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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 4 of 40)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #724

Sep 012011

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles


Headlight goes off spontaneously while driving. I turn off lights and turn them back on again and headlight goes back on. I have been researching this and cannot believe this is not considered a defect. There should be a class action against the us government for not doing its job.

- Excelsior, MN, USA

problem #723

Mar 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
I can no longer drive my Prius at night. Sometimes one headlight will go out, sometimes the other, sometimes both. The bulbs themselves are not bad. I have to turn the lights off then back on to reset them approximately every 25 seconds. When I took it to the dealer they said "we can not re-create the problem". I left, in the rain and had to reset them 6 times before I was a mile down the road. Toyota knows about this problem, they need to fix this problem. Our extended family owns 4 Prius vehicles, we will never own another since Toyota is not standing up to fix this problem.

- Middleburg, FL, USA

problem #722

Aug 012008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
There is an intermittent power loss to the headlights. This is a safety issue. The problem is random and the dealer has not been able to see the issue. While the car is running, the headlights turn off. If I turn the headlights off and then back on, they come on for a period of time. This happens with both headlights. Sometimes at the same time and sometimes only one will turn off. I have researched several websites for Prius owners and this problem seems to be fairly common. As you cannot pass vehicle inspection with defective headlights and you can be pulled over by the police for having lights out, this is a serious safety issue and Toyota should be forced to recall this issue. I am the second owner of this vehicle and the previous owner reported to the dealer the same issues.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #721

Jul 262013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles


I was driving down a dark unlit road when both headlights went out without warning. Luckily there were no cars behind me as I braked as fast as I could without being able to see anything. It was the same as if I had all of a sudden just closed my eyes and tried to navigate to a safe stop somewhere on the side of the road without hitting something. I would say that this was the scariest moment I have had driving in 30 years of driving. The lights came back on after turning the light switch off and back on again, so this is definitely a control problem of some sort. I love my Prius, but this is just an unacceptable design problem. Of course I would much rather just have standard light bulbs that were not at risk of failing rather than this supposed upgrade.

- East Hampton, NY, USA

problem #720

May 152013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 155,431 miles
Our 2006 Toyota Prius has a head light that goes off and on at random intervals which we consider to be a safety hazard.

- Stanley, NC, USA

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problem #719

Jan 012011


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the driver's side headlight failed and the illumination became dim. When the headlight switch was turned on and off several times, the headlights would regain illumination power. The failure was experienced numerous times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who advised that the light bulbs needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made ware of the failure. The failure mileage was 50,000 and the current mileage was 68,000.

- Stockton , CA, USA

problem #718

Mar 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 106,000 miles


Both the right and the left headlights keep turning off during driving. The right one is more common than the left. I noticed this problem almost 1 year ago and thought that this is a temporary glitch, but the frequency of this increased over time. I constantly need to turn off the light and turn them on, but again in few more minutes one or both of them gets out. This is a serious problem. Especially in the city, when there are street lights on or during dawn or dusk, you are never sure if the lights are working or not. On top of risking an accident, there is always a worry that a cop might pull you over for non working head light, while in fact your lights appear to have been working when you started, but turns off some time later and it is difficult to notice in low light situations. Toyota charges huge amount of money to fix this problem. I hope that Toyota will take care of the problem sooner than later. I know that my car is more than 5 years old but that shouldn't be a matter for them to fix it. Because this light situation is a problem because of defective parts to begin with.

- Beth Page, NY, USA

problem #717

Jan 072012


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. The contact stated while driving various speeds at night the headlights were activated and unexpectedly failed to illuminate. The headlight on/off switch was engaged intermittently in order for the headlights to function. The vehicle failure was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #716

May 302013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Ever since I bought this car the headlights have been problematic. I have had either light go out intermittently and flicking them off/on fixes them until the next day. I have even had both lights go out at the same time. Replacing the bulbs fixes the problem for about a year but the problem returns. I am now preparing to replace my 5th bulb for what is sure to be a temporary fix. Toyota's offer to replace the bulbs several years ago was not an actual fix for the problem.

- Graham, WA, USA

problem #715

May 202013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 226,000 miles
My 16 year old daughter was driving at approximately 10:00 on a steep, curvy country road when both headlights went out! it is a miracle she's alive. Took the car to the local dealership today and was told it would cost nearly $500 to replace the bulbs. After doing research, it has come to my attention that this is a common problem with this vehicle yet there has been no recall. This is a serious safety issue and should be investigated (again) immediately!

- Prattville, AL, USA

problem #714

Jan 152013


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving approximately 1 mph, the headlights stopped illuminating. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated the headlight would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Sullivan, IL, USA

problem #713

Dec 062012


  • 98,757 miles
I pulled into my garage after picking up the car from the dealer after purchase to find that the left front headlight was out. I turned the lights off and on again and both lights lit. The left front headlight continued intermittently to be non-operative over the next four weeks. I took it back to the dealer on 1/23/13 and they found that the left front headlamp ECU needed to be replaced. I later found out that a class action lawsuit had been brought against Toyota for this same issue, however due to the age and mileage on my vehicle, I was not entitled to compensation under the settlement. This is a serious safety problem and a known common problem on hid equipped Prius models, yet I was forced to pay $288.81 to have the problem repaired. I have filed a case with Toyota customer experience center, #1301220397. Headlights that shut off while driving is clearly a safety issue. It appears that hid headlight equipped Prius models contain a design defect. It is for this reason I am reporting to the NHTSA in order to force Toyota to conduct a recall on all such equipped models.

