Toyota Settles Class Action Regarding Prius Headlights

Posted on: January 31st, 2011 by Steve Larson

Toyota Motor Corp. agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit with U.S. owners over headlights that shut off without warning in its 2006-2009 Prius hybrids.  Under the terms of the settlement, eligible Prius owners will be reimbursed for the cost to fix the headlight systems, and warranties for headlight problems will be extended to five years or 50,000 miles from the standard three years or 36,000 miles.

At least 2,500 complaints were filed over the faulty headlight system.  U.S. District Court Judge Manuel Real in Los Angeles certified the class and gave preliminary approval of the settlement.  Eligible Prius owners will be notified by mail starting next month and have 90 days after that to register with the class. While no dollar amount was attached to the settlement, plaintiffs’ attorneys estimated costs could run into the tens of millions of dollars, based on the number of vehicles potentially affected by the headlight issue.

Toyota still faces lawsuits for other issues, including sudden acceleration and rollover problems.