hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,468 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 1 of 2)

problem #26

Aug 262013


  • 125,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the headlights failed to activate. In addition, the headlights powered off independently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 125,000.

- Decatur, IN, USA

problem #25

Aug 012014

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 204,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the headlights failed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 204,000. Updated 10/24/14 updated 4/16/2015

- Brainerd, MN, USA

problem #24

Oct 102011


  • 137,000 miles
One headlight goes out - this happens several times a week. Changing the bulbs only solves the problem for a few months. This is a common complaint in second generation Prius models.

- Bagley, MN, USA

problem #23

Feb 152012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 152,612 miles


While driving in the dark both of my head lamps failed again. I am having intermittent failure of one head lamp. The failure is usually in the left lamp, but occasionally the right as well. Both of head lamps failed again since this incident as well. The second incident occurred on Thursday Feb 16th 2012 at 610 pm. I have had this trouble before and reported it to safecar.gov. I bought the car used at auburn Toyota in auburn California and the left head lamp failed immediately. They replaced it. Since then I have had constant trouble with the lights and have complained to both roseville Toyota and auburn Toyota. They have both told me that the head lamps are likely bad. Since they work a good portion of the time, I doubt this is the case. I am frustrated that I have not been able to get this resolved through Toyota, so I am lodging another complaint. Having your lights go out while you are driving is scary and extremely dangerous,

- Citrus Heights, CA, USA

problem #22

May 012011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The right, passenger headlight goes out and by turning the headlight switch off and back on, the headlight comes back on. It will go off again and I will have to perform the same procedure to get it to come on again. This happens repeatedly during any given trip.

- Shaker Heights, OH, USA

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problem #21

Oct 012010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
2005 Toyota Prius with hid headlights which has self leveling feature. Have noticed for a while the headlights are shining low, can't see sufficiently ahead of car. Headlights can not be manually adjusted. Found online several reports indicating the control module that sends the leveling message to control the headlights which is mounted on the driver side rear axle fails when water enters the device and corrodes the unit. Poor contruction of this unit lead to water infiltration and has resulted in a dangerous situation due to the poor headlight performance. Toyota has been contacted and they have not answered if a recall is warrented even though apparently the malfuncioning unit has been redesigned to stop water infiltration nor will they provide the necessary repair without charging for it.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #20

Aug 072011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 97,650 miles


While driving my 2005 Toyota Prius on an expressway at night the passenger side headlight went out. There was no lights on the expressway and I nearly hit a parked car on the side of the expressway. I pulled over at the next exit and checked the headlights. The passenger headlight was indeed out. I turned the car off and went into the restroom. When I came out and restarted the car the headlight was on. Five minutes later the headlight went out again. I turned the lights off, then on again and it came back on. This happened at least twenty times during the four hour trip home. Scary and dangerous in my book.

- Holland, OH, USA

problem #19

Jan 012010


  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. While driving at approximately 10 mph, the headlight leveling sensor message illuminated on the dashboard twice. The contact also stated that the headlights would intermittently aim downward, providing limited long distance illumination of the roadway. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was awaiting a diagnosis of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 44,000 and the current mileage was 48,000.

- Endicott, NY, USA

problem #18

Jul 152010


  • 77,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated the headlights would intermittently flicker on and off and there was limited illumination. The dealer performed a diagnostic on the vehicle and advised that the automatic flashing headlight leveler remained on and caused the headlights to intermittently fail. The contact stated that there was also an unknown light that remained illuminated on the dashboard. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 77,000.

- Batabia, OH, USA

problem #17

Feb 122010


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated she had been having a recurring failure with the headlights where they would intermittently fail while driving at various speeds. The dealer advised that the manufacturer was aware of the failure in his model vehicle but did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure continued to recur intermittently. The failure mileage was 110,000 and the current mileage was 120,000.

- Lewistown, PA, USA

problem #16

Nov 122009


  • 92,500 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. While driving, the headlights shut off. The failure also occurred intermittently while driving in reverse. The contact stated that since this is a common occurrence with the Toyota Prius that the repair cost of $1,000 came as a surprise to him. The dealer immediately quoted him that cost by phone when he advised them that the headlights were shutting off. There were no reported warning lights illuminated on the instrument control panel. He contact is concerned about the safety risk since the lack of headlights while driving at night could cause a crash. The failure mileage was 92,500 and the current mileage was 93,000.

