(CN) – Toyota Prius headlights shut off without warning, and Toyota knows it but fails to warn customers, a class action claims in Los Angeles Superior Court. The class claims the factory-installed “high-intensity discharge headlights” in 2006-2008 models have the dangerous defect, and that “hundreds of consumers” have reported it to the National Traffic Safety Administration, but Toyota still refuses to acknowledge it.
The class claims Toyota “has long been aware that the Prius vehicles equipped with its premium HID Headlight System are susceptible to intermittent headlight failure, but rather than alerting Prius owners and lessees of this safety hazard and offering to repair the vehicles, Toyota is concealing the problem from its customers.”
The class claims that “even when Prius owners and lessees do finally discover the problem on their own, Toyota dealers replace part or all of the Prius’s HID headlight system with equally defective parts, resulting in further headlight failures and additional repair expenses.”
The class claims that “hundreds of consumers” have reported the dangerous defect to the National Traffic Safety Administration, “with many of these consumers reporting that both headlights had shut off simultaneously … . Yet Toyota still refuses to acknowledge or remedy this systemic defect, and has instead tried to characterize customer complaints as isolated issues of a prematurely burned-out bulb and argued that it has no legal obligation to disclose that light bulbs can burn out.”
The class seeks restitution, an injunction and costs. Its lead attorney is Geoffrey Munroe with Girard Gibbs of San Francisco.