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 7 of 40)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #673

Apr 012011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles


Headlight bulbs intermittently on and off starting around 48,000 miles and then 52,000 miles for other bulb. I can usually get the light to turn back on by turning the headlights fully off and then on. Driver side bulb died first, passenger bulb shortly thereafter. Toyota replaced the 1st bulb under our 5 year warranty but refused to replace the other bulb at 5 yrs 3 months & 52K miles.

- Mountain View, CA, USA

problem #672

Jul 012009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 42,500 miles
Driving at night and headlight completely failed. Took it in to dealer but was working then and dealer refused to document. This same thing occurred several times since then, both headlights failing at one time or another resulting in dangerously poor visibility. Problem is intermittent and continuing with a failure just days ago. Toyota acknowledges the problem but refuses to take responsibility saying the current mileage is too high. Problem first occurred when mileage was considerably under 45000. Feel it is unsafe to drive the car at night.

- Los Altos, CA, USA

problem #671

Nov 182011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 101,975 miles
I was driving home last night when all of the sudden my headlight went out! at first I thought I just blew a lamp. But much to my surprise when I went out the next morning both headlights were working. I checked the connection behind the headlamp to make sure everything was tight and there was no loose or damaged wires- everything was in perfect condition. Upon further research to see if anyone else has had this problem, I find numerous complaints all over the country stating that people are having the same problem- headlights randomly go out without any kind of rhyme or reason. This is a serious safety hazard! what if I was driving in the rain at night- I need all the light I can get! what if I was pulled over and given a citation because my headlight was out, and it's not even my fault! I see that Toyota recalled Prius models from 06-09 for this exact issue, but why not the 05's!? we're having this problem too! whether this is a balast issue or a hid controller issue headlamps should not randomly shut off and then back on for no reason. Safety!

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #670

Nov 162011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 55,980 miles


Hid headlights fail intermittently. Lights will work again if turned off and back on. Lights will go out again with no apparent cause.

- Burnt Hills, NY, USA

problem #669

Jul 072008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
We have had intermittent problems with the hid headlights on our 2006 Toyota Prius for years. One light will just go out intermittently. Usually, just turning the lights off and then back on will cause the headlight that is out to come back on. This is a well known problem with this model and has been well documented all over the internet. In July of 2008, we finally decided to fix the driver's side headlight after being stopped by police multiple times because it was out intermittently. The dealer charged us $427.99 to change one hid bulb!!! I wrote to Toyota motor sales, usa to complain. A few weeks later, I received a "goodwill reimbursement" from them for the full amount of $427.99! now we have been stopped by police several times because our passenger side headlight has been going off intermittently for a while now. After being stopped by police while out of state last week, we decided to call to see if Toyota was fixing this problem since there was a class action lawsuit about this very issue that Toyota settled. We were told that the price to change the light bulb would now be $254.85! since this is definitely a defect that Toyota knows about, why haven't they been made to recall the car and fix the problem?

- Prairieville, LA, USA

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problem #668

Jul 012009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
I have drive a 2006 Toyota Prius, package 7 with hid headlamps. I have noticed over the last few years that my headlamps inconsistently fail. Sometimes when I turn my car on and switch on my headlamps, only one or the other side will illuminate. Other times, both headlamp sides will turn on, but after some time, one or both will turn off. All of this with the dash indicator showing that the headlights are on. While driving, I have remedied this problem by flipping the on-off switch to re-illuminate the lights. However, in the course of a drive they will fail again and I periodically have to flip the on-off headlight switch to have my lights work. I do feel this is unsafe and am uncomfortable driving at night or in dark places.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #667

Oct 062011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 73,000 miles


While driving to work at 4 a.M. on a back road, both hid headlamps failed. Trying to use high beams didn't work. Only turning lights off and back on would get them to work again. This happened several times. There needs to be a safety recall on these headlamps, no exceptions or limits on time/mileage. This is dangerous and if you check the web, Toyota knows all about it. Talking to Toyota they told me it was my problem. Really? basic safety on a vehicle should be the responsibility of the manufacturer. This wasn't a one light failed and then months later another failed. They both quit at the exact same time. I guess someone needs to be killed before Toyota takes responsibility. Their website spews how committed they are to safety. Sure, as long as the consumer has to pay thousands for it (the cost of this repair can be over a thousand dollars), they are committed. If they have to pay for their design flaw...well...then they aren't so helpful. Apparently this is a recurring theme with Toyota and they need to be fined heavily and forced to fix this. Take action now before someone dies, please!

