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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 29 of 40)

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problem #224

Mar 282009


  • 29,700 miles


Safety issue: My 2006 Prius hid headlamps only work intermittently. One or the other will randomly go out. Cycling power usually fixes the problem.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #223

Nov 012008


  • 30,000 miles
Both headlights turn off, separately and intermittently. Must turn the headlight switch off and on to turn light(s) back on while driving. Increasing in frequency.

- Redondo Beach, CA, USA

problem #222

Mar 012009


  • 60,000 miles
Headlight goes out intermittently... turning off all lights for several seconds and then back on turns the light back on.... dealer said bulb needs to be replaced for about $300..... internet forums indicate this is a problem with the Prius over several years... and does not fix problem... others have replaced controller boards, bulbs, wiring, all to no avail... there should be a recall to fix the problems.... I have also purchased the extended 100,000 mile warranty.

- Landenberg, PA, USA

problem #221

Aug 102008


  • 62,000 miles


The headlights on my 2006 Toyota Prius blink on and off. Sometimes the left sometimes the right and sometimes both. The failure occurs almost daily and sometimes multiple times a day. When the lights turn off usually turning them off and back on will make them work again. Brought my car to Toyota and they told me that I had to replace the complete headlight unit and casing on both sides (cost $350 each plus labor. Total cost about $800) I found that the headlights are not sealed units as I was told and have not had them replaced yet.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #220

Jan 012009


  • 0 miles
Passenger side hid headlight goes out every 3-4 months. At first it is intermittent, and difficult to say when failure occurs. Over time the period for failure gets shorter. Dealer says it is my problem. Cost of continual repair is over $300. Per light. Also, fuel gauge say add fuel when tank partially empty.

- Westminster, CA, USA

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problem #219

Dec 152008


  • 94,000 miles
Driving at night, the passenger side headlight sometimes goes out, sometimes works. I would say it works 25% of the time. This results in limited visibility when driving at night. At this point, nothing has been done to correct the failure because the headlights are very expensive and so far there has never been a total loss of visibility.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #218

Mar 102009


  • 57,000 miles


Hid headlights fail during operation and the driver has to turn power to the lights off and then back on for lights to turn back on. This cycle has to be repeated every 0-5 minutes since the lights continue to burn out.

- Corvallis, OR, USA

problem #217

Jan 032009


  • 33,000 miles
I have 2006 Prius. The passenger side headlight is intermittent. I have noticed this for about 2 months now. It has 35,000 miles. Have been reading this is quite common in 2006 Prius yet Toyota has not offered recall. Obviously driving with a headlight out is not only a safety issue but a legal issue as well.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #216

Feb 012009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. While driving 70 mph, the headlights failed. The contact turned the activation switch on and off and the headlights illuminated again. The failure has occurred on numerous occasions. The headlights will shut off without warning even when the vehicle is idling. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that the two front headlights would need to be replaced at the cost of $600 per light, plus labor. The vehicle has not been repaired. The contact called the manufacturer and was advised to take the vehicle to the dealer because there were no recalls. Therefore, no compensation would be provided. The failure mileage was 52,000 and current mileage was 58,600. 4/01/09 updated 04/06/09.

- Locust Grove, VA, USA

problem #215

Mar 172009


  • 58,000 miles
Toyota is familiar with the hid lights on their Toyota Prius' and even issued a tsb (T-sb-0030-08) and is still requiring the end user to pay upwards to $800 for the repair. Within the last few weeks, I am having to turn my headlights on and off in the day or during the night so that I can have both lights on. It's an intermittent issue and many other owners are complaining about the same issue. It is a tremendous safety issue especially when driving at night. For the 2010 model Prius, Toyota has even taken out the hid lights. What is really going on here. I am not a happy consumer.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #214

Mar 122009


  • 53,200 miles


Headlight goes out. Later it comes back on and then goes out again unpredictably. This could be very dangerous depending on where I am driving when it happens.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #213

Feb 282009


  • 57,000 miles
Both headlights started to go out intermittently. Turn the headlights off, then back on, and they would work for a while, then one or the other would go out again. Finally, the left headlight went out and would not come back on. My wife was traveling out of town at the time, and fortunately found a dealer open on Saturday. We subsequently had to replace the right headlight as well.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #212

Mar 132009


  • 60,000 miles
I own a 2006 Toyota Prius and have a problem with the hid headlights. My hid headlights flicker and then one goes out. If I turn the headlights off and on, they work again for a short time, yet then one will flicker again and turn off. This happens to both headlights. It seems this is a problem with many 2006 priuses, however the Toyota dealer says it is not anything covered by warranty, and wants to charge an outrageous amount to replace the lights. It seems obvious that it is a defective light, which poses a dangerous situation.

