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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,130 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.

2006 Toyota Prius lights problems

lights problem

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2006 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 19 of 40)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #424

Oct 282009


  • 61,000 miles


I have a 2006 Toyota Prius with 61,000 miles on it. At about 48,000 miles, the front headlights started going out unexpectedly. At first, by turning the switch for the lights off and back on would fix the problem and the dark headlight would illuminate again. A few weeks ago, both headlights and the taillight all unexpectedly and suddenly went out while I was driving. The California highway patrol pulled me over on the freeway to find out why I was driving without any lights on. Now, the lights come on when I start driving and every time I drive the car at night, all of the lights (both headlights and both taillights) suddenly & unexpectedly go dark all at once. I was driving with my 10 year old niece in the car when this happened last week. This is an extremely dangerous defect. I have been reading that this is a known defect with Toyota Prius vehicles - I am amazed that the NHTSA has not required Toyota to recall the vehicles for this very dangerous safety defect. I have tried to take the vehicle to the Toyota dealer for repair, but they told me they didn't have a way to figure out what was wrong and they sent me away without any repairs. Today I called the Toyota national customer service number and they opened a case. I will be taking the vehicle to the dealer again today and insisting on repairs since it is completely unsafe to drive the vehicle.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #423

Jun 302008


  • 60,000 miles
2006 Toyota Prius hid headlight failure. Started with left headlight, 2 years ownership, 1st owner, new in March 2006. Left headlight flickered off, but turned back on when the lights were reset. Problem became worse over time and now both headlights constantly flicker out. Lights will come back on when turned off, then back on. Do not remain on for long. Taken to the Toyota dealership twice, dealer claims no inherent issue with the lights, not covered under my extended warranty, and will cost $850 to replace. (john elway's Toyota in Ontario, ca). Lights do not remain on and creates a hazard to driving. I have been pulled over by the California highway patrol for the burned out headlight(s).

- Lake Elsinore, CA, USA

problem #422

Jun 132009


  • 56,000 miles
Headlamps on 2006 Prius fail intermittently. Left lamp may fail; right lamp may fail; or both may fail simultaneously. Turning the lights off then back on fixes the problem for a period of time-- maybe minutes or hours. But the problem persists and presents a danger to both the driver and passengers but also other cars on the road. No accidents so far. Repair cost to be $1500.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #421

Sep 052009


  • 51,200 miles


I've got a package 6 2006 Prius. One of the headlights keeps going out. I can't really tell when or how it goes out since I can't see it. I'll notice it when I see the reflection in the back of another car. If I turn the bright lights on and off it has no effect, but when I turn them all the way off and back on the light comes back. Sometimes on long trips it will stay on the whole time, sometimes it won't. sometimes on short trips it will go out, sometimes it won't. it is not an event I can make happen. I've taken it to the dealer and they can't make it happen.

- Walnut, CA, USA

problem #420

Oct 182009


  • 67,023 miles
I was driving home from work and it was raining and one of my headlights went out. I almost hit a road rail because it was real dark and raining. That was the first incident. The next day I was driving and one went out and then the second one went out ten minutes later. I called Toyota and brought the car in during the daylight. They said the hid bulbs get hot and burn out over time. It cost me 281 dollars. A week later same problem with the right light. However this time I almost killed my wife and I as a car was just beginning to pass me and I lost vision on the right side. Guys this is serious stuff. I'm afraid to drive this car at night. I am taking it in tomorrow during the day to have the second light replaced. The service rep was very nonchalant when I asked about the fact that two lights blew out within a week, they are hiding something. You could tell by his non-action. I asked him if this happens often and he said no. Well I have found out that is not true and it happens often. Does someone have to be killed to get the government to look into this. I intend to write my congressman and senator about this and send them information I have gathered. Please help us before we get killed in this car.

- Kimberling City, MO, USA

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problem #419

Oct 242009


  • 70,000 miles
The headlights and tail lights on my 2006 Toyota Prius have been unexpectedly shut off while driving over the past 4 months. It started with the drivers side only and then moved to both lights and now I've been told my tail light flickers also. I can correct the problem temporarily by turning the lights switch off and then on again, but if I make any turns they fail again. This past Saturday night (10/24/09) at 10 pm while on a winding country road I was veering right at about 35 miles per hour when my lights shut off completely and I heard a smack on the right side of my vehicle. I flipped my lights back on immediately and stopped at the same time. I got out of my vehicle and found a woman standing on the side of the road. She said she was fine, but my passenger side mirror hit her elbow/arm. She said she was not really injured and didn't want to call authorities or contact my insurance company. She asked why I turned my lights off when I rounded the corner. I told her I didn't, I had a short in my lighting system. She said I won't press charges, but you need to get those lights fixed.

