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 39 of 40)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #33

Jul 132008


  • miles


The hid headlights on the vehicle randomly go off (both sides, but independently). Toyota has replaced both headlight assemblies at different times and the control module under warranty. Turning the headlights off and then back on again returns both lights to being on. This occurs at least once a week that we can notice. We are now out of warranty and Toyota indicates we will have to pay for all diagnostics and repair.

- Silverado , CA, USA

problem #32

Jun 012008


  • 50,000 miles
The headlight on my 2006 Toyota Prius (passenger side) failed just as the warranty ran out. It was an intermittent issue so it was hard to have it occur when it was in the shop. My dealer split the parts/labor with me, which I appreciated. Now my driver side headlight is intermittent off/on. After reading other Toyota owners complaints it appears to be a common problem.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #31

Jul 112008


  • 41,000 miles
2006 Toyota Prius headlight system is faulty...numerous consumers having problem with intermittent headlight operation on relatively new vehicles. This is a manufacturer fault, not an owner/operator problem.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #30

Jul 112008


  • 29,915 miles


When driving my 2006 Toyota Prius before dawn, the hid headlights failed. I turned the light switch off, then back on, and the lights came back on. The security guard at my place of work had told me before that one of my headlights were out when I entered the parking lot, but when I turned the car back on, the lights were both working. This is an obvious intermittent, but serious defect. Having researched this problem on the various Prius chat boards on the web, this is obviously a widespread issue with the hid headlights on the 2006 Prius. I would hope that no one has to be seriously injured or die before the NHTSA forces Toyota to address this problem.

- Sevierville, TN, USA

problem #29

Jun 222007


  • 40,000 miles
The hid headlight problem started about a year ago on my 2006 Toyota Prius. I noticed that the right headlight went out as I was trying to drive around a cloverleaf at 5:20 am. I did not discover until later that I could turn off the lights and turn them back on and it will come back on. At first it was so intermittent that when I took it into the dealer for service they could not get it to go out. In the last two weeks I have to turn it off and on repeatedly as I travel to my job in the early am. I took it into another dealer when the light was out so they could decide how to fix it and they told me to turn the car off. I was sure that within the hour that they had to look at it that it surely would go out for them, but the service man told me that they could not get it to go out. I have now scheduled to take it back to leave it for a day so they can trouble shoot it. My car is no longer covered because I have 57,000 miles on it.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

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problem #28

Jul 072008


  • 56,000 miles
For many months, left (usually) or right headlight goes off while driving without warning. Turning the light switch off and then back on causes the faulty light to come back on. Sometimes it will stay on for hours, sometimes for less than a minute before I have to repeat the switch off/on maneuver. Dealer says its the bulb ($362). How can it be the bulb if it goes back on when the switch is toggled? from what I see online this headlight problem is common with Prius.

- Raymond, NH, USA

problem #27

Mar 032006


  • 5,000 miles


The driver's side headlight (hid) goes out while driving every time we drive the car. Turning the switch on and off restarts the bulb but only for a minute or two. We have been stopped by police twice but so far have only received warnings. The car has 40,000 miles and is not covered by the warranty and we did not purchase the extended warranty, the bulbs cost about $409 to replace because the bulb costs $316 or so. We have chosen not to incur this expense and are unable to drive the car at night. I currently have a case number with Toyota experience and they are researching the problem. Priuschat.com has a lengthy thread on "headlight problem." After reading a Toyota tsb (see below) I wonder if my 2006 Prius, (accepted delivery 1-1-2006) contained 2004 or 2005 bulbs. A Toyota technical service bulletin T-sb-0030-08 rev1 April 11, 2008 states the following on the bottom of the second page. Note: The hid bulb and hid ECU service parts for 2004 - 2005 model year are not compatible with 2006 and later model year vehicles. Installing a 2004 or 2005 model year hid bulb or hid ECU on a 2006 or later model year vehicle may cause an intermittent operation/flickering of the hid bulb.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #26

May 262008


  • 62,000 miles
About 6 mos. Ago the left headlight would turn off for no reason. It would come back on when I turned the switch off and then on. I took it to the dealer and they could not replicate the problem. Now the same thing is happening to both lights at the same time. This has happened on pitch black roads for no apparent reason - the lights just go out. An obvious safety issue! I have since taken the car in and am told that both lights along with their motors and computers need to be replaced at the cost of $800 a piece!

- Sheboygan, WI, USA

problem #25

May 152008


  • 35,000 miles
Intermittent headlights for which I have been ticketed. The dealership agrees that there is a problem with the headlights in my 2006 Prius and agrees to pay for the parts (2 headlight bulbs @~$370 each) but not for the labor which is over $300 plus diagnostic fees. The dealership informed me that the headlight which came on my Prius was found to have a problem and because of this, is no longer being used. But, from what I have read on the internet, I am not the only 2006 Prius owner with this problem and many have spent thousands of dollars trying to fix this issue without success. Why must I pay to have this repaired when the dealership has agreed that there is a problem with this specific type of headlamp. I even have been ticketed for this problem...just icing on the cake!!!!

- Sidney, NE, USA

problem #24

May 012008


  • 56,000 miles
2006 Toyota Prius headlight problem... passenger light comes on initially then fades out and turns off. Resetting the switch turns the light back on only to repeat the process!!! bottomline, the headlight will not stay on!

- Reno, NV, USA

problem #23

Jun 222008


  • 42,000 miles


Driver hid headlamp works then does not work. You can turn off the light and back on and it will work. Then sometimes behind a car or in a reflection I will see the headlamp working or not working. People on priuschat.com are mentioning this is a common problem on a 2006 Prius. If this is a defect then I should not have to pay $500 or more per headlight to fix. I am going to the dealer on Wednesday.

