hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
105,639 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.

2004 Toyota Prius lights problems

lights problem

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2004 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 2 of 8)

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problem #134

May 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


Starting last year my passenger side headlight intermittently turns off and will turn back on once I turn lights off and on. Passenger side light continues to periodically shut off for no specific reason throughout the duration of the trip. This issue has caused numerous lighting safety issues as well as instances of being pulled over for headlight being out. After extensive research on internet I have discovered that this is a very common issue that Toyota has failed to address. I petition for the NHTSA to please look into the issue described above. I seek a favorable and just decision in regards to urging Toyota to do the right thing and address the popular defect in not only.2004 models but several other Prius model years. Toyota has previously issued a recall for 2006-2009 Toyota Prius'. this precedence indicates that Toyota is well aware of this problem and has neglected to take accountability and action in establishing a recall.

- Edgewater Park, NJ, USA

problem #133

Dec 142012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 121,000 miles
I purchased this vehicle in December 2012. Ever since I have had this Prius, I have had issues with the front drivers side headlight turning off randomly. Whenever I turn the car on, both headlights are always on, but while driving, the drivers side headlight turns off. I took it to carfix in garner, nc and they thought that it could be the headlight, so they recommended changing it. I ended up having it changed by a family friend because it was cheaper to do it that way. The headlight was still giving me problems after being changed, so I took it to the leith Toyota dealership in raleigh, nc and they said that the headlight that I purchased from autozone was not the correct type of headlight, so they changed it again. Even after they changed it, the headlight was still going on and off randomly. I took it back to the Toyota dealership today and they said that it sounds like some kind of wiring issue. I have done some research on the issue and have seen recalls for 2005-2009 Prius' for the same issues, but since mine is a 2004 it does not fall into the recall category. I believe that it should based on my issue compared to that as well as the number of other complaints on the internet and blogs that I have found.

- Garner, NC, USA

problem #132

Apr 052014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 240,000 miles
While driving on the interstate at night, both headlights suddenly went out. Neither the high beams nor the low beams worked. I had to pull over, and turn the car off. When I turned the car back on, both headlights worked fine. This incident occurred about 4 weeks ago, and I took it to the dealership. The dealership could not find a cause, and I don't think that they believed me. I had no problems with the headlights for almost 4 weeks. Then 3 days ago, the exact same thing happened again. I was driving on the interstate at night and both headlights suddenly went out. Again, I pulled over. When I turned the car off and back on, they worked fine. This is extremely dangerous and frightening. I have called two dealerships and neither of them have heard of such a thing. However, in researching the internet, I easily find that this has been the subject of a class action lawsuit involving Prius model years 2006-2009. So there should be information out there that Toyota should be telling their dealers. I don't know if it's an electrical or computer problem.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #131

Mar 202014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 292,000 miles


Hid headlights intermittently failing.

- Wilton, CT, USA

problem #130

Aug 132013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
Problem started with the right headlight turning off intermittently. I reported the problem to the local dealership on 8/27/2013 when the vehicle was serviced. The dealership indicated that they could not find a problem because the problem could not be duplicated. Then the same thing started happening with the left headlight. I can correct the problem by turning off & then back on the light switch but this correction does not last long and the problem recurs. I have resorted to driving with my fog lights also turned on in order to provide some semblance of light. It is difficult and dangerous to drive like this in the long alaskan winters with so much ice and snow on the roadways. I can also make this problem occur when warming up my car in the driveway.

- Anchorage, AK, USA

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problem #129

Nov 252013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 150,900 miles
Passenger headlamp goes out while car is being driven. Driver side headlamp remains on (illuminated). Turning headlamp switch off and on causes passenger and driver side headlamp to illuminate. On re-illumination, passenger side headlamp sometimes appears normal and at other times appears to be dimmer, more yellowish. Dealer quoted replacement hid bulb and labor to replace will cost $225 total.

- Wilkesboro, NC, USA

problem #128

Oct 162013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 118,000 miles


Same intermittent headlight problem posted here hundreds of times. Why is Toyota only fixing 2006+ model years? the same problem plagues all model years.

- Tacoma , WA, USA

problem #127

Aug 262013

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
My 2004 Toyota Prius's hid lights are going off intermittently and coming back on when I turned them off and back on again. The driver's side is going off again and will come back on again when I turn it off and then back on. Also, my headlight leveling system warning light is coming on. When I drive on the highway light goes off, I feel very unsafe. I have to turn them off and back on in seconds to avoid a possible accident. Dealer can't find the issue. They recommend to change the bulbs but it doesn't solve problem.

