really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,286 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.

2006 Toyota Prius electrical problems

electrical problem

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2006 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 2 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #97

Feb 072015


  • 177,343 miles


Parked car at night in Colorado in February, 2015. Outside temperature was approx 25 degrees farenheit. We ate dinner at a restaurant, came out and started the 2006 Prius. Instrument cluster panel showeing the fuel gauge, odometer, shift position and speedometer failed to come on. Turned car off and on numerous times - no instrument cluster panel lights. The following morning, the instrument cluster panel worked fine. This has happened occasionally since the first incident in February. This is a safety concern; one is unable to tell which gear the vehicle is in, the speed of the vehicle, or how much fuel the vehicle has. After contacting Toyota, they told me the extended warranty had expired in December 2014. As a safety defect, Toyota should still be covering a known problem.

- Flagstaff, AZ, USA

problem #96

Mar 122015


  • miles
The right headlight turned off while the vehicle was in use and now the fog lights aren't working. Sometimes it would turn on and sometimes it wouldn't work at all. You just don't know when it will happen.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #95

Feb 162015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 246,000 miles
Combination meter failed leaving the vehicle without instrument cluster information. There is a manufacturer warranty extension which does not cover vehicles on the road over 9 years. This represents a hazard to the public which has a documented solution and replacement components.

- Willow Street, PA, USA

problem #94

Nov 112014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles


My 2006 Toyota Prius headlight goes off when driving. It flickers first and then goes off. Sometimes one light goes off and sometimes both of them. When I turn the light off and turn it back on headlights work again. But after a while they turn off again. They stay on steady after I drive for more than an hour in long trips and after turning it off and then on again several times.

- Putnam, CT, USA

problem #93

Jan 012014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
I purchased a new 12V battery at about 30K miles. At about 59K miles the 12V was discharging at random times. At first I thought it was because I was leaving lights on, but it began happening more frequently. I did some research and learned that when the key is in smart mode and it is within 10 feet of the car it can discharge the 12V. I turned off the smart key but the 12V discharged again a few more times until I could no longer get a charge when I jumped it. I had it towed to a local mechanic who installed a new 12V and 2 fuses ($500!!), but there were 4 or 5 warning lights that couldn't be reset so I drove it to the Toyota dealer. For some reason the Toyota service rep asked if I had all the recalls serviced. I was told I could not drive the car because it needed a new electronic converter unit ($5800!!!) and there was a real danger the car would die while I was driving. However, the mileage is only 62000! I called another shop that is hybrid certified and their expert said he sees the ECU going at 100,000 but not at low miles. All hybrid owners are aware of the potential risk of needing to replace the hybrid battery toward the end of the life of the vehicle, but that is nothing compared to the major expense and potential danger of the ECU failing. Why was I not told about this" I wonder why Toyota's first question was to ask if I had all the service recalls, is there a recall coming on the ECU"

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #92

Jul 202014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 126,000 miles
On July 20,2014, I noticed my passenger side headlight is out. I started the car and put the light on, it came on fine.. while driving on high way at night all the sudden the light went out again passenger side. I pulled it on the side and inspect driver side light was working fine but the passenger side was out. I turn the light off and on again it came back on. At this time I am scratching my head that what is going on. I take my car to the mechanic he tells me the bulb is fuse. It cost me $300. To change the bulb. After few days after the bulb goes out again. I take it back to the mechanic he checks every thing is fine, tell me the bulb went out again. Scratching my head again "bulb went out again after few weeks" I went to amazon and bought another bulb.. and it went out again. I was pulled over September 20, 2014 buy cops to fix my headlight. Headlight are still going out and I have to keep buying the headlight bulb.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #91

Oct 012012


  • 80,000 miles


My wife and I purchased a used 2006 Toyota Prius. After about 6 months one headlight would go out. We could cycle the switch and the headlight would work again. After replacing the bulb with a original bulb. Both headlight have gone out. I took the vehicle to our local Toyota dealership. They quoted a repair of $3800. I began looking for a lees expensive shop to do the repairs, when the owner of a shop[ informed me that Toyota had settled a class action lawsuit concerning the hid ( high intensity display) units. That settlement has now passed the date to submit a claim. All claims had to be submitted by May 30th 2011. We had not purchased our vehicle at that time. Why has there not been a recall done on these vehicles" obviously Toyota is aware that there is a problem with in the system or they would not of settled the class action suit. We now have a vehicle that we paid $15000 for that can not be driven at night or when it is raining out, because the faulty headlight installed by the manufacture. How can the government allow a major vehicle manufacture to allow these cars to stay on the road, and risk serious injury"

- Rock Hil, SC, USA

problem #90

May 222009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
On 05/22/2009, my husband and his [xxx] had a car accident. My husband's car was hit from behind when he was driving a Toyota Prius with his friend sitting in the front passage seat. The backs of the chairs of the driver seat and front passage seat were move and broken.the seat back shaft damage failure. My husband and his friend both got hurt, and my husband was hospitalized for 6 days. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Stafford, TX, USA

problem #89

May 142014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 123,900 miles
This complaint has not been qcD. the contact submitted an email and requested that the official IVOQ be written verbatim to the email. Kmj I have multiple situations with my Toyota Prius 2006 in the beginning of May 2014 I a loud beeping noise filled the car. The system had multiple lights displaying showing including the emergency brake light ( while I was driving), ABS, vsc, a red triangle with an exclamation point in the middle, etc. As, this was happening car immediately started slowing down and I was forced to pull it to the side of the street. This same thing happened to me three other times while I was on the freeway. One time I was driving home from work and my car again started decelerating while I had multiple cars around me on the freeway. All of the lights were displaying, I put my hazards on and was forced to move to the side of the road while I was almost hit by the car behind me because my car was rapidly slowing down. I took the car to the dealership service center and they didn't know what the problem was. They did a diagnostic test, multiple test drives, but at that time they didn't know. So they told me to drive the car home and come back if it happens again. Within the week I was exiting off of the freeway with my children when I start hearing the loud beeping noise, all the lamp lights came on, and as I am waiting in line to exit the freeway onto a busy street the car stops. I panicked, put on the hazards, the car wouldn't allow me to shift it into drive it had moved to neutral on its own. I turned off the car, turned it back on and was slowly able to move the car. This time I took pictures of the lamp display to show the service members as well. My children, myself, and other drivers could have been seriously hurt! the Toyota service center told us we have a bad computer, the problem is with the ECU, and the car went into a fail safe mode.