- Downey, CA, USA

problem #211

Nov 012008


  • 35,000 miles
No specific events identifiable. With the headlight switch in the on position, each of the front headlights will randomly shut off independently of the other when driving. The light (or lights) will turn back on after turning the headlight switch off and back on. To repair the problem, I had to replace both eom bulbs for $550. Many others with Toyota which have these bulbs appear to be having this problem as well. This is a major safety concern.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #210

Aug 102008


  • 20,000 miles
Headlights intermittently turn off while driving. Although several people had told me my headlight was out for several months, it seemed to be functioning when I checked it. Then, once I saw that passenger side headlight was off when I was behind a shiny vehicle. I turned the lights off & then on & it immediately illuminated. I noticed from time to time that I had this problem, but it always corrected by turning off & back on. Since I leave my headlights turned on all the time, I thought maybe every time I started the car I needed to turn them off & then back on. It is impossible to detect that I am having this problem unless I hit a dark patch of road or get behind a shiny vehicle at a red light. Then the driver's side headlights began having the same problem. I took the car to my regular mechanic twice, but he was unable to find anything wrong. The frequency of the problem seemed to grow over time. Saturday, I made an appointment with the dealership & that's where my car is today. Sunday evening I googled Prius & up popped 'headlights.' I was very surprised! I began to read & every story was my story. The repair can be very very very expensive. This appears to be a serious safety hazard to me, especially since the driver often has no clue of the problem. I feel fortunate that I did not cause a wreck or get a ticket because of this.

- Littleton, CO, USA

problem #209

Mar 012009


  • 30,000 miles
For the second time in the three years that I have owned my '06 Prius I am having headlight failures that start intermittently before completely failing to operate. It starts with one light going out and coming back on after momentarily turning off the lights. The first episode ( at 30,000 miles) resulted in being pulled over and ticketed by the police ($70) the dealership arranged for a one time manufacturer replacement of the entire light assemblies (bulbs lenses and ballasts) although the bulbs were fine -- at a cost of nearly $800. Now at 69,000 miles (17 months later) the problem has returned. A week ago pass. Side light began flickering while driving, two days into that the light would go out and upon turning off and turning on lights it would illuminate at a very low intensity and then go out. Two days ago that light fails to illuminate. Last night the driver's side light went out leaving me in total darkness on a dark road. Terrifying! turning on high beams did not help. After turning off and on 2 times, drivers side light came back on. Going to dealer Monday, is there a recall for this?

- Port Murray, NJ, USA

problem #208

Mar 042009


  • 29,000 miles
Drivers side headlight goes out after being on for awhile turning the switch off then back on the light comes back on it has hid lights.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #207

Jun 012008


  • 30,000 miles
Driver's side headlamp unexpectedly turns off while driving. On one occasion both headlights turned off while driving at night. Turning the headlight switch off and then on again will cause the headlights to come back on. Having both headlights unexpectedly turn off while driving at night is clearly a safety issue. There are hundreds of on-line complaints and posts detailing this issue. The Toyota dealer says this is a common problem for 2005, 2006 Prius equipped with hid headlight. Toyota states that replacing the bulb and/or the hid controller (ECU) "may" fix the problem. Dealer says that replacing the bulb and the ECU is ~$1,000 per side. A total of $2,000 for both sides. $2,000 to replace the headlights in a three year old car"??? dealer has asked that I switch bulbs and see what happens. Dealer is asking that I pay for a new headlight ECU and see if the headlight still shuts off while driving. In essence the dealer is asking that I risk my safety by experimenting with repair attempts. Toyota needs to find out what wrong with the headlights on these cars, identify a fix and issue a recall before someone gets into a serious accident (did we not learn from the Ford pinto")

- Seal Beach, CA, USA

problem #206

Feb 272009


  • 144,000 miles
I wanted to add my experience with premature hid headlight failure on my 2006 Toyota Prius. This appears to be a very common problem with the 2006 model. Since this is the first year the D4R hid lamp was used in any automotive application I am surprised there has not been a recall required. My headlights have "intermittent" failure and have been behaving as such for the last 6 months. As noted by others who have had this problem cycling the headlights and hitting the plasma with the initial high voltage charge will allow them to work for a period of time but not always. Sometimes they will work for an entire evening and sometimes not at all after several "cycling" attempts. It is generally my driver's side headlight that fails but I have had the passenger side fail as well and just recently at times have even had both fail. As you can imagine this is very dangerous at night and requires me to pull over and "cycle" until my lights are restored. Through extensive replacements and postings on it is generally acknowledged that the problem is with the D4R itself and not the ballast or any type of wiring issues. At as much as $300 each through Toyota these bulbs are extremely expensive to replace. It is ridiculous that the consumer should be burdened with this considering the problem seems readily apparent to all 2006 owners. Although my vehicle has very high mileage (144,000) 70-80% of those miles are driven during the day and I do not run the headlights during the day. Also since my vehicle was purchased in March 2006 it is still less than 3 years old. My other vehicles are 5 or 6 years, have standard headlights and never have needed replacing. I ordered 2 D4R hid lamps today and will be replacing them myself. Hopefully these new bulbs are manufactured better than the ones from Toyota and will last longer than the originals.

- Mooresville, NC, USA

problem #205

Feb 272009


  • 4,000 miles
2006 Prius having repeated hid headlamp problems. Left side or right side will shut off, never both. Not relative to climate or weather. Dealer recommended both lamps be replaced, $420, plus $90 diagnostics fee. Citation for light law infraction. Reviewing internet chat rooms, apparent problem with the light system justifying an investigation. Over 50 occurrences.

- Cottontown, TN, USA

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