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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 14 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #26

Apr 222009


  • miles


Passenger side headlight turning off intermittently. I understand this is a common complaint with Prius and that repair costs are significant. This is a huge safety issue - headlights turning themselves off while driving....

- San Rafael, CA, USA

problem #25

Mar 162009


  • 61,250 miles
Passenger side headlight fades then goes out. Turning the switch off/on will turn the headlight on again żbut still it goes out.

- Ashburn \, VA, USA

problem #24

Feb 152009


  • 42,000 miles
Tail light and both headlights went out within a few weeks of each other. Folsom lake Toyota charged by $450 to replace the first bulb that I purchased 4 weeks later from Napa auto parts for $93. Folsom lake Toyota claims they ran a diagnostic and that there are no electrical problems four weeks before second headlight and license plate bulb went out.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #23

Feb 272009


  • 18,249 miles


I have a 2005 Toyota Prius (pkg 6) with appr. 18,000 miles. About a month ago, by driver's side headlight started to go out (going off and on) until it finally went out completely. On February 27, 2009, I took the vehicle into the dealer (longo Toyota in el monte, California), who told me I would have to spend $358 (parts and labor) for just the one headlight. After much discussion with the service rep at the dealer and the Toyota sales rep, Toyota agreed to pay for the replacement of both headlights with me paying for the labor of the replacement. The total cost to me for the labor was $201.76. If Toyota hadn't agreed to pay for the replacement of the bulbs, I would have been out of pocket $716.14 (parts and labor). As it was, I still had to pay $201.76 for the labor. It is my opinion that a vehicle that is only 3-1/2 years old should not have to have it's headlights replaced. I also understand from talking to the service rep and doing further research that this is a common occurrence even in much younger Prius'. I feel that this problem needs to be researched further by the NHTSA and a determination made on whether there needs to be an official recall for the headlight replacement problem on Prius'.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #22

Feb 132009


  • 96,000 miles
The headlights on my 2005 Toyota Prius randomly turn off while driving. Sometimes one goes out, but when they both go out all of the lights inside the car go out too. When I turn the lights off and then back on they will work for a short time. Additionally, after this started the electronic ignition began to have problems. I have replaced the bulbs several times. This has been a regular problem for about 3 months. We have received a warning ticket because of a headlight outage.

- Mount Airy, MD, USA

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problem #21

Jan 232009


  • 118,000 miles
Passenger-side headlight goes out while driving. Turning the lights off and then on again resolves the issue. I only notice this when I see the car's reflection in the rear of the car in front.

- Bear, DE, USA

problem #20

Jan 202009


  • 90,000 miles


Headlights intermittently turn on. Left and right side sometimes do not turn on. They later turn on after multiple tries (turn on and off repeatedly). Both lights turn off while driving. Inspection at Toyota dealer found possible fault with one headlight. Cost to replace headlights estimated at $900.

- Belmont, CA, USA

problem #19

Jan 132009


  • miles
2005 Prius with hid headlamps that need replacing which will cost $450 each. This is an outrageous sum of money to pay for headlamps on a 4 year old vehicle.

- Kensington, CA, USA

problem #18

Dec 292008


  • miles
The driver's side headlight on my 2005 Prius was going on and off and then went out all together after about 3 weeks. When I took it to the Toyota dealer they said the bulb and labor would be $320 and the computer that controls that one headlight was also out and that would be $250 - so it would be almost $600 for 1 headlight!! I think after reading many other Prius owner's similar complaints on the internet that this is a design flaw and also an outrageous, unfair charge to consumers for an item that must has to work in order to use the car. I feel before I bought the car I should have been informed of the cost to repair a headlight and that some Prius' have regular headlights on them and I should have been given a choice.

- Lakewood, CA, USA

problem #17

Nov 012008


  • 65,000 miles
About 6 weeks ago I began experience a random shut down of my ps head light. Only be turning my lights off and back on restored it for some amount of time.. last week the same thing started happening with the ds headlight. Now ether one or both randomly just goes dark. When both go our on a two lane road it gets really dark. I can not cause it to happen and can not find anything that looks loose. It sometimes happens when the car is sitting still at an intersection. Some nights it happens several time in a 2 mile drive to the store and other times (rarely now) it does not happen at all. Heat doe not seem to be an issue since it sometime happens just after the car is started from cold. When checking the internet if find the Prius headlight problem produces several blog and other sites that describe the same thing with people saying that the dealerships don't know how to solve the problem even though some people have spent over $2500 swapping out parts.. as a researcher, I conclude that this is clearly vehicle class problem that should at least be understood by the service centers. As a driver, it is clearly a dangerous safety issue. Please investigate before I have to start spending big money on non-solutions or sell the car I otherwise love passing the problem to someone else.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #16

Dec 272008


  • 94,000 miles


On three separate occasions my headlamps have gone out. Each time it has been the right or left side. The fourth time. The lights came on using the hi-beam only. Numerous incidents have taken place. This is the second time my wife has been pulled over for this. I have replaced these myself. However, this last time it is not the bulb. It is the electrical system. According to the forum. Costs have been from $300 - 2K. Some dealerships assume some responsibility and others don't. this is a safety and expense issue. Driving home is very difficult at night and using the hi-beam is blinding to on coming traffic and against the law in most circumstances.