- North Arlington, NJ, USA

problem #126

Aug 122013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
Headlights (hid) intermittently go out regardless of speed or road conditions. Turning the light switch they come on again and it randomly occurs making driving dangerous. I have replaced the headlights yet the incident recurs randomly making it necessary to turn the lights completely out then on again.

- Largo, FL, USA

problem #125

Dec 202012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 235,000 miles
Both headlamps go off and on sporadically, as follows: Approximately thirty (30) days after buying this used car, the left hid headlamp appeared burnt out. Both left and right headlamps were replaced on or about January 8, 2013, as recommended for this type of light. On installation, either light would flash on but then go out again, but turning the headlamp switch off then on agan seemed to rectify the problem. Both headlamps then remained on for approximately two weeks, at which point the left headlamp was sporadically out for approximately two weeks, when it would go on only if the headlamp switch were turned off them back on again. Both headlamps then worked for approximately six weeks, at which point the left headlamp went out for approximately four weeks, but then came on after approximately one month when the police found the right light to be out. They said it needed to be fixed; that it is a safety hazard, at which I explained the history of Toyota Prius headlamp issues and that I would pursue an appropriate remedy for this manufacturing defect. The right headlamp remains out to this date, but did come on for approximately one week in the interim. Turning the headlamp switch off then on again has not helped since the day of installation.

- Marion, IL, USA

problem #124

Jun 112013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 120,855 miles


Recently, vehicle has started intermittent outages of hid headlamps. Usually on the driver side, but sometimes on the passenger side. Apparently this is the result of a computer called the hid ballast or something. Toyota is quoting outrageous sums to fix the problem. This vehicle should be recalled and the problem fixed for free.

- Desert Hot Springs , CA, USA

problem #123

Apr 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 185,000 miles
A couple of month ago, I thought I noticed that the front drivers side hid headlight was off when the passenger side was on. I was driving in my other car while a family member was driving the Prius. When I looked at the Prius a short time later, both light where on. Over the past couple of months I have noticed that the driver side headlight has been intermittently off when it should be one. Cycling the lights off then on appears to turn both headlamps on for some period of time. There is no indication in the car when the failure occurs, and I am concerned that this creates an unsafe situation while driving at night. While trying to determine if this is a known problem, I came across owner chat groups where others where complaining about the same problem. I also read that there might be an NHTSA investigation into similar complaints. I would like to know if an investigation has happened and if so, what was the outcome?

- Paradise Valley, AZ, USA

problem #122

Mar 152013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
The passenger side headlight goes off every 10 to 15 minutes of driving. Toyota settled a lawsuit on this issue for 2006+, but not my car.

- Signal Mountain, TN, USA

problem #121

Mar 232013


  • 200,155 miles
Both headlights would cycle on and off. Turning the headlights off and on with the switch would make them both come on. Unpredictable how long before each headlight would turn off, but they are not in sync turning off and on.

- Clarksville, MD, USA

problem #120

Nov 162012


  • 165,000 miles
Both headlights turn off and on intermittently without warning while driving. It is very dangerous driving in the dark.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #119

Dec 252012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 144,000 miles
Both headlights suddenly went dark. My wife and I are about 95% sure the entire dash went dark as well. We stopped and toggled the headlight switch, and everything came back on. The dealership recommended replacing the "high intensity discharge" headlights, but they do not know why the dash would have gone dark.

- Corte Madera, CA, USA

problem #118

Oct 192012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 180,000 miles
Consistently a single headlight on my 2004 Toyota Prius would flicker and go out. "it may go off again, in another five or 10 minutes, but I could get them to work again by turning them off and turning on again.

- Laguna Niguel, CA, USA

problem #117

Dec 012012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 103,800 miles
My passenger side hid headlight goes out a few minutes after turning on. When turned off and on again comes back on only to go out a few minutes later.

- Fillmore, CA, USA

problem #116

Mar 012011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
One of the headlights operates intermittently. Turning the headlights off and back on causes it to light again.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #115

Aug 012012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Hid headlights turning off repeatedly, will go out randomly having nothing to do with movement, on time, the light will come back on if switch is turned off then on again but lights are unreliable. Condition is obviously dangerous during night, fog or poor road conditions. Random turning off has kept re-occurring until present time, where light will persist on for only a few minutes at a time. Toyota dealer wants 1,000 or more to repair, while light bulb only costs less than 50 dollars on amazon, stating the defect may have to do with a fuse and or ballast.

- Woodland Park, NJ, USA

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