- Mableton, GA, USA

problem #666

Sep 182008


  • 40,000 miles
Bought the the 2006 Toyota Prius new. The hid headlight bulbs have already been replaced twice and they need replaced again. Toyota helped with the first replacement. Each bulb started out at $300 a piece, Toyota has since lowered the cost to $150 each plus labor. The design requires the front bumper to be removed to install the lamps. To do this is at least another $100 labor. Looking at the internet, I am one of the thousands who have had this problem. A recall on this problem needs to happen.

- Batavia, OH, USA

problem #665

Nov 222009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
This is a follow up to NHTSA case # PE09019. The NHTSA closed this case as a non-safety, non-recall case, because only one headlight was failing, giving the driver time to get to a service center. However, the problem is degenerative...though no cases of dual-headlight failure had been seen by the NHTSA at the time, in the past few months there have been several cases reported on Prius owner websites. All are cases that began with one intermittent light and progressed to both. I would like my case recorded by the NHTSA and included in any future class-action suit that I may be eligible for. I have a 2006 Toyota Prius with hid headlights. They began to fail intermittently in 2009, when my car had app. 35,000 miles logged. I never received notice of the open NHTSA case, or of the class action suit that Toyota settled by extending warranties and/or reimbursing repairs. I got 1 warning ticket for which I attempted to get them fixed, but this time and other times I went for service the problem was not evident (no loose wires, bulbs worked fine, etc.) and I was told that there was nothing to fix. Last week both of my headlights failed simultaneously, as did the parking lights and high beams while driving on the freeway at night. Fortunately I didn't have an accident, and I quickly toggled the control stick to reset the lights, and thought I'd recovered dim headlights and drove home, where I discovered that I had driven over 200 miles with only my parking lights on. The next day, the left headlight bulb worked again, the parking lights work, but the high beams still will not turn on. I have an appointment to have the bulbs changed (the only recommended procedure quoted to me by Toyota service). However, I've read reports online of others who did this fix and even more, yet had the headlights fail again sometime later.

- Ticonderoga, NY, USA

problem #664

Feb 012011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
One of our hid headlamps turns off intermittently. Sometimes it is off, and sometimes it is on, no way to predict. We had the light bulb replaced by our local mechanic with an after-market product, but the problem persisted. So we went to the dealer, who also replaced the light bulb (much more expensively), but it still turned off whenever. Now the intermittent turn-off has started to occur on the other side. So far they have not both been out at the same time, but if that happened, it would be a real safety issue. The dealer service department doesn't seem to know why it is doing this, and can only suggest that we replace the lightbulb again. It is not an acceptable solution to us to keep replacing $150-$300 lightbulbs. We need to know the underlying cause of the problem, whether it is in the headlamp assembly, or some other part that controls the light. In summary, a product that fails intermittently, even after being replaced has a defect that needs to be investigated. And also, the dealer/maker should know why this is happening and do something about it.

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #663

Dec 112009


  • 42,000 miles


In addition to my complaint, ODI id #10400072, when I turn my headlights on, the lighting in my console loses it brightness--alot. During the daytime, it is very difficult to see the odometer/speedometer and all other information provided on my console... this includes the built-in gps/info screen. This is definitely a design flaw that Toyota created and approved for sale here in the U.S. I cannot understand why Toyota is not held fully accountable for these very serious flaws and are required to correct these very serious flaws at no cost the the innocent consumer that are victims for purchasing these vehicles fully trusting that Toyota fully backed up their vehicles and reputation. What will it take to require Toyota to make the necessary repairs to rectify these very obvious flaws in their vehicles" a death as a result of an innocent driver and his family trusting the Toyota brand name" I sure hope not.

