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 6 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #54

Aug 012009


  • 90,000 miles


Headlights on my 2004 Toyota Prius go off while driving. They come back on when I notice and turn them off and on again. This is a safety hazard.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #53

Jan 032010


  • 105,000 miles
2004 Toyota Prius headlight problem - this is clearly a huge safety issue. When driving, my headlight (both) shut off intermittently. Sometimes, one. Sometimes the other. Sometimes both. No incident yet but surely this is a major safety issue. I came very close to an auto accident on 1/3/2010 due to this issue! I called the dealer to have the headlights replaced and they are wanting $870 dollars to replace the bulbs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $375 per bulb and $60 per headlight for service!!!!!!!!

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #52

Dec 292009


  • 75,000 miles
Both 2004 Toyota Prius hid headlights go out, it began with the drivers then passengers going out individually, and by turning them off then on again would bring the lights back on for several minutes, now both go out and do not come back on even after cycling them. Toyota says its a replacement issue not a defect. Seems to me that all the chatter online and Toyota indifference is coming to a head. I shouldn't have to pay to replace these defective lights.

- Walterboro, SC, USA

problem #51

Oct 102009


  • 82,000 miles


The passenger side headlight on my 2004 Toyota Prius went out at about 83K miles. It was an intermittent outage, and could be reset by turning headlights on and off. This is dangerous at night! Toyota wanted to change both headlights and ballasts for a total cost of $1086. Headlights are safety-related and I see that this problem is commonly complained about online. Toyota national ofc. Offered to reimburse me 1/2 after I fronted the total money to the local dealer repair shop.

- Poolesville, MD, USA

problem #50

Dec 242009


  • 81,450 miles
Hid headlight on 2004 Toyota Prius is intermittent. Goes off at random times when selected on. Comes back on by switching headlights off and back on. Headlight went off 7 times in a 30 mile trip.

- Gahanna, OH, USA

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problem #49

Dec 102009


  • 189,500 miles
Both hid headlights failed repeatedly on my vehicle. It took several attempts to restart the lights by turning them off and on.

- Wilton, CT, USA

problem #48

Jul 162007


  • 18,500 miles


Intermittent failures of right side high intensity discharge (hid) headlight after 15 to 20 minutes of use. Headlight simply shuts off without warning, and without any indication on the instrument panel. Replacement/repair costs at Toyota dealer were $998. After many months of complaint, to include pointing out the usa today article on this subject, Toyota usa authorized repair at half price. Toyota usa then reimbursed us via check for our total cost citing a "supplier problem."

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #47

Nov 122009


  • 113,200 miles
I wrote this Agency a few months ago regarding my 2004 Toyota Prius and the problems I was having with headlights alternating on/off. Turning the light switch on/off would turn it back on. Three or four months ago both lights started going out at the same time. Turning the light switch on/off intermittently 5-9 times makes them turn back on. So far I have had this happen to me 3 times within the last week traveling 40-55 miles an hour. I have just read that you guys stopped your investigation. How many accidents or deaths do you need before anything is done about this. When headlights burn out they don't come back on. This is obviously an electrical or computer glitch that Toyota has to be aware of. In all my years of driving, I have never had an experience as that of everything going dark and just having to hit the brakes. Luckily when it happened last night the car behind us saw our brake lights and came to a safe stop. They flashed their headlights not knowing why our car was stopped in the middle of the road. I request a reply to this complaint since no one contacted me on my prior complaint. Thank you.

- Merced, CA, USA

problem #46

Nov 102009


  • 95,000 miles
2004 Toyota Prius - headlights go out intermittently for no apparent reason - need to turn headlights off and back on in order to have the headlight come back on. At first, this only happened in the left headlight, lately the right headlight has been having the problem, luckily it has never happened to both headlights at the same time. Would be particularly dangerous if this happened on a dark country road!

- Riva, MD, USA

problem #45

Oct 232009


  • 120,000 miles
Headlamps turn off intermittently.

- Yorba Linda, CA, USA

problem #44

Oct 062009


  • 70,400 miles


Intermittent headlight failure on my 2004 Toyota Prius, with just over 70,000 miles. This is truly dangerous--someone is going to get killed because of this. The problem seems to be widespread--why has there not been a recall" does someone have to get killed first"

- Clifton, VA, USA

problem #43

Oct 052009


  • 87,000 miles
Headlights turn off spontaneously, must be restarted by turning switch on and off.

