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Multi-function display flickers or blacks out

The problem you describe may be a simple loss of 12 volt power to one or more of the on-board computers, engine ignition circuit, etc. You mentioned that the multi-function display flickered and went dark on one occasion. Does this display flicker or go dark every time the engine dies? Did you notice any other loss of 12 volt power (for example the radio quit playing or the dash lights went out)? An intermittent connection to the ignition switch or a defective power relay like "IG1" could cripple your Prius.

Additionally, the multi-function display is fed info via the communication bus from the body ECU. Any intermittent connection in this communication bus can cause the engine to die and the display to flicker. Your dealer obviously has no clue as to the root cause of the problem. What you are experiencing is the real risk to owning a car like the Prius. It is a technical challenge to repair and most dealership personnel are not up to it--especially when the problem is intermittent. The fact that they replaced the 12 volt battery is a sure sign that they don't know what is going on (batteries don't go dead and come back to life multiple times). You should encourage your dealer to call Toyota's technical staff and get some help in solving this problem. Four strikes is definitely one to many.
 

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The next step to get it fixed

The dealership must agree to get in contact with Toyota technical assistance personnel familiar with the Prius. I would bet you that neither dealership that you have taken your Prius to has taken the time to call for assistance. These resources are available to the dealership. It is time for them to swallow their pride and make the call. If your dealership service manager refuses to make the necessary calls to Toyota, you must make it clear to the service manager that you will contact Toyota personally and create the "stink" necessary to get this problem fixed. In reality there are no such things as "lemon" vehicles, only problems for which the root cause was never found.
 
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