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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
94,673 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 12 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #66

Dec 202009


  • 37,500 miles
Headlight goes out and comes back on only after turning switch on & off.

- Juneau, AK, USA

problem #65

Nov 162009


  • 107,000 miles


My 2005 Prius headlight went out about two weeks ago (end of Nov 2009). When I took it to the dealership they said it would cost me about $600 to replace it. I decided to tackle it myself. I successfully changed the bulb and although the bulb works fine the light only stays on intermittently. Apparently while reading posts on the internet, I am not the only one with this problem. I do not want to be overcharged by the dealership considering the job they quoted me $600 only cost me $150 to do myself. Please help us!!

- Port Orange, FL, USA

problem #64

May 102009


  • 90,000 miles
The headlights on my Toyota Prius go off and on randomly.

- Haymarket, VA, USA

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problem #63

Aug 202009


  • 120,000 miles
Left highbeam intermittent on my 2005 Prius.

- Manhattan, IL, USA

problem #62

Jan 292009


  • miles


I have a 2005 Toyota Prius. The headlights will go out, sometimes both, sometimes one or the other. However, they come back on when I turn them completely off and back on. This is a safety concern for obvious reasons, and can cause my vehicle to not pass inspection. There is no specific event that makes the headlights go off. It happens intermittently and unexpectedly. Adding to the safety issue...I live in the country where there often are no shoulders on the highways or county roads, and no street lights. There are lots of steep ditches and creeks. When I first started having the problem and would completely turn off the lights and then turn them back on, they would stay on for a long time, sometimes several hours before going off again. Now, they stay on only a few seconds to a few minutes. I've got two theories, one is that it could be a short"?" -and the other that the cooler temperatures seem to affect it slightly, though neither of these seem to make logical sense. Please check into this as other Prius owners have had the same unresolved problem. We can't all just go replacing the computers and light bulbs at the high cost you sell them for, especially when it doesn't fix the problem...unless Toyota wants to pay for it, of course, and then that's time without transportation. Thanks for your consideration on this matter.

- Palestine, TX, USA

problem #61

Oct 302009


  • 94,700 miles
While driving our 2005 Toyota Prius, my wife was traveling at 65mph, at night when the right headlight went out. A moment later, all forward lighting failed. She cycled the headlight "on-off" switch and the good left headlight relit. A few minutes later all went dark again. She turned the headlight "on-off " switch off then on, and the left headlight relit. This repeated several times until she got home. On Monday, 10-2-09 we took the car to san luis obispo Toyota for repair. They had it till 10-5-09, replacing the right headlight, at a cost of $528.82. On 10-20-09 while I was driving on US101 at 65 mph in the dark, the left headlight went out. A moment later all forward lights went out. Due to my wife's previous experience, I cycled the headlight "on-off" switch and got the right headlight to relight. This sudden loss of lighting recurred 2 more times prior to the sun rising enough so that I did not need the headlights. On 10-28-09, after returning from a trip, I had the left headlight replaced at miller Toyota in anaheim at a cost of $362.31. On both occasions of the lighting failure the vehicle was traveling at 65mph, or approx. 100 feet per second. It took approx. 5 to 10 seconds to recognize the defect and make a correction that relit the lights. The vehicle traveled from 500 feet to 1000 feet per incident. Fortunately there was no collision. At neither Toyota dealer, were we advised that this was a recurring problem on Prius's, which I found out on-line.

- San Luis Obispo, , CA, USA

problem #60

Nov 082009


  • 45,000 miles
2005 Prius with the same headlight issues as stated in PE09019. I understand this investigation has been closed, but I wanted to register another Prius user with a similar issue.

- Wenatchee, WA, USA

problem #59

Oct 302009


  • 79,000 miles
The left headlight on my 2005 Prius doesn't stay lit, but it will come back on if lights are turned off and then back on. The light will got out intermittently, staying on for about 5 minutes and then going out again. This is a safety concern. I have read other similar complaints, including on this website. I consider this to be very dangerous.

- Dayton, MD, USA

problem #58

Oct 162009


  • 114,000 miles


My headlights went out on my 2005 Prius while driving down the freeway at night in a storm... the only means I had to find my way to the side of the road was listening to the sound of the bumps on the side. I pulled over and sat in the darkness wondering if a car would come around the corner and hit me. I turned off my car and restarted it. The lights came on again and I was able to get to safely. I went into the local dealership and just found out that the lights needed to be replaced at about $1,000. That is ridiculous. This is a dangerous problem. I have had full care on my vehicle as recommended by the Toyota company through my local dealership. I feel that this problem is potentially life threatening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! my heart still races everytime I think about how that felt to be in the dark without knowing where I was on the road!!!!! please do something to help the next victim, who may not be so lucky.

