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 30 of 40)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #213

Feb 282009


  • 57,000 miles


Both headlights started to go out intermittently. Turn the headlights off, then back on, and they would work for a while, then one or the other would go out again. Finally, the left headlight went out and would not come back on. My wife was traveling out of town at the time, and fortunately found a dealer open on Saturday. We subsequently had to replace the right headlight as well.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #212

Mar 132009


  • 60,000 miles
I own a 2006 Toyota Prius and have a problem with the hid headlights. My hid headlights flicker and then one goes out. If I turn the headlights off and on, they work again for a short time, yet then one will flicker again and turn off. This happens to both headlights. It seems this is a problem with many 2006 priuses, however the Toyota dealer says it is not anything covered by warranty, and wants to charge an outrageous amount to replace the lights. It seems obvious that it is a defective light, which poses a dangerous situation.

- Downey, CA, USA

problem #211

Nov 012008


  • 35,000 miles
No specific events identifiable. With the headlight switch in the on position, each of the front headlights will randomly shut off independently of the other when driving. The light (or lights) will turn back on after turning the headlight switch off and back on. To repair the problem, I had to replace both eom bulbs for $550. Many others with Toyota which have these bulbs appear to be having this problem as well. This is a major safety concern.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #210

Aug 102008


  • 20,000 miles


Headlights intermittently turn off while driving. Although several people had told me my headlight was out for several months, it seemed to be functioning when I checked it. Then, once I saw that passenger side headlight was off when I was behind a shiny vehicle. I turned the lights off & then on & it immediately illuminated. I noticed from time to time that I had this problem, but it always corrected by turning off & back on. Since I leave my headlights turned on all the time, I thought maybe every time I started the car I needed to turn them off & then back on. It is impossible to detect that I am having this problem unless I hit a dark patch of road or get behind a shiny vehicle at a red light. Then the driver's side headlights began having the same problem. I took the car to my regular mechanic twice, but he was unable to find anything wrong. The frequency of the problem seemed to grow over time. Saturday, I made an appointment with the dealership & that's where my car is today. Sunday evening I googled Prius & up popped 'headlights.' I was very surprised! I began to read & every story was my story. The repair can be very very very expensive. This appears to be a serious safety hazard to me, especially since the driver often has no clue of the problem. I feel fortunate that I did not cause a wreck or get a ticket because of this.

- Littleton, CO, USA

problem #209

Mar 012009


  • 30,000 miles
For the second time in the three years that I have owned my '06 Prius I am having headlight failures that start intermittently before completely failing to operate. It starts with one light going out and coming back on after momentarily turning off the lights. The first episode ( at 30,000 miles) resulted in being pulled over and ticketed by the police ($70) the dealership arranged for a one time manufacturer replacement of the entire light assemblies (bulbs lenses and ballasts) although the bulbs were fine -- at a cost of nearly $800. Now at 69,000 miles (17 months later) the problem has returned. A week ago pass. Side light began flickering while driving, two days into that the light would go out and upon turning off and turning on lights it would illuminate at a very low intensity and then go out. Two days ago that light fails to illuminate. Last night the driver's side light went out leaving me in total darkness on a dark road. Terrifying! turning on high beams did not help. After turning off and on 2 times, drivers side light came back on. Going to dealer Monday, is there a recall for this?

- Port Murray, NJ, USA

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problem #208

Mar 042009


  • 29,000 miles
Drivers side headlight goes out after being on for awhile turning the switch off then back on the light comes back on it has hid lights.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #207

Jun 012008


  • 30,000 miles


Driver's side headlamp unexpectedly turns off while driving. On one occasion both headlights turned off while driving at night. Turning the headlight switch off and then on again will cause the headlights to come back on. Having both headlights unexpectedly turn off while driving at night is clearly a safety issue. There are hundreds of on-line complaints and posts detailing this issue. The Toyota dealer says this is a common problem for 2005, 2006 Prius equipped with hid headlight. Toyota states that replacing the bulb and/or the hid controller (ECU) "may" fix the problem. Dealer says that replacing the bulb and the ECU is ~$1,000 per side. A total of $2,000 for both sides. $2,000 to replace the headlights in a three year old car"??? dealer has asked that I switch bulbs and see what happens. Dealer is asking that I pay for a new headlight ECU and see if the headlight still shuts off while driving. In essence the dealer is asking that I risk my safety by experimenting with repair attempts. Toyota needs to find out what wrong with the headlights on these cars, identify a fix and issue a recall before someone gets into a serious accident (did we not learn from the Ford pinto")

- Seal Beach, CA, USA

problem #206

Feb 272009


  • 144,000 miles
I wanted to add my experience with premature hid headlight failure on my 2006 Toyota Prius. This appears to be a very common problem with the 2006 model. Since this is the first year the D4R hid lamp was used in any automotive application I am surprised there has not been a recall required. My headlights have "intermittent" failure and have been behaving as such for the last 6 months. As noted by others who have had this problem cycling the headlights and hitting the plasma with the initial high voltage charge will allow them to work for a period of time but not always. Sometimes they will work for an entire evening and sometimes not at all after several "cycling" attempts. It is generally my driver's side headlight that fails but I have had the passenger side fail as well and just recently at times have even had both fail. As you can imagine this is very dangerous at night and requires me to pull over and "cycle" until my lights are restored. Through extensive replacements and postings on www.priuschat.com it is generally acknowledged that the problem is with the D4R itself and not the ballast or any type of wiring issues. At as much as $300 each through Toyota these bulbs are extremely expensive to replace. It is ridiculous that the consumer should be burdened with this considering the problem seems readily apparent to all 2006 owners. Although my vehicle has very high mileage (144,000) 70-80% of those miles are driven during the day and I do not run the headlights during the day. Also since my vehicle was purchased in March 2006 it is still less than 3 years old. My other vehicles are 5 or 6 years, have standard headlights and never have needed replacing. I ordered 2 D4R hid lamps today and will be replacing them myself. Hopefully these new bulbs are manufactured better than the ones from Toyota and will last longer than the originals.

