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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
106,330 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Toyota Prius lights problems

lights problem

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2004 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 4 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #93

Sep 012008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 170,000 miles


Hid headlights go off intermittently while driving. Headlights can be reset by turning headlight switch to off and back on again. A search of the NHTSA and other websites demonstrate that this same problem is widespread for several year models of Prius autos. The dealer estimates to replace the headlight bulbs is about $1000 per headlight, making this a serious problem because people will seek lower cost remedies which are not safe. Toyota thus far has not officially recognized or attempted to address this issue. Since a total loss of lighting can occur at anytime with serious consequences, a recall should be performed to correct this issue before fatalities occur.

- Sugar Grove, IL, USA

problem #92

Jan 202011


  • miles
The driver's side hid headlight, intermittently, unpredictably and inexplicably shuts off. It will occasionally return to service on its own, but usually requires a cycling of the light's power switch before full function is restored. After which, the length of time before the light shuts off again varies from a few seconds to not at all. After researching this issue, it seems to be a rather systemic problem with the 2004-2009 Prius. Obviously, the situation this condition creates is unsafe at best, can place me personally in an unexpected illegal position - and (should both lights go out together, as some have reported) could quite possibly be life threatening. For the safety of the driving public, I would strongly urge NHTSA to investigate this issue. Toyota must take responsibility for their design flaw, and engineer a resolution to this problem.

- Blue Springs, MO, USA

problem #91

May 152008


  • 48,000 miles
Front lights went dim. Able to turn back on with switch. Front lights continue to go out or get dim intermittently and I must turn switch on and off to get them back on. I have paid Toyota for several new bulbs and diagnostics with no fix.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #90

Aug 022011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 140,000 miles


The headlamps keep switching off intermittently on my 2004 Toyota Prius. This has been happening fairly regularly over the last year, but last night (8-2-2011) both headlamps failed at the same time when on a dark, windy road causing me to almost crash into a tree (I couldn't see anything without the lights). When I switch the headlamp control on and off, the headlamps come on again, so it is unlikely to be the bulbs. Sometimes only one lamp goes out, sometimes both; but they are failing very frequently and causing me a major safety concern. I have researched this issue online and there seem to be many consumers that have the same issue. Please help.

- White Hall, MD, USA

problem #89

Jun 172011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 36,550 miles
My 2004 Prius with 36,600 total miles has a failing right headlight. Toyota service in honolulu estimate cost of parts & labor totaling $500. To replace the failing headlight and $700 to replace both headlights, which Toyota recommends.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

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problem #88

Mar 112011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 162,190 miles
2004 Toyota Prius has 160,000 miles. The left headlight has been failing intermittently for about a week. Two nights ago, on a dark road, the entire set of front headlights, fog lamps, all suddenly went off. I am happy to say the hazards were functional, because no amount of turning the switch at the stalk would bring the lights back. I pulled car over and turned it off. I had driven approximately 50 miles with them on prior to the event. I let the vehicle rest with power off for approx 5 minutes and the lights were working normally, and continued without further problems for the last 25 miles of my drive home. There are a great many registered complaints about this particular issue. I feel it is indeed a safety issue and would appreciate some help in getting Toyota to take a look at the root of this problem. Please.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #87

Dec 012010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles


I have a 2004 Toyota Prius. Since 2004, my headlights have gone out 5 times. The right headlight has gone out 3 times and the left 2 times. The last time I replaced the right headlight, it did not last 12 months.

- Claremont, CA, USA

problem #86

Dec 312010


  • 105,320 miles
Headlights went out on my 2004 Toyota Prius while driving down I84 in New York. At night! flipped switches and turned on and off and they went back on. Had I been on a dark back road who knows what could have happened. Why!

- Newtown, CT, USA

problem #85

Jan 012009

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
Intermittent hid bulb goes out. There is no particular event that takes place when the lights stop working. When turned on they always come on and at some point they will sometimes stop working. When I see they have stopped I will turn the lights off and back on and they work and will usually stay working the rest of the trip, but not always. I have been looking online and this seems to be a common problem. I was just at my Toyota dealer and they said it is probably the bulb and then under his breath he unofficially said it is a crap shoot for solving the problem.

