Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Toyota Prius Alleged Headlight Defect

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Lawsuit Alleges Prius Headlights Burn Out Prematurely

A class action lawsuit has been filed alleging that the Toyota Prius contains a defect causing the headlight to burn out prematurely. The plaintiff who filed the lawsuit says that, with the 2010 and 2011 Toyota Prius models, a defect with the low-beam headlights can cause the light to run out of power prematurely. This defect will occur even when the vehicle is in operation, the lawsuit alleges.

The product liability attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP have decades of experience representing consumers in lawsuits over allegedly defective products, including automobiles. The firm continues to offer free legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that that headlight defect, which can occur unexpectedly, creates unsafe conditions. “The Headlight Defect has been documented to occur without warning during vehicle operation and poses an extreme and unreasonable safety hazard to drivers, passengers and pedestrians,” the suit states. “Numerous Class Vehicle owners have reported suddenly losing one or both low beam headlights while driving at night in dimly lit areas, on the highway and/or under other circumstances where properly functioning headlights are crucial.”

According to the complaint, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received several reports of the alleged headlight defect from Toyota Prius renters and owners. One complaint says the headlight went out while driving on the interstate; this individual claims that they had to replace the headlight five times over a three-year period. Similarly, another individual says they replaced their headlights three times in a single year. NHTSA received a report from one consumer who says they purchased new bulbs every two months to address the faulty headlight; the consumer does this in order to avoid driving with the high beams on constantly.

The lawsuit alleges that Toyota should have known about the headlight defect even before consumers submitted complaints. The plaintiff alleges that pre- and post-production analysis would have revealed a problem with premature headlight failure. However, the lawsuit alleges, Toyota failed to act properly in addressing the issue.
The plaintiff says he purchased a 2010 Toyota Prius in December 2010. According to the complaint, the headlights were malfunctioning by April 2014. Allegedly, a dealership representative informed the plaintiff that both low-beam headlights had burned out. Additionally, the driver’s side headlight assembly reportedly melted. The plaintiff says he paid over $720 out of pocket in repairs.

The suit seeks to represent all individuals who bought or leased any 2010 through 2011 Toyota Prius vehicle in the United States. The plaintiff is also seeking a subclass including individuals in California. Plaintiffs want Toyota to repair the headlight defect free of cost and extend the warranty on the headlight systems for 10 years or 120,00 miles. Additionally, the class action wants Toyota to reimburse consumers for the money they spent on headlight repairs.

Types of Defects and Product Liability

Consumers can file a product liability lawsuit when a product is defective. There are different types of defects that can occur when a product is made, including design defects, manufacturing defects and marketing defects. A design defect is when something is wrong with the product inherently, even before it is manufactured and assembled. A manufacturing defect is when the product is made unsafe, or non-functional during the manufacturing process. A marketing defect is when companies market the product in a way this is misleading or illegal. Marketing defects may include improper labeling, inadequate instructions or failure to warn about safety issues.

If a product causes injuries to consumers, manufacturers are liable. The law states that products must meet ordinary expectations, and failure to do so can warrant litigation. If a product is dangerous or defective, then it fails to meet expectations.

Electrolux, for example, is facing at least two class action lawsuits involving its over-the-range microwave ovens. Plaintiffs allege that the microwave oven handles are defective because they get too hot, and can burn users. Additionally, plaintiffs allege that the manufacturer’s instructions are incorrect; they allegedly instruct customers to install the top of the microwave oven at least 30 inches away from the stovetop, when in fact the bottom should be 30 inches away from the cooking surface. Allegedly, these faulty instructions cause the microwave to be installed too close to the stove. Plaintiffs also alleges that the stainless-steel material used for the handles reaches unsafe temperatures.

Legal Help for Toyota Prius Owners

If you or someone you know is interested in filing a Toyota Prius headlight defect lawsuit, contact Parker Waichman today. Our firm offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).