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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
75,413 miles
Total Complaints:
26 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (23 reports)
  2. replace bulbs and ecu (3 reports)
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2006 Toyota Prius lights problems

lights problem

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2006 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Jan 012013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


I purchased my Certified Used 2006 Prius in Feb 2011 from a Toyota dealership in Lodi CA. I'm not sure when I first noticed that the left headlight was out but it was sometime in 2013. But it wasn't out all the time. It was out sporadically. I was pulled over by CHP in Aug 2013 and warned to get it fixed. But, since it was a sporadic problem, I put it at the bottom of my priority list figuring it was going to cost me more than I wanted to spend. Then in Spring 2014 while driving at night South on the 99 from Yuba City to Sacramento, both headlights suddenly went out! It was pitch black! I couldn't see the road! I slowed to a stop, switched my headlights on and off a couple times and they were back on again. This happened one more time a couple months afterwards. I keep meaning to ask the Toyota service department to check out the problem, but haven't yet. Again, it's a sporadic problem.

I am getting really tired of people I know telling me "your headlight is out". Then I switch them off and on again until it works.

Finally a friend told me to go online and research Toyota Prius electrical/light problems and VOILA!

It's NOT just ME!

According to dozens of other Prius owners, Toyota is uncooperative, mechanics cannot seem to duplicate the problem, replacing bulbs is not a solution, and many people are driving with defective headlamps which can and do go out at random times and can cause accidents and death.

I've responded to many recalls on the 4 Toyotas I've owned since 1998, why is there not one for this seriously dangerous headlamp issue?

- , Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #25

Sep 112013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

I have had several problems with Prius Headlights. The first time, a couple of years ago, both lights went out at the same time. Service told me that both just went out & would costs over $300 to replace each. After much discussion he replaced for costs of labor. Within 2 weeks I received a recall notice and had to submit my invoice for reimbursement.

Now they now have condensation build up and only work sporadically. I have read numerous articles about problems with the Prius headlights and am now being told it will costs approximately $1000 to have them replaced. Why hasn't there been a recall of these obviously defective lights?

- , New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #24

Sep 152014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

Passenger side headlight goes out regularly. Flipping lights off and on temporarily fixes problem. Sometimes both lights appear to dim to day running lights setting, on a couple of occasions both lights go off. Dealer could not replicate problem said to return when problem gets worse or occurs more often. It is happening more often so will check at next oil change but it appears to be a fairly common problem...without an adequate solution.

- , Spring Hill, KS, USA

problem #23

Jul 082014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles


All I can say is this is the most frustrating problem I have ever had with any car in my entire lifetime. Cannot seem to fix left headlight. Removed headlight which is absolutely a ridiculous procedure in itself. Found water inside, and the ballast was all corroded indicating the lamp had been leaking for some time. checked lamp by putting in the right side, and it worked there ( also a pain in the ass). I ordered head lamp assy.on line, and it was wrong type, so had to return with penalties I decided to order the damaged ballast and fix my damaged headlight by siliconeing the leaky lens. The new ballast had too short of a wire lead to the lamp so had to extend it to make it work. It didn't fix the problem however, so I am back to where I started..Yes,I checked fuses. Frustrated and refuse to pay for a new headlight at a price of over $600.00 dollars. I am out of breath!!!---Jim Noel

- , Prairie Du Chien, WI, USA

problem #22

Jun 012014

Prius Hybrid

  • CVT transmission
  • 66,000 miles

As I was driving my 2006 Toyota Prius at night, I noticed the road seemed "dim" on the right side. I turned the lights OFF then back ON and it was brighter. Later I noticed the same thing and pulled off the road to find the right headlight was not on, but it came back on after turning the switch off and on again. This has happened SEVERAL times over the past couple of months, sometimes affecting the left headlight as well. Once, last month, as I was driving down the highway, BOTH headlights turned off! Fortunately I was able to quickly flip the headlight switch off and on to remedy the situation. The headlight bulbs have been checked and do not seem to be the problem. HELP!

- , Charlotte, NC, USA

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problem #21

Nov 012013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

I've mentioned the problem while taking the car in for a check-up, oil change etc. They reported they could not reproduce the problem and did not do anything. It got worse after that but since I don't drive much at night I waited it out.

- , Columbus, Ohio, USA

problem #20

Jul 252013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


We have now lost five headlights on this car. This is a serious and dangerous problem. Does anybody know the solution?

- , Towson, MD, USA

problem #19

Mar 192014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

We just purchased this vehichle and the headlight issue is disconcerting and quite dangerous! Driving down the dark interstate at 75 MPH and having your lights go out with no option but to pull over and stop the car and restart and PRAY the lights restore is not a great solution!

Leads me to wonder ...

Was there a recall for this problem?

- , Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #18

Mar 142011

Prius Hybrid 1.5L 4 cyl Dohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,685 miles


- , Anaheim, CAL, USA

problem #17

Sep 102013

Prius 1.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 143,000 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 $550.00. Wow.

With a lot of research I purchased 2 headlights that were exactly the same on line for $90.00 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. Was at 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.

