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 20 of 40)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #413

Oct 202009


  • miles


I am very disappointed in your decision not to recall the Toyota Prius headlight problem. To start with both lights on my vehicle go out and also one light goes out just driving for no reason. I have taken it to the dealer and they changed the headlight which did not fix the problem, so I took it to another dealer who said it unfix-able even though my car was under warranty. So basically you have given them permission to have a car that lights do not remain on and cannot be fixed. This has been an ongoing problem since I got the car. Has Toyota paid off someone? there are other safety issues also in the design of this car and Toyota has no motivation to fix them because they are allowed to lie about gas mileage, not tell you about if you have a key break that your car has to be special towed, so if your parked where a flatbed cannot get you your in trouble. Also all they had to do was keep the code on file like with regular keys but they refuse to keep the code or even give it to the owner so a key can be made. Thus it cost a thousand dollars to get a new key. The date of the headlight problem is ongoing about once a week lately. Recent time is noted below. I entered VIN it would not take it.

- King Of Prussia, PA, USA

problem #412

Feb 202009


  • 40,000 miles
I have a 2006 Toyota Prius. The right headlight went out around 20,000 miles. This was replaced by the dealer. At 40,000 the left headlight started working intermittently -- right after it was out of the official warranty. I asked the Toyota dealer to replace it, but they said I would have to pay the full repair cost. The light works intermittently -- if you turn it on and off it comes back on but goes out pretty often. This seems like a serious safety issue and I know that many other priuses have similar problems (I see many with one light and I've read of many other complaints).

- Berkeley, CA, USA

problem #411

Mar 012009


  • 69,000 miles
Passenger side headlight intermittently fails. Starting when the car had approximately 69,000 miles, I would notice that the passenger side headlight would intermittently fail while driving. Turning the headlights off and back on again would cause the passenger side headlight to start working again for a time. Sometimes the headlight would fail again the same day. Sometimes it would be weeks between failures. Dealer diagnosed a defective hid capsule and said they would need to be replaced at a cost of approx. $510.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #410

Oct 172009


  • 56,000 miles


Front drivers side headlight in 2006 Toyota Prius intermittently goes out. Turning off both headlights and then back on again brings it back to life for a period of time. At least once both headlights failed at the same time. Turning them off/on caused them to relight. There are many Prius owners discussing the defect at a 600+ comment forum posting listed here: priuschat.com/forums/gen-II-Prius-care-maintenance-troubleshooting/34584-headlight-problem.html users have reported that replacing the bulbs does not work and that often the replacement of the wiring or headlight computer is needed. I have replaced the bulbs myself and verified that this action alone does not remedy the problem.

- Troy, NY, USA

problem #409

Oct 122009


  • 56,000 miles
I own a 2006 Toyota Prius. My driver's side headlight goes off unexpectedly. When I turn the lights off and then back on the light comes back on, but I never know how long it will remain lit. This is dangerous. The lights have some type of problem that no one seems to know how to solve. I drive dark country roads and need reliable lights.

- Dublin, OH, USA

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problem #408

Sep 072007


  • 39,000 miles
I own a 2006 Toyota Prius w/ 75K miles. For two years I've been dealing with a faulty headlight system. The left headlight keeps turning off during use in inclement weather. I never really know when the left headlight is going to fail me. I cannot afford the ridiculous repair fee. I have received numerous warnings by police officers who have been gracious enough to know that my car headlights absolutely sucks. Please help me in getting Toyota to do the right thing. They didn't have a problem taking my money, but they do have a problem fixing this obvious factory defect. I will never buy another Toyota product. I am going to warn all potential buyer to steer clear of this company that denies factory defect accountability.

- New Carlisle, OH, USA

problem #407

Oct 152009


  • 88,000 miles


I own a 2006 Toyota Prius and I am having trouble with the headlights going off at random times and you must turn them off and then back on and it happens many times both headlights. I M told by the Toyota dealer in silsbee Texas that I must replace both headlights at a cost of about $1700 even though I have the extended warranty it is not covered and I have been given a warning for this problem from the japer tx police and it is definitely considered a safety hazard this first occurred at about 44,000 and im finally getting it replaced at about 88,000 miles.

- Jasper, TX, USA

problem #406

Oct 132009


  • 68,450 miles
1. the events leading up to the failure: Many people told me that one of the headlights on my Prius 2006 was out - when I checked everything was working. 2. the failure, how often it occurs, its consequences: I was driving on a poorly lighted road last night (10/13/09) and almost got into accident because both of my headlights went out at the same time. This was very dangerous and scary with my whole family and children inside the car. I started to pay attention to the reflections of my headlights on the backs of other cars and noticed that the headlights go out quite frequently - one or both at a time. 3. what was done to correct the failure; I.e, parts repaired or replaced (and if old part is available): I brought the car to a local dealer and they recommended replacement of both hid bulbs. I do not believe that the problem is with the bulbs themselves because they actually work fine but some defect causes them to switch off. I called Toyota main customer service number and they agreed to open a case #0910122928 and told me that a case manager will contact me sometime at the end of this week. This is unacceptable because I only have one car and have to drive to work and take my children to and from aftercare after dark. Toyota explained that they have such a long waiting time because they get many complaints like this. So, instead of hiring more case managers and investigating the issue they just tell people to wait for the next accident!