- Olympia, WA, USA

problem #57

Sep 182009


  • 48,000 miles
The hid headlights on my 2005 Toyota Prius started blinking on and off and then failed. Only one light went out but I was afraid both would go. Toyota wants $380 for the bulb, which is only $80 from sylvania and they want $125 for labor. To replace. I found out online that the bulbs keep going out or blinking so I don't want to spend that much money over and over. Bulbs are a safety issue and if they are defective or the system is defective they should be recalled.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #56

Sep 172009


  • miles
I own a 2005 Toyota Prius, and the headlights have both gone out. They are supposed to last 10 years. For a while, when I turned off the headlights and turned them back on, they would work. However, they do go out when I am on the road quite often. I have been quoted by the dealership that replacing a single lightbulb will cost over $400 including parts and labor. This is a safety issue because I drive to work in the early in the morning and late at night, and my headlights do not function reliably. I have heard this complaint from other Prius owners, who are otherwise happy with their vehicles. For a lightbulb that is supposed to last 10 years, this is definitely a faulty and dangerous part issue.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #55

Jan 012009


  • 80,000 miles
Headlight on 2005 Prius intermittently fails. Sporadic, but sometimes recurs every few minutes. Turning the lights off and on quickly corrects problem essentially 100% of the time. Estimate to replace bulb exceeded $400, and no guarantee the problem would be corrected. Online searches shows this is not an isolated problem. Others describe both lights going out simultaneously, an obvious hazard.

- Salisbury, MD, USA

problem #54

Jan 012006


  • 21,000 miles
Hid headlights fail intermittently. They either fail to light up or go out while driving. Sometimes they operate normally, other times they fail. No pattern to it -- it seems random. Dealer said Toyota is aware of the problem but has no fix. They advised me to simply turn switch off, then on again until they light up. This does not always work.

- Laguna Niguel, CA, USA

problem #53

Sep 262009


  • 111,000 miles
I have a 2005 Prius I purchased in 10-2004. My problem is the same as the 338 plus previously reported problems with the hid headlights going out. The passenger light started going out at around 50,000 miles. It was at the time easily corrected by turning the headlights off and on again. When driving in town it is sometimes hard to tell if the headlight has gone out without leaning forward or watching for the headlights reflecting off a car in front of me. This has been mostly annoying until the driver's side headlight started doing the same thing. Now it is dangerous. I do not feel safe driving my car at night because at any time not knowing the right light is out the driver side light will go out and I am driving with no headlights. The first time this occurred was returning from a long trip, driving 65 mph, 12:30 am. All of a sudden I had no headlights. Luckily this had not occurred 40 miles earlier in my travels. I would have been driving on interstate, 65 mph through two way road construction, perhaps around a curve. I had three teenage passengers with me. It could have been disastrous. At times it now takes two or three attempts to get the headlights back on. The cost to repair, per my local Toyota dealer is $300 each for the part that controls the headlight. This does not include replacement cost.

- Watertown, SD, USA

problem #52

Sep 182009


  • miles
Headlights on 2005 Prius go out. I have replaced them twice and they intermittently go out still. Too much moisture in the air they go out. Sometimes they will come back on if I turn them on and off. The drivers side headlight goes out and stays out for weeks.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #51

Jun 142009


  • 112,000 miles
Toyota Prius hid headlights blink off and on. Sometimes stay off until switched off, and back on. Repair cost including labor, bulb and new hid driver "chip" excessive at $1,200 per side. Driving with unreliable headlights is dangerous.

- Swansea, IL, USA

problem #50

Apr 022009


  • 110,000 miles
Like so many other complaints I've read today, I am experiencing problems with one of the headlights turning off intermittently, without reason (it happens when just sitting idle). When the light goes off, I flip the headlight switch off and on, and it comes back on. It will then remain on for a while (could be 30 minutes, or it could be 2 minutes). I was told that this is unlikely to be the hid bulb or ballast. I have read many complaints on different forums. This is a serious safety concern, and Toyota should find the cause, and recall for repairs.

- Carnegie, PA, USA

problem #49

Nov 012005


  • 40,000 miles
05prius: After reading the list of complaints I feel compelled to inform everyone of the problems I have had. Otherwise I love my Prius. Headlight leveling system fix-warranty, warning on dash, steering problem-recall, gas tank replaced-due to overfill broke bladder-warranty, cd-stereo replaced due to intermittent unresponsiveness-warranty, on my 3rd set of tires-originals lasted 21K, have 60K on odometer. Fyi for all 05 owners. I bought new and take it to dealer for all repairs, except oil changes.

- Carbondale, PA, USA

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