- Chesapeake Beach, MD, USA

problem #42

Oct 012009


  • 90,000 miles
I have a 2004 Toyota Prius, and my left headlight has turned pink. It is now continuously pink. I was told by my dealership that it would cost $400 to replace the headlamp because it is a xenon headlight. My understanding is that xenon headlights should last longer than mine did.

- Bartlett, IL, USA

problem #41

Mar 122007


  • 46,000 miles
Hid lights fail in my 2004 Prius and have for several years now - intermittently with no warning. At times, both lights fail at the same time, leaving me on a dark road unexpectedly. I have one replaced at the dealer, only to have it fail again. This is clearly a safety issue. Hundreds of these have been reported.

- Mechanicsville, VA, USA

problem #40

Feb 012009


  • 85,000 miles
After several years of use, the headlights, most often the right, but sometimes also the left, spontaneously turn off. This happens about every 15 minutes while driving at night. We have to turn off the lights and turn them back on to get them to light again. This sometimes does not work, and we are stuck for a some time on the freeway without headlights. People on forums say it will likely cost $1000 - $1800 to repair, which we cannot afford.

- San Mateo, CA, USA

problem #39

Aug 212009


  • 162,000 miles
2004 Toyota Prius. Both hid headlights will occasionally turn off like the bulb burns out, but if you turn off the headlights and turn them back on it turns on again. Mostly right headlight, but occassionally the left will do this. Not a loose connection. Acts like a relay is tripping on overtemperature or overcurrent and resetting itself after the headlights are turned off. This has been occurring in my car since I purchased it in March 2007. Took it to repairman, but it was going to cost over $2000 to replace a circuit board and headlight assembly. I don't have that money and from what I've read on Prius owners websites this is a common issue.

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #38

Aug 162009


  • 72,945 miles
Driver side headlight goes out intermittently. Sometimes turning the car off and back on solves it. Now, the passenger side headlight is out. Last night, the passenger side was out, so I switched to high beams. That turned off both headlights! I was on a long, dark winding road, under trees, so had no ambient light. The headlight connection has been fixed twice by the dealer.

- Poulsbo, WA, USA

problem #37

Aug 092009


  • 39,500 miles
Passenger side headlight flickers very dimly. I just noticed it today, on my mother's Prius. Did some research, and was amazed at the cost to have the dealer fix this. If it was just the cost of the bulb itself, I could swallow the rather large $130 price (at kragen) and do it myself, but the notes here, and on many other sites indicate that bulb replace sometimes fixes the problem (for a short period of time), and at other times, it does nothing. I would hate to throw $130 down the toilet. The primary issue though, is that the headlight goes dim/out intermittently, without warning or pattern, and there is no way to reliably get it re-lit. I don't feel save asking my 69 year old mother to turn the headlights on and off if it's dark out side (and if it's not dark, how would you know it was working or not). I agree, it does sound like a defect as many many people are having the issue, but more importantly, a serious safety issue. How long must we want before some action is taken by the NHTSA?

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #36

Apr 012008


  • miles
Left headlight of my Toyota Prius 2004 will turn off with no apparent cause, you can turn off the lights and immediately turn on and it will come back on again, this action is dangerous specially driving at night since you"ll have to briefly drive without the lights on. This issue has a non-harmonic frequency but it just keeps repeating, sometimes on a trip for 10 miles it can go off up to 5 times and some other times on the same trip it will not go off. By now the failure hasn't"T been corrected since dealer will charge over $1500 to fix it, which I don't agree to pay since this is their failure.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #35

Jan 012008


  • miles
Left headlight will turn off with no apparent cause. You can turn off the lights and immediately turn on and it will come back on again. There doesn't appear to be anything that triggers. Dangerous when driving at night since you have to briefly drive without the lights on.. to turn off and back on again. When spoke to dealer about replacing was quoted $600... "because we have to remove the front bumper to get to the headlight" (Toyota design flaw?) but the bulb itself costs $400!! this first started occurring in January 2008 and we "lived with it" for a year before spending the $558.15 that it cost to replace the one bulb in February 2009. We were prompted to do so especially since our daughter was learning to drive and we could not allow her to have to deal with this safety issue. The light is working properly now, but I am not convinced that it won't happen again...if the bulb was the problem you wouldn't think turning it off and then immediately back on would fix it temporarily. When I spoke to Toyota to complain about the cost and apparent defect they gave me no indication that this was a reported problem. She made it seem like I was the only case.. deceitful I think. After searching online I discovered on my own that this was a known problem that many others had.

- Bowie, MD, USA

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