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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 1 of 15)

problem #286

Sep 232016


  • 230,000 miles


One headlight or both will randomly go out while driving. Has happened sporadically 6 or so times over the last 6 months, including this evening when both headlights failed. Totally random, can happen on short or long trips, city streets or highway. So far lights have come back on by cycling the light switch on and off

- Vista, CA, USA

problem #285

Aug 282016


  • 260,000 miles
Both headlights will flicker and go out, mostly at different times than the other but can happen at the same time. By turning the headlight switch off, then back on after 10 to 15 seconds they will come back on. Driving on the freeway this leaves you in a very dangerous situation. Thank god for fog lights, a life saver at 70 miles an hour. This can also happen sitting in my driveway before leaving for work.

- Grants Pass, OR, USA

problem #284

Mar 122014


  • 150,000 miles
One of my front headlight always goes out once I make a turn by using a turn signal. If I switch the headlight off and on again, the head light will come back. I read similar post from website, and found some people have the same problem with me. We all suspect this is a design problem by the manufacturer.

- Warrington, PA, USA

problem #283

Jun 252016


  • 175,000 miles


Head lights turn off after being on for a while. Turning off headlight switch and turning it back on turns the light back on. High beam stitch does not affect the light which is off. This happens while in motion on both highways and city streets. This occurs frequently

- Livermore, CA, USA

problem #282

May 232016


  • 107,865 miles
Headlights go off, one at a time, intermittently, while driving on any road. If I turn the lights all the way off and then back on again they will usually stay on for 15 minutes before going off again. I am not aware that they have both gone off at once, but I have not driven the car at night yet

- Barre, VT, USA

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problem #281

May 182016


  • 112,000 miles
I was driving through Nevada at 11 pm at night towards reno (approx. 180 miles away) on I-80 at 75 mph when suddenly my headlights went out. I immediately tried turning the lights off and on manually with my left hand, and the lights came on again (I couldn't see anything in the dark, scared out of my mind). Then, about 2 minutes later the same thing happened (I was driving slower this time). I did the same turning off and on again, and the lights came back on again, although somewhat dimmer. A few minutes later (5 minutes?) I was passed by a vehicle, that then slowed down and came in behind me, and then turned on the police lights and I immediately pulled in an exit ramp (fortunately there was one right there). After the policeman checked my license and registration, he informed me that one of my headlights was out. He asked me to try and flick on and off the lights a couple of times, and to try the brights, but none of this brought it back into working order. He then out of the blue mentioned to me (without me bringing this up) that the Prius' were notorious for having intermittent issues with the headlights, especially on the passenger side of the car (which is the side that was out, coincidently). He let me proceed using one headlight without ticketing me. A few miles later I pulled into a rest area and turned off the car for a few minutes while I went to the bathroom, and when I got back into the car and turned on the headlights they both came on, but within 20 seconds the passenger side light went out again. When I got home the next day and turned on the headlights they were both working again. This intermittent failure of the passenger side headlight has occurred a few times in the past, and I have had the toyoto dealer look into it and they claimed that it was fixed. However, this time it was life threatening.

- Berkeley, CA, USA

problem #280

Mar 012016


  • 197,479 miles


Left and right headlights sporadically turn off which is extremely hazardous when driving at night in roads without street lights. Definitely a safety issue which Toyota must issue a recall. Light bulbs are not the issue. The issue is in the computer or balast that controls the lights.

- Winnetka, CA, USA

problem #279

Apr 112016


  • 206,000 miles
Headlights will randomly go out while driving. Most of the time it is only one headlight but sometimes both go out. To "re-light" them you have to turn the headlights off and then back on. Replacing the bulbs does not solve the problem. At night this has almost led to disastrous effects and, from a risk management perspective, it is only a matter of time before something bad does happen as a result of losing your external headlights while driving at night. It happens whether the car is stationary or in motion. Some element of this happens every time I drive the car (multiple times per day).

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #278

Feb 022016


  • miles
While drivin both headlight turn of intermittently while I can turn off and back on they come on to one or the other or both going back off sometimes and sometimes they work perfectly this is very dangerous as you only use headlights at night.

- Spotsylvania, VA, USA

problem #277

Mar 252016


  • 137,507 miles
Driver's side headlight went out in 2015 and was replaced by local mechanic. Before it went out it had flickered but came back on. I was driving at night when it went out and was pulled over by police. Fortunately I only got a warning. March 2016 the headlight went out again (I noticed it in my driveway) and was replaced at a Toyota dealership on 21 March 2016. That very day, the headlight went out again (noticed it in my driveway). It would come on periodically but kept going out. 25 March 2016 the Toyota dealership replaced the "computer sub-assy, H" for $458.52. 28 March 2016, the headlight is out again (noticed it again in my driveway).

