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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 25 of 40)

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problem #304

Jan 012009


  • 34,000 miles


Both headlights on my 2006 Prius go off intermittently. When I turn the headlight switch on and off they come back on (until they fail again). This has been happening for over 6 months but was infrequent at first. Now the failures occur almost every time I drive the vehicle. I understand that many Prius owners have the same problem. Some have been charged as much as $500 per headlight to repair. This is not an ordinary issue of replacing worn out parts but is clearly a safety related engineering defect. I am trying to get Toyota to repair this without charge - but from what I know there should have been a recall to fix this problem.

- Wading River, NY, USA

problem #303

Jun 262009


  • 64,425 miles
Hid headlights on my 2006 Toyota Prius both failed within the time frame of 2 weeks. This left me with only partial view at night. Notably, Toyota has not taken action to correct what is now becoming a glaring design safety defect. The cost to repair these lights is astronomical and the dealers have been taking advantage of customers charging very high prices for the bulbs and the labor to replace them. Unfortunately, the problem only returns and I expect to have this problem for the life of the car, leaving me at the mercy of Toyota corporate, who thus far has agreed to pay only a portion of the repair. In summary; the Toyota Prius has a design defect that causes the high intensity headlights to fail. At first they go on and off, then completely off. Due to the cost, many customers do not have these replaced. This should not happen on this vehicle.

- Bonita Springs, FL, USA

problem #302

Jun 152009


  • 70,000 miles
I drive a 2006 Toyota Prius with the hid headlights. I read that my problem has been happening to a lot of Prius owners and their is an investigation started, so here's one more case to add to the books. One headlight would go out randomly. It would alternate between the passenger and drivers side, but would never happen to both lights at the same time. It would happen about every other day. There were no particular events that led to this problem starting, but I did notice that sometimes braking hard correlated with the light going out, but they went out without braking hard as well. Whenever one light went out, flipping the lights off and immediately back on would make both lights function again. I took it in for work 3 times. The ballasts got changed, then the bulbs got changed and the wiring harness checked, finally both the bulbs and ballasts were switched out with brand new ones of a different brand. It appears to be working so far. My mechanic probably still has the old parts if you wanted them. Consequences: I got pulled over twice for lights being out that I thought I had fixed, very irritating, luckily they understood and gave me warnings.

- Scottsburg, IN, USA

problem #301

Dec 102008


  • 55,000 miles


NHTSA PE09019 - 2006 Prius, have had 1 passenger and three driver's side hid bulbs fail within 6 months.

- Cantonment, FL, USA

problem #300

Apr 012009


  • 50,000 miles
The passengers head light works intermittently. When it goes out, if I turn the headlight on then off, it comes back on. I have hid headlights in the car.

- Westminster, MA, USA

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problem #299

Jul 012008


  • 42,000 miles
The left and right headlights sometimes go out independently of one another. Other times they both go out. Of course, this is not good while driving in darkness. Flipping headlight switch to off and back on fixes the problem, but sometimes it's only a temporary fix and I have to do it again a few minutes later, and other times both lights remain on. For unexplained reasons, the problem is occurring more frequently now. It seems that this is not uncommon in the Prius and I, myself, have seen other cars with a headlight out here in the burlington, vt area. In fact, a co-worker took his into the shop and they said it was a bad bulb. What I'm reading is that it's not the bulbs.

- Richmond, VT, USA

problem #298

Jun 272009


  • 60,000 miles


Intermittent alternating hid failure that until last night had not involved both headlights at he same time until last night. Something faulty since replaced hid bulbs already. Safety issue when headlights go out the same time and you are driving on the highway. Luckily I was in town so pulled over and turned off switch and turned again and lights turned on for five minutes and then blinked out again.

- Platteville, WI, USA

problem #297

Jun 152006


  • 35,000 miles
I own a 2006 Toyota Prius with high intensity discharge headlights. Both headlights go dim and then go out while driving independent of each other. Many times both will go out one right after the other. They do this often, but on a random basis. When the switch is turned off then on the come back on for a short period. The Toyota dealerships I have taken the car to say they think it is the bulbs, however they can not guaranty it. They also tell me that Toyota has a long back order on the bulbs. In reading a few hybrid web sites and blogs, I have read numerous other owners complaining about the exact same problem. When driving down a dark highway it is very dangerous to all of a sudden have no headlights on a car and then to be told that it will be over $750 to "maybe" fix the problem. The problem started with one light a few years ago and was sufficiently intermittent that after the $750 estimate I decided I could live with it. Now it happens often and to both lights.

- Lexington Park, MD, USA

problem #296

Jun 102008


  • 65,000 miles
Toyota Prius 2006 model has issue with hid headlight sensor.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #295

Jun 252009


  • 49,918 miles
Hid headlights have failed 4 times in 3 years. Bulbs are burning out between one week and 16 months of being replaced. Crash will occur if both malfunction at the same time. Dealer where car was purchased replaced or repaired at no charge the first 3 times, but charged for the fourth. Old parts unavailable.

