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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 6 of 40)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #684

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

problem #683

Mar 142012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
My headlights keep going out with no warning. I am driving and lights will go out -- dashboard signal indicates lights are on. I have been stopped twice by police for driving without lights (sometimes hard to detect when driving in well lit area). If I turn lights on and off they come back on. I first started seeing this problem over a year ago but it has been more pronounced in past few months. I have brought the car to dealer and they have not seen a problem although now I am reading that there is an issue with the nih lights. No lights, no warning that there are no lights... this is a safety issue.

- Attleboro, MA, USA

problem #682

Mar 142012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
My headlights keep going out with no warning. I am driving and lights will go out -- dashboard signal indicates lights are on. I have been stopped twice by police for driving without lights (sometimes hard to detect when driving in well lit area). If I turn lights on and off they come back on. I first started seeing this problem over a year ago but it has been more pronounced in past few months. I have brought the car to dealer and they have not seen a problem although now I am reading that there is an issue with the nih lights. No lights, no warning that there are no lights... this is a safety issue.

- Attleboro, MA, USA

problem #681

Mar 072012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 54,400 miles


Upon purchase of vehicle from a used car lot, I immediately noticed the headlights would be work at times but at other times they would be very dim to non-existent. Turning the light on and off would seem to temporarily fix this problem. Upon researching this issue through the internet, it was reviled this was a common issue among Prius owners in model years 2006-2009 where Toyota choose to use hid light bulbs. Not only was this common, but for some owners, the issue appear to re-occur and the life expectancy of hid bulbs appears to be very low and inferior to virtually any other type of bulb. Fortunately, the dealer extended a helping hand and provided the labor to install these hard to get to bulbs. Due to poor design, the lights are very hard to get to without taking the bumper off. I am very disappointed in the life expectancy and design that Toyota chose in this model of Prius.

- S. Berwick, ME, USA

problem #680

Dec 012011


  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the headlights would intermittently fail. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to duplicate the failure but replaced the headlights. The remedy failed to repair the problem. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was not further repaired. The failure mileage was 52,000 and the current mileage was 57,000.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

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problem #679

Nov 012011


  • 110,000 miles
Multiple hid headlight failures started appearing after 5.5 years and 110000 miles. Dealer wanted $500 per bulb (frontier Toyota) to replace the bulbs with no guarantee that would fix the problem. After researching bulb changing procedures I found the front end does not require removal if you have small enough hands and some patience. I purchased 2 new aftermarket hid bulbs for $55 and replaced the "old" bulbs. The new bulbs lasted about 3 commutes before one, then the other started turning off on me. Now the headlights act the same as before, headlights randomly turning off after 2-5 minutes on the dark road. Re-cycling the headlight switch brings them back to life for another 3-5 minutes. Now I am faced with replacing one or both ballast units that drive the bulbs. This will required removing both headlight assemblies to access the ballast boxes which are mounted to the sides of the assemblies facing outward towards the fenders ! this will require bumper facia removal to remove the light assys. Lovely & expensive. If after replacing both ballast assemblies doesn't work, I will be forced to replace the vehicle's ECU, or brain ! another expensive checklist item. Good thing I am capable of doing this myself as I can save the greedy labor charges, but its not right that Toyota gets off scott free. They should recall all Prius' no matter the mileage or age. This is a highway safety matter and the latest olive branch from the judge was nothing more than a wrist slap.

- Santa Clarita, CA, USA

problem #678

Jun 292011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 63,400 miles


The headlights are defective. This seems to be an issue with second generation Prius and there is a lot of internet chatter from affected individuals. The headlights are showing intermittent on/off. The headlights go off automatically. They start working again after switching them off and then back on. However, this needs to be done every few minutes.

- Richmond, CA, USA

problem #677

Feb 132008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
At approximately 40,000 miles the passenger side hid headlight goes out intermittently & comes back on after turning headlights off and back on. I have been pulled over three times & received a warning ticket. Dealer service convinced us that it was the bulb & that the cost of bulb replacement was entirely ours even though headlights were covered to 100,000 miles. This of course, did not fix the problem and it continues. This creates a safety hazard on poorly lit roads & during reduced visibility conditions. Dealer offers no assistance or guidance.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #676

Jan 222012


  • 77,000 miles
One headlight goes off after 1-2 min of staying on. Switching it off and then on brings it on. The cycle repeats.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #675

Jan 272011

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
The headlights will turn off automatically without any operation. When headlights turned off and on, it will go back working for a while before it turns off again.

- Troy, AL, USA

problem #674

Oct 252010

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles


Both headlights intermittently go off, usually one at a time, but once, both went off at the same time at night. If I turn them off and back on, they work for a few minutes, and then same thing happens. The dealer says nothing is wrong.

- Check, VA, USA

problem #673

Apr 012011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
Headlight bulbs intermittently on and off starting around 48,000 miles and then 52,000 miles for other bulb. I can usually get the light to turn back on by turning the headlights fully off and then on. Driver side bulb died first, passenger bulb shortly thereafter. Toyota replaced the 1st bulb under our 5 year warranty but refused to replace the other bulb at 5 yrs 3 months & 52K miles.

- Mountain View, CA, USA

problem #672

Jul 012009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 42,500 miles
Driving at night and headlight completely failed. Took it in to dealer but was working then and dealer refused to document. This same thing occurred several times since then, both headlights failing at one time or another resulting in dangerously poor visibility. Problem is intermittent and continuing with a failure just days ago. Toyota acknowledges the problem but refuses to take responsibility saying the current mileage is too high. Problem first occurred when mileage was considerably under 45000. Feel it is unsafe to drive the car at night.

