pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
142,800 miles
Total Complaints:
31 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (29 reports)
  2. headlamp bulbs and modules replaced (2 reports)
2005 Toyota Prius lights problems

lights problem

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2005 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #11

Jul 302014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles


My headlight went out. The mechanic replaced the headlight for $200. Two weeks later I had the same problem. Now the mechanic says the headlight ignite/computer is faulty and it will cost me $300 to replace.

Update from Nov 8, 2014: I went to a mechanic to replace the computer in one headlight. It cost me $400. I took the car to the dealer to investigate the problem of the other headlight. They said they could repair it for $200. Since it was less than the first headlight repair, I let them do the work.

- Diane J., Silver Spring, MD, US

problem #10

Aug 102014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

From the time we've had the car (we drive always w/ headlights on), (December 2005), people very occasionally told us a headlight is out. Never paid much attention because by the time we would have it looked at it, it'd be on. In May 2012, we had the left replaced (our service person found this, not the one we thought was going out occasionally).

This August, coming back in the dark on an interstate w/ a fair amount of traffic, we noticed the right light going off by itself. At one point in the trip, I noticed a periodic behavior: every 5 +- 0.5 minutes, it would go out; measured FIVE cycles before it became more random. Since then, we've noticed this every time we drive in the dark (and sometimes during the day if we can see our lights' reflection from the car in front of us.

LAST STRAW: All Souls' evening, going to church in the city, when we arrived we noticed that BOTH lights were off. DANGEROUS in the city. WHY is/was there no recall for this?

- heinrichc, Towson, MD, US

problem #9

Apr 032012

Prius Hybrid

  • CVT transmission
  • 113,585 miles

The same problem has recurred within the last few days, at 145,000 miles, this time with the left headlight going intermittent rather than the right one. As before, it is impossible to predict when the headlight will be on or off. This is extremely dangerous when driving at night or in bad weather. The cost for repair is ridiculously high, in part because the headlights are so difficult to remove, requiring the removal of the bumper. So far I have not had it fixed. I am appalled that Toyota has not found a generic fix for this problem and issued a recall. My wife and I have been generally very happy with our Prius but this is a MAJOR defect in this vehicle.

- Ronald M., Columbia, MD, US

problem #8

Oct 232014

Prius Hybrid

  • CVT transmission
  • 145,000 miles


It was bad enough for this problem to happen once, but now it has happened again! When is Toyota going to get off the stick, figure out a generic solution to this headlight problem, and issue a recall? The expense of replacing the headlight bulbs and modules is appalling, particularly when that is obviously not a permanent solution. Toyota prides itself on its product quality, but this gives the company a real black eye! My wife and I used to recommend the Prius to friends and relatives, some of whom bought the car as a result, but now we would hesitate to recommend the vehicle to anyone.

- Ronald M., Columbia, MD, US

problem #7

Sep 152014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 226,000 miles

The driver's-side headlight goes on when the switch is thrown and goes off 5-10 minutes later. When I turn the switch off and back on, it comes on again for about the same period of time. It is very concerning when driving at night or in bad weather conditions.

- Robert L., Freeport, ME, US

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problem #6

Dec 202013

Prius Prius Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

For several months, the driver's side head light would spontaneously blink out. Because it was blinking out and coming back on, I told the dealer I suspected some kind of wiring problem, but was assured that this was a common problem with the head lamp. I was then told that we had the "special" HID lamps that cost $150 apiece, plus $75+ in labor because of how complicated they were to replace. When I asked how long it would take for this labor intensive $75+ repair, I was told 15 minutes (in other words, I would be charged $300/hour for labor). After being reassured again that replacing the head lamp would solve the problem, I agreed to move forward with the repair.

Fast forward 2 weeks, and the driver's headlamp was once again blinking on and off. The dealership seemed completely unsurprised by the persistence of this problem, and agreed to a "courtesy recheck." They then informed me that since the $225 head lamp repair they talked me into didn't solve the problem, the cause of the blinking was "definitely" the ECU (the computer that controls the head lamp), and it would cost ~$700 to replace this component.

At no point did the dealer acknowledge that the HID lamps and associated ECUs had been defective in hundreds of thousands of Prius cars, as I quickly learned online.

This type of situation makes me doubt the quality of Toyota cars, the integrity of certified Toyota dealers, and my willingness to ever purchase another Toyota given the "hidden costs" the company is willing to pass on to consumers.

- colopriusperson, Longmont, CO, US

problem #5

Feb 252013


  • Manual transmission
  • 169,000 miles


The 2005 Prius headlight just goes off. thought the bulb burnt out. No. It comes back on. Can not [perdict when it will go off. Other wise a good car.

- piccirillo, Cedarburg, WI, US

problem #4

Dec 142011


  • CVT transmission
  • 155,616 miles

First notice of a soon to be recurring problem of the left headlight going out on its own. Turned the lights off then back on and the headlight restarted.

Update from Oct 1, 2012: This left headlight keeps going out by itself and the only way to get it back on is to turn the headlight switch off then back on again.

- joannpa, Manheim, PA, US

problem #3

Sep 292012


  • CVT transmission
  • 169,790 miles

Have been dealing with the left headlight going out for no reason. Now however, both the left and the right headlights went out at the same time. They came back on if the light switch was turned off then back on. i am now concerned enough to search the internet and find that there is a class action suit that has been settled for newer models than I own.

i will be calling the dealership to find out if they will fix the problem at no cost or a reduced cost to me. i really think that they should fix the problem at their own cost since the problem is so widespread.

- joannpa, Manheim, PA, US

problem #2

Mar 112012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I bought my 2005 Prius used and had problems with the headlights going off randomly, 1 at a time. I noticed that to get it back on, I would have to hit the headlight, not the most preferred solution every time I get into my car. If I leave the light switch to "on" and never turn them off when I turn the car on and off, the problem would occur less often. Recently I had the problem where either one or both headlights will turn on or off while driving at night and this is a huge concern. I've been switching my headlights off and on, and even jiggling the wires to get them to turn on if hitting the headlights don't work. Talk about a ghetto Prius. Anyways, I'm looking for a solution. Should I replace the wire harness? Is it a bad connection? I saw there's a class action lawsuit for 2006+ Prius under certain mileage or ownership, can this be extended further? Help!

- Brandon V., San Francisco, CA, US

problem #1

Dec 152011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,365 miles

This problem started at least two months ago. The problem is intermittent and next to impossible to demonstrate. I had one headlight replaced - the part alone was $200 and that didn't fix the problem. I had it back at the dealership and they checked and said there was nothing wrong with the lights- both worked. Pretty much every day one or both lights will turn off unexpectedly. Sometimes turning the lights off and on will bring it back but usually not.

- Rich C., Napa, CA, US

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