Owners of the second generation Prius who shelled out the extra bucks for high intensity discharge (xenon) headlights are finding out that things can get quite pricey when the lamps fail, and boy have they been failing!
Owners are complaining that the repairs, which cost between $300 and $1,800 with labor, are not being covered by Toyota. Toyota retorts that some of the owner's complaints have come after the warranty period has expired, therefore making it the owner's responsibility. Toyota says that it is investigating into the matter and some owner's report that Toyota customer service is offering to pay for parts if the owner pays for labor for non-warranty claims.
Experts warn that Toyota should handle this issue with care. The Prius is sold to "Sensitive people with a clear sense of right and wrong and their obligation to society," Andy Fletcher, CEO of marketing communications firm Fletcher-Martin, Atlanta told the trade publication Automotive News. "This is the wrong group to mess with, particularly now."
Many oncoming drivers curse HID headlamps because of their very bright, bluish light the lamps produce. The 2010 Prius offers a new, premium LED headlight system, that uses less energy and is supposed to offer a 'lifetime' of service.
As for the Federal Government's response, the U.S. Transportation Department has opened a "preliminary evaluation" into the failing HID lights.