattered when I turned on the rear wiper. I googled the incident and we're not the only ones who experience this. There have been similar incidents on other Prius in other years as well. Thus, we are reporting it and hope this will be looked into. Our car is barely a year old and under warranty but our local Toyota dealer said warranty will not cover this. Thank goodness our auto policy will and we don't have to pay a deductible.

- University Place, WA, USA

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problem #19

May 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 72 miles
The windshield causes most light sources, particularly led lights, street lights, and oncoming headlights (basically any bright light source), to appear with a "ghosting" image. The "ghosting" appears in the windshield vertically below the light source as one, two, or even three images. The dealer has replaced the windshield twice already, but there has been no improvement. In fact, the first and second replacements are worse than the original. I also own a 2008 Toyota sienna, and I drive various Chevy equinoxes and Ford escapes where I work - I do not experience the "ghosting" effect in those vehicles. Personnel from the dealer's service department as well as representatives from Toyota have also observed this phenomena with the windshields in my Prius plug-in. I was told by a representative in the service department after the last replacement that even the Toyota engineers weren't happy with the replacement. It has now been two weeks since the last windshield was installed. I notified the service department (during my drive home that same day) at the dealership that the windshield was unsatisfactory, and I was told that they would notify me when Toyota decided what to do about it next. To date not only have I heard nothing, but the last three phone calls to the service adviser have gone to voice mail, and I received no reply.

- Gresham, OR, USA

problem #18

Aug 132013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 15,815 miles


While driving, a loud popping noise (cracking) was heard with no observed damage, and later that day the windshield grew a long crack in windshield while the car was parked. An edge crack formed on the windshield extreme outer edge in the chamfer about 2/3 of the way up on the driver"S side A-pillar. The windshield by it"S design appears to be rather thin, and the windshield edge is exposed, not covered or embedded in plastic or rubber or trim material. The windshield edge as observed has a very small chamfer and does not have a generous bevel (round) that is highly polished such as found on the passenger window edges or older windshields I am familiar with. I took the car to Toyota of bowie and was told by the service manager, he believes there was an impact to the windshield at the very extreme edge of the windshield where the crack root is on the chamfer and their dealership would not replace it under any warranty. The service manger did not look at the crack with any tools, for example, a magnifying class or the use of a ball point pen to determine any impact location or if it is in fact a stress crack that has formed. The service manager did not offer to arrange to have the car repaired and told me to go to a glass company. When the service manager was asked about any problems or concerns with Toyota windshields or exposed glass edge windshields with a small chamfer, he said there were no problems or recalls. I have only owned the car eight months and plan to write Toyota to learn when a more robust crack resistant windshield can be made available. Note: Pictures can be made available.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #17

Aug 122013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 15,600 miles
There is a noticeable halo effect in the windshield when viewing oncoming lights. It is bothersome and irritating on the eyes especially when driving for long periods of time. I am writing Toyota directly to learn when a different windshield can be provided.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #16

Apr 182012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 700 miles
Head lights from oncoming traffic at nighttime have a "halo" and "prism" appearance. Additionally, reflective road signs are also very distorted, seeing what appears to be multiple signs. Since that time eyes have been tested with no change from last exam and new glasses are now being worn. There is no difference. My wife states she sees the same distortion when driving after dark. This has been a continual problem since we purchased the vehicle. In addition, the windshield was replaced in August, 2012, as a result of hail damage. It was replaced with genuine Toyota parts. There is no difference.

- Salem, IN, USA

problem #15

Oct 222012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
Windshield optics cause light sources to triple with ghosting above and below the source of light. This is causing difficulty in judging distance, distraction and eye strain while driving.

- Wyoming, OH, USA

problem #14

Mar 192013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 10 miles


The windshield has a vertical "prism" effect with any light source coming through it.

- Windsor Locks, CT, USA

problem #13

Feb 252013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 6,232 miles
Windshield produces blurry vision or duplicated images at night. Taillights and street lights are shown in multiples of two or three. Extended driving beyond 20 minutes causes eye fatigue and also distorted gauge of distance.

- Fullerton, CA, USA

problem #12

Mar 032013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 300 miles
New 2012 Toyota Prius plug-in. Visibility through front windshield is blurry - particularly noticeable at night when light sources are viewed through the windshield. Light sources produce multiple images (up to two additional) below the original light source. Problem is also noticeable during daylight hours, particularly during cloudy conditions. Ghosting effect worse at a distance, does not seem to occur when light source is very close to vehicle (for example within 10 feet). Ghosting effect is quite noticeable at night. I am worried that the problem may cause headaches, visual fatigue, and accidents.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #11

Dec 032012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 200 miles
2012 Prius has serious defect in the windshield lamination. Bright light sources are tripled at night. A ghost image appears above and below the original light source. Light sources may be, headlights, taillights, signal lights, and even reflected lights off certain road signs. As you approach the light source, the two ghost images will merge into the primary light source. The safety hazard are extreme eye fatigue at night, and severe visual distortion that is directly related to the brightness of the light source.