- Battle Ground, WA, USA

problem #15

Dec 182007


  • 55,000 miles
My 2005 Prius has xenon high intensity discharge(hid) headlamps that go out and stay out until the next time I turn on the lights. I have had to change the bulbs very frequently and they don't last for more than a year.

- Los Altos, CA, USA

problem #14

Nov 222008


  • 120,000 miles
Left headlight keeps going out in Prius. Turn off then back on to reset both headlights went out one night and almost caused a wreck it reset once I turned it off and back on.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #13

Nov 172008


  • 55,000 miles
Right headlight goes out at will. Flipping the on/off switch will turn it back on temporarily. Hard to tell when driving without light. Dealership said to replace hid bulb, for $458. But the bulb isn't burned out. Its an electrical problem, and according to others it continues to happen, even after bulb change. This is a very big problem in the dark, and a major safety issue for hundreds of Prius owners.

- Newport Beach, CA, USA

problem #12

Nov 132008


  • 43,021 miles
1.) events leading up to failure: None (except vehicle > 43000 miles?) 2.) hid headlamp on 2005 Toyota Prius has intermittent problems with one or both headlamps turning on and off randomly. Turning on/off of headlights would happen perhaps 1 to 2 times in a 15 minute drive 3.) none yet. Others have reported hid inverter failure/ECU failure to be cause.

- Corvallis, OR, USA

problem #11

Sep 072008


  • 25,258 miles
Our 2005 Prius recently developed a problem with the automatic-leveling headlights. Warning symbols appeared on the dash. As we were driving, we noticed that the headlights were aimed much higher than usual, so that the low beams appeared more like high beams. In the course of this trip, we stopped briefly and turned off the car. When we resumed our trip, we noticed the headlights were now very low, so low that we dared not go over about 20 mph. We scheduled a visit to our Toyota service department; but while the warning lights were still on, the headlights were now aimed normally. Prior to this service visit, an internet search revealed that a number of 2004-2005 priuses have experienced a problem with the sensor in the rear of the car, in the vicinity of the left rear tire well, that measures the load on the rear end and adjusts the headlights accordingly. Toyota has published a technical service bulletin on the problem. It appears that in a number of priuses, the sensor is defective, but the problem is intermittent and difficult to detect. I shared with the dealer what I knew about the problem, E-mailed (at their request) the tsb, and asked that even though our car was recently out of warranty, since it had only 25,000 miles on it and the problem was clearly a systematic manufacturing defect as well as a potential safety hazard, the manufacturer should remedy the problem at no charge. During my discussion with the service adviser, he admitted that while no fault code could be detected, the only possible cause of the problem had to be the sensor. The service advisor said there was no way Toyota would cover the repair; that already in the past month, 15 of these units had to be replaced in the region and none of them had been covered by warranty. However, the service advisor indicated the dealership itself would cover the part ($470) if I agreed to pay for the installation ($200). I did so and the problem has now been remedied.

- Panama, NY, USA

problem #10

Oct 132008


  • miles
2005 Toyota Prius headlights go off spontaneously. Usually just the drivers side but recently both at the same time. Before turning the lights off and back on would fix it but now it does not always work. Previous owner had it checked by Toyota but they could not find anything wrong.

- Monterey, IN, USA

problem #9

Oct 102008


  • miles
2005 Toyota Prius...purchased new...have had nine (9) exterior lights burn out. I have replaced them and they seem to be working better. I believe the bulbs used by Toyota were inferior. After 36,000 miles Toyota would not replace any bulbs.

- Melville, NY, USA

problem #8

Feb 012008


  • 100,000 miles
Driver's side headlight began going out intermittently, first rarely, then gradually more frequently. Switching them off and on would restore it temporarily. The first time I took it to the dealer they couldn't reproduce the problem. By the time it became very bad, they diagnosed that the headlamp was overheating, and replaced it ($360). Now, less than two months later it has started going out again, at infrequent intervals. This is clearly a safety issue and needs to be investigated.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #7

May 202008


  • 100 miles
We noticed shortly after we bought our 2005 Toyota Prius that the headlights did not shine far enough in advance of the car to properly illuminate the road. When we complained to the dealer, they checked it and said that the lights were set properly so as not to shine in the face of approaching car. Now the automatic sensor warning light warning of a problem illuminates and indicates headlight problems any time we have anyone in the back seat of the car. Despite having high intensity headlights offered in this package (package 4), we still do not feel safe driving this car at night because the headlights illuminate only about 15-20 feet in front of the car, even at 'high beams.' I don't want to blind someone, but I do want to see the road more than 20 feet in front of me. I am indicating the problem began in may, 2008 because that's when the sensor warning light started to come on, but this has been a problem with this car pretty much ever since we bought it. The dealer says there is a bulletin out about it, but wants to charge us about $500 to fix it since it is 8,000 miles past warranty. Had I known that others have identified this as a problem (, I would have been more insistent before the warranty ran out. This car really is unsafe to drive at night, especially here in rural Maine where we have many large animals on the highways at night (including moose).

- Southwest Harbor, ME, USA

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