Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
94,779 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.

2005 Toyota Prius lights problems

lights problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2005 Toyota Prius:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2005 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 10 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #106

Aug 232010


  • 90,000 miles


2005 Toyota Prius experienced headlamp failure at 90,000 miles. Since both headlamps failed at the same time, and N both regular and high-beam modes, the problem seems to be with the electrical circuit for the headlamps. Dealer quotes $1200 to fix. Seems like a rip-off.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #105

Jul 152010


  • 100,000 miles
I drive a 2005 Toyota Prius and the headlights have started going off intermittently without warning. When I start the car (light switch is always in the on position), sometimes both lights are on, sometimes one, sometimes none. While driving the car, the lights will suddenly go out, usually one or the other, but there have been times where both went out. I have researched the problem and there doesn't appear to be a known solution. I plan to purchase a replacement bulb to see if that solves the problem.

- Bolton, CT, USA

problem #104

Aug 082010


  • 104,300 miles
At about 104K miles the hid headlights, along with the dash dashboard lights, went out while my daughter was driving on a country road at night. The sudden darkness resulted in a collision with a guard rail while braking. After putting the car in park, turning off the power button and restarting the car everything came back on. While we were shaken up, no one was hurt. The car sustained $2K damage to the body, but not to the headlights. The local dealer didn't express any knowledge of headlight failures in priuses, inspected the lighting system and pronounced everything fine. I did have to pay for the inspection as the lights weren't damaged and not covered by the collision claim. Internet research has brought up many similar cases of this occurring with other priuses; with no acknowledgement by Toyota. My daughter is now terrified of driving this car. I also own a 2007 Prius with hid lights and 55K miles. I'm monitoring it's headlights whenever possible as it is driven mostly during the day with the headlights on.

- Petoskey, MI, USA

problem #103

Aug 082010


  • 110,000 miles


2005 Prius. Lights go off without warning. When lights are turned off and then on again they come back on.

- San Rafael, CA, USA

problem #102

Jan 152010


  • 44,000 miles
Toyota Prius headlight leveling sensor when it fails, headlight can point downward limiting visibility.

- Endicott, Ny, NY, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #101

Jun 202010


  • 72,000 miles
Sudden warning light indicating headlight leveling failure. Occurs intermittently under various circumstances. Consequences: Headlights either aimed too high blinding oncoming drivers or slanted downward making car impossible to drive at night. Part has not been replaced and car is not driven at night. Old part still available. There was a technical service bulletin in early 2006 indicating that the headlight leveling sensor was not watertight and prone to failure due to water entering the system and corroding the electrical contacts. Toyota improved the integrity of the unit and sold it using the same part number with the added suffix "G". while Toyota will cover the replacement cost of the sensor under the 3 yr/36,000 mile warranty there is no coverage for vehicles out of warranty. A recall was never issued. Again, this is only a problem that occurs with the hid headlight system in the earlier generation II Prius (2004 - 2005). Service bulletin:00406 NHTSA item number:10019992 my car is out of warranty and I was unaware that there was a problem with the system when it could have been remedied while the car was under warranty. Mileage at failure 72,000. This is a safety issue and a recall should be issued ! cost of part $370 + tax. Labor is another $210 + tax.

- Peru, NY, USA

problem #100

Jul 262010


  • 70,000 miles


The passenger front headlight goes out. Toyota has replaced various parts 4 times and it still doesn't work.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #99

Jan 012010


  • 60,000 miles
Toyota Prius 2005 headlight leveling control sensor fails due to corrosion in the sensor. Result is inadequate night drive due to improperly positioned headlights. Safety issue.

- Eden Prairie, MN, USA

problem #98

Jul 042010


  • 48,000 miles
Dear NHTSA: 2005 Toyota Prius. Headlights. The car is equipped with a headlight leveling device. At present my low beams only show about 14 feet in front of the vehicle. When the high beams are on they shine where the normal low beams would shine. I have contacted my dealer, this is a $500 dollar fix. The car has 48K miles. This is a safety hazard. I am not safe driving this vehicle at night. This is a serious condition and affects lots of Toyota Prius as I have found out on the blogs. Appreciate you guys looking into this problem, the device should be replaced by Toyota as it has failed through normal use and not from abuse. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Media, PA, USA

problem #97

Apr 102010


  • 123,000 miles
Over the past two months, my 2005 Prius has developed an intermittent headlight failure. The headlight in question is on the passenger side of the vehicle. Turning off the headlights and turning them back on resolves the issue, thus the bulb is not the issue. This defect makes the vehicle less safe to operate and holds me civilly responsible for "fix it" damages. The "fix" for this defect is a replacement should not be my responsibility for it is not a failure of obsolescence. I will cheerfully accept the bulb ending life, but for the sensors, switches, and computing behind the headlamp switch to have this level of dependability is not my problem to fix.

- Eden Prairie, MN, USA

problem #96

Apr 172010


  • 75,000 miles


2005 Prius driver's hid lightbulb failed with less than 80, ,000 miles. Cost to replace bulb quoted at $400 plus $300 for labor.