- Mooresville, NC, USA

problem #205

Feb 272009


  • 4,000 miles
2006 Prius having repeated hid headlamp problems. Left side or right side will shut off, never both. Not relative to climate or weather. Dealer recommended both lamps be replaced, $420, plus $90 diagnostics fee. Citation for light law infraction. Reviewing internet chat rooms, apparent problem with the light system justifying an investigation. Over 50 occurrences.

- Cottontown, TN, USA

problem #204

Dec 012008


  • 60,000 miles
Passenger side headlight fades then goes out. Turning the switch off/on will turn the headlight on again - sometimes it will fade out again, sometimes it will stay on. Dealership switched the bulbs (passenger to driver sides) to see if it's a bulb problem or something else. Now the driver's side (same bulb) is displaying the same symptoms. Have not yet replaced the bulb due to the high cost.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #203

Jan 202009


  • 150,000 miles


Passenger headlight would periodically go out. Had to have it replaced at the cost of $250 not covered under full warranty. Toyota needs to make good on this problem.

- Prescott, AZ, USA

problem #202

Feb 012007


  • 30,000 miles
2006 Toyota pruis option 6 problem with passenger headlight going on and off. Hid's.

- Elizabeth City, NC, USA

problem #201

Feb 162009


  • 70,500 miles
Intermittent hid headlight. I've suspected this for many months, but an observer just confirmed it this am. One light will frequently turn off at highway speed, then will turn on again as I slow to a stop.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #200

Feb 102009


  • 36,000 miles
Right hid headlight intermittently working. Repair > $200. Please help resolve this safety issue.

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #199

May 152007


  • 22,000 miles
My left headlight will shut off without any known cause. If I shut the lights off and back on again they will work for a period of time until they again shut it self off. Recently, I had the experience of having my left light out, (I was unaware it was out) and my right light failed also. It was night time and I was driving on back winding roads. I knew enough to turn my lights off and back on so I was able to return to being able to see the road ahead. The left light issue has been ongoing for the past year and a half. The occurrence is intermittent with no apparent pattern of failure. The first time I brought this to the attention of my dealer they said I would have to replace both bulbs and the wiring harness for a cost to me of about $1,800. I am contacting Toyota today directly in regards to having this fixed under warranty, but I feel that this is a safety issue and needs a mandatory factory recall.

- Auburn, ME, USA

problem #198

Feb 102009


  • 28,000 miles
We purchased a new '06 Toyota Prius in 2006. While the vehicle was under warranty in Nov. '07 the drivers headlight went out and the bulb was replaced by the dealer (Texas Toyota of grapevine). Around November '08 we noticed that the headlight was cycling on and off without warning. Sometimes turning the lights off and then back on turned the light back on but not always. The light also appears dimmer than the passenger side. During a trip to the dealer in Feb. '09 to enquire what the problem was (warranty is expired(mileage)), the dealer admitted that the original issue was a computer chip and not the bulb. Now the dealer has offered to replace the cpu chip under warranty because the repair was not done properly in Nov. '07. However the dealer is charging me for replacing the bulb that the bad cpu chip ruined.

- Keller, TX, USA

problem #197

Jan 042009


  • 25,000 miles
Hid left headlamp blinking went to dealer they replaced $300 bulb, had to fight for warranty (25,000 miles). The very next night the right side went out. Got a warning from the police. They replaced that one under warranty. Now at 46,000 they are doing it again. $600 plus labor! out of warranty now. Also the self leveling feature points the lights all over the place. These things are a safety hazard.

- North Oxford, MA, USA

problem #196

Feb 092009


  • 40,000 miles
I have a 2006 Toyota Prius and the driver's side headlight will intermittently shut off while driving. This has been occurring for several months, and the passenger side headlight had the same problem today. It's difficult to know when the light shuts off unless I'm driving at night or can see the reflection of the car in another vehicle. As it stands, the driver's side will only stay on for a short time now after I turn the lights on and off.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #195

Feb 042009


  • 510,000 miles
I have a 2006 Toyota Prius and have to replace the headlights three times in the last 6 months. The dealer has advised that the replacement is very expensive - over $400. Would like Toyota to recall and fix this problem.

- Los Altos, CA, USA

problem #194

Dec 042008


  • 35,400 miles
1. no special event led to failure. First failure occurred at about 35,400 miles (odometer). 2. two headlights go out simultaneously while driving on an intermittent basis. Each headlight can also go out while driving independently of the other. 3. powering off /on the car resolves the problem. Turning the headlights off and on again solves the problem. The repair shop (dealer) could not recreate the problem and so did not replace any parts at my first visit. I am about to go back and try again.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

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