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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 20 of 40)

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problem #404

Sep 082009


  • 66,000 miles


I have a 2006 Prius with approximately 68K miles on it. Both headlights simply go out without warning. The first time this happened, I was on a back road and nearly went off a corner into a ravine. It was my presence of mind to brake quickly and cycle the headlight switch that prevented a serious accident. Based on my research, this is a known problem yet there is no bulletin or announcement of any kind being sent out to Prius owners. When the dealer said that it would be nearly $700 to simply replace the bulbs and that might not be the end of repairs to correct the actual problem, I was speechless. I'm unemployed at the time and such a costly charge to do something that won't even address what is clearly a defect is simply not acceptable. I had to sleep in my car on a business trip that I just returned from because I didn't want to take a chance on being pulled over at night for defective equipment and incur even more expenses. Will someone actually have to die in order for this issue to get the response that it deserves from Toyota? your Agency, without full review of data that Toyota was to send to you, has prematurely decided to not treat this as a safety defect. You have made a mistake and leaving this as a civil court matter is a complete cop out.

- Los Gatos, CA, USA

problem #403

Oct 032009


  • 48,000 miles
I own a 2006 Toyota Prius. The driver's side headlight has been going out intermittently for about a year. It comes on just fine, but after driving a short while, it sometimes (not always) goes dark on its own. Turning the light switch on & off completely usually gets it back on. Recently, both headlights went dark all on their own after I had been driving a short time. The police noticed & pulled me over - very dangerous situation. I turned the lights off & on and they both came back on, so the police let me go. This happens almost every time I drive the car at night. I don't always notice when they've gone out - this is very dangerous. I've taken it to the dealer, but they cannot figure out what is causing it. They told me they could replace the bulb, but that might not fix the problem. I have read about this happening in many other Toyota priuses year 2006-2008.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #402

Dec 012008


  • miles
1. normal operating conditions 2. passenger or driver side headlamp goes out. Intermittently 3. bulb replacement.

- Holyoke, MA, USA

problem #401

Oct 072009


  • 42,000 miles


Headlight regularly goes out. Turning lights off and on it comes back on.

- Carrboro, NC, USA

problem #400

Oct 072009


  • 64,700 miles
Hid headlight shuts off while driving in the dark. Flicking the switch off, then on turns it back on but later shuts off again.

- Denville, NJ, USA

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problem #399

Mar 012009


  • 49,500 miles
My 2006 Prius has the intermittent flicker/fade/failure problem with both headlamps as I have seen reported by other Prius owners. I had an auto repair shop replace the drivers' side headlamp in March, 2009, but it resumed the fade/fail pattern within a couple of months. Dealership wants over $500 to replace one unit, with no guarantee that this will cure the problem. It is hard to think the bulbs are the problem when they are at normal brightness most of the time.

- Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #398

Sep 052009


  • 39,000 miles


Contrary to your investigation report, both hid headlamps failed simultaneously at interstate speed. Only light remaining were fog lamps. Head lamps reset after toggling switch. The problem has happened more than once. Please reconsider investigation or recall.

- Sidney, NE, USA

problem #397

Oct 042009


  • 37,000 miles
Headlights cut out.

- Edina, MN, USA

problem #396

Sep 292009


  • 54,000 miles
My 2006 Toyota Prius with hid headlights has had a problem since about 25,000 miles where the left headlight will periodically go out. I can get the light to come back on by turning the lights off and they come back on. Last week I was driving on a dark country road with my bright headlights on and they both went out. It was completely dark and I applied the brakes while trying to hold the car straight so I did not strike a tree or pole at the side of the road. I fumbled with the switch and was able to turn the lights on by turning the switch completely off and then back on. I had to turn the lights off and back on every couple minutes to keep them working. It was very dangerous and frightening. I understand that your investigation into other complaints ended without a recall because both lights did not go out with some of those surveyed. I will tell you that both of my lights went out completely with no forewarning.