- Cameron Park, CA, USA

problem #418

Oct 242009


  • 46,453 miles


We purchased a new 2006 Toyota Prius. In March of 2008 both headlight bulbs were replaced by maita Toyota in sacramento ca, because the head lights would turn off without notice. The dealer paid for the service, as the parts were not covered by warranty, however the nearly $1000 repair bill was what prompted me to request the dealer to pay for the repair. Today I paid $280 to maita Toyota to replace the driver side headlight bulb again, this is 18 months after the last time it was replaced. Toyota claims these hid bulbs will last 3 times longer than standard bulbs, yet I've had 3 replaced in the past 18 months. I have old bulb from todays repair. I consider this a safety issue as it affects the headlights, and results in the headlights going out without notice. At night this could be extremely dangerous.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #417

Oct 222009


  • 32,577 miles
Right headlight intermittently inoperative. Turning headlights off and back on is temporary solution. Toyota dealer replaced bulb, but obviously the bulb is not the problem since it's not burned out.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #416

Oct 162009


  • 70,000 miles
Hid headlamps self-extinguish while driving, requiring power switch to be cycled on and off to restart. The consequences are reduced visibility and the possibility of driving with no headlights at night. Hid headlamps are well under their design life expectancy and should not be failing. Replacement is expensive and time-consuming and according to other owners, the fix is only temporary. Been pulled over several times due to defective headlights.

- Random Lake, WI, USA

problem #415

Oct 112008


  • 39,000 miles
After about 7 months, I started having the passenger front light of my car intermittently go off and on. If I restarted the car, it would go on to begin with, and then go off sometime while I was driving. When I would take it in to the shop, usually I had to wait a while and the car would be turned off and when the service agent would come over the light would be on and they couldn't do anything. After three fix it tickets from the police, they finally fixed it under warranty. But not long after they fixed it, the drivers side started doing the same thing. I went to the dealer and said that there must be some problem with the lights and asked if this was a known issue and they said no. They said they wouldn't cover it under the extended warranty. When I got home I looked on the internet and saw it is a known issue. I called them back and they said they weren't allowed to tell me it was a problem and they didn't tell me that I should call the national Toyota customer care. Then a week later I got another fix it ticket from the police. The problem persists till today. I am very nervous at night to drive with only one headlight. The Toyota dealership in marina del rey did nothing.

- Venice, CA, USA

problem #414

Oct 222009


  • miles


My headlights continue to fail, increasing number of times, I reported it when the car was under warranty they could not fix it. 20 times while driving home from the er with my grandchild at night last night both lights went out. How is this not a recallable safety issue" the dealers just charge you to replace light bulbs which does not solve the problem, so then it is not listed as a complaint to them. This problem is getting worst. Are you telling police in my area not to stop priuses because it is not a safety issue when they see us driving without a light or no headlights. Can I send this complaint to anyone else above your Agency" your form does not accept my VIN number.

- King Of Prussia, PA, USA

problem #413

Oct 202009


  • miles
I am very disappointed in your decision not to recall the Toyota Prius headlight problem. To start with both lights on my vehicle go out and also one light goes out just driving for no reason. I have taken it to the dealer and they changed the headlight which did not fix the problem, so I took it to another dealer who said it unfix-able even though my car was under warranty. So basically you have given them permission to have a car that lights do not remain on and cannot be fixed. This has been an ongoing problem since I got the car. Has Toyota paid off someone? there are other safety issues also in the design of this car and Toyota has no motivation to fix them because they are allowed to lie about gas mileage, not tell you about if you have a key break that your car has to be special towed, so if your parked where a flatbed cannot get you your in trouble. Also all they had to do was keep the code on file like with regular keys but they refuse to keep the code or even give it to the owner so a key can be made. Thus it cost a thousand dollars to get a new key. The date of the headlight problem is ongoing about once a week lately. Recent time is noted below. I entered VIN it would not take it.

