really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,506 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2006 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 13 of 40)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #553

Mar 152010


  • 89,624 miles


My 2006 Toyota Prius headlights are malfunctioning. My headlights go off intermittently. Mainly the right headlights but both lights have this problem. If I turn off and then turn on the lights then they will work ok for a little while. I am worried that both lights may go off and will put my family at risk at night.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #552

Mar 122010


  • 36,000 miles
In 2009 I purchased a 2006 Toyota Prius. Immediately after purchase the head lights randomly shut off. Sometimes one at time and sometimes both at the same time. Recently I was driving over a dark mountain pass in the snow and the headlights both went out at the same time. It took me three times, turning them off and on for them to come back on. We could have been hurt or killed. This happens often, at least five to six times when we are driving our car at night and my son has been pulled over and ticketed twice. We called the dealer and even though we bought the full extended used car warranty, Toyota does not cover the headlight issues and are telling us it's going to cost between $500 - $1500 to have the headlights replaced. It's obviously an electrical problem, but Toyota said they issued a statement saying it was not. The lights even go out when you turn on your blinkers, off course randomly. I even went for a night time drive with my salesperson right after I purchased the vehicle and he saw the lights go off. He said I would just have to replace them at my cost even though it was obvious they were going on and off when we hit even the slightest bump in road and even though it was supposedly a certified used car. Toyota knows there is a problem because it's issued a statement and there are blogs all over the internet about it, yet they refuse to help their customers maintain a safe operating vehicle. I've again called the dealer and have another appointment about this issue in a couple of days. We are hoping they acknowledge that we've purchases three Toyota from them in the last three years and that they will fix the headlights for us before someone gets hurt or killed. All three cars we purchased from Toyota are also involved in their current recalls. We are very unhappy with our Toyota and feel very unsafe driving them with family members and children in our vehicles.

- Bend, OR, USA

problem #551

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 #550

Jan 022010


  • 32,000 miles


Driver side hid headlight fails intermittedly.

- Needham, MA, USA

problem #549

Mar 042010


  • 104,565 miles
The hid headlights on my 2006 Toyota Prius intermittently go out one at a time. Once they go out they stay out unless I manually turn them off and then on I cannot determine when one of the headlights goes out. The problem is when driving with only 1 headlamp I have had several instances when the other headlamp has gone out as well leaving me with no headlights at night. If I hadn't known to turn them on/off I would have been driving on a road at night with no headlamps.

- Plymouth, MA, USA

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problem #548

Mar 102010


  • 65,000 miles
Reference your case PE09019, closed in August 2009. I also own a 2006 Toyota Prius on which the headlamps fail daily. As stated in the report it usually starts with only one lamp failing but it often ends with both lamps out. I will not drive without my fog lamps on for fear I will be in total darkness at a crucial time such as a sharp curve or turn in the road. I have been waiting for someone to take action and force a recall as it is extremely expensive to replace these headlamps. In light of the current findings against Toyota, you should reopen the investigation. I am not certain by any means but I had heard your organization had over 500 complaints regarding this issue. Why did you only interview 40 owners" do we have to wait for someone's death, perhaps mine or one of my family members, before we take this situation serious enough to force action on Toyota's part? how could something as serious as headlamp failure be dismissed so casually"

- Statesboro, GA, USA

problem #547

Mar 082010


  • 51,000 miles


Both headlights on 2006 Prius turned off after less than 5 minutes on road. May have exhibited flashing before total failure of both headlights. Confirmed headlight on light was present during failure. One car coming towards flashed their lights to convey my headlights were off. I then slowed down and turn lights off then back on. Both came back on and stayed on since then. I have been checking each time I get in or out of car than headlights are on and functioning normal at beginning and end of trip. Fyi, I do not use headlights as daylight running lights.

- Oregon City, OR, USA

problem #546

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 #545

Feb 012010


  • 36,000 miles
2006 Prius hid headlights go out intermittently. There doesn't seem to be a fix that Toyota can provide. This is very upsetting, even more so if you drive at night a lot. Toyota doesn't admit there is a problem and states the only course of action is to replace the headlight. Why am I to pay an extreme amount of money to replace a headlight when the headlight works? it's just faulty and intermittent (be it wiring, a computer glitch, or something else). This problem with the hid headlights occurs multiple times each time I drive the car. Furthermore, it is hard to determine when the headlights are working properly. I have taken my Prius to a Toyota dealership and they refuse that the lights are faulty and ask that you replace them. It is scary to drive my Prius at night and it is no fun explaining this strange situation to a police officer who doesn't care and still gives you a citation. I just want Toyota to acknowledge and fix the problem.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #544

Jan 152010


  • 44,000 miles
I own a 2006 Toyota Prius. I have had a problem with my passenger headlight working intermittently. I thought the light was failing until one night I was driving home and all the lights turned off and it was pure darkness. I quickly corrected the immediate danger by turning the light switch off then on and they came back on. This has happened two other times. I received what I thought was a recall notice on the hid lights. When I took the notice to my local dealer, they informed me that the recall was on the price of the hid bulbs and not on the actual bulbs. They had reduced the price from $300 to $150. Now, after looking into it further, it seems that I am not the only one experiencing this same problem.

