pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
88,424 miles
Total Complaints:
41 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (21 reports)
  2. new light bulbs (16 reports)
  3. repair wiring harness (2 reports)
  4. replaced bulbs and melted housing (1 reports)
  5. replaced wiring harness, bulbs (1 reports)
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problem #41

Aug 192016

Prius Sedan 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,916 miles

I noticed the problem and took my car to Tire Discounter who charged me $ 30 for labor, $19.95 for the bulb, $ 4.25 for shop supply fees and $3.79 for taxes for a total $57.99.

Again, bulb stopped working in April 2017. I took the car to Walmart and paid $18.47 to replace the bulb. So far there has not been a problem.

I took the car for a recall to Toyota dealer in Cincinnati and I was told that they can replace the bulb but do not have the parts to fix the problem covered by Toyota Warranty.

What a shame..

- , Cincinnati, OH, US

problem #40

Feb 092018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I have been dealing with replacing headlight in my 2010 Prius for very long time. Never thought it was a big problem, possibly because can afford it. Eventually, a letter came in the mail for recall for headlamps so I started reading online. I noticed there were several complaints for headlights on the same model of Prius.

I approached my local Toyota branch to take in my car for repair on 4 of January, 2018. They said they will have to schedule a time for me to bring my car in for repair. Fast forward 2 days latter the both lamps were out again. This time I decided to buy one of the most expensive Phillips headlamp, that way it could last longer. On Feb 09, 2018, while driving I noticed there was smoke coming out my hood. The Phillip lamp had overheated and was burning out the compartment. Today is the 10 of February and no one has reached out.

- , Vacaville, US

problem #39

Feb 292016


  • CVT transmission
  • 115,000 miles

Headlights stopped working in highway traffic last night while driving 70 MPH in the dark. High beams still work but difficult to use them in dense highway traffic. I spent $75 to change the bulbs only to find that didn't solve the problem. I checked all fuses, a real pain to access the small fuses in a tight area, only to find that they are all fine. Located this website from an online search...not sure what to do other than call the dealer at this point. It is a very unsafe problem and probably expensive to fix.

- , Derry, NH, US

problem #38

Jan 112017

Prius IV

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

Headlights randomly burned out over a six month period. Left, left, right, left, left, right, right, etc. I replaced them myself at $40 - $65 per bulb. Finally took car to Toyota dealer because it was obviously not a headlight issue. Dealer said there was a known wiring harness issue and that they could replace the bulbs, as I did, but they would likely burn out again soon. Asked for a fix. They quoted around $700. I asked why they weren't fixing the problem because it was a known defect. Dealership stated the car was out of warranty and there wasn't a recall. I mentioned the 100-plus complaints about this issue occurring in the 2010 model. I got mad and left. Called Toyota Customer Service at 800-331-4331. They told me they would look into it but reminded me that the car was no longer under warranty. I claimed BS, that I've owned 4 previous Toyotas and that this would be my last if they were not going to fix a known defect that was a safety hazard (both lights went out at once while night driving). I then asked where to forward a small claims court summons to appear as I planned to sue them for the cost of the repair. They gave me contact information for their legal services. I was called a couple of days later by the customer services rep who stated that Toyota would provide a one-time only out-of-warranty repair. They contacted the local dealer for approval of the work. I brought the car to the local dealer for replacement of the harness 6 months ago. No more issues. Good luck.

- , Vancouver, WA, US

problem #37

Apr 032017

Prius ES 1.8L 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,000 miles

I have spent hundreds of dollars putting the best bulbs on the market in my 2010 Toyota Prius to have them to burn out repeatedly. What in the world is wrong with Toyota that they have not recalled this problem!!!!

- , Pryor, US

problem #36

Apr 162016

Prius ES 1.8L 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

The headlights randomly burn out on my 2010 Toyota Prius and have to be replaced about every 3 months. I can be driving down the highway and suddenly have no headlights. Toyota needs to do something about this before someone is seriously injured, I have read numerous forums and they are thousands of people this is happening to.