- Webster, NY, USA

problem #712

Mar 182013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 87,906 miles
Customer states while driving at night, with low-beams, left light went out. Customer switched to hi-beams and all the headlights went out. Customer reports this is the second time the car has done this. On first inspection unable to verify complaint, all lights functioning as they should. Inspected fuses and wiring and all good. While inspecting lights, lights failed after being on only 10 minutes, and turned off. This was a double light failure with both hi & low beam failure, on both left & right lights! located a technical service bulletin related to this condition. Performed all tests outlined in technical service bulletin and located both front headlamps defective with swollen center fogged over causing lights to overheat and ECM for headlights going into fail safe mode and shutting headlights off. Replaced both front headlight bulbs and verified repairs. After repairs, ran headlights for 30 minutes with no furhter failure. Returned vehicle to customer.

- Rough And Ready, CA, USA

problem #711

Oct 012007

Prius 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
We have had several head lights on our pruis stop working. Usually you have to turn the lights on and off to get them to go back on when they turn off on their own. We have replaced the headlights approx. 4 times over the years and again we are having the same problem. They are extremely expensive headlights. The consumer stated she experienced sudden acceleration on three separate occasions.

- Central Point, OR, USA

problem #710

Mar 012007

Prius 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
We have experienced intermitment headlight issues on the driver side going off and having to pull over and turnoff headlights and turn back on to get light back on. We have complain many times to the Toyota dealer. Finally driver side headlight was replaced, then weeks later on the passenger headlight started doing the same I.e., headlight going off and having to turn off and turn back on light control. To this day this not resolved please advise.

- Walnut Creek, CA, USA

problem #709

Jan 152013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
This is 2nd time for the hid head lamps intermittently flickering/failing on my 2006 Toyota Prius. The 1st was in Aug 2009 at about 86K miles. Thankfully the local koons Toyota dealership in westminster md replaced both bulbs at no expense thanks to the koons Toyota dealership in annapolis md where I had originally purchased the car arranging approval through the regional office. Now about another 3 years and 145K miles, the same problem. Toyota U.S.a. acknowledged the problem and that in some cases the hid headlight control ECU may have been replaced but was unnecessary, needing only bulb replacement and reducing the pricing to $150/bulb. While most vehicles today operate with headlights on automatically, I've only used my daytime running lights to preserve headlight life but these bulbs are still a problem. Headlights are absolutely critical vehicle equipment and must be reliable. Headlamps that fail every 3 years do not meet the reliability test in my view. Please look into this ongoing issue. I'm asking Toyota to work with me on replacement cost and the type of hid bulb they're using. I'm told by maintenance technicians that visual inspection will show a small bubble somewhere in the base that indicates it's going bad. That tells me that something about the bulb is not right and therefore not reliable/safe. Thank you.

- Westminster, MD, USA

problem #708

Jan 032011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Headlights spontaneously turn off. Must turn off and back on then the lights turn back on. Could be either light that turns off and sometimes both lights. This is very dangerous.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #707

Jan 032012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
I was driving at night when oncoming traffic started honking me. I was curious why, until I realized that my front lamps were turned off even though the dashboard indicator showed them on. As it was a serious safety issue, I took them to nearest autozone and they told me that the lights are absolutely fine. I was baffled by it, so I called the dealership and they said it is a known issue just turn them off and back on when you notice them go out and have it checked during your next service. During the service, they told me that they are going to charge me for diagnostics (even though it is a known issue) and asked me that it is going to cost me over $500 to fix it. When I did some more research I found out that there was an extended warranty (5 years or 50, 000 miles) but no one at the dealership mentioned that to me back in January when I called them and now I was over 50,000 approx at 53, 000 miles and ineligible for free replacement. My whole point is that this is a serious enough issue to qualify for a recall and not just extended warranty as someone could get killed because of Toyota's negligence. Before registering this complaint I called the Toyota customer service explaining them everything but got no help from them.

- Breinigsville, PA, USA

problem #706

Dec 272012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 42,550 miles
Just purchased this vehicle. When driving, for no apparent reason the left headlight has intermittently turned off about 8 times. When I turn the headlight switch off and on, the left headlight works again. It has been occurring more frequently over the last two weeks. More recently (twice this week), both headlights suddenly went off for no reason while driving at night. When I turn the headlight switch off and on, the headlights work again.

- Capitola, CA, USA

problem #705

Sep 012010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
Have had consistent issues with a headlight going off while I'm driving. I have to turn the lights off and back on again to regain both headlights. Eventually the bulb burns out. I replaced the left headlight for $300 in September 2010. I replaced the right headlight for $175 in October 2012. Then, January 2013, the right headlight only came on when I hit the light with my fist. Now, still January 2013, the right headlight will not come on at all. Headlights that go on and off is a serious safety concern.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

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