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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 30 of 40)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #204

Dec 012008


  • 60,000 miles


Passenger side headlight fades then goes out. Turning the switch off/on will turn the headlight on again - sometimes it will fade out again, sometimes it will stay on. Dealership switched the bulbs (passenger to driver sides) to see if it's a bulb problem or something else. Now the driver's side (same bulb) is displaying the same symptoms. Have not yet replaced the bulb due to the high cost.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #203

Jan 202009


  • 150,000 miles
Passenger headlight would periodically go out. Had to have it replaced at the cost of $250 not covered under full warranty. Toyota needs to make good on this problem.

- Prescott, AZ, USA

problem #202

Feb 012007


  • 30,000 miles
2006 Toyota pruis option 6 problem with passenger headlight going on and off. Hid's.

- Elizabeth City, NC, USA

problem #201

Feb 162009


  • 70,500 miles


Intermittent hid headlight. I've suspected this for many months, but an observer just confirmed it this am. One light will frequently turn off at highway speed, then will turn on again as I slow to a stop.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #200

Feb 102009


  • 36,000 miles
Right hid headlight intermittently working. Repair > $200. Please help resolve this safety issue.

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

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problem #199

May 152007


  • 22,000 miles
My left headlight will shut off without any known cause. If I shut the lights off and back on again they will work for a period of time until they again shut it self off. Recently, I had the experience of having my left light out, (I was unaware it was out) and my right light failed also. It was night time and I was driving on back winding roads. I knew enough to turn my lights off and back on so I was able to return to being able to see the road ahead. The left light issue has been ongoing for the past year and a half. The occurrence is intermittent with no apparent pattern of failure. The first time I brought this to the attention of my dealer they said I would have to replace both bulbs and the wiring harness for a cost to me of about $1,800. I am contacting Toyota today directly in regards to having this fixed under warranty, but I feel that this is a safety issue and needs a mandatory factory recall.

- Auburn, ME, USA

problem #198

Feb 102009


  • 28,000 miles


We purchased a new '06 Toyota Prius in 2006. While the vehicle was under warranty in Nov. '07 the drivers headlight went out and the bulb was replaced by the dealer (Texas Toyota of grapevine). Around November '08 we noticed that the headlight was cycling on and off without warning. Sometimes turning the lights off and then back on turned the light back on but not always. The light also appears dimmer than the passenger side. During a trip to the dealer in Feb. '09 to enquire what the problem was (warranty is expired(mileage)), the dealer admitted that the original issue was a computer chip and not the bulb. Now the dealer has offered to replace the cpu chip under warranty because the repair was not done properly in Nov. '07. However the dealer is charging me for replacing the bulb that the bad cpu chip ruined.

- Keller, TX, USA

problem #197

Jan 042009


  • 25,000 miles
Hid left headlamp blinking went to dealer they replaced $300 bulb, had to fight for warranty (25,000 miles). The very next night the right side went out. Got a warning from the police. They replaced that one under warranty. Now at 46,000 they are doing it again. $600 plus labor! out of warranty now. Also the self leveling feature points the lights all over the place. These things are a safety hazard.

- North Oxford, MA, USA

problem #196

Feb 092009


  • 40,000 miles
I have a 2006 Toyota Prius and the driver's side headlight will intermittently shut off while driving. This has been occurring for several months, and the passenger side headlight had the same problem today. It's difficult to know when the light shuts off unless I'm driving at night or can see the reflection of the car in another vehicle. As it stands, the driver's side will only stay on for a short time now after I turn the lights on and off.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #195

Feb 042009


  • 510,000 miles
I have a 2006 Toyota Prius and have to replace the headlights three times in the last 6 months. The dealer has advised that the replacement is very expensive - over $400. Would like Toyota to recall and fix this problem.

- Los Altos, CA, USA

problem #194

Dec 042008


  • 35,400 miles


1. no special event led to failure. First failure occurred at about 35,400 miles (odometer). 2. two headlights go out simultaneously while driving on an intermittent basis. Each headlight can also go out while driving independently of the other. 3. powering off /on the car resolves the problem. Turning the headlights off and on again solves the problem. The repair shop (dealer) could not recreate the problem and so did not replace any parts at my first visit. I am about to go back and try again.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #193

Jan 052009


  • 30,000 miles
A year ago, my 2006 Toyota Prius' right headlamp would go out intermittently. Toyota replaced the bulb and bulb computer at a cost of just under $1000. That time was covered under warranty. I had approx. 30K miles on the car. Now, in Feb. 2008, I'm having the same problem with the left headlamp. Since there is no longer warranty coverage, I complained to Toyota headquarters. They admitted that the older bulbs were no good and agreed to replace the bulb but not pay for the labor. Since this is a safety issue, I have no choice but to pay the $280 labor cost. There is now 45K miles on the car.

- Mentone, CA, USA

problem #192

Sep 172008


  • 58,000 miles
My driver's side headlight occasionally turns off. I have a 2006 Toyota Prius with hid headlights. This is a common problem with the 06 and newer Prius and is affecting thousands of people. Some have had both lights fail leaving them with no headlights. If you turn the lights off and then back on the light or lights will turn back for a very short period of time. This is clearly a safety issue and instead of fixing the problem for free, Toyota is charging an absurd amount to fix the problem which could be temporary. Many have had the headlights fail again. This problem is very common and can be easily found on chat rooms and forums online.