- Mount Morris, IL, USA

problem #84

Aug 152010


  • 72,500 miles
Headlights would go out, but come back on. At first, it was only one headlight, but one evening, when one headlight went out, I switched to high beams and both went out. I pulled off the road, turned the car off and back on and the lights worked for about twenty minutes. Dealer had replaced bulbs previously. On August 19, dealer replaced headlamp systems at a very high cost. Manufacturer sent me a check to repay part of this, when I complained. Now, tonight, December 22, 2010, driver side headlight does not come on, except for a brief flash when locking or unlocking the doors.

- Poulsbo , WA, USA

problem #83

May 042009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 121,046 miles


Driver side headlight failure. Spontaneously goes out. Will come back when switch off and on.

- Germantown, MD, USA

problem #82

Jul 102010


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Prius. While driving approximately 55 mph, the contact stated that the headlights shut off without warning. The vehicle was repaired by an authorized dealer. The manufacturer had not been notified. The current mileage was approximately 155,000. The failure mileage was approximately 150,000.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #81

May 162010


  • 108,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the headlights would shut off independently. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was advised that the headlights would need to be replaced. In addition, the contact stated that the center console on the dashboard failed. The contact called the manufacturer and filed a complaint but no assistance was offered. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 108,000 and the current mileage was approximately 113,000.

- Mcdowell, VA, USA

problem #80

Jul 122008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Prius. The contact was driving at various speeds and the driver side automatic headlight would flicker intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where they informed that the headlight would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure continued to occur. The failure mileage was 108,000. Updated 01/13/11 the consumer stated both head lights were replaced. However, the flickering continued until the head light started was replaced. Updated 03/31/11

- Dublin, OH, USA

problem #79

Sep 012010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
Headlight on 2004 pries controller broken. May be due to oxide levels in contacts. Smart key oxidation causes poor use. Alarm goes off intermittently.

- La, CA, USA

problem #78

Aug 012010


  • 125,000 miles
Have a 2004 Prius. Head light on right side keeps going out. After I turn the headlights off and back on, it comes back on for a shot time. Waiting for both lights to go out while driving at night.

- Arnold, MD, USA

problem #77

Jul 012010


  • 120,000 miles
Intermittent failure of headlights.

- North Berwick, ME, USA

problem #76

Sep 092010


  • 129,213 miles
Car: 2004 Toyota Prius problem: Intermittent failure of both headlights while driving. Last night while driving along an unlit country road, both headlights failed simultaneously. After stopping the vehicle the lights came back on by turning on and off the headlamps using the stalk mounted switch. This is a very dangerous situation, many others have had the same problem. See the Toyota recall website and try this search, "trouble shooting Prius hid bulb and hid ECU", and you will get this result, "found: 62255 results for "trouble shooting Prius hid bulb and hid ECU". but the site only allows you to see and access 45 other "other results", that are very generic and talk about other Toyota models. Why can't the public see the 62,255 search results. Also check the forum at "". there are 175 posts dating back to 2008. This is unacceptable to have all the lights intermittently fail in any vehicle. This problem is widespread and deserves the attention of the NHTSA right now.

- Millersville, PA, USA

problem #75

Aug 012010


  • 142,000 miles
Unsafe nighttime headlamp lighting due to failure of height sensor, P/N 8940847010, 2004 Toyota Prius. Failure of height sensor caused headlamps to point down.

- Waterbury, VT, USA

problem #74

Jul 272010


  • 146,000 miles
2004 Prius at 146K miles with original headlights. Drivers side headlight turns orange and goes out after 2 minutes. Passenger side light goes out randomly and takes out fog lights at the same time. A complete failure of forward facing lighting including fog lamps should not happen if a headlight goes out. Turning the lights off-and-on brings them back for an unspecified amount of time until complete failure once again.

- Woodbridge, CT, USA

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