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 1 of 6)

problem #117

Nov 012016


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the instrumen panel failed causing the contact to be able to view the reading levels. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the combo meter failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer advised that the instrument panel warrenty repair had expired and that the repairs would be at the contacts expense. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- Boyton Beach, FL, USA

problem #116

Sep 152015


  • 85,000 miles
The headlights flicker and then go out. It is necessary to turn off all lights and then turn them back on. The same thing happens after a short period of time. This happens when the car is moving and I have been pulled over because I was unaware that the lights were out while driving in the city.

- Lauderdale By The Sea, FL, USA

problem #115

Apr 092014


  • miles
2006 Prius multifunction display defects, manufactuer wants $8,000 to repair. The mfd controls ac distribution. It affects my health. I have a skin condition, that requires cooling of my legs. The air will come on, but only from dash area, there is no other control method, because touch screen does not work. Also window defroster is inopperalble, from screen. There is a defroster button on steering wheel, it works only part of the time. I have had car into dealership 3 seprate times (at 2 different locations) they can not find the problem with steering wheel defrost buttom. I was told, there is no diagnostics for the electrical on this vehicle, the other dealership, just said " the tech found out defroster problem, is somewhere under here" as he reached under the dash area. The touch doesn't work at anytime, parked or going down the road. $8,000 dollars for this repair is way out of my reach. From what I understand it is a widespread problem, or a bad design. The defrost comtrol on steering wheel will come on/off when I hit a bump in the road or a rough railroad crossing. Driving without proper defrosting is very dangerous.

- Beckville, TX, USA

problem #114

Apr 302016


  • 142,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. While driving 45 mph, all the gauges, meters, and lights on the instrument cluster failed to function. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 142,000.

- Dptford, NJ, USA

problem #113

Mar 272016


  • 283,000 miles
Without warning the dashboard stopped working. The car was stopped and power button was pushed at the time when fact occurred in a very isolated place with no cell phone service an little chance of any other car passing by. The car does not display anymore speed, mileage, fuel level and gearbox position, although the car was otherwise driveable. Warning lights are not working anymore also. Backup camera and lights also stopped working. Car also does not turn off most of time (the power button might work at random with some insistence). According to information gathered this could have been caused by a faulty combination meter, which Toyota was servicing for free for some time owing to a high failure rate.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #112

Oct 012015


  • 150,000 miles
Toyota is aware of a widespread issue regarding the electric dashboard going out. They have refused to replace mine due to it being past the "time window". this should be a safety recall. Drivers are unable to determine if there are any warning lights, what the fuel tank reads, mileage, or any other information. This affects more than just the 2006 model, as well.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #111

Dec 032014


  • 250,000 miles


On very cold mornings the combination meter (speedometer and dash lights) fail to come on. This first began in December 2014 shortly after having the ice replaced at the dealer, but it has been very intermittent. A few tries and the problem usually corrects itself. It is rarely very cold here so getting it to repeat the problem is difficult. Toyota issued an extended warranty on the known defect but it expired 4 months ago and I was never notified of the warranty extension. Toyota is aware that there is a defect. When this happens, the car will drive but there is no speedometer or fuel gauge and the odometer ceases to work. I did not take the car to the dealer last winter because for one thing I couldn't make it repeat the problem and also because I suffered a grand mal seizure and was unable to drive the car for a year. Now I can drive again and everything has been fine until now that it is winter again. Toyota claims they notified me of this warranty extension but I never received a letter from them. I think it is a dangerous and known defect that should be repaired by Toyota. I do not like driving without instruments!

- Abbeville, MS, USA

problem #110

Dec 102015


  • 217,385 miles
The car was at a stop light when all the dashboard lights went out (nightime). When I tried to turn the vehicle off, the car would not shut down. This is a known problem to Toyota especially on high mileage vehicles. The car has 217,000 miles (original owner). Toyota issued T-sb-0172-09 as a "warranty enhancement program" in order to avoid an official recall of the problem. Unfortunately, I missed the deadline by 3 months.

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #109

Nov 262015


  • 60,000 miles
The insturment cluster ( speedometer, backup camera, etc) failed one night. A system reset restored things the next day, but now it has started to fail routinely. This is a safety issue Y incapacitating the speedometer and the backup comera. Toyota states they have extended the warranty once and will not fix it, even though this car has never had this issue before. The car has 60,000 miles. The car also fails to turn off leaving a major potential for an unavoidable accident.