- Los Altos, CA, USA

problem #671

Nov 182011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 101,975 miles
I was driving home last night when all of the sudden my headlight went out! at first I thought I just blew a lamp. But much to my surprise when I went out the next morning both headlights were working. I checked the connection behind the headlamp to make sure everything was tight and there was no loose or damaged wires- everything was in perfect condition. Upon further research to see if anyone else has had this problem, I find numerous complaints all over the country stating that people are having the same problem- headlights randomly go out without any kind of rhyme or reason. This is a serious safety hazard! what if I was driving in the rain at night- I need all the light I can get! what if I was pulled over and given a citation because my headlight was out, and it's not even my fault! I see that Toyota recalled Prius models from 06-09 for this exact issue, but why not the 05's!? we're having this problem too! whether this is a balast issue or a hid controller issue headlamps should not randomly shut off and then back on for no reason. Safety!

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #670

Nov 162011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 55,980 miles
Hid headlights fail intermittently. Lights will work again if turned off and back on. Lights will go out again with no apparent cause.

- Burnt Hills, NY, USA

problem #669

Jul 072008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
We have had intermittent problems with the hid headlights on our 2006 Toyota Prius for years. One light will just go out intermittently. Usually, just turning the lights off and then back on will cause the headlight that is out to come back on. This is a well known problem with this model and has been well documented all over the internet. In July of 2008, we finally decided to fix the driver's side headlight after being stopped by police multiple times because it was out intermittently. The dealer charged us $427.99 to change one hid bulb!!! I wrote to Toyota motor sales, usa to complain. A few weeks later, I received a "goodwill reimbursement" from them for the full amount of $427.99! now we have been stopped by police several times because our passenger side headlight has been going off intermittently for a while now. After being stopped by police while out of state last week, we decided to call to see if Toyota was fixing this problem since there was a class action lawsuit about this very issue that Toyota settled. We were told that the price to change the light bulb would now be $254.85! since this is definitely a defect that Toyota knows about, why haven't they been made to recall the car and fix the problem?

- Prairieville, LA, USA

problem #668

Jul 012009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
I have drive a 2006 Toyota Prius, package 7 with hid headlamps. I have noticed over the last few years that my headlamps inconsistently fail. Sometimes when I turn my car on and switch on my headlamps, only one or the other side will illuminate. Other times, both headlamp sides will turn on, but after some time, one or both will turn off. All of this with the dash indicator showing that the headlights are on. While driving, I have remedied this problem by flipping the on-off switch to re-illuminate the lights. However, in the course of a drive they will fail again and I periodically have to flip the on-off headlight switch to have my lights work. I do feel this is unsafe and am uncomfortable driving at night or in dark places.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #667

Oct 062011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
While driving to work at 4 a.M. on a back road, both hid headlamps failed. Trying to use high beams didn't work. Only turning lights off and back on would get them to work again. This happened several times. There needs to be a safety recall on these headlamps, no exceptions or limits on time/mileage. This is dangerous and if you check the web, Toyota knows all about it. Talking to Toyota they told me it was my problem. Really? basic safety on a vehicle should be the responsibility of the manufacturer. This wasn't a one light failed and then months later another failed. They both quit at the exact same time. I guess someone needs to be killed before Toyota takes responsibility. Their website spews how committed they are to safety. Sure, as long as the consumer has to pay thousands for it (the cost of this repair can be over a thousand dollars), they are committed. If they have to pay for their design flaw...well...then they aren't so helpful. Apparently this is a recurring theme with Toyota and they need to be fined heavily and forced to fix this. Take action now before someone dies, please!

- Mableton, GA, USA

problem #666

Sep 182008


  • 40,000 miles
Bought the the 2006 Toyota Prius new. The hid headlight bulbs have already been replaced twice and they need replaced again. Toyota helped with the first replacement. Each bulb started out at $300 a piece, Toyota has since lowered the cost to $150 each plus labor. The design requires the front bumper to be removed to install the lamps. To do this is at least another $100 labor. Looking at the internet, I am one of the thousands who have had this problem. A recall on this problem needs to happen.

- Batavia, OH, USA

problem #665

Nov 222009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
This is a follow up to NHTSA case # PE09019. The NHTSA closed this case as a non-safety, non-recall case, because only one headlight was failing, giving the driver time to get to a service center. However, the problem is degenerative...though no cases of dual-headlight failure had been seen by the NHTSA at the time, in the past few months there have been several cases reported on Prius owner websites. All are cases that began with one intermittent light and progressed to both. I would like my case recorded by the NHTSA and included in any future class-action suit that I may be eligible for. I have a 2006 Toyota Prius with hid headlights. They began to fail intermittently in 2009, when my car had app. 35,000 miles logged. I never received notice of the open NHTSA case, or of the class action suit that Toyota settled by extending warranties and/or reimbursing repairs. I got 1 warning ticket for which I attempted to get them fixed, but this time and other times I went for service the problem was not evident (no loose wires, bulbs worked fine, etc.) and I was told that there was nothing to fix. Last week both of my headlights failed simultaneously, as did the parking lights and high beams while driving on the freeway at night. Fortunately I didn't have an accident, and I quickly toggled the control stick to reset the lights, and thought I'd recovered dim headlights and drove home, where I discovered that I had driven over 200 miles with only my parking lights on. The next day, the left headlight bulb worked again, the parking lights work, but the high beams still will not turn on. I have an appointment to have the bulbs changed (the only recommended procedure quoted to me by Toyota service). However, I've read reports online of others who did this fix and even more, yet had the headlights fail again sometime later.

- Ticonderoga, NY, USA

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