- Wylie, TX, USA

problem #10

Nov 302012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 12,400 miles
Design of car includes a flaw causing a huge vertical blindspot on both the right and left side of the car. Because there is a bar that runs vertical on both sides at the beginning of the driver and front passengers' windows, this, along with the pillar coming down the windshield contribute to an extremely large spot where objects in road cannot be seen. This is especially hazardous for pedestrian foot-traffic crossing perpendicular to the car. Peds in crosswalks or in parking lots are at times, completely masked by this blind spot by the combination of the front windshield pillars and front window sub-pillars. Other cars (such as Honda insight) with a dramatically angled windshield avoid this by using a smaller sub-pillar on the front window, allowing for things to be seen far more easily. This issue should be addressed before it causes a pedestrian injury or death. This is not something that can be repaired.

- Concord , CA, USA

problem #9

Dec 102012

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
Brand new Prius 2012 while driving at night, lights, especially red in color, when viewed from front windshield, appear as three distinct images. One dark image along with two faint image one above and one below the dark one. I got the car in Nov end, reported the issue in Dec 17 to Toyota, then went to dealer before christmas. Technician there acknowledged the issue and ordered a new glass. Windshield was replaced on 11 Jan but saw the same issue, technician test drove the car and acknowledged the issue is still there. Toyota rep will come and look into the issue. It is a major safety issue as sometimes there are lots of red tail lights ahead. I see lot of people have reported the issue......below are ODI id number for Prius 2012. Seems like common problem. Not sure if Toyota is waiting for accidents to happen because of this issue before fixing it. ODI id number : 10490622 ODI id number : 10485390 ODI id number : 10485239 ODI id number : 10483605 ODI id number : 10483561 ODI id number : 10482102 ODI id number : 10479684.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #8

Oct 252012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 2 miles
Brand new 2012 Prius driving out of the dealership at night, noticed a rather bothersome trait: Lights viewed through the windshield have a prism effect where there is a "ghost" image located above and below the actual light source. I wanted to know if this was defective windshield, or just how the Prius is due to the very low angle of the windshield. It is definitely a prism type effect as it differs by color, and as you approach the light source, the ghost images merge into the single image. This happens with all light sources, the sun (worst of all), headlights, tail lights, street lights, traffic lights, etc. When driving at night this ghosting of the light sources is really distracting and makes it look like you are looking at a blurred image. Nothing is crisp or clear. It's bad enough that my wife and I are not driving the car at night and using another vehicle. We have had others in the car to confirm the issue. I have contacted the dealer with the issue and they have yet to reply...

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #7

Nov 012012

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
The windshield has a serious optical illusion during night time driving. The windshield creates a ghost image of the original light source - the ghost image appears above and below the original light source. For example, at night the red traffic light will have a ghost image of the red light above and below it, ultimately showing three red lights (ghost image(1), original light(2), and another ghost image (3)). This can also be seen with the yellow and green traffic lights, oncoming car headlights, brake lights, street lights, and pedestrian walk signs.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #6

Mar 082012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 170 miles
Vehicle windshield has an apparent critical defect in production. Light passing through the windshield is replicated above and below the source of light. As light source becomes more distant, light is replicated 2, 3, or 4 times more than its source (as distance increases). This creates a major hazard during night driving and driving when the sun is low enough in the sky where it can be seen through the windshield. In some cases, the effect is blinding. I have found this to be a major safety hazard and one that could result in injury or fatality. More recently, after the time change, I have been leaving for work when the sun is lower in the sky and this creates a blinding effect. I have had two near misses in the past two days because of this. I am also having to drive home in the dark which is dangerous as oncoming headlights are amplified in intensity and can appear to be as if the oncoming lights are high-beams. This issue has existed since I took delivery of the new car and when talking to the selling dealer, I am continually brushed off and have yet to have it fixed or even looked at. Dealership personnel admit they have heard of the issue, but cannot provide information as to the fix or how Toyota is dealing with these complaints. At this point, with two near misses recently, I see the car as being unsafe for driving. I will be contacting Toyota to file a complaint regarding this issue. I will also be contacting the dealership management to arrange drop off of the car until it can be made safe to drive. In my own research, I have found numerous complaints detailing the same issues online and a couple videos showing the exact same issues. One such source is: priuschat.com/threads/2011-Prius-windshield-triples-light-source-images.100008/ and a video is available: www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&V=fjsqpu1-axi.

- Concord, CA, USA

problem #5

Oct 242012


  • miles
There is a ghosting image seen through the front windshield on my new 2012 Toyota Prius II that is affecting night time driving and the visibility of lights, especially red lights. When you are operating the vehicle at night and you approach a light there is a ghost image of the light above and below the actual light source until you get within a few feet of the light source then it disappears. This is becoming a safety issue for myself as well as many other 2012 Prius owners that I have talked to about this. I have 20/20 vision with no need for glasses and this is beginning to cause a strain on my vision, as I imagine for others an even greater strain. I have heard of many others even having two ghost images below and above the light source. Below is how it would look. Ghost image of light actual light source ghost image of light

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

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