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 7 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #34

May 052009


  • 90,000 miles


The headlights on my 2004 Prius keep going on and off. Toyota will not cover these under warranty and change $875 to replace 1 bulb.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #33

May 102009


  • 96,251 miles
Right front headlamp operating intermittently. Dealer repair quote was over $500. Online advice suggested that Toyota should/would repair at no cost. Initially dealer service manager wanted owner to pay labor, over $300, and dealer would supply part. Owner stated that since this was a safety and defect matter, Toyota should pay full cost. After 24 hours, dealer agreed to replace headlamp at no cost. Both headlamps were replaced at no cost to owner. Owner is 30 year customer of this dealership. Service manager stated that Toyota will probably post a recall notice on this matter.

- Placerville, CA, USA

problem #32

Oct 202008


  • 75,000 miles
2004 Toyota Prius has had headlight replacements five (5) times on the passenger side and now has the same problem on the driver side. 2006 Toyota Prius has had both sides replaced. Both cars suffer from intermittent operation which can be temporarily recovered by turning the headlight switch off then back on. All Toyota wants to do is replace bulbs when the bulb obviously is not the problem. I am sure they are being disingenuous with customers in an attempt to postpone the inevitable. It is way past time for a recall - please!

- Irvine, KY, USA

problem #31

Jul 012009


  • 65,000 miles


I was appalled to find that it cost over $500 to replace the passenger side headlight and was told to expect that the driver's side light would likely need to be replace in the near future.

- Cuyahoga Falls, OH, USA

problem #30

Jun 132009


  • 126,000 miles
Either of the headlights will randomly turn off while driving. When I quickly turn off the headlights and turn them back on, they work again for a while. The problem seems random and intermittent. It happens to both the driver's side and the passenger's side headlight.

- Austin, TX, USA

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problem #29

Jan 052009


  • miles
Head lights on a 2004 Prius going out and being able to turn the lights back on by just turning the system off and then turn it back on again. Just like a computer, if something is wrong, shut down and start over. This happens almost every time I drive the car now, the consequences are not being able to see at night and during the day safety is diminished without the headlights. The headlamps were replaced but did not repair the problem. The old parts are not available.

- Poolesville, MD, USA

problem #28

May 162009


  • 124,000 miles


On my 2004 Toyota Prius, the lights go out randomly. Of course, at night. I took it to two Toyota dealerships, and the first couldn't replicate the problem. The second dealership said the fix for one light would be an astonishing $850 because it's a defective electronic controller. Since my lights worked intermittently or after being turned on and off...and after searching the internet and discovering this defect is common. I'm thinking lights cutting out while driving, is quite dangerous, and it's a potential hazard for both drivers and pedestrians. Many Prius owners believe this is a product defect in need of a recall from Toyota before someone gets hurt.

- Springfield, MA, USA

problem #27

Mar 212008


  • 75,000 miles
Hid right headlight goes out randomly. If I turn headlights off and on again, it relights, but then goes out again between 15 minutes and 3 hours. Has been happening for over a year on my 2004 Toyota Prius.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #26

May 082009


  • 165,000 miles
2004 Toyota pruis hid headlight intermittently goes out while driving. Turning lights off and then back on brings the light back on for a while. There have been three instances during the past 3 months where both headlights have gone out, resulting in total loss of light during the night. Exceedingly dangerous! this has been an ongoing problem for the past 6 months but I only recently found out about being able to report it to this site.

- Trout Run, PA, USA

problem #25

Apr 252009


  • 70,121 miles
Both head lamps go for no apparent reason. By turning off lights and relighting they come back on, but then after a short period of time they go out again. The bulbs are not burned out the hid electrical system is defective.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #24

Feb 112008


  • 75,000 miles


I own a Toyota Prius 2004 and the headlights go on/off whenever they feel like it. When they go off if you turn the switch they go back on. Are there any other complaints on this issue?