- San Jose , CA, USA

problem #88

Feb 062014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Both of my hid headlights went out (turned off) during normal highway driving. Since then, the lights have continued to turn off randomly during normal driving. When I turn the switch off and then back on, the lights operate fine for a while, then go back off. This is a very dangerous issue and I see it is a common issue.

- Ringgold, GA, USA

problem #87

Apr 032010


  • 46,000 miles


While driving at night a headlight went out making it difficult to see. After restarting the car it came back on. This has happened several times. Once when a headlight was out the second headlight went out making it extremely unsafe and difficult to pull off the road safely, just missed another vehicle. Upon restarting one of the lights came back on. This is an extremely unsafe situation, it is life threatening. I has happened several times and continues to happen. I filed a complaint with Toyota and they said I had to come in when it was malfunctioning. They later said that it was out of warranty. They are well aware of the problem and how many lives have to be lost until they do something about it besides sweep it under the rug.

- Los Altos, CA, USA

problem #86

Mar 192014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Headlights, go on and off on their own. Sometimes only one will go off, sometimes both. Happens with high beams as well. Lights come back on if I switch them completely off and then on again. May stay on for 30 minutes, may only stay on for a couple minutes. Very dangerous as the lights have gone off at night time causing loss of visibility.

- Maple City, MI, USA

problem #85

Jan 172014


  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the vehicle stalled. The contact was able to restart the engine and had the vehicle towed to a dealer where a diagnostic test was performed. The dealer stated that the battery was dead and replaced the battery. The failure mileage was 160,000. The VIN was not available.

- West Port, CT, USA

problem #84

Dec 162013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 257,000 miles
This is my 10th headlamp replacement. The dealers did most of them over the time I have owned the car. I am also an owner of a 2011 Toyota Prius. No problems with that one.

- Antioch, IL, USA

problem #83

Sep 022013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
The center console simply turned black. I have no access to any of the controls. This includes everything from heating and cooling, to back up camera, to gps mapps, to radio channell selection. The entire center console touch screen turned black and useless. I have been quoted $3,000 to fix the problem. After 4 years of un/deremployment, I simply cannot afford such a costly fix.

- Clovis, CA, USA

problem #82

Oct 012012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
The first time I noticed the problem, my car was parked in the driveway after returning from shopping, still running, when my son noticed the right headlight was out. For some reason, I reached in and turned the light switch off, and then back on, and the light was fine. I figured it was an anomaly. From then, one or the other headlight would disappear every couple of months or so, but always reappear with a toggle of the light switched. I was severely underemployed, and simply could/can not afford the $500 parts & labor the Toyota dealer wanted to replace both headlights. I just kept toggling and hoping for the best. I recently returned to full-time work, but with a commute of 1.25 hours each way. It was fine during daylight savings time, but now, I am toggling constantly, and both headlights are going out at the same time. I am traveling dark, country, roads, from fresno, ca to coalinga, ca to work at the pleasant valley state prison. I don't want to become a highway fatality statistic simply because NHTSA doesn't have the "[xxx]" to force Toyota to recall these dangerous headlights. I was unemployed or underemployed for 4 years following a lay off in the summer of 2009. I simply cannot afford to pay the $500 out of pocket, and I really don't have any credit left. Your inaction, NHTSA and Toyota, puts my life on the line twice a day. You both will probably have my blood on your hands. [xxx] you! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Clovis, CA, USA

problem #81

Nov 132013


  • 45,000 miles
I bought my 2006 Prius in October of 2012 and ever since buying it I've noticed that the headlight on the driver's side goes out by itself. I actually went into the dealer within a week and told them my headlight was out but when I got there and I turned them on it was working. I was baffled. They didn't say a thing to me that this was a commonly reported problem that Toyota wasn't going to be addressing. Anyway, I left and the headlight problem has been happening ever since. I decided to just live with it because when I turn the lights off and back on, the headlight comes back on - at least for a while. I'm very worried that the same thing might happen to the other headlight at the same time. I've read online about the cost of replacing the bulb ($330) which is ridiculous since this is obviously a mfg flaw that Toyota just doesn't want to pay for. Please issue a recall on this before someone gets killed!!

- Redmond, WA, USA

problem #80

Aug 202013


  • 92,000 miles
Climate control buttons failure when steering wheel is straight; spiral cable/ clock spring failure.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #79

May 152013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 155,431 miles
Our 2006 Toyota Prius has a head light that goes off and on at random intervals which we consider to be a safety hazard.

- Stanley, NC, USA

problem #78

May 102013


  • 119,000 miles
The vehicle unexpectedly shutdown while driving. There was no power and the brakes were boggy. The red triangle warning light came as well as the ABS and engine warning lights. After pulling over the car restarted and drove fine but the red triangle remained on. The next day it was working fine. Toyota was unable to find anything except a low voltage warning.

- Arcata, CA, USA

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