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 5 of 40)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #713

Dec 062012


  • 98,757 miles


I pulled into my garage after picking up the car from the dealer after purchase to find that the left front headlight was out. I turned the lights off and on again and both lights lit. The left front headlight continued intermittently to be non-operative over the next four weeks. I took it back to the dealer on 1/23/13 and they found that the left front headlamp ECU needed to be replaced. I later found out that a class action lawsuit had been brought against Toyota for this same issue, however due to the age and mileage on my vehicle, I was not entitled to compensation under the settlement. This is a serious safety problem and a known common problem on hid equipped Prius models, yet I was forced to pay $288.81 to have the problem repaired. I have filed a case with Toyota customer experience center, #1301220397. Headlights that shut off while driving is clearly a safety issue. It appears that hid headlight equipped Prius models contain a design defect. It is for this reason I am reporting to the NHTSA in order to force Toyota to conduct a recall on all such equipped models.

- Webster, NY, USA

problem #712

Mar 182013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 87,906 miles
Customer states while driving at night, with low-beams, left light went out. Customer switched to hi-beams and all the headlights went out. Customer reports this is the second time the car has done this. On first inspection unable to verify complaint, all lights functioning as they should. Inspected fuses and wiring and all good. While inspecting lights, lights failed after being on only 10 minutes, and turned off. This was a double light failure with both hi & low beam failure, on both left & right lights! located a technical service bulletin related to this condition. Performed all tests outlined in technical service bulletin and located both front headlamps defective with swollen center fogged over causing lights to overheat and ECM for headlights going into fail safe mode and shutting headlights off. Replaced both front headlight bulbs and verified repairs. After repairs, ran headlights for 30 minutes with no furhter failure. Returned vehicle to customer.

- Rough And Ready, CA, USA

problem #711

Oct 012007

Prius 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
We have had several head lights on our pruis stop working. Usually you have to turn the lights on and off to get them to go back on when they turn off on their own. We have replaced the headlights approx. 4 times over the years and again we are having the same problem. They are extremely expensive headlights. The consumer stated she experienced sudden acceleration on three separate occasions.

- Central Point, OR, USA

problem #710

Mar 012007

Prius 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles


We have experienced intermitment headlight issues on the driver side going off and having to pull over and turnoff headlights and turn back on to get light back on. We have complain many times to the Toyota dealer. Finally driver side headlight was replaced, then weeks later on the passenger headlight started doing the same I.e., headlight going off and having to turn off and turn back on light control. To this day this not resolved please advise.

- Walnut Creek, CA, USA

problem #709

Jan 152013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
This is 2nd time for the hid head lamps intermittently flickering/failing on my 2006 Toyota Prius. The 1st was in Aug 2009 at about 86K miles. Thankfully the local koons Toyota dealership in westminster md replaced both bulbs at no expense thanks to the koons Toyota dealership in annapolis md where I had originally purchased the car arranging approval through the regional office. Now about another 3 years and 145K miles, the same problem. Toyota U.S.a. acknowledged the problem and that in some cases the hid headlight control ECU may have been replaced but was unnecessary, needing only bulb replacement and reducing the pricing to $150/bulb. While most vehicles today operate with headlights on automatically, I've only used my daytime running lights to preserve headlight life but these bulbs are still a problem. Headlights are absolutely critical vehicle equipment and must be reliable. Headlamps that fail every 3 years do not meet the reliability test in my view. Please look into this ongoing issue. I'm asking Toyota to work with me on replacement cost and the type of hid bulb they're using. I'm told by maintenance technicians that visual inspection will show a small bubble somewhere in the base that indicates it's going bad. That tells me that something about the bulb is not right and therefore not reliable/safe. Thank you.

