really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
94,792 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.

2005 Toyota Prius lights problems

lights problem

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2005 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 6 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #191

Feb 252011


  • 169,000 miles


The headlight on the passenger side just turns off for no reason. I saw it off when stopped. It has done it several times after about a half hour of driving. It goes back on, but I keep the fog lights on just in case it happens in the dark. I think it could effect both head lights and cause a safety problem at night. I drive on unlit streets at night.

- Cedarburg, WI, USA

problem #190

Mar 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 147,000 miles
Headlights will randomly turn off and on. Sometimes the left headlight will go out, sometimes the right, and occasionally both lights will go out at the same time. The hid bulbs are not to blame. These bulbs, when they do go out, they burn out and never come back. This issue is a control problem/design flaw of the vehicle. If the NHTSA would look in its database it would see this is not an isolated incident. If you are waiting on a body count you will not have to wait long. My wife was driving on hwy 66 at 7:30 pm on March 4th when a loose cow entered the road, then the lights blinked out. A 2,000 lbs animal and a 2,600 lbs car do not interact well together. I suspect you will keep ignoring this and be a patsy for Toyota. I plan on filing a small claims against Toyota and, if I can find a lawyer who will take you on, sue the NHTSA for not doing their jobs.

- Adair, OK, USA

problem #189

Jun 182012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
Driver side headlight keeps shutting off. If I turn off lights and turn back on, it comes back on for a little while. Shuts off about 6 times in 25 miles.

- Wentzville, MO, USA

problem #188

Jan 022012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


The driver side headlight intermittently goes on and off without warning. This began over a year ago, but we cannot name the specific time. We initially thought it was just a light bulb, however, we learned that it can be reactivated by briefly turning the headlight switch off and on. This is a safety hazard if driving at night. It can happen several times during one trip or not at all. We have taken it to a few Toyota dealers and they have indicated that it could cost 400-800+ to repair the problem, which we believe to be excessive so for now we are tolerating the problem.

- Jamison, PA, USA

problem #187

Feb 112013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 126,000 miles
While driving, both headlights would go off. They would come back on when turning the light control off then back on. A few minutes later, they would go off again and to get them back on I had to switch off/ then back on. It did not seem to be dependent on fast I was driving or if a bump in the road caused the headlights to go off. We took car to dealer and was told everything checked out and both headlight bulbs needed to be replace @ $175 each for parts plus labor to drop font bumper so headlights could be installed. Total bill came to $485 to replace two headlights that worked intermittently.

- Dickinson, TX, USA

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problem #186

Dec 032010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
The brake light went out on the driver side. Luckily I was pulled over by a police officer who was courteous to let me know the rear driver-side brake light was out. I believe this a hazard that Toyota has failed to correct because the led brake light bulbs are not repairable/replaceable, an since the led had failed and the driver-side taillight assembly is now useless and non-functional. I went to the Toyota dealer and they quoted my 800 dollars to replace the taillight including labor. I don't like how the led brake light is intended for over 100,000 hours of life but hadn't lasted more than four and a half years of use. And the worst part of the situation is that the led bulbs are not replaceable/repairable and thus a greater difficulty to repair and bring back to safe operating condition.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #185

Feb 012010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


I was driving on this particular day and both headlights just shut off. I was driving on the highway going about 70 miles an hour. I slowed down as much as I could. Only one car was behind me and by chance he had seen my lights go off and started to flicker his lights as he passed me. Luckily their wasn't any cars on site because it was about 2 am in the morning and their wasn't any traffic. I was able to pull over under a highway street lamp on the shoulder. I turned off the light and back on repeatedly until about the 7th or 9th try they came back on. Since then I have intermittent light turning off on either headlight at random time. The dimming can go for weeks without shutting off and can also go on for a full week with the headlights daily. I know this is hazard because the time where both headlights went out it could have ended in a different way other then pulling over safely on the shoulder. Also the intermittent light turning off of the lights is also a hazard because it decreases visibility both for me to see the road and other drivers to see me.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #184

Jan 032013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
Front right headlight is intermittently going out. I can get it to go back on if I turn switch off and back on but it may fail again within 10 or 80 minutes. Replaced bulb, but still have problem. Dealer said it was the bulb but replacing it has not fixed the issue.

