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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

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2005 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 11 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #86

Mar 202010


  • 57,000 miles


The passenger side headlight burned out on my 2005 Toyota Prius. I took it to the dealer and they charged $818 for the headlight and the onboard computer that comes with it. I don't yet know what the labor charge will be.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #85

Mar 182010


  • 64,000 miles
I was driving at night and suddenly realized I couldn't see the road in front of me. When I pulled up to a stop light, I could see the reflection of both headlights on in the back of the car in front of me, but when I started driving again I couldn't see the road again. I put my high beams on and they worked, but the regular lights had become too dim to see anything. I just replaced one of the bulbs two months ago because it was out, but now they are both working but too dim to be useful. The Toyota dealer said the bulbs need to be replaced, but one of them is barely two months old. I asked a non-Toyota dealer and they said it is not a bulb problem if the bulbs work, but a wiring or battery problem. I don't know what to do because I don't want to pay to fix the wrong problem, since I just replaced a headlamp that can't be the issue.

- Hermosa Beach, CA, USA

problem #84

Mar 122010


  • 10,360 miles
Driving at night and the head lamps on Toyota Prius malfunctioned; not aware that they were off. I was on a dark winding road, heavy rain showers. Was alerted by another motorist that my lights were off. Got out of car, tapped the dome, one came on... I was able to drive home. Happened unexpectedly, no warning. Very concern with my safety. They could have been an accident. Checked with other Prius owners. Found out, it's a widespread issue with the Prius. Toyota is aware of the problem and needs to address it before someone gets seriously hurt or killed. Overall the car is fine but this headlamp issue needs to be addressed from a safety perspective. There are no deaths /injury in my case but prevention is the key. Thank you.

- Tucker, GA, USA

problem #83

Mar 042010


  • 132,000 miles


I'm constantly replacing the headlights in my 2005 Toyota Prius (non-hid bulbs) as they have stopped working 6 times in the last 35K miles. I've replaced them with different manufacturer's bulbs, differing models, and even oem bulbs, but they keep going out. The first time they actually went out with both headlights together at exactly 100,000 miles. I don't know if this is planned obsolence or something else, but both headlights going out while driving at night is far from safe. Given the fact that the dealership wants almost $300 per bulb change, this is getting pretty ridiculous, and I'm not thrilled about the concept of getting tickets due to bulbs burning out every couple of weeks. Aside from the inconvenience and cost, I'm really concerned about the safety aspects of this recurring problem.

- Palmdale, CA, USA

problem #82

Mar 082010


  • 67,575 miles
1. noticed that the left headlamp is having intermittent difficulty staying on this past week. 2.once the headlamps are turned on, the left headlamp starts to dim and the light appears to have a pink tint. After a few minutes (3 7) the left headlamp goes completely out. Turning the lights off and then on again starts the cycle all over again. I have been pulled over because the light was out. Having to drive with only 1 functional headlamp is a safety concern. 3.the Toyota dealership wants $375.79 for one hid light bulb. Mileage is 67575 I cannot afford the light bulb nor the hundreds of dollars required for the labor costs to replace it.

- Plattsburgh, NY, USA

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problem #81

Feb 162010


  • miles
The front right headlight and rear right taillight randomly turn off. I have seen no pattern as to when it goes out, but it will stay out until the vehicle is turned off and restarted. 95% of the time, this resolves the problem.

- Gahanna, OH, USA

problem #80

Nov 152009


  • 90,000 miles


I have a 2005 Toyota Prius with defective hid headlights. These lights are very expensive to replace ($650+/-each) and burn out about every year. My headlights have gone out on several occasions, including on the freeway at 8:30pm in the dark. Everyone I know who owns a Prius has had the same problem. Toyota freely admits the headlights are defective, and because of that they are not even an option on the 2010 Prius, but denies that the bad headlights are a safety concern. I disagree. Having my headlights suddenly turn off at 65mph on a dark freeway is certainly a safety concern.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #79

Feb 282010


  • miles
1 - my right headlight keeps going on and off while I am driving. I received a ticket that I now have to pay for. The los angeles times mentioned that other cars have this problem. It should be easy for the manufacturer to fix at their expense. 2 - since I purchased my 2005 Prius in 2004, when I go over bumps, sometimes the light for the stability comes on and the brakes do not work for a second or two. I had asked when the car was serviced and was told there was nothing wrong. I guess we know better now. 3 - sometimes the two front tires lose traction and make a noise while spinning, before the car moves. 4 - if my car was under the "carpet" recall, why is it that it is not listed under the recall for the gas pedal? 5 - two of my locks are not working. One is the front passenger an one in the back.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #78

Mar 012010


  • 70,000 miles
3/1/2010 hid bulb out on the Toyota Prius 2005, told that it would cost $450 to replace the bulb. I can't believe that I spend so much money on this car, to be told that something so simple was costing so much. When I used to do this my self. I also complain about my car accelerating and was told that my car was not on the list. That I would have to wait for the notification to bring it in for the rug replacement. I called to complain about acceleration on my car and was told that I was wrong. I have been driver since my teens (over 30 yrs now) and should know when there is something wrong with my car, I am the one driving it. This incident about the car accelerating happen a few times during last summer and the fall season I never noted the dates down.

