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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,040 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

problem #10

Nov 262008


  • 65,000 miles


Normal driving my 2005 Toyota Prius, the driver's side headlight randomly turns off. I turn the lights off and then back on and the light, most of the time, will return for a minute or two. Hid bulb replacement was done and problem still exists. Hid bulbs are not cheap. I have been pulled over 3 times in the last 3 weeks. It seems like it will cost approximately $2500 to hopefully fix my headlight. Pretty extreme for a headlight? definitely a traffic and safety hazard only operating with one headlight.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #9

Aug 012008


  • miles
My 2005 Prius started to intermittently display a warning triangle sign on the dashboard. Finally it came on and stayed on. The dealer performed a diagnostic check and says there is something wrong with the headlight leveling system - a short or some such glitch. Cost to repair $700. I declined to repair since it was out of warranty. It appears that there are other Prius problems with headlights.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #8

Feb 222008

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,800 miles
My vehicle is a 2005 Toyota Prius with trim package #9, including high-intensity discharge (hid) headlamps - the only ones available in the only vehicle available to me, so these were not an optional purchase. I was confident in the expected long service life of hid bulbs but had one fail at 41,000 miles in a pattern very similar to others described online - intermittent difficulty getting one headlight to turn on, followed by dimming and a pink tint in the light, and finally complete failure. Despite the history of priuses having early hid failure, the dealer was only able to suggest that I pay for a bulb replacement, for about $350. Given that hid lighting systems are supposed to be much longer lived than this, I must suspect that there is a flaw in the Prius's hid electronics that is causing bulbs and/or other components in the hid lighting chain to fail much sooner than ever expected, if not unexpectedly.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #7

Jan 292008

Prius 3-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles


The passenger side hid headlight on my 2005 Toyota Prius turns off spontaneously at random times. It will turn on again if I turn the lights off and on, but it will inevitably turn off after 1 to 10 minutes of driving. The car has never been in an accident and has 39,000 miles on it. The dealer-trained "master mechanic" ran a diagnostic test and claims that the "hid ECU" (hid electronic control unit, part number 8110747150) is malfunctioning and must be replaced. It costs $320 in labor to access the hid ECU under the dashboard, and $286.99 for the new computer. There are dozens of complaints about the hid lights turning off for no apparent reason on various Prius bulletin boards on line, yet Toyota's customer satisfaction center claims to have no records of this problem, and claims there is no recall or service bulletin. Headlights failing at random due to a manufacturer's defect is a serious safety issue that Toyota should address.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #6

Jan 242008

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
Hid headlamps go out randomly and individually, but can be relit by cycling the headlight switch on and off. Dealer is replacing both hid lamp and controller assemblies on both sides; says replacing just lamp or controller will not permanently solve problem. Crash danger due to lamps going out without warning.

- Castaic, CA, USA

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problem #5

Sep 102007

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles
2005 Toyota Prius hid lamp burn out. Replace of lamp is approx. $400 each.

- Apple Valley, CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 012006

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles


Low beam headlights aimed high and Toyota says they can not be adjusted lower. On coming cars flash high beam when Toyota headlights are on low beam setting.

- Roxbury, CT, USA

problem #3

Sep 292006

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
: the contact stated the visibility of the headlights was limited. The low beam only extended a short range between 30-35 feet. The high beam only extended 50-75 feet. The dealership was aware of the problem.

- Center Ossipee, NH, USA

problem #2

Feb 082006

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,600 miles
: the contact stated the high beam headlights illuminate the tree limbs 8 feet above the road, but not the road. The dealership determined the vehicle met manufacturer specifications and no repairs were necessary. The vehicle was taken to an independent repair shop and it was determined adjustments cannot be made to the headlights. Updated 2/24/2006 -

- Plantation, FL, USA

problem #1

Apr 152005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles
The caller believes the headlight leveling sensor to correct the direction of the headlights is faulty. The headlights will tilt down without warning. She said when driving up or down hills the headlights did not shine where they were suppose to. Caller took vehicle to the dealer three times. Dealer said they could not duplicate the problem. Manufacturer told dealer they will be redesigning the sensor.

- Brentwood, NH, USA

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