NHTSA Receives Complaints Over Prius Windshield Visibility
March 5, 2013

by Jennifer Reed, jreed@glass.com

Several Toyota Prius drivers have reported complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website describing visibility issues with their front windshields.

A common theme in the complaints is that consumers are seeing lights in triplicate through the front windshield. For instance, if they are viewing a red light, they see two additional lights as well.

In a claim filed March 4, a consumer driving a 2012 Toyota Prius reported to NHTSA, "When driving at night I have an issue where the light source from headlights have a rainbow affect. Also tail lights are seen three times for every one light."

The individual also described the same issue with traffic lights, saying "there are three distinct lights for every one light."

In another complaint also filed March 4, a consumer driving a 2012 Prius told NHTSA: "Visibility through front windshield is blurry, particularly noticeable at night when light sources are viewed through the windshield. Light sources produce multiple images (up to two additional) below the original light source. Problem is also noticeable during daylight hours, particularly during cloudy conditions."

In a third complaint filed on January 15, a consumer said while driving a brand-new Prius at night, "lights, especially red in color, when viewed from the front windshield, appear as three distinct images. One dark image, along with two faint images, one above and one below the dark one."

At press time, Toyota had not yet responded to request for comment; however, the automaker did respond to at least one media outlet indicating it is aware of "a small number of complaints on the NHTSA website regarding windshield visibility for 2010 through 2012."

If a customer reaches out directly to Toyota over a windshield complaint, the automaker told the outlet it will make "arrangements to evaluate some of their vehicles."

Asahi Glass Co. is the reported manufacturer of these windshields.

In related news, in January the automaker issued a recall through NHTSA affecting an estimated 1.15 million vehicles for windshield wiper and airbag defects. The recall for windshield wiper faults impacted 2006-2010 Lexus IS 250 models, 2010-2012 Lexus IS 250C models, 2006-2012 Lexus IS 350 models, 2010-2012 Lexus IS 350C models and 2008-2011 Lexus IS F models.

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