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 4 of 40)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #733

Dec 112013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 133,000 miles


I have the problem with hid headlight 1.5 year ago and replaced it based on the dealer's suggesting. Laterally, it went out so often but not complete out because I can turn off/on headlight switch. I do not know when it will be out or where it will be out. On the highway or in the remote country road. I am worry about my own safety as well as other safety.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #732

Oct 012012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
The first time I noticed the problem, my car was parked in the driveway after returning from shopping, still running, when my son noticed the right headlight was out. For some reason, I reached in and turned the light switch off, and then back on, and the light was fine. I figured it was an anomaly. From then, one or the other headlight would disappear every couple of months or so, but always reappear with a toggle of the light switched. I was severely underemployed, and simply could/can not afford the $500 parts & labor the Toyota dealer wanted to replace both headlights. I just kept toggling and hoping for the best. I recently returned to full-time work, but with a commute of 1.25 hours each way. It was fine during daylight savings time, but now, I am toggling constantly, and both headlights are going out at the same time. I am traveling dark, country, roads, from fresno, ca to coalinga, ca to work at the pleasant valley state prison. I don't want to become a highway fatality statistic simply because NHTSA doesn't have the "[xxx]" to force Toyota to recall these dangerous headlights. I was unemployed or underemployed for 4 years following a lay off in the summer of 2009. I simply cannot afford to pay the $500 out of pocket, and I really don't have any credit left. Your inaction, NHTSA and Toyota, puts my life on the line twice a day. You both will probably have my blood on your hands. [xxx] you! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Clovis, CA, USA

problem #731

Nov 132013


  • 45,000 miles
I bought my 2006 Prius in October of 2012 and ever since buying it I've noticed that the headlight on the driver's side goes out by itself. I actually went into the dealer within a week and told them my headlight was out but when I got there and I turned them on it was working. I was baffled. They didn't say a thing to me that this was a commonly reported problem that Toyota wasn't going to be addressing. Anyway, I left and the headlight problem has been happening ever since. I decided to just live with it because when I turn the lights off and back on, the headlight comes back on - at least for a while. I'm very worried that the same thing might happen to the other headlight at the same time. I've read online about the cost of replacing the bulb ($330) which is ridiculous since this is obviously a mfg flaw that Toyota just doesn't want to pay for. Please issue a recall on this before someone gets killed!!

- Redmond, WA, USA

problem #730

Nov 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 122,000 miles


I notice occasionally the driver's side headlight will go out requiring me to turn the lights off then on again. Most recently both headlights will go out. I can get them on again by turning them off then back on but it is unnerving and occurs every day now whenever I use the lights. I checked for a loose wire and found nothing. These are the original hid headlights.I can reproduce the problem every time I drive the car.

- Flowery Branch, GA, USA

problem #729

Oct 092013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
I was driving at night. There happened to be a little fog in the air. My speed was 45 mph on a dark country road. My passenger side hid headlight went out, followed by the driver side headlight within 20 seconds. I was able to turn the light control off then back on. I did this as I was slowing down and keeping straight. I managed to stay on the road and did not have any further problems that night. All in all it was a pretty scary experience.

- West Chester, OH, USA

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problem #728

Oct 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I have hid headlights. My headlights go on and off intermittently. Sometime one head light goes out; sometimes both go out. If they go out, I can usually get them to go back on by turning them off and then turning them back on. I have to constantly check my car's reflection in the back of other cars to make sure both lights are on. My mechanic made me aware that this problem has been a constant complaint for this model and replacing the headlight will not help. Accordingly, the problem is caused by a defective module that ceases to work when it heats up. My research indicates that the fhtsa has had several complaints about this exact problem, and that Toyota settled a class action suit (for which I was never notified) regarding the exact problem. Toyota now refuses to repair the problem for cars out of warranty. This is potentially a very dangerous problem effecting thousands of cars. I have not had an accident yet, but if you don't make Toyota do a recall, I expect there will be several accidents across the country due to this defect.

- Los Angeles,, CA, USA

problem #727

Jul 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


On multiple occasions now, while driving my Prius both headlights spontaneously go out. I notice it when I'm driving at night. It is not safe. There is nothing wrong with either bulb - they just don't work. I have to turn the lights off and then on again for both lights to work again. Sometimes it happens again within minutes of it happening a first time.

- Hill City, KS, USA

problem #726

Sep 202012


  • 133,000 miles
The passenger side headlight went out. Next time I drove it the light was back on. Maybe a week later the driver's side headlight went out. Again, next time I used the lights they were both on. This went on for awhile. The escalation was when both low beams shut off leaving just the running lights on. High beams seemed to be unaffected so I drove home with high beams on. Currently, any of the lights can go out at any time. Turning them off and on again brings them back. On a half hour ride home tonight, to keep both lights on I had to shut them off and turn them on 7 times. I googled this and was very disappointed to find this problem has been reported, reviewed and dismissed as not a safety issue. It does not feel very safe to be driving at night and discover oneself suddenly in the dark. It seems this will be a recurring problem for me as replacing the headlights is likely to fix the problem for a short time (3 M seems to be common) before I will have to replace them again. Sounds like a recall should be in place.

