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 4 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #57

Jan 082011


  • 123,000 miles


2006 Toyota Prius. Faulty headlights. Replaced both headlights in Aug 2010 only to have one fail Jan. 3 and the other failed Jan 8 2011. Added daytime running lights by dealer in 2007 so do not have the ability to turn them off and on. Do not understand how one can have both lights fail as stated in so many other complaints.

- Apache Junction, AZ, USA

problem #56

Apr 102010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
Headlights on 2006 Toyota Prius keep going on and off for no apparent reason. Complaint has been made to Toyota and all they have done is to reduce the price of the hid bulbs.

- Waterloo, NY, USA

problem #55

Jun 302010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The headlamp of Prius 2006 intermittently goes off while driving. The problem goes away if the car is completely shut off and then restarted. Many others are reporting the same problem with Prius and replacement of headlight does not rectify the problem. The problem is creating dangerous situation for driving, particularly during rain or snow because others cant see the car and the drivers visibility becomes greatly affected.

- Gibsonia, PA, USA

problem #54

Mar 012007


  • 14,000 miles


Toyota Prius 2006: Headlamps go off intermittently, creating a very unsafe condition while driving.

- Exton, PA, USA

problem #53

Jun 012007


  • 20,000 miles
I'm among the many who have defective high intensity headlights in my 2006 Prius. Around 20K miles I started having problems with flickering and intermittent outage. The dealer wouldn't replace them for free and I couldn't afford the $1000 it would have cost to replace. While driving at night on a treacherous country road I almost went off the road when the lights went out completely while attempting to turn on the brights.

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #52

Feb 022010


  • 51,214 miles
Failure of the passenger side headlight.

- Hackettstown, NJ, USA

problem #51

Apr 252010


  • 147,000 miles


Toyota Prius complete electrical failure causing the car to lose the steering, brakes all instrument displays including no hazard lights. Dead stick driving. Incident occurred unexpectedly while driving on crowded highway 5 North 1 hour from downtown la. I'm lucky to live through this.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #50

Feb 182010


  • 80,111 miles
I am writing to you about an unresolved problem with my 2006 Toyota Prius. In May 2008, the driver's side electronic door lock actuator failed and was replaced by my local Toyota dealer. Now, the driver's side door lock actuator has once again failed, along with the passenger's side actuator. My local Toyota dealer informed me that the estimated repair cost would total $1,300. I indicated that in view of the extremely high repair cost and the prior replacement of the driver's side actuator, Toyota should assume a share of the repair cost, and the dealership submitted the matter to their regional representative. The dealership subsequently informed me that the regional representative was offering to assume $300 of the repair cost as a customer goodwill gesture. I indicated that Toyota should assume a greater portion of the overall expense for the current repair, and the dealership once again agreed to convey that point to the regional representative. However, the dealership subsequently informed me that, rather than offering any further adjustment, the regional representative's response was to withdraw its previous offer altogether, leaving me with the entire financial liability for the repair! I then contacted the national Toyota customer experience center in torrance, California, to complain about the regional representative's summary retraction of the adjustment that it had already offered. A representative at the center subsequently informed me that he concurred with the regional representative's actions and was unwilling to reverse them. Against the recent backdrop of widespread and serious mechanical problems with its products, the Toyota corporation has publicly pledged a renewed emphasis on quality and customer service. However, the way in which it has chosen to handle my complaint has left me feeling bewildered, disrespected, and abandoned. Accordingly, I'm writing to your Agency to ascertain what other remedies may be available to me. Thank you.