- Friendswood, TX, USA

problem #294

Jan 012008


  • 40,000 miles


The hid headlights on my 2006 Toyota Prius has a problem where it would randomly, without warning turn off, either at the same time, the left will go out, or the right, some times one then the other. There is no reasoning to it. I can most of the time get them to come back on by switching the switch off and then back on again. This has been occurring for about two years and seems to be happening more frequently. Dealer once quoted me close $800 for replacing the bulbs but declined since it was so expensive and I found out from other people that had the work done than it did not really fix the problem.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #293

Jun 052009


  • 64,000 miles
Hid headlight on 2006 Toyota Prius safety issue. Passenger side headlight went out in Dec 07' at approx 34,000 miles - dealer replaced. Driver side headlight went out in Apr 08' at approx 39,000 miles - dealer replaced. Both headlights went out in Jun 09' at approx 64,000 miles. Dealer refused to replace indicating that the car is out of warranty. Toyota customer experience center contacted for assistance. Told that they have had complaints regarding this issue, but that they do not have to do anything because a recall has not been issued, but are willing to work with dealer on giving me some sort of goodwill gesture. This is a vehicle defect as well as a safety issue. Car is presently unusable after dark because of issue.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #292

May 012009


  • 65,000 miles
Headlight (hid style) flickers and/or goes out unexpectedly. Lights come back on after cycling them off and on again. But the problem still repeats itself under all driving conditions.

- Altoona, PA, USA

problem #291

Jun 202009


  • 60,000 miles
I have a 2006 Toyota Prius. The drivers side headlight was intermittently going out. I had it replaced by a Toyota dealer. Now, the passenger side light is doing the same thing. Since both did not go out at the same time, I have not had an accident, but I am concerned that I might. I am afraid to take chances not replacing this one, even though the cost is about $300, because if both went out, I could have an accident.

- Buckhannon, WV, USA

problem #290

Sep 152008


  • 71,000 miles
I have a 2006 and have been dealing with the passenger side light going off after 15 seconds for 6 months now. After contacting Toyota of America they didn't agree with me that there was any issue, they even went as far as to tell me that I couldn't believe everything that I read on message boards. I expressed my displeasure with the situation and complained that this is a safety hazard, they of course didn't agree. After paying nearly 200 dollars for a diagnosis I was told that I have a bad computer and the computer has now caused the light to be faulty as well and both need to be replaced for a mere 500+ dollars. Unfortunately I don't have an extra 500 just laying around in this current economy. The car is not in warranty as it has 90,000 miles and this problem started right after I hit 70,000 miles. Which just happens to be the miles for warranty of the lights. We'll I'm out of state at the moment and now the driver side light is going faulty. So now we're talking about a cool $1,000 to fix something that is a total safety hazard in which Toyota should do a recall and fix at their expense. Also my dvd nav system doesn't work either and hasn't now for some 7 months.

- Ringgold, GA, USA

problem #289

Jun 182009


  • miles
Toyota Prius headlight failure for the 5th time.

- Cupertino, CA, USA

problem #288

Nov 012008


  • 85,000 miles
The driver side headlight on my 2006 Toyota Prius turns on and off. I took it to my mechanic to get it fixed and he told me the light was fine and there was no loose connection. He witnessed it turn off and told me it is probably some issue with the computer and he can't fix it. He told me to take it back to Toyota. Additionally, my radio volume goes up by itself when the car is hot. The light seems to turn off more when it is hot. It pretty much always turns off after 15 minutes of driving in the summer weather. It is unsafe when it turns off. I will take it back to Toyota to get it fixed. I have heard this is a common problem for the 2006 Prius. From the online blogs I found, I heard the costs will be between $1500 - $2800 to fix. This has been going on with my car for about 8 months that I am aware of. It is often hard to tell if the light goes off. If it goes out, I can turn the lights on and off and on again and it will work for another 20 minutes.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #287

Jun 162009


  • 38,000 miles
Passenger side hid headlamp was randomly turning off. Soon both the driver's side and passenger headlamps would go out while driving and with no particular repeatability or consistency. While driving at night this was a very dangerous situation. The hid headlamps sometimes would return if the headlamp switch was turned off then back on, but not always. No warning of the problem occurring would take place, I.e. when the car was turned on, the headlamps coming on was not an indication that they would stay on.

- Apex, NC, USA

problem #286

Jun 052009


  • 58,000 miles
Headlights will intermittently go off. If you turn the headlight switch off and back on, it will usually come back on. I have been to the dealer three times about this in last year and half. Once they both went out on a dark highway! the brain, light assembly and bulbs have all been replaced, some multiple times. This appears to be a common Prius problem from what I see on the web and mechanics have confirmed it's a known issue.

- Santa Clarita, CA, USA

problem #285

May 302009


  • 45,000 miles
Periodic and unpredictable failure of driver's side hid headlight. Turning off and on corrects the problem, but then it goes out again. Car is just past 36 months, with 45,000 miles. Have noted many similar complaints in database and am aware of official investigation in progress.

- Centreville, VA, USA

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