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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 8 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #146

Sep 062011

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles


The headlights went off suddenly (of course I was night driving); I stopped, turned the lights off and back on and they worked for about 15 minutes. The driver side light then went out and I had to pull over, turn them off, back on and the light came back on. This is currently an intermittent problem but one that needs resolution.

- Bealeton, VA, USA

problem #145

Sep 092011


  • 69,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact was driving approximately 65 mph with the headlights activated and suddenly the driver's side headlight changed to an orange illumination and then became inoperative which resulted in the reduction in visibility. When the light switch was turned on and off repeatedly the driver's side headlights began to illuminate properly for a brief moment. The vehicle was not repaired nor was the failure diagnosed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 69,000.

- Jackson, PA, USA

problem #144

Jan 042011

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
Drivers side hid headlight intermittant operation. Headlamp goes on and off at various times in traffic at night.

- Fort Ashby, WV, USA

problem #143

Jun 012011


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the headlights failed without warning. The contact spoke with the manufacturer and was told that the bulbs most likely caused the failure. The headlight bulbs were replaced but to no avail. The contact spoke with the manufacturer a second time and was told that the computer which operated each headlight could possibly need replacing. That vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 150,000 and the current mileage was 158,000.

- Mayl, FL, USA

problem #142

Aug 202011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 167,000 miles
When driving at various speeds, one or both of the hid headlights will go out. If I turn them all the way off, then back on, they will light up, but may go out again or may stay lit. The vehicle is a 2005 Toyota Prius with hid headlights. Note: The headlights will not relight on their own; they must be turned off then back on.

- Decatur, IL, USA

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problem #141

Aug 192011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
The headlight leveling control warning signal came one, the car has only 36000 miles. This is a very expensive fix and has safety issues, and appears to be a defect on many similar models.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #140

Aug 072011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 97,650 miles


While driving my 2005 Toyota Prius on an expressway at night the passenger side headlight went out. There was no lights on the expressway and I nearly hit a parked car on the side of the expressway. I pulled over at the next exit and checked the headlights. The passenger headlight was indeed out. I turned the car off and went into the restroom. When I came out and restarted the car the headlight was on. Five minutes later the headlight went out again. I turned the lights off, then on again and it came back on. This happened at least twenty times during the four hour trip home. Scary and dangerous in my book.

- Holland, OH, USA

problem #139

Aug 012011


  • 85,000 miles
On 7/31/11 I noticed my cruise control would not set. The light came on indicating the cruise was on, but I could not get the speed to hold. The next day, the cruise control worked. Midday on 8/1/11 while parked, I shifted to the D position, but the light indicated I was in N. I shifted back and forth between R and D several times, but the light indicated N. I took my foot off the brake and the car moved backward. The light indicated N and the knob was in the D position. It did this several times. I turned the car off and back on and everything worked like it is supposed to. On 8/1/11 at approximately 10:30 P.M. I was driving home on a narrow, two-lane rural highway. On a blind curve, both of my headlights went out. I could not see anything. I tried cycling my headlights off and on and nothing happened. I applied my brakes and stopped. I opened my door to see where I was in the roadway and determined I was on the fog line on the opposite side of the road and there was a hillside less than 5' from me. I was able to drive to the shoulder on the right side of the road by using the light from my door. I was extremely lucky no cars passed by while my lights were out. I could have been killed or caused a catastrophe. I turned the car off and back on and both headlights came back on. A motorist stopped to assist. I was able to follow him to a store where a friend met me and I followed him home. During the drive home one of my headlights kept turning off. Both did not go off together again. I took the car to the dealer on 8/3/11 and was told I need a new auxiliary battery and two new headlights. Cost is going to be around $700. I read about a class action suit regarding 2006-2009 Prius' headlights and that Toyota knows there is a problem with them. I believe there should be a recall because of my harrowing experience and those of many others.

- Burney, CA, USA

problem #138

Jul 262011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 126,000 miles
I have a 2005 Toyota Prius with hid headlights. They began failing, first it was only the drivers side light, and infrequently. I found that when I turned the lights off and on again, the headlight worked again. Because of the high cost of replacement, I lived with the problem. Recently, both lights failed on a back country curvy road. For an instant everything was totally black. I quickly turned the lights off and on and was able to swerve to get back on the road. As a result, I am going to have to pay nearly $1,000 to have both headlights replaced at my expense, since I had more than 50,000 miles on my Prius. Toyota customer care told me that I would not be covered by a class action case for the hid bulb replacement because my car is a 2005 and is not covered in the case. This is a safety issue and should be a recall.

- Fredricksburg, VA, USA

problem #137

Jun 012010


  • miles
Passenger front hid headlight was intermediately operational for a short period of time. Eventually it would not come back on. Toyota dealer quoted $350+ for part and $150+ for labor, per headlight. According to other Prius owners and internet articles, this issue is apparent to be a manufacturer defect; but Toyota refuses to admit in order to prevent a recall. Unwilling to paid for Toyota's mistakes, the vehicle was driven with only one headlight for some time. Until recently stopped by police and issued a traffic violation warning. For safety reasons and to prevent future violations, replaced the burnt hid bulb ($50+ from personally (followed proper procedures). A week later, that same bulb went out. More evident indicating the issue is not with the bulb; but with the electrical system and Toyota is not willing to paid for their own mistakes. Shame on Toyota!!!

- Alton, IL, USA

problem #136

Jul 222011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 102,000 miles


The master warning light and another light came on warning of a possible misalignment of the hid headlamps on 2005 Toyota Prius. This could lead to blinding oncoming traffic if the lamps are misaligned. Toyota dealer service department claimed that even though it was a common problem, repairs would cost ~$600 for a new headlight leveling sensor (load leveling sensor) and installation.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #135

Jun 032009


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the drivers side headlight would intermittently stop illuminating. The contact stated that she would have to turn the headlights on and off several times in order to keep the light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the lights fixture needed to be replaced. The dealer also stated that this was a widespread issue. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 96,000.