- Glendora, CA, USA

problem #95

Feb 012010


  • 62,366 miles
Hid headlamp failure on my 2005 Toyota Prius. It would work sometimes and then go off as I was driving down the road. Took to dealer 3/26/10; they replaced the headlight bulb for $198.09. It worked for about a month then started flickering off again as I drove down the road. I could turn it off completely then back on and it would work for only a few seconds. Took to dealer again today 6/21/10 and they said it needs a new assembly because it had been "hit". my husband backed into and scraped the headlight cover in 2006 (five years ago), but it worked perfectly until Feb. 2010. Interesting that there are multiple complaints of this same problem, with 160 pages of complaints to NHTSA alone.

- Kingsport, TN, USA

problem #94

Jun 182010


  • 83,800 miles
The headlights on my 2005 Toyota Prius go out intermittently without warning, one at a time. The bulbs will come back on after the first or second time of restarting the car. This may be happening more often than I'm aware. The first time was about 7 months ago when a chp officer pulled me over and gave me a fixit ticket for the headlight being out. It was too late at night to buy another bulb anywhere. I pulled into a lighted parking lot to see if there might be a loose connection. I turned off the car, opened the hood, removed some parts that were in the way of accessing the back of the passenger side headlight, and jiggled the connection to the bulb. I turned the car back on and the light worked. The next time I was at a service appointment at the dealer I asked them if they were aware of any problems with the headlights going out intermittently. The service rep said they do that occasionally, but since they were expensive to repair, to just keep driving until it goes out altogether. About 3 or 4 months ago, my driver side headlight did the same thing that time, I wasn't able to remove the back of the headlight. I was in a remote location late at night about 50 miles along a winding 2-lane road away from my destination. I started the car back up and the driver side headlight was still out. I decided to continue on to my destination with just one headlight, taking a chance the other wouldn't go out. The next day when I started the car, both headlights were working fine. Last night, the passenger side headlight went out for the second time (that I'm aware). I was on a 3-hour drive home after working out of town all week. I stopped for some coffee and when I turned the car back on, both headlights were working fine. After about 10 minutes driving, though, the passenger side headlight went out again and stayed out all the rest of the trip home. Today I googled the problem; several others have had similar problems with Prius headlights.

- Citrus Heights, CA, USA

problem #93

Apr 142010


  • 90,000 miles
Normal use of high intensity discharge headlamp/bulbs lights are flickering. Wire harness mentioned by dealership, cost to replace is prohibitive. Bulbs should not be 'flickering' if the capsule simply needs to be replaced. This problem is common among this model year Prius as well as before and after 2005.

- Lake Mills, WI, USA

problem #92

Jun 012010


  • 110,000 miles
2005 Toyota Prius with headlights driver's side headlight that goes on and off intermittently. The dealership is charging $350 for this one light bulb, to replace it. There are multiple complaints regarding this problem with the Prius, on multiple web sites, all with the same concern. It is obviously a defective part, and the headlights should be recalled by Toyota. They go off at very dangerous times, like driving on the interstate.

- Strafford, MO, USA

problem #91

May 232010


  • miles
The hid headlights on my 2005 Toyota Prius went out several nights ago. The car was taken to Toyota, and this problem is common on the 2004-2008 Prius, which a simple google search proved. These type of bulbs overheat (since they're halogen). Nevertheless, they charged $1150 for two headlights which cannot be bought anywhere except the Toyota dealership. They were only 2 years old. When I called Toyota, the person I talked to understood, saying it had happened to him too, but there was nothing he could do since the car had over 136,000 miles on it. Apparently Toyota only warranties its parts for one year. Shameful.

- Montgomery Village, MD, USA

problem #90

May 112010


  • 95,000 miles
I have a 2005 Toyota Prius and the lights go off while I am driving. If I turn off the lights completely they will come back on. The dealer does not know what to do in fixing it. The lights go off in the middle of driving at night. This is a safety hazard that needs to be addressed. This incident happens day to day. I have been stopped by the police several times not knowing that the lights have gone out. There needs to be a recall to investigate the electrical system.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #89

Jan 012008


  • miles
I had been pulled over on several occassions for faulty tail lights. This has been ongoing since I bought the car. Then my children told me of the front head lights going out for no reason. I did not believe them till the went out on me. After taking it to several Toyota dealers and said that there is nothing wrong, on 09/10/2009 I filed a complaint with a "monica" from the NHTSA in DC. I have yet to hear anything to this date and I am afraid of a serious crash when the lights go out without knowing why. I also have a check light that has been on since before my warranty went out and no one wants to correct the problem. I hate this car, it scares me and there are other issues and I have to date only received one recall and that is on the mats.

- Eure, NC, USA

problem #88

Jun 012009


  • 115,000 miles
While driving my car, a 2005 Toyota Prius, the headlights will just stop working. It began with the right headlight, sometimes it is both headlights. The headlights will sometimes come back on if they are turned off and then back on, sometimes the car must be turned off and then on again. The dealer has said that it could be fixed by replacing the entire headlight unit (not just the bulb) at over $300 each or possibly the computer control board at over $1000. This is a recurring issue. Because it is now affecting both headlights, the car cannot be driven at night.

- Carmel By The Sea, CA, USA

problem #87

Mar 012010


  • 155,000 miles
2005 Toyota Prius. There is an electrical problem with my headlights. One or both headlights will go out at least once in an hour of driving. Turning off the headlights and back on restores it to normal operation.

- Laguna Niguel, CA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?