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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 5 of 40)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #704

Sep 072012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 98,000 miles


The headlights flicker and then go completely out. The beam can usually be restored briefly by turning it on and off again but the lamp will then stay illuminated for an unpredictable length of time (seconds to minutes). This is a recurring problem and both headlights have been "repaired" at the dealership multiple times. Before the repairs, there was an occasion where both headlights went out simultaneously while driving on an interstate tollway. After the repairs, the problem has recurred in only one light (so far). These are Toyota's hid lights.

- Milton, MA, USA

problem #703

Nov 272012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 61,270 miles
The headlights on my Toyota Prius 2006 intermittently go off while driving. It seems to affect only one of the headlights right now. I do not see any issues with the bulbs as such since they do come back on. But this happens very often while driving and while coming to a stop sometimes.

- Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #702

Dec 102012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Driving along a country road at night and the headlights went out. Very scary. Went off the road a bit and the car got scratched. Restarted car and headlights went on for a short time, then dim, then off. This a huge safety problem that NHTSA has failed to do its duty with. Toyota says thought luck, you are past the extended warranty. Light suddenly going out while driving at night is clearly a safety issue. Is NHTSA simply going to wait until there are enough fatalities to take meaningful action. Toyota clearly doesn't want to take any responsibility for their clearly defective and dangerous product.

- Los Altos, CA, USA

problem #701

Aug 252012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles


The right headlight went out and then went on. The problem has recurred. Now the left headlight went out and then went on. We read that this is a common problem with the 2006 Toyota. Will there be a recall?

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #700

Nov 012012


  • 70,000 miles
Hid headlights on this vehicle and taillights go out on there own sometimes just one or sometimes all lights go out. Problem is fixed when you turn the lights all the way off and all the way back on and they stay on for the duration of my drive or go out a few minutes later. Have been pulled over by police multiple times for having lights out. Have seen many Toyota Prius complaints about this same exact problem.

- Lake Stevens, WA, USA

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problem #699

Jun 012012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
Driver headlamp turned off. After realizing something was wrong. I pulled over to the shoulder of the road, and turned the vehicle and headlamps off. I turned the vehicle back on and the headlamps as well. Both headlamps worked again. The driver headlamp continued with this behavior and the passenger headlamp started to exhibit the same behavior about a month later. I found out that this type of behavior is common among my model and the 2006-2009 years with the hid headlamp package. Many others have also experienced this same occurrence with the headlamps ballast. It is not the hid bulbs themselves, but a design flaw in the vehicles electrical system. I have been in some situations where both of the headlamps have turned off by themselves at night and almost was involved in an accident due to the flaw of this known problem. If I can not see when driving at night and other drivers can not see me, the vehicle is not safe.

- Edgewater Park, NJ, USA

problem #698

May 102011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles


Passenger side headlight went out. Later learned that headlamp sometimes dims without going completely out and that turning the headlamps off and on will temporarily turn the lamp back on. Happens nearly every time in about 20 minute drive when dark. Dealer was unable to reproduce problem and recommended no action.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #697

Jan 012009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
I have been having problems with my headlights going out for several years now. This is the same problem described by other drivers when the lights go out and can be reset by turning them off and back on again. For the first few years, the only bulb to go out was the right side. The bulb appears to have no bearing on the problem. I have put in new bulbs and had the same problem. I even tried switching the non-working bulb with the one that was working on the left side. The left side worked fine like this and the right side continued to fail. Now, several years later, the left side appears to be failing also. Even though I have gotten other recall notices, Toyota never notified me of a settlement in this case. And, by the time that I found out about it, the settlement had expired.

- Vienna, VA, USA

problem #696

Nov 072012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
The passenger side headlight would intermittently go off. If I turned the lights off and then on again the lights would both come on but while driving the passenger side headlight would go off again. I drive 20 miles to work. When I would first start the car when leaving work to go home, both headlights would be on but by the time I would get home the passenger side would be out again. I brought the car to the dealer and they said it was the ballast that caused the problem and charged almost $1000 to fix the problem. Fortunately I did not have to pay the full amount due to the fact I had and extended warranty. However, just 2 days after having this fixed the same thing is happening to the driver?S side headlight. I will be bringing the car to the dealer again. I have read online that this is happening to quite a few Prius owners, particularly with the 2006 model. It also seems from my research that it happens to 2005,2007 and 2008 models also. This seems to be a manufacturer defect and I find it a bit ridiculous that replacing headlights should cost so much money. It cost me $227 to fix one headlight and 2 taillights due to ballast issues and it is more than likely going to cost another $200. So all in all to repair headlights will cost me over $425 and without the extended warranty would have cost near $2000. If this is happening to so may cars there is obviously an issue which consumers should not have to pay for. My year Prius has had several recalls and obviously has its fair share of manufacturer problems. The affected parts involved were/are the ballast, headlights and tail lights thank you

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #695

Jul 112012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
2006 Toyota Prius with hid headlights with 55,000 miles is used as a taxi cab. On July 11th, 2012 and progressing, the passenger side hid headlight would flicker and then turn off completely after 5-15 minutes of operation. Headlights must be turned off and then on to resume normal service. Hid bulb replacement did not resolve the issue. Toyota dealership only offered to replace the headlight without any explanation to what might be causing the issue.