- Valley Center, CA, USA

problem #543

Jan 102010


  • 72,000 miles


2006 Toyota Prius with the hid headlights. The headlights randomly turn off. At first I thought I was seeing other things, like neighboring cars switching in and out of lanes, causing the amount of light to diminish. So far, it is either one or the other headlight, not both simultaneously. Through the random process, which would be initiated each time the lights are turned on, it is only a matter of "time" before both lights extinguish at the wrong time, at highway speeds.

- Seven Hills, OH, USA

problem #542

Jan 152010


  • 25,000 miles
2006 Toyota Prius - my hid headlights have been randomly, unpredictably flickered on and off, sometimes the left, sometimes the right and sometimes both completely unexpectedly. The light switch must be flicked on and off multiple times to bring them back. Within minutes - or even seconds - they may fail again repeatedly. I do not drive at night very often but others who do are at great risk. Can you imagine the reaction of the cars in front of me while I a flicking my headlights at them repeatedly! potentially volatile. The repair is replacement of hid lights at almost $600 and is not covered by their warranty, which is wrong! this has been going on for a couple years and mechanics have not been able to trace issue other than faulty headlights or faulty computer controls. There are tens of thousands of Prius owners affected. Check the online blogs like priuschat and you will see. This is a significant safety issue which while I have had not accidents I have had numerous incidents of concern and need for quick sudden evasive action when the lights would fail unexpectedly. We who have been forced to spend hundreds for repair should be reimbursed and a full scale recall must be instigated for the safety of Prius drivers and our companions in other vehicles on the road.

- Wailuku, HI, USA

problem #541

Jan 012010


  • miles
2006 Prius. Within first 18 months of owning the car (I am original owner - took possession of car in March of 2006) experienced headlights going off by themselves. Took the car in for service thinking headlight needed replacement. Was told by service rep (at greentree Toyota in danbury, ct) that it was not the headlight but a problem with connection that Toyota recognized but was not sure how they would address. I waited for solution. As time goes on, more frequent incidence of headlight spontaneously turning off. I received a notice from Toyota company approx. 4 months ago stating the problem was a defect/connection problem. My Toyota dealership/service dept. Told me it was not and refused to fix the connection problem. Both headlights will go out at exactly the same time, leaving me in complete darkness. If I quickly switch the headlights off then back on again they will illuminate. The headlights going off at the same time happens at least once every 20 minutes.

- Bethel, CT, USA

problem #540

May 012009


  • miles
We own a 2006 Toyota Prius. The right (passenger side) front headlight works intermittently. It will turn off without warning. If you turn the lights off and then on again, it comes back on as if nothing is wrong. It will then blink out again at a later time without warning. This is a dangerous product defect. It is impossible to tell if the light is on or off unless someone tells you. We have been stopped by the police for this problem, but not ticketed yet because we can make the light come back on by turning the lights off and then on again. Toyota refuses to recall or fix the problem. Instead, they charge$500 to replace the lights, without addressing the mechanical defect. Many many other Prius owners/drivers have voiced the same complaint.

- Sherman Oaks, CA, USA

problem #539

Jul 152009


  • 50,000 miles
Defective headlights.

- Lexington, SC, USA

problem #538

Feb 262010


  • 80,000 miles
Headlight (driver's side only) sometimes turns off while driving. If I turn the lights switch off and back on, the light will turn on and work properly for a while.

- Acampo, CA, USA

problem #537

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 #536

Dec 152009


  • 60,000 miles
Prius hid bulb failed before its estimated lifetime. These bulbs are very expensive (us$ 300.00) plus labor (us$ 200.00) and they failing over and over again. This item should have been recalled by Toyota and replaced for free, since customers paid premium price up front for security benefits of the accessory in question.

- Coral Gables, FM, USA

problem #535

Feb 152010


  • 37,000 miles
Headlights failed on my 2006 Toyota Prius. One about 36,000 miles, second one about 37,000. It cost over $500 to replace them. Now one of the new ones has failed again. I wrote Toyota for help and they had an extended warranty salesperson call me saying "you need to protect yourself against what may happen in the future." I asked if headlights were covered and he said yes, but that I needed to wait 30 days after buying the policy. Wrote Toyota again saying that was unacceptable. No response. I know many other Prius owners have had this problem. Since my light has gone out right away I'm wondering if it is an electrical or computer problem with the car.

- Sun Lakes, AZ, USA

problem #534

Feb 012010


  • 53,000 miles
Intermittent failure of hid headlamps on 2006 Toyota Prius.

- Wylie, TX, USA

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