- Westminster, MD, USA

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problem #708

Jan 032011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Headlights spontaneously turn off. Must turn off and back on then the lights turn back on. Could be either light that turns off and sometimes both lights. This is very dangerous.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #707

Jan 032012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles


I was driving at night when oncoming traffic started honking me. I was curious why, until I realized that my front lamps were turned off even though the dashboard indicator showed them on. As it was a serious safety issue, I took them to nearest autozone and they told me that the lights are absolutely fine. I was baffled by it, so I called the dealership and they said it is a known issue just turn them off and back on when you notice them go out and have it checked during your next service. During the service, they told me that they are going to charge me for diagnostics (even though it is a known issue) and asked me that it is going to cost me over $500 to fix it. When I did some more research I found out that there was an extended warranty (5 years or 50, 000 miles) but no one at the dealership mentioned that to me back in January when I called them and now I was over 50,000 approx at 53, 000 miles and ineligible for free replacement. My whole point is that this is a serious enough issue to qualify for a recall and not just extended warranty as someone could get killed because of Toyota's negligence. Before registering this complaint I called the Toyota customer service explaining them everything but got no help from them.

- Breinigsville, PA, USA

problem #706

Dec 272012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 42,550 miles
Just purchased this vehicle. When driving, for no apparent reason the left headlight has intermittently turned off about 8 times. When I turn the headlight switch off and on, the left headlight works again. It has been occurring more frequently over the last two weeks. More recently (twice this week), both headlights suddenly went off for no reason while driving at night. When I turn the headlight switch off and on, the headlights work again.

- Capitola, CA, USA

problem #705

Sep 012010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
Have had consistent issues with a headlight going off while I'm driving. I have to turn the lights off and back on again to regain both headlights. Eventually the bulb burns out. I replaced the left headlight for $300 in September 2010. I replaced the right headlight for $175 in October 2012. Then, January 2013, the right headlight only came on when I hit the light with my fist. Now, still January 2013, the right headlight will not come on at all. Headlights that go on and off is a serious safety concern.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #704

Sep 072012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
The headlights flicker and then go completely out. The beam can usually be restored briefly by turning it on and off again but the lamp will then stay illuminated for an unpredictable length of time (seconds to minutes). This is a recurring problem and both headlights have been "repaired" at the dealership multiple times. Before the repairs, there was an occasion where both headlights went out simultaneously while driving on an interstate tollway. After the repairs, the problem has recurred in only one light (so far). These are Toyota's hid lights.

- Milton, MA, USA

problem #703

Nov 272012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 61,270 miles


The headlights on my Toyota Prius 2006 intermittently go off while driving. It seems to affect only one of the headlights right now. I do not see any issues with the bulbs as such since they do come back on. But this happens very often while driving and while coming to a stop sometimes.

- Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #702

Dec 102012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Driving along a country road at night and the headlights went out. Very scary. Went off the road a bit and the car got scratched. Restarted car and headlights went on for a short time, then dim, then off. This a huge safety problem that NHTSA has failed to do its duty with. Toyota says thought luck, you are past the extended warranty. Light suddenly going out while driving at night is clearly a safety issue. Is NHTSA simply going to wait until there are enough fatalities to take meaningful action. Toyota clearly doesn't want to take any responsibility for their clearly defective and dangerous product.

- Los Altos, CA, USA

problem #701

Aug 252012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
The right headlight went out and then went on. The problem has recurred. Now the left headlight went out and then went on. We read that this is a common problem with the 2006 Toyota. Will there be a recall?

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #700

Nov 012012


  • 70,000 miles
Hid headlights on this vehicle and taillights go out on there own sometimes just one or sometimes all lights go out. Problem is fixed when you turn the lights all the way off and all the way back on and they stay on for the duration of my drive or go out a few minutes later. Have been pulled over by police multiple times for having lights out. Have seen many Toyota Prius complaints about this same exact problem.