- King Of Prussia, PA, USA

problem #412

Feb 202009


  • 40,000 miles
I have a 2006 Toyota Prius. The right headlight went out around 20,000 miles. This was replaced by the dealer. At 40,000 the left headlight started working intermittently -- right after it was out of the official warranty. I asked the Toyota dealer to replace it, but they said I would have to pay the full repair cost. The light works intermittently -- if you turn it on and off it comes back on but goes out pretty often. This seems like a serious safety issue and I know that many other priuses have similar problems (I see many with one light and I've read of many other complaints).

- Berkeley, CA, USA

problem #411

Mar 012009


  • 69,000 miles
Passenger side headlight intermittently fails. Starting when the car had approximately 69,000 miles, I would notice that the passenger side headlight would intermittently fail while driving. Turning the headlights off and back on again would cause the passenger side headlight to start working again for a time. Sometimes the headlight would fail again the same day. Sometimes it would be weeks between failures. Dealer diagnosed a defective hid capsule and said they would need to be replaced at a cost of approx. $510.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #410

Oct 172009


  • 56,000 miles
Front drivers side headlight in 2006 Toyota Prius intermittently goes out. Turning off both headlights and then back on again brings it back to life for a period of time. At least once both headlights failed at the same time. Turning them off/on caused them to relight. There are many Prius owners discussing the defect at a 600+ comment forum posting listed here: users have reported that replacing the bulbs does not work and that often the replacement of the wiring or headlight computer is needed. I have replaced the bulbs myself and verified that this action alone does not remedy the problem.

- Troy, NY, USA

problem #409

Oct 122009


  • 56,000 miles
I own a 2006 Toyota Prius. My driver's side headlight goes off unexpectedly. When I turn the lights off and then back on the light comes back on, but I never know how long it will remain lit. This is dangerous. The lights have some type of problem that no one seems to know how to solve. I drive dark country roads and need reliable lights.

- Dublin, OH, USA

problem #408

Sep 072007


  • 39,000 miles
I own a 2006 Toyota Prius w/ 75K miles. For two years I've been dealing with a faulty headlight system. The left headlight keeps turning off during use in inclement weather. I never really know when the left headlight is going to fail me. I cannot afford the ridiculous repair fee. I have received numerous warnings by police officers who have been gracious enough to know that my car headlights absolutely sucks. Please help me in getting Toyota to do the right thing. They didn't have a problem taking my money, but they do have a problem fixing this obvious factory defect. I will never buy another Toyota product. I am going to warn all potential buyer to steer clear of this company that denies factory defect accountability.

- New Carlisle, OH, USA

problem #407

Oct 152009


  • 88,000 miles
I own a 2006 Toyota Prius and I am having trouble with the headlights going off at random times and you must turn them off and then back on and it happens many times both headlights. I M told by the Toyota dealer in silsbee Texas that I must replace both headlights at a cost of about $1700 even though I have the extended warranty it is not covered and I have been given a warning for this problem from the japer tx police and it is definitely considered a safety hazard this first occurred at about 44,000 and im finally getting it replaced at about 88,000 miles.

- Jasper, TX, USA

problem #406

Oct 132009


  • 68,450 miles
1. the events leading up to the failure: Many people told me that one of the headlights on my Prius 2006 was out - when I checked everything was working. 2. the failure, how often it occurs, its consequences: I was driving on a poorly lighted road last night (10/13/09) and almost got into accident because both of my headlights went out at the same time. This was very dangerous and scary with my whole family and children inside the car. I started to pay attention to the reflections of my headlights on the backs of other cars and noticed that the headlights go out quite frequently - one or both at a time. 3. what was done to correct the failure; I.e, parts repaired or replaced (and if old part is available): I brought the car to a local dealer and they recommended replacement of both hid bulbs. I do not believe that the problem is with the bulbs themselves because they actually work fine but some defect causes them to switch off. I called Toyota main customer service number and they agreed to open a case #0910122928 and told me that a case manager will contact me sometime at the end of this week. This is unacceptable because I only have one car and have to drive to work and take my children to and from aftercare after dark. Toyota explained that they have such a long waiting time because they get many complaints like this. So, instead of hiring more case managers and investigating the issue they just tell people to wait for the next accident!

- Derwood, MD, USA

problem #405

Oct 102009


  • 55,000 miles
Passenger side headlight fails. Began at about 55,000 miles. Minutes, sometimes seconds, after starting car, headlamp begins to fade, then goes out. If I flick the lights on and off, it comes back on briefly, then out again. Warranty has expired, and information from other owners is that this is a common problem, expensive to fix, recurrent (and unreliable) and a serious safety concern for priuses. See other complaints at:

- Oakland, CA, USA

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