- Owings Mills, MD, USA

problem #49

Mar 122010


  • miles
My hid light on my 2006 Prius burnt out on driver's left side. Took it in for a replacement and they told me that I have to replace both for a price of $500 and will only warranty for 1 year. I was told the average span for a bulb is 2.5-4 years. This is a ridiculous price for a light bulb. You should put pressure on the company to bring the cost for this safety repair down to a reasonable level.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #48

Jul 152008


  • 33,000 miles
Toyota Prius 2006. Rt. front (passenger side) headlight goes out for no reason. After this is will not come back on, even if I switch from low to high beam. I turn the lights off and on that corrects the problem for about 3 to 15 minutes, then it goes off again. Toyota said it was the bulb and replaced it at about 34,000 miles under warranty, but it did not change anything. Then the next chance I had to bring it in it was out of warranty, so they will not cover. I thought it may be the igniter or transformer so I replaced that, but it still does the same thing. I see many Prius' around town with their right front light out, so it seems to be quite common. I read on the internet that lots of Prius people are having the same exact problem, but of course Toyota denies that there is one. Toyota simply charges $300. To replace the bulb, or $600 to replace the igniter, or $1,100 to replace the whole headlight assemble. Replacing the bulb does not fix it, neither does the igniter, not sure about the whole assembly. The light goes off whether the car is parked or driving down the road, so vibration is not the problem. This is a huge safety hazard. Toyota is producing lemons, then simply replacing the bulbs and hoping your warranty runs out. Toyota is making a ton of money off of this defect at $1,100 per light assembly, and even then I am not sure the problem is being repaired. This problem seems to be more common on 2006 and 2007 models. I just drove to the airport and back (45 min each way) and my light went out probably 30 times. Many owners don't seem to know that their light is out. I notice, but I still feel like I am a huge road hazard. I would repair it if I knew what the actual problem was. The Toyota factory surely knows what the problem is and how to correct it, but if they bring the problem to the surface they know that they will be forced to pay for another recall, meanwhile they make a ton of profit off parts and repairs.

- Rockwall, TX, USA

problem #47

Feb 282010


  • 30,000 miles


Headlights of 2006 Prius go on and off at will. I reported this to Toyota dealer and was told that they had to change both bulbs. The intensity of the bulbs are normal when they come back on and I have never owned a car where the bulbs recover on their own. It appears to be a wiring problem of some kind and Toyota's solution of changing the bulbs does not seem to be a reasonable solution. Also the one year guarantee of an expensive repair does not seem reasonable. The Toyota website shows hundreds of complaints for the same condition.

- Vintondale, PA, USA

problem #46

Nov 132009


  • miles
I drive a 2006 Toyota Prius. On November 13, 2009, for about 10 days, the dashboard would not light up on a cold start in the morning. It would light up after I hit a pothole or bump. The problem inexplicably stopped. My Toyota dealership said they had received no complaints about this and could not diagnose/fix the problem since it no longer occurred.

- Sammamish, WA, USA

problem #45

Jan 292009

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
2006 Toyota Prius electrical system the consumer stated when she turned on her vehicle all of the electrical components on the entire dashboard were out. No displays, no navigation and no camera. When she arrived home, the vehicle would not turn off. The consumer contacted the Toyota hotline and was advised the only way to shut off the vehicle, was to disconnect the battery. About an hour later, the vehicle shut off. The next day, the consumer took it the dealer where they kept it all day, but was unable to find anything wrong. The consumer noticed that she was filling the gas tank more often than usual. She discovered there was another electrical malfunction; the bars on the fuel gauge were not matching the amount of gas that was being pun into the vehicle. Updated 03/30/10.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #44

Mar 012007


  • 35,000 miles
Headlights intermittently go off when placed in the on position. Sometimes one, sometimes both. Does not matter if it is low or hi beam. This problem is ongoing since incident date. Toyota sent letter describing how hid bulbs reach the end of their life by intermittently going out and states that you should minimize turning them on and off which can't be prevented if they go out while you're driving. I don't accept this to be fact, I think it's an electrical problem.

- Milford, VA, USA

problem #43

Jan 182010


  • 33,000 miles
Approaching state hwy. In cruise, assumed stop area would be slippery as it sometimes is in the winter..tapped brakes to disable cruise, applied brakes, kept right on going & ended in the ditch across the hwy. Was lucky that there was no collision.. can't remember if the motor was racing at the time.