- Lake Stevens, WA, USA

problem #699

Jun 012012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
Driver headlamp turned off. After realizing something was wrong. I pulled over to the shoulder of the road, and turned the vehicle and headlamps off. I turned the vehicle back on and the headlamps as well. Both headlamps worked again. The driver headlamp continued with this behavior and the passenger headlamp started to exhibit the same behavior about a month later. I found out that this type of behavior is common among my model and the 2006-2009 years with the hid headlamp package. Many others have also experienced this same occurrence with the headlamps ballast. It is not the hid bulbs themselves, but a design flaw in the vehicles electrical system. I have been in some situations where both of the headlamps have turned off by themselves at night and almost was involved in an accident due to the flaw of this known problem. If I can not see when driving at night and other drivers can not see me, the vehicle is not safe.

- Edgewater Park, NJ, USA

problem #698

May 102011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Passenger side headlight went out. Later learned that headlamp sometimes dims without going completely out and that turning the headlamps off and on will temporarily turn the lamp back on. Happens nearly every time in about 20 minute drive when dark. Dealer was unable to reproduce problem and recommended no action.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #697

Jan 012009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
I have been having problems with my headlights going out for several years now. This is the same problem described by other drivers when the lights go out and can be reset by turning them off and back on again. For the first few years, the only bulb to go out was the right side. The bulb appears to have no bearing on the problem. I have put in new bulbs and had the same problem. I even tried switching the non-working bulb with the one that was working on the left side. The left side worked fine like this and the right side continued to fail. Now, several years later, the left side appears to be failing also. Even though I have gotten other recall notices, Toyota never notified me of a settlement in this case. And, by the time that I found out about it, the settlement had expired.

- Vienna, VA, USA

problem #696

Nov 072012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
The passenger side headlight would intermittently go off. If I turned the lights off and then on again the lights would both come on but while driving the passenger side headlight would go off again. I drive 20 miles to work. When I would first start the car when leaving work to go home, both headlights would be on but by the time I would get home the passenger side would be out again. I brought the car to the dealer and they said it was the ballast that caused the problem and charged almost $1000 to fix the problem. Fortunately I did not have to pay the full amount due to the fact I had and extended warranty. However, just 2 days after having this fixed the same thing is happening to the driver?S side headlight. I will be bringing the car to the dealer again. I have read online that this is happening to quite a few Prius owners, particularly with the 2006 model. It also seems from my research that it happens to 2005,2007 and 2008 models also. This seems to be a manufacturer defect and I find it a bit ridiculous that replacing headlights should cost so much money. It cost me $227 to fix one headlight and 2 taillights due to ballast issues and it is more than likely going to cost another $200. So all in all to repair headlights will cost me over $425 and without the extended warranty would have cost near $2000. If this is happening to so may cars there is obviously an issue which consumers should not have to pay for. My year Prius has had several recalls and obviously has its fair share of manufacturer problems. The affected parts involved were/are the ballast, headlights and tail lights thank you

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #695

Jul 112012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
2006 Toyota Prius with hid headlights with 55,000 miles is used as a taxi cab. On July 11th, 2012 and progressing, the passenger side hid headlight would flicker and then turn off completely after 5-15 minutes of operation. Headlights must be turned off and then on to resume normal service. Hid bulb replacement did not resolve the issue. Toyota dealership only offered to replace the headlight without any explanation to what might be causing the issue.

- Carmichael, CA, USA

problem #694

Sep 052011


  • 116,000 miles
Hid headlights go out randomly while driving. Each one goes out separately, but sometimes they will both happen to be out at the same time. While driving, this is corrected by turning headlights off and then back on. Same thing happens with the yellow running lights, one may turn off randomly. This began happening in fall of 2011, however new bulbs (hid and running lights) were purchased and the problem stopped temporarily, but within 1 year the same problems are occurring again. Similar problem with the rear license plate lights; one will be off randomly, but shutting the trunk hard seems to appease the problem. This may be a wiring problem, but the front lights should not be turning off randomly.

- East Lansing, MI, USA

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