- Holliston, MA, USA

problem #725

Sep 022009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
R headlight cut out intermittently. Bought replacement bulbs and had them replaced by an independent mechanic. Now at 65,000 miles, both headlights cut out intermittently and are dim when they are on. High beams are anemic. If both lights ever go out simultaneously at night, an accident could happen.

- Newtown Square, PA, USA

problem #724

Sep 012011

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
Headlight goes off spontaneously while driving. I turn off lights and turn them back on again and headlight goes back on. I have been researching this and cannot believe this is not considered a defect. There should be a class action against the us government for not doing its job.

- Excelsior, MN, USA

problem #723

Mar 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 135,000 miles


I can no longer drive my Prius at night. Sometimes one headlight will go out, sometimes the other, sometimes both. The bulbs themselves are not bad. I have to turn the lights off then back on to reset them approximately every 25 seconds. When I took it to the dealer they said "we can not re-create the problem". I left, in the rain and had to reset them 6 times before I was a mile down the road. Toyota knows about this problem, they need to fix this problem. Our extended family owns 4 Prius vehicles, we will never own another since Toyota is not standing up to fix this problem.

- Middleburg, FL, USA

problem #722

Aug 012008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
There is an intermittent power loss to the headlights. This is a safety issue. The problem is random and the dealer has not been able to see the issue. While the car is running, the headlights turn off. If I turn the headlights off and then back on, they come on for a period of time. This happens with both headlights. Sometimes at the same time and sometimes only one will turn off. I have researched several websites for Prius owners and this problem seems to be fairly common. As you cannot pass vehicle inspection with defective headlights and you can be pulled over by the police for having lights out, this is a serious safety issue and Toyota should be forced to recall this issue. I am the second owner of this vehicle and the previous owner reported to the dealer the same issues.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #721

Jul 262013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
I was driving down a dark unlit road when both headlights went out without warning. Luckily there were no cars behind me as I braked as fast as I could without being able to see anything. It was the same as if I had all of a sudden just closed my eyes and tried to navigate to a safe stop somewhere on the side of the road without hitting something. I would say that this was the scariest moment I have had driving in 30 years of driving. The lights came back on after turning the light switch off and back on again, so this is definitely a control problem of some sort. I love my Prius, but this is just an unacceptable design problem. Of course I would much rather just have standard light bulbs that were not at risk of failing rather than this supposed upgrade.

- East Hampton, NY, USA

problem #720

May 152013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 155,431 miles
Our 2006 Toyota Prius has a head light that goes off and on at random intervals which we consider to be a safety hazard.

- Stanley, NC, USA

problem #719

Jan 012011


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the driver's side headlight failed and the illumination became dim. When the headlight switch was turned on and off several times, the headlights would regain illumination power. The failure was experienced numerous times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who advised that the light bulbs needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made ware of the failure. The failure mileage was 50,000 and the current mileage was 68,000.

- Stockton , CA, USA

problem #718

Mar 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
Both the right and the left headlights keep turning off during driving. The right one is more common than the left. I noticed this problem almost 1 year ago and thought that this is a temporary glitch, but the frequency of this increased over time. I constantly need to turn off the light and turn them on, but again in few more minutes one or both of them gets out. This is a serious problem. Especially in the city, when there are street lights on or during dawn or dusk, you are never sure if the lights are working or not. On top of risking an accident, there is always a worry that a cop might pull you over for non working head light, while in fact your lights appear to have been working when you started, but turns off some time later and it is difficult to notice in low light situations. Toyota charges huge amount of money to fix this problem. I hope that Toyota will take care of the problem sooner than later. I know that my car is more than 5 years old but that shouldn't be a matter for them to fix it. Because this light situation is a problem because of defective parts to begin with.

- Beth Page, NY, USA

problem #717

Jan 072012


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. The contact stated while driving various speeds at night the headlights were activated and unexpectedly failed to illuminate. The headlight on/off switch was engaged intermittently in order for the headlights to function. The vehicle failure was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #716

May 302013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Ever since I bought this car the headlights have been problematic. I have had either light go out intermittently and flicking them off/on fixes them until the next day. I have even had both lights go out at the same time. Replacing the bulbs fixes the problem for about a year but the problem returns. I am now preparing to replace my 5th bulb for what is sure to be a temporary fix. Toyota's offer to replace the bulbs several years ago was not an actual fix for the problem.

- Graham, WA, USA

problem #715

May 202013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 226,000 miles
My 16 year old daughter was driving at approximately 10:00 on a steep, curvy country road when both headlights went out! it is a miracle she's alive. Took the car to the local dealership today and was told it would cost nearly $500 to replace the bulbs. After doing research, it has come to my attention that this is a common problem with this vehicle yet there has been no recall. This is a serious safety issue and should be investigated (again) immediately!

- Prattville, AL, USA

problem #714

Jan 152013


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving approximately 1 mph, the headlights stopped illuminating. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated the headlight would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Sullivan, IL, USA

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