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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 3 of 40)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #744

Apr 012010


  • miles


My headlights flicker or fail with no warning, usually just one but sometimes both. If I flip the switch on and off they usually come back on but sometimes it takes some time. I run them during the day for safety, so I cannot tell when one will randomly cut off. This also puts me at risk of a traffic violation.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #743

Apr 032010


  • 46,000 miles
While driving at night a headlight went out making it difficult to see. After restarting the car it came back on. This has happened several times. Once when a headlight was out the second headlight went out making it extremely unsafe and difficult to pull off the road safely, just missed another vehicle. Upon restarting one of the lights came back on. This is an extremely unsafe situation, it is life threatening. I has happened several times and continues to happen. I filed a complaint with Toyota and they said I had to come in when it was malfunctioning. They later said that it was out of warranty. They are well aware of the problem and how many lives have to be lost until they do something about it besides sweep it under the rug.

- Los Altos, CA, USA

problem #742

Mar 192014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Headlights, go on and off on their own. Sometimes only one will go off, sometimes both. Happens with high beams as well. Lights come back on if I switch them completely off and then on again. May stay on for 30 minutes, may only stay on for a couple minutes. Very dangerous as the lights have gone off at night time causing loss of visibility.

- Maple City, MI, USA

problem #741

Mar 202014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 96,000 miles


While traveling in the dark at 6:00am on I64E my headlights went completely out. I had to move off the highway, turn my vehicle off and restart the vehicle. When I restarted it, the lights turned back on.

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #740

Mar 142011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 90,685 miles
Went to dealer for 90K service. Was told left headlight was out. Replaced. Headlight goes out intermittently. Need to turn lights on-off to have headlight turn back on.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

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problem #739

Mar 032014


  • 219,600 miles
The contact owns 2006 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the headlights would sporadically fail. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who stated that the bolts would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was alerted of the failure. The failure mileage was 219,600.

- Santa Barbra, CA, USA

problem #738

Mar 102014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 136,500 miles


When driving at night, the dashboard displays some of the dashboard on the front windshield, which causes you to avoid that area of your windshield. This is a defect in all 2006-2009 Toyota Prius cars. What happens is that you start looking at this reflection and it creates a safety concern. You also do not have a clear view through the reflection. It is extremely distracting. When you are on a country rode late at night, where there may not be any street lights, it is even worse. This problem was fixed in the 2010 models and beyond with a longer edge on the dashboard at the top. I have talked to Toyota about this, but have gotten nowhere. I feel this is a big safety concern that must be addressed and I am turning to you for help. I could have gotten lawyers involved in a class action lawsuit, but I wanted to try and resolve this professionally. I am not looking to get rich or make money off this problem. I just want my car and everyone else's Prius fixed. This issue has always been around. I have noticed it more lately with cloud cover and driving on back country roads at night. It is scary.

- Parkville, MD, USA

problem #737

Jun 102008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
Since 2008 both headlights would randomly go out usually one at a time but sometimes both. By turning them off and back on would get them working again. The frequency kept increasing till 2013 when I called Toyota Corp. # and told them the problem. They said to have the bulbs replaced at my own expense because I was out of warranty. 142000 miles. I called Toyota dealer to have this done and got a price of $550. Wow. With a lot of research I purchased 2 headlights that were exactly the same on line for $90 and replaced them myself (not an easy task). At this point I'm not happy but can live with it. Now for my real complaint!!! 2 weeks after the bulb replacement my lights are doing the same thing. Sometimes one then the other or the real excitement when both go same time. Turn them off and back on and they always come back on, maybe for a minute or two. Toyota assured me before I replaced them that that would solve the problem. I was at a dealer yesterday and they had no input. To me it sure seems there is another problem other then the bulbs that Toyota will not admit. We try to not drive this vehicle at night but at times we have to. I wouldn't feel right selling the vehicle either, it's not safe!!!! kinda stuck with no solution or help from Toyota. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

- Youngsville, PA, USA

problem #736

Feb 032014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 104,123 miles
Both hid headlights go on and off randomly. The dealer wants more than $1000. To repair each one.

- Winter Springs, FL, USA

problem #735

Aug 252012


  • miles
The right hid headlight randomly turns on and off.

- Addison, IL, USA

problem #734

Dec 172008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


My wife almost hit a trio of pedestrians who were walking in the road, and who were very poorly lit by the 2006 Prius headlights. These headlights (low beams) are always extremely dim and in my opinion are unsafe to drive with at night. High beams seem to light the road adequately. This problem is not caused by intermittent operation of the headlights (a problem we've also dealt with), but is caused by the fact that the headlights do not provide adequate illumination of the road. We also drive a 2005 Acura TL and a 2004 Toyota sienna and both of these vehicles provide good illumination of the road at night. A vehicle driving behind our 2006 Prius will often cast a shadow of our car in the area in front of the car, in the area that's supposed to be illuminated by the headlights. I'm surprised that there's no recall on this vehicle and that Toyota hasn't rectified this problem, which in my opinion makes the vehicle extremely unsafe to drive at night.