- Mill Valleuy, CA, USA

problem #183

Jan 262013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 183,000 miles
The headlights started going on and off intermittently. Both bulbs were replaced recently. The car has an hid headlight system.

- Mishawaka, IN, USA

problem #182

Oct 122011


  • 135,000 miles
Since about the fall of last year or so, we've been noticing that the headlights have been going off intermittently. The right went out and then came back on. Then another time the left went out and came back on. I've read about this occurring on many other Prius' and that there was a class action suit? anyway, I need to figure out how to get this fixed as it is a serious safety issue.

- Pflugerville, TX, USA

problem #181

Nov 012011


  • 78,000 miles


The headlamps repeatedly burn out, which repair people have said indicates an underlying electrical problem. I now have to replace one of the headlamps for the fourth time in just over a year.

- Takoma Park, MD, USA

problem #180

Dec 142011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
I thought my headlights needed to be adjusted, so I took the car to have it done. The shop told me that the problem couldn't be fixed because it was the auto leveling sensor in the rear of the car. After a few more weeks of driving like that, a warning light came on the dash board and the display in the console. I ordered the part and had it replaced. It some what resolved the problem, but the lights still need adjusting. They are still not pointing high enough to light the road appropriately. The shop says that there is no way to adjust the lights further than what the sensor does.

- Dameron, MD, USA

problem #179

Nov 292012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 143,000 miles
My passengers side head light went out. It came back on when I turned the switch off and back on again. It has happened three more times since, two of which were this morning alone (12/28/2012).

- Dameron, MD, USA

problem #178

Dec 262012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 154,000 miles
Headlights turn off unexpectedly. Turning switch off and then back on temporarily resets and they work for 5 to 10 minutes then go off again.

- Berryville, VA, USA

problem #177

Dec 012011


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the headlights intermittently failed. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where the failure could not be diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 75,000.

- Lahabara, CA, USA

problem #176

Sep 272012


  • miles
Headlights (one or both) will randomly turn off while driving. Turning the switch off and back on will turn them back on.

- Herndon, VA, USA

problem #175

Nov 302012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 141,345 miles
While driving at 6:35 pm in paso robles on hwy 46 both headlights went dark. I rotated the light switch several times, then both headlights lit. Within 5 minutes, it happened again. 2 minutes later, it happened again. Thereafter it happened about every 2 minutes until we got to the hospital emergency room to which I was taking my wife. She died there about 10pm of a heart attack. At about 2 a.M. on my return home with my daughter, the same thing happened within 5 minutes. When it happened next in about 2 minutes, I flipped the light switch and one headlight lit. Despite flipping the switch several times, only one light (the left one) lit. Have not used the car at night since then.

- Paso Robles, CA, USA

problem #174

Sep 052012


  • 112,000 miles
Front right light flickers off/on occasionally. Toyota says I need to replace both bulbs at approximately $540 in total cost.

- Boudler, CO, USA

problem #173

Oct 042011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 95,432 miles
I believe there is a serious and undisclosed flaw in the Toyota Prius hid headlamp system. I have noticed the headlamps will extinguish individually and unexpected in an intermittent manner, causing a significant safety hazard to driver as well as other vehicles. I have contacted Toyota about this, and although they have extended the warranty with this obviously flawed design, they refuse to take responsibility for the design and repair the systems. I have owned several other vehicles with hid headlamps, never have they become intermittent, which is indicative of a design flaw or a serious materials problem with the igniter system for the hid headlamps. I believe that Toyota should be held responsible and recall the hid headlamp systems and take the necessary corrective action.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #172

Nov 122012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 81,800 miles
Left side headlight quits working then you have to turn off headlights and turn back on then it comes back on. After a while it goes out again then same procedure has to be repeated again. I believe this is a safety issue and needs to be recalled. What if the light on the right side decides to go out especially in the dark where there is no street lights? I ask you nicely please recall the car and fix the issue what may be causing it.

- Akron, PA, USA

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