Prius Owners Sue Over Faulty Headlights

Owners suing Toyota over expensive repair
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2009 5:38 PM CDT
In this photo from June 5, a Toyota Motor Corp. worker gives the final examination on an newly assembled Prius at Toyota.   (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
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(Newser) – Toyota’s Prius, now in its third generation, remains the dominant hybrid car. But an increasing number of older Prius owners are finding that the autos have a potentially dangerous flaw—failing headlights. What's worse, the so-called high-intensity discharge lamps, which are optional ugrades, can cost more than $1,000 to fix. With a group of Prius owners suing Toyota, the issue threatens to be a customer-relations fiasco, reports Advertising Age.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating whether to declare a recall, which would force Toyota to foot the bill for replacement. In any case, Toyota needs to handle the issue gracefully, because Prius owners are "sensitive people with a clear sense of right and wrong and their obligation to society," says the CEO of Fletcher-Martin, an Atlanta marketing firm. "This is the wrong group to mess with, particularly now." (Read more Prius stories.)