- Carmichael, CA, USA

problem #694

Sep 052011


  • 116,000 miles


Hid headlights go out randomly while driving. Each one goes out separately, but sometimes they will both happen to be out at the same time. While driving, this is corrected by turning headlights off and then back on. Same thing happens with the yellow running lights, one may turn off randomly. This began happening in fall of 2011, however new bulbs (hid and running lights) were purchased and the problem stopped temporarily, but within 1 year the same problems are occurring again. Similar problem with the rear license plate lights; one will be off randomly, but shutting the trunk hard seems to appease the problem. This may be a wiring problem, but the front lights should not be turning off randomly.

- East Lansing, MI, USA

problem #693

Apr 062012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
The front and back lights on the right side (passenger) side failure sporadically. At first I thought it was only my rear light. Now I'm starting to notice that it is my right side front headlight too. Tonight I noticed that both the front and rear lights on the right side were out. When my front headlight fails, I can turn the light switch off and back on. When I turn it back on, the light works again, but I'm not sure for how long. This is a safety issue. I've read online forums and this does not look to be an isolated incident.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #692

Aug 182012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 81,000 miles
Both exterior lights and all interior lights went out late at night while driving on an old country road. Very scary and dangerous! by turning the light switch completely off and back on we got our lights back. We had already spent over $250 for headlamps before this so it was not the bulbs. It's continuing to have a problem however we usually get some flickering of the lights just before one or both lights go out so we drive with one hand on the light switch to be ready to turn off and on the lights. We have been told by Toyota that we have to bring it while it is having a problem which is a problem since the shop is not open at night and while happening fairly frequently now is not predictable enough to show the repairman. Please recall this vehicle. We are not alone and still love our Prius.

- Los Osos, CA, USA

problem #691

Sep 022012

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
One of headlights (passenger side) suddenly shuts off. Then I completely turn them all the way off, then it works again for a few minutes. So far we have changed: Headlight assembly, lights computer controller, and numerous lights bulbs. So far this issue has cost us over $3000 but Toyota does not take any responsibility for this issue. This is apparently an issue with everyone that owns a 2006 Prius from what it looks like on line with other users.

- New Market , MD, USA

problem #690

Aug 272012


  • 85,000 miles
The driver side hid headlamp went out while driving. This was out for about a day then turned back on while driving again. I have now noticed this happens every few days and only while in motion.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #689

May 012012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
I own a 2006 Prius 2006. One of the headlights keeps going out and I have now received a fix-it ticket from the local police. The problem is that I already took it to the dealer to get it checked out and they couldn't find any problem. Also, I can't really tell when or how the head light goes out since I can't see it. I can only tell when I see the reflection in the back of another car or when in front of a store/wall etc. If I turn them all the way off and back on couple of times then the light comes back. Sometimes it will stay on the whole time, sometimes it won't. sometimes it will go out, sometimes it won't. it is not an event I can make happen and as I mentioned before I took it to the dealer (Toyota of orange) and they can't make it happen either. I have also come across a blog where many Prius owners are experiencing the exact same issue.

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #688

Apr 302012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
Passanger side headlight dims and then turns off at random times - light will sometimes come back on when you turn the headlights off and then on again. Problem has returned within minutes of turning them off then on again.

- Woodland Hills, CA, USA

problem #687

Apr 022012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
On numerous occasions both headlights have spontaneously gone dark while driving at night, either singly or in tandem. Other times they fail to come on at the start of a trip, but one or both will be on at the destination. It only seems to affect the main headlamps, not the amber lights or the small round lights below them. When it first happened we replaced the bulb in one headlamp, but that had no effect on the problem. It's frightening when driving home from work at midnight.

- Potomac, MD, USA

problem #686

Aug 022010

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
Upon arriving home, I was informed the left hand headlight was not working. By switching the light off and then on, I was able to get the light to work. This has happened intermittently on numerous occasions since that time, although not just the left light. The right hand side will also flicker off and then the headlight stalk has to be turned off and on to get the light to illuminate again. This issue cannot be duplicated by me, as the lights seem to have a life of their own. What frightens me is that the lights will also go through this erratic behavior while I am driving the vehicle at night, not only when the car is stationary. I did receive info on getting Toyota to assist in the cost of bulb replacement, but since I work constantly in real estate sales, I did not have an opportunity to bring the vehicle to my dealer, and had not used an outside mechanic to make repairs. Also I had been able to get the headlights to work with the re-switching process. Because the situation has escalated and I find it occurring more frequently, I visited the dealer this morning only to be told they had no liability after the extended 50000 mile limit, and my car now has 85000 miles! it seems to me Toyota knows they have an issue with the ECU which controls this headlight function, but are not going to rectify the situation until the NHTSA forces them. This is a very dangerous problem and I do not want to end up trying to drive with no lights in the dark!!

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #685

Jun 122012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I was driving home on Suburban surface streets at dusk, following a friend to my home. My cell phone rang, and I answered using the bluetooth feature of the vehicle. It was my friend, calling to let me know that my left headlight was out. It had been flickering and having issues over the past few weeks, and we thought the bulb might be loose. We took the car to our mechanic on June 19th, 2012 to have the serpentine belt replaced and the headlight looked at. He indicated it was the bulb, and that it would cost $350 to replace. Coincidentally, a relative saw a news story the other day about many similar complaints made to your organization and to the Toyota company, so I did some online research. I was very disheartened to read an investigation made by kctv5 out of Kansas City which explained your failure thus far to demand a recall, despite ample evidence that the system flaw has been corrected in the 2010 and newer Prius models. Please demand a recall before someone is injured or killed! as the daughter of a retired highway patrol officer, I understand the need for on-the-road safety. At this point, I am afraid to drive my vehicle at night, and it is my family's only vehicle. Please do something!

- Cottonwood, AZ, USA

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