- Purcellville, VA, USA

problem #22

May 012007


  • 44,500 miles
Driver's side headlight doesn't work every other time they are turned on. Also sometimes stop working.

- Calabasas, CA, USA

problem #21

Apr 012008


  • 40,000 miles
Hid headlights go out and lights will work again when turned off and back on. Then they will go out again for no apparent reason and work when turned off and on again.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #20

May 242008


  • 39,000 miles
Hid headlights started failing intermittently at 39,000 miles. Both lights will spontaneously go out (sometimes at the same time, sometimes one at a time). Turning the light switch off and on will make them go on again for a while. Talked to a dealership service manager; he stated he does not think it's the bulbs but bring it in and they will try to diagnose it and will charge a diagnostic fee. Also, it has to be malfunctioning at the time for them to figure out the problem. Contacted a "customer experience" representative and was assigned a case #. she stated she knew of the hid failures, she states that it is normal "wear & tear" but that Toyota will "help" me with the expense. She would not specify what that means, except that they will not pay for all of the repairs. However, they will reimburse me for a rental car. What has previously been a reliable car is now dangerous at night. In fact, the first time I noticed the problem was when both lights failed as I was driving down the freeway in the middle of the night!

- Cobb, CA, USA

problem #19

Jun 092006

Prius 4-cyl

  • 37,701 miles
Intermittent functioning of driver's side headlight on 2006 Prius after 37,000 miles. Dealer/service says it needs to be replaced and will cost $420 for the one light. I expect that the other will follow suit and I'll be out another $420 soon. This is a ridiculous amount to have to pay for a headlight, and not getting it fixed is, obviously, illegal and a safety hazard. Since it is near impossible to replace oneself, they seem to have "cornered the market" and can thus charge whatever they like.

- Milford, DE, USA

problem #18

Jan 152008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
In January of this year, the driver side headlamp on our 2006 Prius began shutting off after a few minutes of operation. It would come back on if the switch is cycled but would then shut off again at what appeared to be a random interval. The dealer replaced the lamp under warranty in January. Now the passenger side is doing the same thing. After several visits to the dealer, we were told that this is a "known problem" but it is not being covered by Toyota nor under our extended warranty. The price to replace the headlamp is in excess of $700! this is a known defect with significant safety implications. The dealer tells us it affects 2006+ Prius headlamps.

- The Woodlands, TX, USA

problem #17

May 162008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
It began with the driver side headlight going out every once in a while... the dealership didn't believe us since when we brought the car in, it was working. We still dealt with the problem and found that by turning the lights off and then back on that both lights would then work for a period. It's a bit daunting to do this in the night when it is dark and you are driving and have to turn off your lights to get them to work. After the police issued us a citation for the light not working, we had to pay for the Toyota dealership to 'diagnose' the problem. $1000 dollars later we have a new ECU and a new driverside headlight. The very next day, the passenger headlight went out and is doing the same thing. We are back to turning the lights off to get them both 'on.' The dealership says it's not covered under warranty and we have to pay another 400 dollars for the passenger side light. There is something very wrong and very dangerous with this situation. This is a 2006 Prius and these headlights are supposed to be long-lasting. Toyota does not seem willing to help out and customers are paying the price. This is a serious safety issue that Toyota needs to acknowledge and deal with.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #16

May 302008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
The driver side headlight on our 2006 Prius has been intermittently working since June 2007. Taking it in to the Toyota dealership in va where we purchased the car, we were told that since it happened to be working at that time, there was nothing that can be done. Since moving to North Carolina in July 2007, this problem has gotten worse. A dealership here, told my husband and I the same thing - that the headlight was on when we brought it in so they assumed it was fine. After being pulled over by the police in early May 2008 because our headlight was out, we brought the car back to the Toyota dealership. We were told by the police that this is a major safety issue and we needed to get it repaired immediately. This time, after paying nearly $100 for the problem to be diagnosed at the Toyota dealership, we spent almost $500 for the replacement of the computer (ECU)and were told the headlight would now work. The next day the headlight went out again. We brought it back in and were told that because of something having to do with the heat caused by the ECU that had been replaced, our headlight had now fully blown out and we would have to pay almost $400 for a new hid light. We paid, got a new driver side headlight, and went home. The very next morning (5/30/08), the passenger side headlight went out. There seems to be something very wrong with the headlights on this vehicle. There are pages and pages online of discussions of 2006 Prius owners who have the exact same problem with their headlights. This is a major safety concern, and it is illegal to drive with headlights out! I don't understand why Toyota is not standing behind it's vehicles and keeping it's customers safe. There is surely a defect in the design. These lights are supposed to last up to eight years... but ours have not made it even three years. We are becoming very frustrated with the service we have received and with the lack of support by Toyota in helping us with this.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #15

Aug 012007

Prius 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
My driver side headlight would intermittently turn off. This occurred almost everytime I turned it on and by the time I got to destination (it would be off). Turning headlight off and then back on would work only temporarily, until I drove further and notice it off again based on reflection from car in front of me. The igniter assembly was replaced by dealer yesterday, but problem still exist. Car is currently at the dealer again for further diagnosis.

- Alameda, CA, USA

problem #14

Jan 052008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
I have a Toyota 2006 Prius that the hid headlights fail after a variable amount of time. Failure varies from just one light (both passenger and driver side show symptom) to both lights failing at the same time. Current solution is to turn lights completely off and turn them back on. This solves the problem temporarily although the light(s) will eventually go out again. So far I have not crashed into anything once my headlight(s) fail but that is obviously a concern I now have when driving at night. Current repair recommendation is to replace both bulbs and cost for ~$1000. The car is just over 2 years old and has 44,000 miles on it.

- Dale City, VA, USA

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