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 5 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #37

Dec 232009


  • 85,000 miles


2006 Toyota Prius headlights go out randomly creating an unsafe condition when driving at night. The headlight(s) will come on after turning off the switch. This has been a recurring problem since the vehicle was one year old. In one instance, both headlights went out which required and emergency stop. Both headlight have been previously replaced under warranty. The problem in now occurring most times the vehicle is operated at night.

- Finksburg, MD, USA

problem #36

Dec 042009


  • 36,410 miles
Passenger side head light goes out randomly. When the lights are turned off and then back on it will work for "some" period of time, could be seconds or days. Car has been taken to the dealership multiple times for diagnostics and alleged repairs yet the problem continues. Dealer has replaced bulbs & replaced some module within the circuitry. Continues to fail.

- Canby, OR, USA

problem #35

Nov 012008


  • 60,000 miles
About a year a go my passenger side headlight started turning on and off randomly on my 2006 Toyota Prius. I took my car to Toyota of berkeley I-80 junction service center to fix the problem. I was told that Toyota would be more than happy to do a full diagnostic on my car at the cost of $125 to see what the problem was but since my light was on at that time they did not think they could duplicate the problem. My passenger side headlight had been randomly turning off while I was driving and in order to get my light to turn back on I would have to stop my car, turn my lights off, then turn them back on, and occasionally this would correct the problem. Recently my headlight went out completely and I took my car to Toyota of dublin service center to have one of my headlights replaced. I was then shocked to learn that my car had hid lights that cost $400 per bulb plus labor to replace. My front bumper needed to be removed in order to get to the lights therefore it was not a simple job and would take a few hours to complete. Hearing this appalled me! when I purchased the car and the extended warranty I was never told anything about replacing the lights and how much it would cost. This is a ridiculous charge for lights that do not last three years. I believe that there is more wrong with this car than just a light that needed to be replaced. I feel that the faulty lights in the 2006 Toyota Prius are a safety hazard and need to be recalled. I am a single mother with two young children. I do not feel safe driving my car with my children, nor do I feel good about selling my car to an unknowing buyer, and I do not have the money to keep paying repair bills in the amount of $1000 or more to replace headlights! I am asking for an immediate recall of the 2006 Toyota Prius so this safety hazard can be corrected.

- Pleasanton, CA, USA

problem #34

Nov 012009


  • 37,000 miles


Issue: 2006 Prius with hid headlights work intermittently 1. events: No specific events leading up to the event other than regular driving and usage of the headlights 2. failure: The passenger-side headlight goes out every time I drive the car now and reduces night time visibility. 3. corrective action: I replaced the light bulb, but the issue still remains the same. From research online, it appears that this is a common issue with Prius models between the years 2004-2007 and is linked to defects in the control units.

- Hebron, KY, USA

problem #33

Nov 222006

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. When the roadways were slipper the vehicle would lose traction, and the engine would stall. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, and a technician stated that only the 2010 models had a switch that would disengage for the traction control. The current mileage was approximately 60,000. The failure mileage was approximately 1,000. Updated 12/17/09. Updated 12/21/09

- Bodfish, CA, USA

problem #32

Nov 032009


  • 59,000 miles
I have 2006 Toyota Prius. I bought the car new. When it was about 2 years old, one taillight went out. When you tapped on the light, it would come back on. When it came back on it stayed on until I was traveling to Chicago at night and I noticed that people were passing me and pointing to the back of my car. I pulled off the next exit, and both of my taillights were out. My son replaced both of them when I got to Chicago and they have not gone out to date. Then, when the car was about 3 years old, someone told me that I had a headlight out. I replaced the headlight. Three months later. I got in my car one evening in town and did not notice (because the street lights were bright) that I had no headlights. I have since found out that this is a problem with many Prius and avalon models. This is a serious safety hazard. I am thankful that I was not 2 hours out of Chicago at night this time!