- Caro, MI, USA

problem #42

Jan 052007


  • miles
Intermittent and frequent failure of hid headlights in 2006 Toyota Prius. One light or the other and sometimes both will go out. Turning the light switch from on to off and back on will relight the bulb but at lower brightness. Frequently must do this several times as the bulb may stay on for a few minutes to 1/2 hour. Toyota refuses to acknowledge design / faulty components in hid control / power module.

- Downers Grove, IL, USA

problem #41

Mar 102009


  • 56,776 miles
My Toyota Prius 2006 accelerated on its own. I called service and was told to drive to nearest dealer. But acceleration was scary out of my control other than by fierce braking. I have no idea how fast I was going, but had to put something in the box so I put 80mph. I stopped as soon as I could safely and where I could get signal to call (being in the country). As soon as I stopped the brake pads burnt up. I had to tick something on the "complaint type" but none of the categories quite fit. I was told that this occurred because of oem battery failure causing this problem.. it was time for service but otherwise had no indication the battery was low. I accepted this and paid the $903.42 bill for new battery, brakes. This probably also included a regular basic service and oil change. Now I wonder if this is a part of a larger picture. And what indication could there be so this doesn't happen again. I was very fortunate that this was all that happened and that I was on an empty country road at the time. Thanks for listening.

- Maitland, FL, USA

problem #40

Jan 242010


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. While driving approximately 35 mph the vehicle lost complete power, shut off and she had no control over the vehicle; however, she was able to restart it within five minutes. She took the vehicle to the dealer and was told that the vehicle needed a new battery which she purchased and installed. Two weeks later, the failure occurred again. She took the vehicle to a second dealer who performed a diagnostics test which a code produced cited that a brake problem occurred. She called the manufacturer and a representative stated that they would notify her. On 3 occasions, when the vehicle was parked, the lights would flash on and off then the horn would honk for about a minute. The vehicle had not been repaired to-date. The current mileage was approximately 57,000. The failure mileage was approximately 55,000.

- Samson, AL, USA

problem #39

Feb 092010


  • 30,000 miles
Toyota Prius exterior lights shut down. This happens all of the time the car is driven. Hid headlights turn off without the driver knowing and then keeps on driving until they are struck or hit something. Other cars may not see this. This has occurred over 5000 times...

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #38

Dec 152009


  • 50,000 miles
I own a 2006 Prius with the high-intensity-discharge (hid) lamp option and have made an online report to you previously with no reply. When I asked the local Toyota dealer they said they had no recall or safety issue bulletins regarding the issue. I had a friend ask another friend who is a northeast Toyota dealer if he had heard anything about the issue. He sent Toyota document titled "2006 to 2009 model year Toyota hid headlight customer support program." Last week Toyota sent me the same document. The document places the blame on the hid head lamps, recommends turning the lights off during day time operation, etc. I am highly suspicious of their document and believe there is a more serious and potentially dangerous electrical problem involving the head lamps, etc. On a number of occasions the lighting system shut down completely (both head lamps mind you- not one) if the car was shut-off and again powered up the system restarted and the lights would come back on. Toyota claims it is a lamp issue. I don't believe it and think there is more serious electrical problem. It has happened to both my wife and I and in both cases we were placed in dangerous situations on the road. When it happened to me I heard a distinct click and all the lights went out. I happened to be on the interstate and took the first exit which to my dismay was not lit and I was totally in the dark. I had to open the door to see the white line marking the edge of the road and drive off the shoulder. Fortunately there was no traffic taking the same exit or there could have been an accident. A car did take the same exit at about 65 mph minutes after I got off the shoulder. I can only imagine the outcome had I not been able to quickly find the white line marking the shoulder. This has happened twice, and Toyota claims it is how the bulb act when they are at the end of their life. If it has just been one of the lamps and the rest of the system didn't shut down their version might be believable

- St Simons Island, GA, USA

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