- Carmichael, CA, USA

problem #191

Sep 102008


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the vehicle has hid (high intensity lights) that would not operate correctly. The driver's side headlight would operate momentarily when the vehicle was started, but then dim after a matter of minutes. The dealer estimated the repair cost to be over $600. The contact also filed a claim with the manufacturer and is awaiting a decision. The failure mileage was 58,000 and current mileage was 64,000.

- Carmichael, CA, USA

problem #190

Nov 012008


  • 49,000 miles
I own a 2006 Prius with hid headlights. After 50,000 miles, the passenger side bulb will go out after being on for 20 minutes or so. If I turn the lights off and back on, the bulb lights up right away and then blinks off approximately 20 minutes later. If I was going down the highway at night, this would be a safely hazard. I called Toyota corporate. They said this is a know issue, but no recall has been down yet. They stated that as of 1/2008, the bulbs have been redesigned to not have this problem. They said since my car was out of warranty that they would pay for the bulb (approximately $150), and I would have to pay for labor. Labor, depending on where you get the repair done, could be anywhere from $50 to $300, just for one headlight replacement. Since I didn't buy the extended warranty this issue was not covered. I agreed that Toyota would pay for the bulb. I had the bulb replaced. I paid for the labor and they paid for the bulb. There should be a recall on the old bulbs!

- Crownsville, MD, USA

problem #189

Feb 012009


  • 10,000 miles
Toyota has a major issue with headlamps failing intermittently on 2006 and new priuses rather than fixing the issue, they're charging customers upwards of a $1000 to replace (2) *defective* headlamp bulbs. It may not seem like a major issue, however I almost got in an accident with another Prius owner on the freeway, who was driving both lights out. After experiencing the same exact thing in my own Prius, it's a very scary scenario. There are thousands of documented cases: please do not allow Toyota to keep screwing consumers into paying for $1000 bulb replacements. There are many people out there gambling with intermittent lamps due to the high replacement cost.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #188

Feb 012009


  • 82,000 miles
Just a few hundred miles shy of the 36,000 mile warranty (just on the headlights), my left side headlight went out. When flipping the high beams on did not light the offending bulb (I did not at the time realize that hid headlamps do not have separate high and low beam filaments, but simply change the Focus of the one hid capsule.), I immediately stopped into a parts store and bought a replacement bulb (non-hid). I did think it strange that the lights both went back on when I got back into the car, but I decided that I should replace it anyway. On the next day, I removed the offending bulb (not as difficult as some people seem to think) and discovered that it was some sort of rare-earth discharge lamp. Because this type of illumination system should be very reliable (there being no fragile filament to fatigue and break), I figured that I just had the bad fortune to run into a rare case of infant mortality, or just a defective bulb to begin with. Although the bulb can be relighted (by switching headlights off and on), it must be distracting to other drivers, not to mention: What if I turn off the lights to relight one and both decide not to reignite. What then? this is a serious safety issue! fortunately, I got both lights replaced (the right side went shortly thereafter) under warranty. (plus $80 labor) now, at 82K miles, here we go again. This time, I called Toyota. I could get absolutely no commitment out of the representative, but he insisted that my local dealership must diagnose the problem before he could make a decision on a "possible reimbursement." I took the car in yesterday, with the headlight out. They cleaned the contacts and sent me on my way. Before I arrived home, the light was out, so I drove right back. They looked and said: "yup, it's out." So I left. Now the rep says I should have stayed!

- Lexington Park, MD, USA

problem #187

Feb 022009


  • 45,000 miles
Just like it seems the hundreds of other 2006 Toyota Prius owners. I have been having intermittent headlight failures for many months. Initially it was only in the passenger side. Now it also occurs on the drivers side or even more dangerous on both at the same time. This is happening with more and more frequency. The first time I had the dealer look at the problem, they found nothing, just recommended replacing a very expensive bulb. I took it back a few months later and they said they found something in the passenger side (not the drivers although it is now happening on both). Once again they recommended replacing the bulb. They didn't give me any confidence that it would resolve the problem. It seems to me with this many complaints spanning that continue to come in, something should be done. Does there need to be a serious injury or death before someone takes action to figure out what is going on and resolve this issue. I'm afraid to drive my car in bad weather, or in the dark because I never know when the headlights are going to go out. Yesterday I didn't even make it out of the driveway before they went out (they would not come back on when I turned them off then on).

- Blacklick, OH, USA

problem #186

Jan 022009


  • 36,012 miles
Toyota 2006 Prius hid headlight. Hid headlight works intermittently. It comes when lights are turned on then goes out suddenly. Turns lights off and on cause the light to burn again. As time goes by have to do this more frequently. The left light problem was solved by replacing the bulb (expensive). Now the right light is beginning to have the same problem. I looked on the internet and see that many other people experiencing the same problem. One person is experiencing it with their second set of bulbs. I feel Toyota has an issue as the bulbs should last 10 years.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #185

Jan 312009


  • 53,755 miles
I have a 2006 Toyota Prius. The headlight goes off intermittently and I only can tell if I am looking at the reflection in the back of another vehicle. Both the driver and passenger side headlights cut in-and-out. When I turn the lights off and on again, the lights come back on but they don't always stay on. They can go out again during driving at night -- it is very dangerous. The problem has been going on for over a year. Toyota needs to step up and take care of this customer safety issue now.

- Pacifica, CA, USA

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