- Murray, KY, USA

problem #31

Oct 192008


  • 40,000 miles


2006 Toyota Prius hid headlight(s) are unexpectedly shutting off while driving. Lights come back on when lights are turned off and back on or if car is turned off and back on. This problem has been reported over 400 times to NHTSA already according to the Toyota Prius chat forum. Problem has been occurring for over a year now.

- Reston, VA, USA

problem #30

Nov 082009


  • 35,000 miles
I own a 2006 Prius with hid headlamps. One of the lamps has been intermittent for over well over 2 years. I have been to the dealer and have not been able to recreate the problem. When I do find out that the light is not operating, I simply turn off the lights and turn them back on and the lamp works. Not sure for how long, because I cannot see whether or not the light is working until I am behind a car where I can see the reflection.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #29

Oct 222009


  • miles
My headlights continue to fail, increasing number of times, I reported it when the car was under warranty they could not fix it. 20 times while driving home from the er with my grandchild at night last night both lights went out. How is this not a recallable safety issue" the dealers just charge you to replace light bulbs which does not solve the problem, so then it is not listed as a complaint to them. This problem is getting worst. Are you telling police in my area not to stop priuses because it is not a safety issue when they see us driving without a light or no headlights. Can I send this complaint to anyone else above your Agency" your form does not accept my VIN number.

- King Of Prussia, PA, USA

problem #28

Oct 122009


  • 34,000 miles
The hid headlights on my 2006 Prius intermittently go out. This happens without any pattern. The car canbe sitting in the driveway with the lights on and after a few minutes the one headlight will go out completely (both low and high beams) the only way to get it to come back on is by turning the lights completely off and back on. Most recently I was driving with low beams on, when I tried to turn on the high beams all lights went out - very dangerous. Upon returning to low beams only one light came back on. Turning the lights completely off and back on did reset the lights to work but not enjoyable while driving! there has not been any pattern to these events. There has been numerous reports on-line reporting similar issues with Prius hid headlights. This has been occurring on-and-ff since I purchased the car in January of 2008.

- Hershey, PA, USA

problem #27

Mar 112009


  • 50,000 miles


I have an intermittent driver's side headlight on my 2006 Prius. I have been stopped by the police for safety reasons and I am concerned as it goes out, without warning, at night. The frequencies is every few minutes of so. I must continually switch the lights off and back on to get the headlight working for a few minutes. Toyota knows of this problem but will not acknowledge it or fix it. The dealer knows of the problem but insists that I spend over $600 for a headlamp. (they later agreed to give me the lamp but want a $200 "deductible" to fix it.) I have been trying to get this fixed for over a year now but have had no results.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #26

Aug 062009


  • 100,900 miles
I own a 2006 Toyota Prius. I am experiencing failure of the headlamps for the second time in 15 months. Last year when the headlights would go out while driving, turning off the headlights and then turn them back on the lights would have the light working again for a short time. I had the lights replace last summer and they then worked. Now the issue is starting again. I have own many different cars and have never had to replace headlights multiple times in 15 months.

- Escondido, CA, USA

problem #25

Mar 152009


  • miles
After owning my used 2006 Toyota Prius for a week, I had my 1st incident: I was driving down the road at night, and right headlight went out, while left headlight remained on. Turned the headlight switch to 'off' position, and then to 'on' position. The headlight came back on for about 5 minutes, and then went off again. About 2 weeks later, I started having the same issue with both headlights. I used the same method as above in order to get the headlights to come back on. It does not seem to matter whether or not I have just started the car, or whether it has been running for a while... the bulbs go out when the car is 'cold' and when it has been running for a while. I took the car to my regular mechanic to see if it was the bulb, etc. ( as electrical problems will not be covered under my used car warranty ). I almost wrecked the car going around a dark curve in the road the other day, when both headlights went out. I have also been pulled over twice for improper equipment... but fortunately, I was not fined. I expect that I will eventually get a fine if this problem doesn't get fixed... or worse... I could have a wreck and be killed... as most of the driving I do is at night, and often... I drive on country roads that have no street lights... not to mention... deer running out in the road.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #24