- West Hartford, CT, USA

problem #733

Dec 112013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 133,000 miles
I have the problem with hid headlight 1.5 year ago and replaced it based on the dealer's suggesting. Laterally, it went out so often but not complete out because I can turn off/on headlight switch. I do not know when it will be out or where it will be out. On the highway or in the remote country road. I am worry about my own safety as well as other safety.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #732

Oct 012012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
The first time I noticed the problem, my car was parked in the driveway after returning from shopping, still running, when my son noticed the right headlight was out. For some reason, I reached in and turned the light switch off, and then back on, and the light was fine. I figured it was an anomaly. From then, one or the other headlight would disappear every couple of months or so, but always reappear with a toggle of the light switched. I was severely underemployed, and simply could/can not afford the $500 parts & labor the Toyota dealer wanted to replace both headlights. I just kept toggling and hoping for the best. I recently returned to full-time work, but with a commute of 1.25 hours each way. It was fine during daylight savings time, but now, I am toggling constantly, and both headlights are going out at the same time. I am traveling dark, country, roads, from fresno, ca to coalinga, ca to work at the pleasant valley state prison. I don't want to become a highway fatality statistic simply because NHTSA doesn't have the "[xxx]" to force Toyota to recall these dangerous headlights. I was unemployed or underemployed for 4 years following a lay off in the summer of 2009. I simply cannot afford to pay the $500 out of pocket, and I really don't have any credit left. Your inaction, NHTSA and Toyota, puts my life on the line twice a day. You both will probably have my blood on your hands. [xxx] you! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Clovis, CA, USA

problem #731

Nov 132013


  • 45,000 miles
I bought my 2006 Prius in October of 2012 and ever since buying it I've noticed that the headlight on the driver's side goes out by itself. I actually went into the dealer within a week and told them my headlight was out but when I got there and I turned them on it was working. I was baffled. They didn't say a thing to me that this was a commonly reported problem that Toyota wasn't going to be addressing. Anyway, I left and the headlight problem has been happening ever since. I decided to just live with it because when I turn the lights off and back on, the headlight comes back on - at least for a while. I'm very worried that the same thing might happen to the other headlight at the same time. I've read online about the cost of replacing the bulb ($330) which is ridiculous since this is obviously a mfg flaw that Toyota just doesn't want to pay for. Please issue a recall on this before someone gets killed!!

- Redmond, WA, USA

problem #730

Nov 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 122,000 miles
I notice occasionally the driver's side headlight will go out requiring me to turn the lights off then on again. Most recently both headlights will go out. I can get them on again by turning them off then back on but it is unnerving and occurs every day now whenever I use the lights. I checked for a loose wire and found nothing. These are the original hid headlights.I can reproduce the problem every time I drive the car.

- Flowery Branch, GA, USA

problem #729

Oct 092013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
I was driving at night. There happened to be a little fog in the air. My speed was 45 mph on a dark country road. My passenger side hid headlight went out, followed by the driver side headlight within 20 seconds. I was able to turn the light control off then back on. I did this as I was slowing down and keeping straight. I managed to stay on the road and did not have any further problems that night. All in all it was a pretty scary experience.

- West Chester, OH, USA

problem #728

Oct 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I have hid headlights. My headlights go on and off intermittently. Sometime one head light goes out; sometimes both go out. If they go out, I can usually get them to go back on by turning them off and then turning them back on. I have to constantly check my car's reflection in the back of other cars to make sure both lights are on. My mechanic made me aware that this problem has been a constant complaint for this model and replacing the headlight will not help. Accordingly, the problem is caused by a defective module that ceases to work when it heats up. My research indicates that the fhtsa has had several complaints about this exact problem, and that Toyota settled a class action suit (for which I was never notified) regarding the exact problem. Toyota now refuses to repair the problem for cars out of warranty. This is potentially a very dangerous problem effecting thousands of cars. I have not had an accident yet, but if you don't make Toyota do a recall, I expect there will be several accidents across the country due to this defect.

- Los Angeles,, CA, USA

problem #727

Jul 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
On multiple occasions now, while driving my Prius both headlights spontaneously go out. I notice it when I'm driving at night. It is not safe. There is nothing wrong with either bulb - they just don't work. I have to turn the lights off and then on again for both lights to work again. Sometimes it happens again within minutes of it happening a first time.

- Hill City, KS, USA

problem #726

Sep 202012


  • 133,000 miles
The passenger side headlight went out. Next time I drove it the light was back on. Maybe a week later the driver's side headlight went out. Again, next time I used the lights they were both on. This went on for awhile. The escalation was when both low beams shut off leaving just the running lights on. High beams seemed to be unaffected so I drove home with high beams on. Currently, any of the lights can go out at any time. Turning them off and on again brings them back. On a half hour ride home tonight, to keep both lights on I had to shut them off and turn them on 7 times. I googled this and was very disappointed to find this problem has been reported, reviewed and dismissed as not a safety issue. It does not feel very safe to be driving at night and discover oneself suddenly in the dark. It seems this will be a recurring problem for me as replacing the headlights is likely to fix the problem for a short time (3 M seems to be common) before I will have to replace them again. Sounds like a recall should be in place.

- Holliston, MA, USA

problem #725

Sep 022009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
R headlight cut out intermittently. Bought replacement bulbs and had them replaced by an independent mechanic. Now at 65,000 miles, both headlights cut out intermittently and are dim when they are on. High beams are anemic. If both lights ever go out simultaneously at night, an accident could happen.

- Newtown Square, PA, USA

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