- St. Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #108

Sep 182015


  • 100,000 miles
The combination meter on my 2006 Prius has an intermittent electrical short. This results in the dashboard lights going out while the car is moving. This problem with the electrical system on the Prius can result in the brakes on the car failing. In addition the car often continues to stay on after we turn it off. This is also a safety hazard. Toyota has refused our request to replace the defective combination meter, even though this is a widespread problem.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #107

Nov 282015


  • 33,800 miles


While driving, the instrument panel combination meter that displays the vehicle speed and other information went blank. After pulling over car, I tried to turn it off using the power button but it would not turn off. After a few tries, I held down power button for 5 seconds and it finally did go to accessory mode, but did not turn off altogether. It took several presses of the button to finally get the car to shut off. I talked to my local Toyota service center who told me that this is a known issue and Toyota extended the warranty for the combination meter to 9 years (T-sb-0172-09). Unfortunately, I was 4 months past the 9 year mark, so it would cost me $1500 to replace the part. I have since talked to two other people I know who have the same model Prius and they have had the same issue in the past year, one of which was replaced under warranty as he had the problem before the 9 year mark. The other was in the same situation as me as it happened after the 9 year mark. An online search shows that this is becoming a very common issue and happening to many just after the 9 year warranty expires, resulting in a lot of upset owners. I did check my files and see that a warranty enhancement notice was sent to me a couple of years ago that states that this issue has been reported by a limited number of owners and that if it does has happened to my car, I did not need to take action at this time. In hindsight, I should not have followed the instructions and instead took my car in and insisted on a warranty repair. I believe that this is a serious safety issue that should be handled as a recall rather than with a warranty enhancement with a limited warranty period. The car has less than 34000 miles on it.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #106

Nov 212015


  • 279,000 miles
Hid lights fail while driving, at night it is very dangerous and can cause an accident. Where do I go to get them repaired / replaced without paying for the manufactures defective equipment ? I live in san jose, ca. 95111

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #105

Nov 202015


  • 96,000 miles
Dash board disabled.caint see totally black.

- Hon, HI, USA

problem #104

Oct 132015


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the combination meter failed and the instrument panel became inoperable. The failure occurred once. After several attempts, the vehicle shut down. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 130,000.

- Vista, CA, USA

problem #103

Oct 062015


  • 212,000 miles
The combo meter on my car went dark this morning. I called Toyota and was told that my warranty expired 2 months ago. This is not safe because there is no indication on what the vehicle is doing. Also this feature causes the car to not shut off.

- Westminster, CA, USA

problem #102

Aug 242015


  • 152,178 miles
One of the headlights worked sporadically. It happened the same day I purchased the car used from a Toyota dealership, but I didn't notice it right away because it was daytime. The next day I went to the service department and they said I needed to replace the hid bulb which costs $300!!!!! after complaining to the dealership they replaced it at no charge, but I am concerned that this might be a recurring problem. I don't know if they replaced any associated parts or not, since the invoice they gave me just listed "engine elecrical concern" without an itemized list.

- Des Moines, WA, USA

problem #101

May 042015


  • 116,000 miles
On the morning of may,04,2015 upon entering the car and starting it up the instrument panel fails to display. Not certain what the issue was I performed various check including the the accessory battery and attempted multiple times starting and stopping the car to no avail. I left the car where it was and a few hours later when I returned everything worked fine for a few more weeks then the issue occurred again. However, I have noticed that the issue is occurring now more frequently including when driving (stopped then go). Furthermore, whenever this issue occurs it becomes almost impossible to power the engine off and since their is no cluster display to let you know vital safety information, including speed, gas, mileage, gear (D-R-N) this creates an unsafe and hazardous condition for operators of this vehicle. Toyota motor Corp. Is very much aware of this hazard which results from a manufacture defective combination meter.

- Piscataway, NJ, USA

problem #100

Jul 302015


  • 147,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. While driving approximately 55 mph, the instrument panel seized without warning. The vehicle resumed normal operation the next morning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 147,000.

- Woodland Park, CO, USA

problem #99

Jul 242015

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
I was driving my husband to work when I noticed the instrument panel was completely dark. Tried turning the car off and then on again with no effect -- panel was still dark. It's particularly worrisome that I had no speedometer to tell how fast I was going, nor would any of the other indicator lights come on. When I tried to turn the car off a second time, it wouldn't power down, and I couldn't extract the key. I couldn't even lock the car so I could leave it there to seek aid. In doing research, I found that this is a known fault with the combination meter and Toyota knows this is a problem and issued a warranty extension. However, their warranty only covered cars currently experiencing the problem when the letter went out and during a specified date range, irregardless of mileage. They would not have replaced the part during the warranty extension because I had not yet experienced the problem, and now they refuse to replace the defective part because my experience happened 4 months after their arbitrary cut-off date. A faulty part is a faulty part and should be replaced when they know it's a problem. This is a serious safety issue that should not have a time limit. The car is not safe to drive if you don't know how fast you are driving, how much gas you have, etc. And you can't shut it down or lock it either....updated 08/25/15 updated 12/3/2015

- Eugene, OR, USA

problem #98

Jul 142015


  • 106,000 miles
My headlights keep going off while driving. I have to turn them off then on again to get them to work. Sometimes one, sometimes both, not always at the same moment. You know about this! NHTSA: I am going to hold you responsible if I am injured!! issue a recall now!! NHTSA action number : PE09019

- Camarillo, CA, USA

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