- Gloucester, VA, USA

problem #134

Apr 102011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 106,250 miles
Right front headlight would go off while driving. Required that I switch lights off and back on to get the light to work again. I had the front right headlight replaced and three weeks later the left front headlight followed the same sequence of events. I purchased a new headlight and had two different auto mechanics replace it and the left front headlight will not work. I am scheduled to take the car back to the last mechanic next week. Very unsafe to have this happen while operating the car at night and annoying and frustrating that the Toyota dealership wants $300+ to replace their obvious manufacturing malfunction.

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #133

Jul 142011


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact was driving 60 mph when the automatic headlight sensor failed due to a design flaw and corrosion. The contact stated that the failure could potentially cause the headlights to blind the drivers of oncoming traffic. The manufacture was contacted and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Parkville, MD, USA

problem #132

Jun 292011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 176,319 miles
I have a 2005 (01/01/05) manufacture date Prius. I don't remember the trim package. I noticed the drivers side head light would intermittently fail cycling the light off and on would resume operation. One week later while driving at night both headlights completely failed again cycling them off and on resumed operation. I was issued a warning while driving home from work by the police and demonstrated this fact. I have taken the car to the dealer who told me both headlights needed replaced and charged me $607.25 to replace.

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #131

Jul 242010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Starting in late winter, early spring of 2010, we noticed intermittent occasional failure of one or the other of our hid headlamps on our 2005 Toyota Prius (which we were told by the Toyota salesman were lifetime headlights). This situation could be immediately rectified by quickly turning off and on again the headlight switch at the steering wheel stalk. Then, on July 24, 2010, while on a remote and steep winding mountain pass road in California, (sonora pass road) in pitch dark, both headlamps failed simultaneously and could not be rectified with a quick flick of the headlamp switch off and on. I braked heavily, keeping in my mind a vision of the curve in the road I had just seen ahead of me. Braking heavily and trying to steer in the dark, I put the flashers on so I wouldn't be rear-ended. This ended up being a fortuitous decision, because it was so dark that the momentary flashes of the forward flashers allowed me to see just enough road in brief snippets so that I could steer my vehicle safely around the curve and get it off the road. I figured out that with both lamps out, a much slower off/on again cycle of the headlight switch would bring them back on, and I limped the vehicle home. Having driven over a million miles in my adult life, luckily I had the experience and the calm to handle this situation without catastrophic result. Had my wife or my daughter been driving, we certainly would have gone off the road and crashed the vehicle. Immediately the following day I scheduled an appointment with a Toyota dealership service center; end result of which they want me to pay nearly $900 to replace these defective headlamps. I called Toyota, and upon initial contact, won't do anything for us. Needless to say in this economy, we do not have the money, and we have been relegated to driving our Prius mostly daytimes, and certainly not on mountain pass roads at night. Reading online Toyota forums, I am very obviously not the only person who has this problem.

- Fair Oaks, CA, USA

problem #130

Feb 222011

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact was driving between 35-40 mph when the headlights failed. The contact engaged the emergency hazard lights until she was able to drive to a safe location. The headlights began to function after the contact abruptly jolted the headlight switch however, the driver side headlight would only illuminate sporadically. An authorized dealer was notified of the failure but the vehicle was not repaired. The driver side headlight was previously replaced but not recently. The failure had not recurred since. The failure mileage was 138,500. Updated 4/4/11 updated 04/06/11

- Citrus Heights, CA, USA

problem #129

Nov 282010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Intermittent headlight problem passenger headlight turns off intermittently while driving when I turn the lights all the way off then back on again the light will work again for a while. I have been stopped by police twice so far.

- Nokomis, FL, USA

problem #128

Feb 012011


  • miles
The headlight level switch failure (water-rust in switch) is causing real danger. When located in up while in dim - oncoming traffic impaired. When level switch ends down, the line of sight is only several feet in front of vehicle. A shorter person (wife) is unable to see any lighted road. Driving really becomes bad with the bright switched on. Oncoming traffic becomes impaired causing danger. The wife actually refuses to drive at night. Just unable to see properly. I have tried unsuccessfully to contact directly to Toyota with this situation. Service garages want just under $ $500 to correct problem. I feel this should be a recall item because of quality, but more importantly the driving danger. The actual switch should be purchased much lower cost. The value of switch alone without the brackets.we feel the danger on highway to be a real concern. I have spoke with other 05 Prius owners and each has express the problem. Most have just had it repaired under warranty.

- Grand Haven, MI, USA

problem #127

Dec 012010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Either or both high-intensity headlights turn off while driving without driver input. This is the exact same problem described in the class action settlement for 2006-2009 Prius vehicles. According to the lawsuit, the headlights prematurely fail by flickering or turning off intermittently, often requiring costly repairs. Although Toyota has denied these claims, girard gibbs llp is pleased to announce that the parties reached a proposed settlement that has been granted preliminary court approval. Among other things, the settlement will provide: a free warranty extension for hid headlight bulb and electronic control units (through the earlier of 5 years and 50,000 miles); and cash reimbursements to many class members who paid for headlight repairs. Unfortunately, my vehicle year was not included in the class. However, as previously stated, the problem with my vehicle is identical to those in the suit. The repair cost me $593.75. I contacted Toyota and asked them to reimburse me for the repair. Their response was that my vehicle is no longer under warranty and my vehicle year is not part of the class action suit. They will not reimburse me for the repair. However, the vehicles in the class action suit were no longer under warranty. Updated 05/04/11

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

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