- Manhattan, KS, USA

problem #276

Mar 252016


  • miles


The headlights (hid) stop functioning intermittently. One or the other or both will randomly shut off. The lights will come back on if they are turned off then on again. The issue has been happening for several months.

- Bothell, WA, USA

problem #275

Feb 152016


  • 230,000 miles
While driving the passenger side headlight went out, I replaced the bulb and the problem continued. It turns off shortly after starting the vehicle wether it is driving or sitting, when I turn lights off and on again light will turn back on for a moment and turn off again, this happens while I am driving and I am afraid to drive it and be pulled over for not having working headlights.

- Avondale, AZ, USA

problem #274

Dec 292015


  • 135,000 miles
I was driving at night on the freeway 280 and suddenly both headlights went out, it was so black you couldn't see anything on the road. Talk about scary, try driving at 65 mph on a road that curves when you all yo can see is black. I was able to jiggle the switch the headlight switch off and on several times and the lights finally came back on. With my heart pounding I continued to drive home only to have both headlights again go out together. This happened 6-7more times until I reached home. I was actually shaking by the time I got out of my car. Why were both headlights malfunctioning at the exact same times" I took the car to the dealers the next day and after inspection they told me I simply needed new headlights. I thought it was an electrical malfunction, but they insisted that it was just the headlights going out and that this happened all the time. Why would they be using headlights that they know both go out at the same time?"this is highly dangerous. People could have a heart attack if not an accident! I spent $500 to replace the two headlights. However, I just recently experience the exact same problem of both head lights going out. My car is at the dealers this very moment for the same problem. I hope my 2005 Prius gets recalled for this headlight problem so other people to not have to experience this trama and dangerous situation. I was surprised to learn that this headlight problem is common to the Prius. Outside of this dangerous headlight problem I love my Prius.

- Pacifica, CA, USA

problem #273

Jan 112016


  • 211,000 miles
Digital dashboard sometimes is completely blank for extended periods so that I can't see my speed, fuel levels, odometer, and other info. When I start up it happens and continues the whole time I am driving. It is causing other problems related to the hydrolic braking sometimes as well when this happens.

- Hazel Park, MI, USA

problem #272

Dec 052015


  • 150,000 miles
Me and my family traveling down the interstate at 70 mph in the dark when a tractor trailer all of a sudden started to change lanes when we were directly to the left of it. Luckily the lane to our left was open and we were able to quickly change lanes to avoid collision. It turns out our 2005 Prius headlights were not working and the truck did not see us. Had to turn lights off then on again to get them to work. The rest of the way home one light would go out, then the other would go out. Had to turn switch off then on again to get them to turn on again. This is definitely a major safety issue with this car. Why is there not a recall.

- Huntersville, NC, USA

problem #271

Dec 062015


  • 90,800 miles
Last night while drive 1.5 hours home, the driver's side headlight would shut off, and if I noticed and flipped the lights off then on, it would come back on. If I didn't notice, then the passenger light would also go out leaving me in darkness. I began timing the interval, and it came out to be intermittent between one and two minutes, regardless of terrain, speed of vehicle, smooth or bumpy roads, straight or curvy roads, etc.

- Vergennes, VT, USA

problem #270

Dec 052015


  • 133,000 miles
Passenger side headlight is intermittent. This has happened at least twice before and I believe the bulb and some other electronics had to be replaced. The dealer charges a huge amount for this repair.

- Boynton Beach, VA, USA

problem #269

May 012015


  • 120,000 miles
While driving in any direction in all conditions, the left headlight began flickering in May 2015, shortly after left headlight began flickering. They do not work at all now.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #268

Oct 262015


  • 122,254 miles
We were on the overpass going from highway 87 to us 101 North in san jose going about 70 mph heading to the san fransisco airport. It was 8pm, and very dark. The headlights just shut off, while the dashboard indicator said that the lights were still on. We tried frantically tried turning the lights on and off again to see if they would come on, and they didn't. we took the next exit and stopped in front of a hotel were we could see the headlights in the window, and they were off. We turned the car off, counted to 10, then turned the car back on. The lights came back on. We turned on the foglights in case the headlights turned off again. They stayed on all the way to the airport and almost all the way home. They turned off for about 1 mile, and then turned back on.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #267

Oct 052015


  • 170,000 miles
Passenger side headlight will not stay on, it will stay on about 5 minutes and then it goes out ! what is the problem "?"

- Corning, AR, USA

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