- Herndon, VA, USA

problem #77

Jan 252010


  • 182,367 miles
My 2005 Toyota Prius has a problem with the headlights going out, it started in December 2009 and as of today they go out about every 5-10 minutes... I called Toyota customer service and they implied there was no wide spread problem with the headlights on the 2005 Prius... I have an associated press article in front of me that says (the Prius is a highly computerized car and has had many problems in the past... in 2005 Toyota repaired 75,000 Prius that had a software problem that caused the car to stall and the Prius also has had problems with the headlights going out since 2001 ) is there a fix that they would not tell me about... thanks.

- Speedwell, TN, USA

problem #76

Nov 012008


  • 36,000 miles


Headlight height control sensor failed on my 2005 Prius. Started having problems in 2008 while it was still under warranty. When I took it to dealer, because problem was on again/off again, he couldn't find it. By the time dealer finally figured out what the problem was - it was out of warranty.

- Reading, MA, USA

problem #75

Sep 152009


  • 120,000 miles
I have a 2005 Toyota Prius. At first the LH headlight would internittently go out. It would also come on during my drive also. Then my rh headlight would do the same. I have had four instances where both headlights have gone out completely leaving me in a serious situation since I live in a rural area with no street lighting and curvey roads. I have read online of the thousands of people blogging and complaining of their same problems. I was told by lancaster, ca. Dealership it needs headlamps replaced. Online people all state they haved had them replaced and the problem still exists. Mine goes out sometimes minutes after turning on the car. Other times it goes for about 20 minutes before shutting off. It is random and seems to have no pattern. I do not believe it is only the headlamps because of what the numerous people online have said is the result after their headlights being changed. It still goes out on them, just every 30 minutes not every 20 seconds they write. This is not acceptable. I have also tried like the online people suggest by turning on the switch back and forth. It works so how could it be the lamp only? the dealership wants $600. To change the lights. I say they need to address this.

- Tehachapi, CA, USA

problem #74

Jan 042010


  • 160,000 miles
In my 2005 Toyota Prius, one or both of the headlights spontaneously go out while driving. If you turn them off using the switch and then turn them on, the re-illuminate so the bulbs are not burned out.

- Plymouth, MA, USA

problem #73

Feb 042010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
The right hid headlight on our 2005 Toyota Prius extinguishes randomly, several times a week, and sometimes comes back on when the headlights are power-cycled. The left headlight has been replaced once, which we feel is normal, while the right headlight has been replaced three times, two of which were probably unnecessary. We have been stopped and warned by police several times, and we may not be noticing all of the failures that occur during daylight. The dealer says the problem could be the ballast ($800) or the computer ($1,000) but would not replace either under warranty (stringing us along with lamp changes until it expired) and will not guarantee that either or both fixes will eliminate the problem.

- Auburndale, MA, USA

problem #72

Jan 252010


  • 98,000 miles
Right headlight is intermittent on my 2005 Toyota Prius. I will be driving down the road and it will go off. If I turn off my light off and back on it comes back on.

- Modesto, CA, USA

problem #71

Mar 062009


  • 65,000 miles
I have a 2005 Prius and have an intermittent problem with the head lights. One of them will turn off but if I turn off the lights and turn them back on, the headlight comes on. I have heard of similar problems with other Prius, I feel this is a safety issue, and possible a design issue/flaw since the condition is intermittent (not related to loose wires per my Toyota dealer) and could result in total loss of lights. So far, both headlights have not shut off at the same time, but both are affected.

- Coatesville, PA, USA

problem #70

Jan 202010


  • 78,000 miles
My 2005 hid headlight on the driver's side went out at 78,000 miles. The auto parts store looked up my car info and sold me two bulbs for $50. After trying to replace them myself, I called quality Toyota in ft walton beach, fl. They quoted me $150 for labor if I had my own bulbs. Upon arrival, they said my bulbs were not correct, and wanted to charge me an additional $300 per bulb, plus the $150 labor. I declined, checked the internet, and am appalled that after so many complaints with the same year, make, and model, Toyota hasn't been forced to recall for this reason. This is a major safety hazard, for which Toyota is obligated to fix.

- Crestview, FL, USA

problem #69

Dec 072009


  • 78,000 miles
I have 2005 Prius and it is my 3rd time that hid head light went off last two times I paid over $800 to replace it but this time I cant afford I am driving with one head light only I have 78000 miles on it.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #68

Jan 012010


  • 62,000 miles
Toyota Prius 2005 headlight failure.

- Orinda, CA, USA

problem #67

Dec 082009


  • 145,000 miles
I own a 2005 Toyota Prius with a problem with the hid (high intensity) headlights. The passenger side headlight has been going dead intermittently since December and the driver side headlight recently started to do the same thing. If I turn the headlights off and then back on again it corrects the problem for a while. I do a fair amount of driving in the dark and on the highway, so this could be dangerous, to say the least. I was going to replace the lights myself but I was unaware that they were the hid lamps until after I had picked up a new bulbs from the auto parts store. I am going to return the ones I have and pick up some hid bulbs but I am concerned that this may not alleviate the problem. When I researched the issue online, I found that this seems to be a common and serious issue/defect that keeps recurring on the Prius models from 2005-2008. I will save the old bulbs and any other related parts when I change them outthis weekend.

- Swan Point, MD, USA

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