- Derwood, MD, USA

problem #405

Oct 102009


  • 55,000 miles
Passenger side headlight fails. Began at about 55,000 miles. Minutes, sometimes seconds, after starting car, headlamp begins to fade, then goes out. If I flick the lights on and off, it comes back on briefly, then out again. Warranty has expired, and information from other owners is that this is a common problem, expensive to fix, recurrent (and unreliable) and a serious safety concern for priuses. See other complaints at: www.hybridcars.com/forums/replacing-headlight-bulb-T910.html.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #404

Sep 082009


  • 66,000 miles
I have a 2006 Prius with approximately 68K miles on it. Both headlights simply go out without warning. The first time this happened, I was on a back road and nearly went off a corner into a ravine. It was my presence of mind to brake quickly and cycle the headlight switch that prevented a serious accident. Based on my research, this is a known problem yet there is no bulletin or announcement of any kind being sent out to Prius owners. When the dealer said that it would be nearly $700 to simply replace the bulbs and that might not be the end of repairs to correct the actual problem, I was speechless. I'm unemployed at the time and such a costly charge to do something that won't even address what is clearly a defect is simply not acceptable. I had to sleep in my car on a business trip that I just returned from because I didn't want to take a chance on being pulled over at night for defective equipment and incur even more expenses. Will someone actually have to die in order for this issue to get the response that it deserves from Toyota? your Agency, without full review of data that Toyota was to send to you, has prematurely decided to not treat this as a safety defect. You have made a mistake and leaving this as a civil court matter is a complete cop out.

- Los Gatos, CA, USA

problem #403

Oct 032009


  • 48,000 miles


I own a 2006 Toyota Prius. The driver's side headlight has been going out intermittently for about a year. It comes on just fine, but after driving a short while, it sometimes (not always) goes dark on its own. Turning the light switch on & off completely usually gets it back on. Recently, both headlights went dark all on their own after I had been driving a short time. The police noticed & pulled me over - very dangerous situation. I turned the lights off & on and they both came back on, so the police let me go. This happens almost every time I drive the car at night. I don't always notice when they've gone out - this is very dangerous. I've taken it to the dealer, but they cannot figure out what is causing it. They told me they could replace the bulb, but that might not fix the problem. I have read about this happening in many other Toyota priuses year 2006-2008.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #402

Dec 012008


  • miles
1. normal operating conditions 2. passenger or driver side headlamp goes out. Intermittently 3. bulb replacement.

- Holyoke, MA, USA

problem #401

Oct 072009


  • 42,000 miles
Headlight regularly goes out. Turning lights off and on it comes back on.

- Carrboro, NC, USA

problem #400

Oct 072009


  • 64,700 miles
Hid headlight shuts off while driving in the dark. Flicking the switch off, then on turns it back on but later shuts off again.

- Denville, NJ, USA

problem #399

Mar 012009


  • 49,500 miles
My 2006 Prius has the intermittent flicker/fade/failure problem with both headlamps as I have seen reported by other Prius owners. I had an auto repair shop replace the drivers' side headlamp in March, 2009, but it resumed the fade/fail pattern within a couple of months. Dealership wants over $500 to replace one unit, with no guarantee that this will cure the problem. It is hard to think the bulbs are the problem when they are at normal brightness most of the time.

- Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #398

Sep 052009


  • 39,000 miles
Contrary to your investigation report, both hid headlamps failed simultaneously at interstate speed. Only light remaining were fog lamps. Head lamps reset after toggling switch. The problem has happened more than once. Please reconsider investigation or recall.

- Sidney, NE, USA

problem #397

Oct 042009


  • 37,000 miles
Headlights cut out.

- Edina, MN, USA

problem #396

Sep 292009


  • 54,000 miles
My 2006 Toyota Prius with hid headlights has had a problem since about 25,000 miles where the left headlight will periodically go out. I can get the light to come back on by turning the lights off and they come back on. Last week I was driving on a dark country road with my bright headlights on and they both went out. It was completely dark and I applied the brakes while trying to hold the car straight so I did not strike a tree or pole at the side of the road. I fumbled with the switch and was able to turn the lights on by turning the switch completely off and then back on. I had to turn the lights off and back on every couple minutes to keep them working. It was very dangerous and frightening. I understand that your investigation into other complaints ended without a recall because both lights did not go out with some of those surveyed. I will tell you that both of my lights went out completely with no forewarning.

- Westfield, IN, USA

problem #395

Aug 262009


  • 35,000 miles
After several attempts to have Toyota cover the cost of replacing hid lamps in my 2006 Toyota Prius they finally did so at no charge for parts but charged $100 labor stating that I could get that refunded by Toyota provided a recall on the lamps was issued. The problem is that the lamps go out intermittently while driving. When or if the driver detects that one lamp goes out then by turning the switch on and off quickly the lamps always restart but again they will go out again maybe in 15 minutes or maybe never. As a driver you may not notice it until they both go out. I had been driving my car fro over a year before the dealer finally admitted that they were aware of the problem. Replacing the lamps fixed the problem immediately. The incident date below is the repair date.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #394

Oct 012009


  • 25,000 miles
While under warranty, less than 30K miles, left headlight of 2006 Toyota Prius failed while driving. Then a month or so later the right headlight failed. Then both. When lights were turned off and then turned back on, they usually illuminated again at least for a short time and then failed again without warning or pattern while driving. Dealer replaced both headlights at 30K. At 45K, pattern began exactly the same. At 50K service, dealership was made aware of problem, did nothing because they said they could not reproduce the problem in shop. At 55K, dealer was again made aware of problem, was able to reproduce it in one headlight and offered to sell the one new headlight for $400 plus labor. This is a serious safety issue. Even if the headlight is replaced at great expense, pattern will begin again. Toyota knows about the problem. The dealerships know about the problem. They are not fixing it because it is expensive for them and it makes sense for them to profit by selling expensive hid headlights, which they do not cover under extended warranty. If there has not been already, there is going to be an accident and a lawsuit about this problem. Last night after dusk I realized my lights were out only when an oncoming car swerved to avoid me.

- Princeton, NJ, USA

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