- Sisters, OR, USA

problem #15

Jun 052009


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. Intermittently the head-lamps fail without warnings. Usually the head lights resume normal operation after driving for several minutes. The manufacturer will only cover the cost of the parts not the labor. The current mileage was 45,000. The failure mileage was 40,000.

- Aledo, TX, USA

problem #14

Mar 152009


  • 143,000 miles
Left headlamp will not stay lit. Turning lights off and back on again re-lights it. Replacing bulb has not helped. Found on the internet that others are having the same problem. Feel that Toyota should recall the vehicles to fix the problem.

- Reinholds, PA, USA

problem #13

Oct 272009


  • 125,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. While driving 70 mph at night the driver-side head-light failed. The driver was able to continue vehicle operation. The following day the passenger headlight became inoperative. The vehicle has not been repaired at this time for the malfunction. The failure and current mileages were 125,000. The vehicle identification number was unavailable.

- Moose Lake, MN, USA

problem #12

Jun 192009


  • 40,000 miles
Hid headlight automatic leveling system failure causing headlights to go to fixed downward position. As a result, headlights don't safely illuminate the road. I have had no accidents as a result.

- West Olive, MI, USA

problem #11

Apr 052009


  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the headlights have been failing without warning over the last two months. While driving 65 mph, the two front headlights failed. He was able to safely maneuver the vehicle to the shoulder of the road. When he turned off and restarted the vehicle, the headlights illuminated again. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that the hid bulbs were failing. The technician stated that the warranty would not cover the failure; therefore, the contact would have to pay $575 for the repair. The vehicle has not been repaired. A report was filed with the manufacturer and they stated that they would call the contact back. The failure mileage was 82,000 and current mileage was 96,000.

- Greenville , RI, USA

problem #10

Nov 262008


  • 65,000 miles
Normal driving my 2005 Toyota Prius, the driver's side headlight randomly turns off. I turn the lights off and then back on and the light, most of the time, will return for a minute or two. Hid bulb replacement was done and problem still exists. Hid bulbs are not cheap. I have been pulled over 3 times in the last 3 weeks. It seems like it will cost approximately $2500 to hopefully fix my headlight. Pretty extreme for a headlight? definitely a traffic and safety hazard only operating with one headlight.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #9

Aug 012008


  • miles
My 2005 Prius started to intermittently display a warning triangle sign on the dashboard. Finally it came on and stayed on. The dealer performed a diagnostic check and says there is something wrong with the headlight leveling system - a short or some such glitch. Cost to repair $700. I declined to repair since it was out of warranty. It appears that there are other Prius problems with headlights.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #8

Feb 222008

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,800 miles
My vehicle is a 2005 Toyota Prius with trim package #9, including high-intensity discharge (hid) headlamps - the only ones available in the only vehicle available to me, so these were not an optional purchase. I was confident in the expected long service life of hid bulbs but had one fail at 41,000 miles in a pattern very similar to others described online - intermittent difficulty getting one headlight to turn on, followed by dimming and a pink tint in the light, and finally complete failure. Despite the history of priuses having early hid failure, the dealer was only able to suggest that I pay for a bulb replacement, for about $350. Given that hid lighting systems are supposed to be much longer lived than this, I must suspect that there is a flaw in the Prius's hid electronics that is causing bulbs and/or other components in the hid lighting chain to fail much sooner than ever expected, if not unexpectedly.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #7

Jan 292008

Prius 3-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles
The passenger side hid headlight on my 2005 Toyota Prius turns off spontaneously at random times. It will turn on again if I turn the lights off and on, but it will inevitably turn off after 1 to 10 minutes of driving. The car has never been in an accident and has 39,000 miles on it. The dealer-trained "master mechanic" ran a diagnostic test and claims that the "hid ECU" (hid electronic control unit, part number 8110747150) is malfunctioning and must be replaced. It costs $320 in labor to access the hid ECU under the dashboard, and $286.99 for the new computer. There are dozens of complaints about the hid lights turning off for no apparent reason on various Prius bulletin boards on line, yet Toyota's customer satisfaction center claims to have no records of this problem, and claims there is no recall or service bulletin. Headlights failing at random due to a manufacturer's defect is a serious safety issue that Toyota should address.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

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