Jul 152009


  • 82,000 miles
2006 Toyota Prius. My headlights failed on mountain road without any warning. I was doing about 50mph and swerved into the shoulder to avoid going off cliff. This vehicle is a death trap after dark and somebody is going to lose their life because Toyota doesn't seem to take this seriously. I called their consumer hotline an was told I would have to foot the bill of nearly $900. I was then told by Toyota to have the car repaired and they would reimburse me. I found a Toyota dealer to do repair for $502 and now Toyota tells me this was not a participating dealer even though it was an authorized factory Toyota dealer. It truly seems like Toyota is trying to avoid this problem. I now want to sell this car asap but am concerned for the safety of the person who will ultimately buy it from me. I'm wondering if I could face a lawsuit for knowingly selling a car with this serious safety defect ? please help us !!!

- Corona, CA, USA

problem #23

Jan 012007


  • 20,000 miles
1. headlight or headlights turn off unexpectedly 2. occurs regularly on my car. Other owners report this problem and say it is a $1000 repair that doesn't always work. Because the headlights dim, or shutoff on their own. I will often be driving with one headlight or no headlights and not be aware of it. Because they were working when I drove off. Due to the dimming feature, I cannot easily tell if they are off or dimmed until someone tells me. Then I turn off and on my headlights and it works for a while. 3. I am told it is a $1000 Toyota repair, that is not a permanent fix. I think it occurred under warranty, but I was not aware of what I was experiencing until after warranty expired.

- San Dimas, CA, USA

problem #22

Jul 012008


  • 42,000 miles
The left and right headlights sometimes go out independently of one another. Other times they both go out. Of course, this is not good while driving in darkness. Flipping headlight switch to off and back on fixes the problem, but sometimes it's only a temporary fix and I have to do it again a few minutes later, and other times both lights remain on. For unexplained reasons, the problem is occurring more frequently now. It seems that this is not uncommon in the Prius and I, myself, have seen other cars with a headlight out here in the burlington, vt area. In fact, a co-worker took his into the shop and they said it was a bad bulb. What I'm reading is that it's not the bulbs.

- Richmond, VT, USA

problem #21

May 012009


  • 39,712 miles
Several battery cells malfunctioned in the battery. Battery was under warranty, got a free new battery. Not sure what caused the battery failure.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #20

May 012007


  • 24,000 miles
Malfunction in hid headlights for Toyota Prius is chronic - always flashing off and on - mostly off. They were replaced once in 2007 for free while under warranty. This has been occurring constantly for the past 6 months and although I have a 5Y/100,000 mile warranty, the dealership said this was only covered under the 3 yr/30,000 mile warranty and wants to charge me to fix this issue that is chronic with the Prius.

- Covina, CA, USA

problem #19

Oct 022006


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. The contact stated one headlight failed intermittently. On some occasions, the headlights remain illuminated and clearly indicate that the bulb has not burned out. The vehicle was taken to a dealer and they replaced the headlight assembly, which corrected the failure for two years. Currently, the issue has recurred. The failure mileage was 10,000 and current mileage was 61,000. Updated 5/7/09 the consumer stated whenever the headlight fails, it can be restored by turning the headlights off and then on again. Updated 05/12/09.

- Ardara, PA, USA

problem #18

May 012008


  • 40,000 miles
Driver's-side headlight suddenly turns off while driving, usually within 5-15 minutes of driving. This occurs during both city and highway driving. Since approximately May 2008, friends and family driving in front of me during group trips would periodically mention that one of my headlights was off. I would later check the headlights and find both operational. Eventually, I started to notice, through looking at the reflection in other cars, that my driver's side headlight would indeed be off. Turning the lights off very quickly and turning them back on again would usually solve the problem. However, as time went on, the occurrence became more and more frequent. Now, my driver's side headlight turns off suddenly, every time I drive, within 15 minutes of turning on. Flicking the lights off and on does turn both lights back on, but the problem returns again within 5-15 minutes. I am very concerned about this problem becoming progressively worse, and I have read many accounts online of both headlights eventually failing, which is especially worrisome. Updated 04/16/09.

- Chalmette, LA, USA

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