- , Pryor, US

problem #35

Aug 122016

Prius II

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

low beam vey dim and burns out too often

My 2010 Prius that is only a little over 5 years old, I've had to replace low beam bulbs at least 3-4 times, High beams once. Drivers side isn't too bad to replace, Passenger's side is rediculous. The low beams are extremely dim at night, Can barely see the road at night, high beams are OK. This seems to be a defect that Toyota does not want to address. My 2001 GMC K2500, 8.1 engine, I have not had to change any high or low beam lights in the past 15 years, has 135,000 miles.

- , Mountain View, HI, USA

problem #34

Jan 242017


  • CVT transmission
  • 118,117 miles

when driving the car at night both headlights suddenly turned off. When I turned on the lights again neither of the headlights would work although the parking lights did. I had to limp home very carefully. The car is in the shop right now.

Update from Jan 29, 2017: Mechanic replaced both headlights both now work. The same thing happened 37 months ago. It seems highly improbable that 2 sets of headlights would burn out simultaneously.

- , Wilmette, IL, USA

problem #33

Jan 252017

Prius UNK Unk

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,378 miles

My low beam Hi intensity lights have burned out 6 times in the last three years. They burn out one at a time (so far) on alternating sides. The original bulbs lasted a long time, but once they started to burn out, it seems the replacement bulbs never last longer than 6 months or so. It is dangerous because one low beam alone is insufficient to safely illuminate the road. The passenger side light bulb is extremely difficult to replace, so much so that I would not recommend this car to other people purely because of the light bulbs! Yes, it is that bad, every other aspect of this Prius is excellent.

- , Severna Park, MD, USA

problem #32

Jul 012015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Seems like every 3 weeks either one or both head lights go out. This has been going on for at least a couple of years and my warranty doesn't cover it. I'm getting tired of paying for bulbs, this is not normal need to know why this is happening.

- , Westland, MI, US

problem #31

Dec 112016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,364 miles

Started in 2014, One regular beam headlight went out and changed the bulb, then the other went out and changed it, then bought a bulb with warranty, went out and was told needed to change them both at the same time, next time changed them both at the same time, then one went out and then later started working. Tonight both headlights are not working at all

- , North Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #30

May 012016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


- , Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #29

Jul 012015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

We have had to replace the Prius 2010 headlamps four times (now, 2016) at huge expense -- most recently over $200 for ONE HEADLAMP!! Something is wrong to have to change it this often, but our dealer denies hearing of this from anyone else.

Has anyone else experienced this???

- , Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #28

Oct 032011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,701 miles

I purchased my 2010 Prius new 06/09. The OEM headlights lasted until 10/03/11 (mil 32701). I replaced them with Sylvania Gold Star Headlights (H11). Replaced again 01/22/12 (mil 37498, again 07/06/12 (mil 42238), again 01/21/13 (mil 49838, again 11/18/13 (mil 62155), again 05/12/14 (mil 68211), again 11/03/14 (mil 77219), again 05/28/15 (mil 81936), and twice since (this last time with Xenon ballast & bulbs) for a total of 10 (plus the OEM) in 7 years. I told my dealer about it, service repeatedly told me there was no problem. I took in a print out from an auto store stating the car needed a additional wiring harness. The dealer told me the car was no longer under warranty. I told them that I had purchased the extended warranty, service then told me that it was a maintenance issue. When was the last time you rewired your car as maintenance???

- , Eliot, ME, USA

problem #27

Oct 212013

Prius 1.8L

  • CVT transmission
  • 189,000 miles

very short life low beam headlight bulbs

right after warranty ran out dealer stated there was a fix -- had to hack into wiring harness and repair wiring and was time consuming...replacement was 2 harnesses for L&R of 2 wires about 16" long which would change out the feed wires. which why lasted 3 yrs. then fail?? even with Toyota bulbs didn't last 3 months... Sylvania sent replacement bulbs for some of them.. After a few years of that went to led bulbs lasted so far. Never had dealer hack up harnesses but Toyota knew of the problem as there was a "fix" and dealer NEVER spoke of Toyota "fix" while under warranty but knew of it to the tune of few hundred bucks and a day.. But after warrant stated should have spoken up.... !!??? REALLY??? while under warranty they did the 2 yr. servicing to keep a paper trail they left off a piece of the bottom wind covering which to replace would be over $300 car still runs without it and if nothing else lets heat out.. Dealer doesn't touch it I do my own maintenance and so far with well over 189,000 of 95% high way driving is running strong.. Thankfully have had nightmare problems like some.. Driving down highway and lights go off isn't a warm and fuzzy