- Merced, CA, USA

problem #23

Jan 012009


  • 72,000 miles
Headlights will go out intermittently. Either side will fail. If you turn the light switch to "off" and then back "on" the lights will come back on. No particular amount of on time or bumps in road cause the failure. Bulbs are hid type. Dealer wants over $630 to replace bulbs. Non dealer mechanic advised that it may be something other than the bulb, possibly the hid controller. Dealer is the only source and very expensive. This is a major safety issue, these are the headlights. This failure now happens every time the car is driven with the headlights on, varies from 5 minutes to an hour after the car is started. This has been going on for about 3 months. I have seen on line that other Prius owners are experiencing the exact same problem. No solutions have been presented.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #22

Apr 052009


  • 78,900 miles
I have a 2004 Toyota Prius that has the driver's side headlight going off and on while driving. I understand it is a hid light and I also understand that many many Prius owners of different years are having problems with these bulbs. The bulbs and installation seem to run from $300 up. This is something Toyota should be fixing, recalling if necessary. Not only is this a danger to the Prius owners but to others on the road and many times the owner does not know that is it out. And replacing is at a very high expense to the owners and the problems seem to reoccur with the same owners. I need to replace mine but want to know what is being done about this before I spend the hundreds of dollars to replace it.

- Jenison, MI, USA

problem #21

Feb 152009


  • 155,000 miles
Contacted Toyota in February 2009 with the following complaint/description: Recently my driver side headlight had been blinking off intermittently while driving. I then would have to turn the lights off and back on to get the light to come back on. Last night (Feb. 15th, 2009), I was taking my daughter back to college and both headlights unexpectedly turned off while driving on a very dark stretch of highway. Needless to say, this was very unnerving. I tried to quickly turn off lights and then back on. They came back on on after a few tries, but then they did the same thing to me on my return back to home. This was a 6 hour round trip on a Sunday. I did not have any recourse but to try to make it home. I feel this is an extreme safety issue and took it to the dealership Monday. The dealership ran some tests and said it was the hid bulbs and not the computer ($375/bulb!!!!!). I then visited a Prius chat site that another customer told me about as we were waiting for our vehicles. Apparently this problem is very widespread. I am now forced to only be able to drive my Prius during the day because I never expected a $900 price tag to change out the bulbs on the headlights, and I am unable to pay that cost right now. Also, I live off of hwy 78 in saint clair county which is a very curvy, hilly rural road with very little light. If the lights had spontaneously blinked off on me on this road when either I or one of my teenagers were driving the vehicle, it could have had a far different result. Will it take a death or injury to initiate a recall on the headlights? to replace bulbs on 2004 Prius, you must remove the front bumper and have a special tool to remove back of headlight assembly.

- Pell City, AL, USA

problem #20

Jan 082008


  • miles
Hid headlights intermittently go out. Turning the headlights on and off recycles the lights for a few minutes.

- Ellsworth, MI, USA

problem #19

Mar 112009


  • 91,000 miles
The hid headlights on a Toyota pruis (2004). The headlights flicker on and off periodically, changing what headlight goes out and sometimes both for no apparent reason. I can turn one or both back one by turning on and off the high beams (which both work no matter what) or by turning on and off the headlights. This has occurred on our mountain road, in which both headlights went off, without even hitting a bump. It is dangerous, I have been pulled over numerous times for a headlight out and when I took it into the dealer, they reported it as a $393/each replacement of a bulb that I have learned will go out again in 20,000-40,000 miles.

- Eldorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #18

Mar 092009


  • 108,000 miles
2004 Prius headlight on passenger side started flickering about 400 miles ago and has now stopped working. Will cost $500 to replace. This is ridiculous. I understand that this is an ongoing issue with the Prius, regardless of the year. I have read on the internet in chatrooms of several people with this issue. Is anything being done to resolve?

- Hillsboro, TN, USA

problem #17

Jan 022008


  • 79,000 miles
My hid headlights go out at random intervals, if I turn them off and back on the headlight may remain on for days, weeks or months without doing the above procedure again. Sometimes it the left light other times its the right light, so far it has not happen to both lights at the same time.

- Copiague, NY, USA

problem #16

Feb 252009


  • 60,000 miles
Beginning at about 60,000 miles one of the headlights on my 2004 Toyota Prius began to fail intermittently. Switching the lights off and on seemed to temporarily fix the problem. Now at 100K miles both headlights are failing, leaving me driving in the dark until I turn the light knob on and off several times. The lights are now failing every time I drive at night and several times per trip.

- Hollister, CA, USA

problem #15

Jan 012008


  • 80 miles
My 2004 Toyota Prius has hid headlamps. The drivers side lamp will extinguish, usually after a few minutes. If I turn the lights off and then back on the headlights come back on only to go out again after a few more minutes. The right side headlight works ok.

- Clinton, WA, USA

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