- , Youngsville, PA, USA

problem #16

Mar 102012

Prius 4 Cyclinder

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles


The price quoted by Koons Toyota of Annapolis for the light is $150.00. Labor will be more. I have four other vehicles. The total price to replace ALL the headlamps in each vehicle is less than the cost of the bulb for the Prius.

With the light going on and off, How will I know if it's fixed? How will I know if the other headlight is working properly? Will I now have to check my headlights EVERY time I get in my Prius, especially at night or when it's raining?

I was EXTREMELY surprised to find out this is an ongoing problem, Toyota and the federal government are both aware and no one thinks that inoperative headlights are not a safety issue? I have not encountered some of the problems others have had, but I am extremely fearful now. If I do start to encounter problems in the future, I will visit Toyota dealerships and talk to every customer I see about the light problem with the Prius and maybe other Toyota vehicles. I wonder how many people will reconsider buying a Toyota if they knew about the headlamp problem?

- , Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

problem #15

Mar 012013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 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 them selves are not bad. I have to turn the lights off then back on to reset them just about 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', we will never own another since Toyota is not standing up to fix this problem.

- , Middleburg, FL, USA

problem #14

Mar 132012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

I have tried to replace the passenger side headlight at a cost of $175. for the bulb, and another $100. for a ticket for the headlight going out again two weeks later. Explaining to the officer that it comes back on when I do this just doesn't work on a police officer, especially when they are the Military Police that pull you over.

- , Killeen, TX, USA

problem #13

Oct 202009

Prius 1.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles

complained to dealer at least 4 times but when at dealer problem did not happen was told too expensive to fix. Check on website last night and 220,000 cars may be affected, but now car way out of warrantee. Not sure if problem is bulbs or something else. Dealers seem to not know of the problem as toyota told them to say this and want 367 dollars a side. to replace HID bulb at 170 a piece on amazon for 44. dollars

- , Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #12

Dec 152012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Left headlamp sporadically went off. Our mechanic changed both bulbs on 12/13/12 then on 12/15/12 driving to work first one then both headlamps went out twice in 15 miles. Also sometimes when headlamp goes out, off/on resets, but have had one taillight or another go out too! Toyota dealer states problem is the HID bulb wanted to change for 400 bucks and says they only last a year. This is complete BS, had changed and only lasted a couple days!!!! My gut feeling is an electronics problem, but then what do I know.

- , Sebastopol, CA, USA

problem #11

Dec 282012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,650 miles

Recently purchased this used car. At first the left headlight would go off for no apparent reason. When I switch the lights off and back on it works again. Recently it seems to happen more frequently and twice (in the last three days both headlights have turned off while driving (pretty scary on a dark road). When I turn the lights off and back on they work again.

- , Capitola, CA, USA

problem #10

Dec 182012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

This is the 2nd. time this has happened with the same car - how can this keep happening without a recall?

- , Peabody, MA, USA

problem #9

Nov 012006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,500 miles

People ask me if we like our 2006 Prius. I say we love it. They ask if we have had any problems with the battery. I say no. They ask if we have had any problems with it. I say none EXCEPT:

1. It is not raccoon proof. It is so low to the ground, when I hit a raccoon on the highway it caused over $2000 + in damage. Even knocked the a/c unit off its mount on the frame under the hood.

2. MORE RELEVANT We have had a CONSTANT PROBLEM WITH HEADLIGHTS going out from the beginning, one light after another left and right has gone out (usually off and on) from the first year we bought it. The right light has been going off again the last 8 months. We have not taken it in to get fixed again because it never gets fixed. Sometimes the light stays on while at the shop, giving them nothing to fix. Then when we take it home, it goes out again. But, we actually like our Dealers repair dept very much! They just don't get help from Toyota. They have tried everything from new sockets to many new bulbs. We have spent a lot with them on this issue, but I know they have also donated a lot of time and money too. They are ashamed to charge because they know it is a recurring problem. They just can't fix it.

- , Lancaster, MO, USA

problem #8

Dec 062011

Prius 1.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 60,000 miles

replaced bulbs; lights out of focus , taken in for focus and intermittent working, adjusted lights , cant see at all now, One is in tree tops, other on ground. spent about $700 and still cant see. afraid to let them work on the lights any more.

- , Titusvillwe, FL, USA

problem #7

Mar 022012

Prius 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

Problem initially happened under warranty Sept 2008 (bulbs and ecus replaced at 49,559 miles) Thought it was ridiculous what it takes to install a bulb.

Happened again in 2010, but decided to buy bulbs online (plasmagarage.com) and pay Maaco to install them.

Just happened again last week at 118,000 miles; luckily sun was just coming up.... Had to be late to work until i could get it in to dealer. Had to pay dealer $890 to replace both bulbs and one ecu...

Toyota needs to make this an official recall, or provide conversion kits to go to halogen bulbs that can be installed without taking body panels off.

I will look at Hyundai or Ford for my next car. The Koreans seem to take pride in their quality, and I am impressed with what Mullaly has done with Ford...

- , Fenton, MO, USA

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