- , Elizabethtown, PA, USA

problem #26

Jul 272016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

click to see larger images

lights stopped working

I bought my 2010 Prius in 2013. I've had no issues with it until last year the low beams continue to burn out on a regular basis. They're now burning out every two months or less. I took the vehicle to my local Toyota service center to have them check out the situation, and they did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. They told me to use "expensive bulbs." So I went to Auto Zone and bought the most expensive bulbs there. 45 days later, lights have burned out again. I'm self employed and drive my car for 90% business purposes. I've had my headlights both go out in the middle of the night. It's extremely dangerous and scary.

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #25

Jun 022016

Prius II

  • CVT transmission
  • 65,000 miles

low beam headlight bulbs repeatedly burn out in less than 6

Low beam headlamp bulbs fail prematurely, in under 6 months, repeatedly. It's a pain and expense to change them and driving with burnt out headlamps is dangerous! I have had to replace these many times. I have heard this problem from other 2010 Prius owners. This are the standard headlamps, not HID.

- , Rockville, MD, US

problem #24

Mar 082014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,500 miles

Tired of replacing headlights every 2 to 3 months. Once one of the bulbs burns out almost immediately the other low beam goes out.

It does not matter if it is an expensive set of bulbs or cheap ones. Same problem.

- , Alexandria, LA, USA

problem #23

Apr 282016

Prius LX 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 93,000 miles

For the last 2 years, every couple months, I have to replace one lamp and within a month I will have to replace the other, then in another couple months start all over again. The last time this happened the right one burned some plastic on the back side of the light housing and upon trouble shooting the smell and reinstalling the lamp, the lamp blew up in my hand. So now I have the right lamp shining off in the ditch and the other one burned out again. This makes for a real dangerous early morning commute to work. I have two Toyota vehicles and have not had much trouble with either one until now but I'm about ready to get rid of the Prius. I have read complaints about people having the same problems but having a mechanic shop install the lamps for them ($450-1800) there is no way, I would pay somebody to install these lamps for that kind of money. oh, by the way, installing these POS lamps is another big pain in the butt!! TOYOTA!!! fix this crap!!! can't believe that with the awesome rep. that Toyota has, that they would even allow this kind of workmanship to exist.

- , Godddard, KS, USA

problem #22

Apr 142016

Prius III

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,234 miles

Four days ago, I got into my car (at dusk) to discover that BOTH my low beams were not working. I had to drive home in the dark (and on a somewhat windy canyon road) alternating between no lights and highbeams. The following morning I took to Toyota of N. Hollywood. My Service Mgr. said that both lights were burned out and needed to be replaced. It sounded odd to me that BOTH lights went out at the same time, but sure.. OK.. The replacement cost for part and labor was $110 per bulb. (later discovered online that the actual bulb is appx. $33). They estimated 3 hours for the repair.

About an hour after I'd left my car with Toyota, I received a call that the left-hand housing unit had melted and that too would need to be replaced... HUH?!?!? I asked if that was covered under warranty, and was told no. I made the point that I couldn't understand why a housing unit would melt, as the bulbs were factory issue and it makes no sense that in the design and creation, the housing unit wouldn't withstand whatever the standard heat output would be. My service Tech replied that it was not uncommon, and in fact it happens often with Tacoma model vehicles. I would have to pay for the repair. I told him to go ahead and make the repair, but that I wanted all the replaced parts when I picked up the car. I then went online and discovered two things; 1) there was a recall for Tacoma's for this very problem, and 2) the recall for Prius' light issues covered 2004-2009 year model.

From looking and researching online, CLEARLY this is still an issue. On the safercar.gov website there was a reporting of this EXACT situation to same exact year, occured four days prior to my incident. I will be reporting this on every and any website I can find, as well as writing to Toyota of America directly.

- , Studio City, CA, USA

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