- Westfield, IN, USA

problem #395

Aug 262009


  • 35,000 miles
After several attempts to have Toyota cover the cost of replacing hid lamps in my 2006 Toyota Prius they finally did so at no charge for parts but charged $100 labor stating that I could get that refunded by Toyota provided a recall on the lamps was issued. The problem is that the lamps go out intermittently while driving. When or if the driver detects that one lamp goes out then by turning the switch on and off quickly the lamps always restart but again they will go out again maybe in 15 minutes or maybe never. As a driver you may not notice it until they both go out. I had been driving my car fro over a year before the dealer finally admitted that they were aware of the problem. Replacing the lamps fixed the problem immediately. The incident date below is the repair date.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #394

Oct 012009


  • 25,000 miles


While under warranty, less than 30K miles, left headlight of 2006 Toyota Prius failed while driving. Then a month or so later the right headlight failed. Then both. When lights were turned off and then turned back on, they usually illuminated again at least for a short time and then failed again without warning or pattern while driving. Dealer replaced both headlights at 30K. At 45K, pattern began exactly the same. At 50K service, dealership was made aware of problem, did nothing because they said they could not reproduce the problem in shop. At 55K, dealer was again made aware of problem, was able to reproduce it in one headlight and offered to sell the one new headlight for $400 plus labor. This is a serious safety issue. Even if the headlight is replaced at great expense, pattern will begin again. Toyota knows about the problem. The dealerships know about the problem. They are not fixing it because it is expensive for them and it makes sense for them to profit by selling expensive hid headlights, which they do not cover under extended warranty. If there has not been already, there is going to be an accident and a lawsuit about this problem. Last night after dusk I realized my lights were out only when an oncoming car swerved to avoid me.

- Princeton, NJ, USA

problem #393

Sep 012009


  • 45,000 miles
Headlight failure on late 2000 model year Toyota Prius. Hid headlights are repeatedly failing, usually both at once causing the driver to find him/herself in total darkness. Second set of replacement headlights in 18 months, costing $1,000 per set to replace.

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #392

Sep 152009


  • 80,000 miles
Headlight bulbs turn off intermittently, usually the passenger side. When light switch is turned off then back on the light will work. At least one time both lights went off at night leaving no visibility for several seconds while I turned off then on the switch. This was very hazardous at 55 mph. It appears there is a wide spread problem with these lamps and should be recalled by Toyota. Dealer replacement of the two bulbs will run more than $400.

- Chico, CA, USA

problem #391

Jul 262009


  • 111,167 miles
Passenger side hid headlight goes off after a few minutes of driving. Can turn off and back on and they will stay on for a few minutes. Numerous other complaints on the internet of the same issue.

- Fountain Inn, SC, USA

problem #390

Sep 162009


  • 19,000 miles
2006 Toyota Prius headlights go out. First my right headlight would go off while driving. At times it worked. One night I was driving home on a very dark street and my headlights were so dim I could hardly see. I then turned on my brights and the lights went out completely. I have checked my lights while car was parked and the same problems occurred, including the bright lights going out.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #389

Sep 152009


  • 55,898 miles
2006 Toyota Prius hid failure for unknown reasons. Headlights work intermittently. Deal says to just replace bulb that is not correcting the problem. Works one minute then out the next.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #388

Dec 302008


  • 42,000 miles
No injuries yet, but with headlights continuing to go out, it is only a matter of time. I just hope it isn't me or my kids.

- Orangeburg, SC, USA

problem #387

Aug 252009


  • 79,090 miles
I own a 2006 Toyota Prius. The headlights go out intermittently. First the drivers side next the passenger side. If I turn off the lights they will come back on. Sometimes I can't tell if a headlight is out until I pull up to a window or behind another auto. Last night both headlights went out. I turned off the lights and they came back dim. Thank god I have fog lights as it was late and needed to get home asap. I don't know when my lights will work and when they wont. Toyota dealership says they are aware of this problem and I need the bulbs replaced (cost of $300) and from my internet research I have found this to be a common (scary) problem. Most people replace the bulbs only to have the problem persist (leading to other expensive repairs) and not feeling confident and safe in their auto. Again, the lights just go off suddenly which is a huge safety issue.

- Crozet, VA, USA

problem #386

Jun 212006


  • 0 miles
2006 Toyota pruis headlight failure. On going problem with one of the head lights spontaneously turning off. Taken to dealer and they said it was a bulb issue. Bulb replaced for approx $200 but it did not resolve the issue. When one of the bulbs does burn out there is a real probability that there will be no headlights. This is not right and needs to be addressed and corrected by Toyota.

- Napa, CA, USA

problem #385

Sep 252009


  • 35,000 miles
Intermittent front headlight loss on my 2006 Toyota Prius. Loss occurs soon after drive begins. Headlight can often be regained by tuning lights off then back on.

- Moreehad City, NC, USA

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