- Mayfield, KY, USA

problem #662

Jan 012010


  • 50,000 miles
Like many other Prius owners, I began to experience headlamp problems after about 4 otherwise very satisfactory years of driving my 2006 Prius. One of the lamps (the right so far) goes off irregularly during operation, and I can't tell when it has gone. This condition creates a safety hazard for other drivers because (1) in the dark a "one-eyed" car could be looming on either side of the one visible light, and (2) to reduce the risk (I think!) I routinely drive with brights on which blinds on-coming drivers. Blogs on this subject make a fix sound too uncertain and expensive to entrust to a dealer or do myself. NHTSA should take another look.

- Salem, VA, USA

problem #661

Jan 152009


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Prius. While driving approximately 60 mph, the contact noticed the passenger side headlight failed. The contact replaced the bulb and the headlight failed three more times on both the driver and passenger sides. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was unknown.

- Hadley, NY, USA

problem #660

Feb 012010


  • 65,000 miles
Toyota 2006 Prius. Both hid head lamps intermittently go off, but usually not at the same time. Currently have 75K mi on car. Problem started when car had approx 55K miles on it.

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #659

May 242011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
We have a 2006 Toyota Prius that the dealer wants $900 to replace the headlights. The headlights cost $150 each and the rest of the labor charge is do to the design of the car which requires the front bumper to be removed to change a light bulb. This is not only a bad design, but a rip off for the american consumer.

- Severna Park, MD, USA

problem #658

May 012011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
The right headlight for our 2006 Toyota Prius goes out intermittently. When the lights are turned completely off, then back on, the headlight begins to work again. This is a regular daily occurrence and has caused us to avoid using the vehicle at night for safety reasons. The headlight controller was replaced in 2008, when we first had the issue, but the problem has resurfaced. Toyota has said that there is no problem with the parts and has refused to correct the problem under warranty.

- Antioch, IL, USA

problem #657

Feb 102011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
While driving in the dark in the middle of the night, the headlights spontaneously went out without warning. I drove in pitch black darkness until I could stop the car. Then I took it to a Toyota dealer service department and the mechanic told me the lights were overheating and then failing.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #656

Dec 112009


  • 40,000 miles
The drivers side headlight keeps going out. When first turned on, it glows and after awhile it goes out. When I turn the lights out and back on, it glows again; but for only a very short time. It refuses to stay on when needed during inclement weather or night driving. This is very dangerous to say the least! it is only a matter of time before I am pulled over by police for this defect. I've seen this problem has been reported by many other 2006 Prius owners and I feel it is my responsibility to report this malfunction/defect myself. Toyota should be held fully responsible for this defect and should be required to fix this very dangerous safety-related defect. I hope you can help with in requiring Toyota to recall these vehicles and fix this very dangerous and definitely safety-related situation/defect/malfunction. I hope we won't have to wait until some people are killed or injured as a result of this safety-related defect before appropriate action is taken to resolve it.

- Mayfield, KY, USA

problem #655

May 032011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
My 2006 Toyota Prius has had an ongoing problem with their hid headlights. While driving one or both headlights will go off. A quick temporary fix will be to flick the lights off then on again which actually deteriorate the hid bulb leading to shortened life span. However you really have no choice when driving at night. Sometimes you don't even realize they're both off. This can be very dangerous as other drivers wouldn't be able to see your car. Replaced the bulbs and the problem persists. There exists a class action settlement girardgibbs.com, and was told by the dealer that the problem is the ECU. They only addressed this concern to me after I brought them information about the settlement about a month ago. In the past they've only been either saying they can't reproduce the problem or that I need to replace the bulb. I can tell you right now these are my third pair of bulbs and its definitely not the bulbs as the problem persists just days after the new bulbs are installed. I found out that the settlement extended the warranty to 5 years and 50,000 miles however my car falls outside the mileage range. They won't pay for the ECU because the dealers have never specifically addressed the ECU as being the problem with my car within the extended warranty range even though there were numerous times I would complain about the lights within that range. Toyota needs to recall the ECU for 2006-2009 Prius models. It is not the bulbs.

- Oakland Gardens, NY, USA

problem #654

Mar 012010


  • 30,000 miles
Intermittent headlight failure. Pulled over on 03/01/2010 by a sheriff deputy with a warning that one headlight was out. Five minutes later after a stop, headlight worked fine. Various times over the past year one or both headlights have gone out only to come back on later.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

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