8.1

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$490
Average Mileage:
91,850 miles
Total Complaints:
78 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (54 reports)
  2. turn lights off/on (9 reports)
  3. replace bulbs and ecu (6 reports)
  4. replace both ecu units or main computer (4 reports)
  5. replace lights (4 reports)
  6. both headlights were reimbursed (1 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Toyota dealer.

problem #78

Dec 012008

Prius LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,600 miles

I took it to the dealer multiple times even when it was under warranty but they could never figure out what the issue was.

It is a hazard. The left headlight suddenly switches off and sometimes comes on again.

- Vaseem A., Sunnyvale, CA, US

problem #77

Sep 012009

Prius

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

I have been having this issue on and off for years. It has always been intermittent and has left us in some very dangerous situations; dark roads at night. We had replaced very expensive headlights many times and still happens. So we just did our best to not use the car at night bc it is so unreliable. But now my son is taking night classes and I am nervous.

- Sandra L., Leesburg, FL, US

problem #76

Jan 052018

Prius

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,536 miles

click to see larger images

headlights go off occasionally

This problem causes me problems when driving at night; since at any moment one of the lights is extinguished or both simultaneously, and this is a great danger since I'm in the middle of the road without light for an instant until I move the switch off / on. So far I do this and the lights go on, but what happens if I do not respond, I could have a fatal accident.

- Eduardo A., Duarte, US

problem #75

Feb 012018

Prius

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

This problem began as one headlight going out. The mechanic changed the headlight. Continued to go out. Mechanic replaced the controller (resistor panel) behind the headlight. Continued to occur. Replaced controller again thinking the first one was fault. Soon after both headlights began going out.

- Jamie W., Pleasant Hill, US

problem #74

Apr 142018

Prius 1.5L 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 119,000 miles

This problem occurs at least once every time the car is driven, sometimes multiple times in one trip. Turning the lights off and back on temporarily brings the light back on.

- Kirby H., Grand Rapids, MI, US

problem #73

Dec 072017

Prius 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

Searching for solutions. Headlights turn off randomly.

- Robert R., Wyncote, PA, US

problem #72

Jan 102017

Prius

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

This is the same problem I see in all sorts of forums online. Headlights go off intermittently. Seems like a short circuit issue because you flick the controller and they come back on for awhile. Usually only one goes off at a time. In fact, my dad noticed a pattern when we looked at them last night.

- Kevin K., Arnold, MD, US

problem #71

Feb 012017

Prius

  • Automatic transmission
  • 220,000 miles

I have been having issues with my headlights. I replaced the bulbs in my car. I will be driving and 1 or both the bulbs will turn off. Very dangerous with night driving. This has happened several times when I was driving on the highway with my kids in the car. I flick the lights off and turn them back on and then the lights will work again for a little while. One time I was driving at night they both turned off at least 4-5 times. A mechanic is telling me that the bulbs have to be changed (estimated over $700) but I had just had them changed. I don't know how to get it fixed if the mechanics don't even know what to do but guess and fix things that they think is the probably (costing me lost of $) and the problem still ends up not being fixed.

- Michelle W., Eden Prarie, US

problem #70

Jan 142015

Prius

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Left headlight flickers than shuts off. Need to toggle the on/off button for lights to come on than after a while left headlight shuts off again. I called Toyota, they said there is no recall since one headlight is still on its safe to drive!! The light bulbs cost $180 each but since I insisted these should be paid for by Toyota they gave me the light bulbs for $150 each. Anyway, these light bulbs needed to be changed whether Toyota was paying or not.

- paco2, Oakland, CA, USA

problem #69

Feb 122017

Prius Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I am not sure why this keep on happening often and costing so much money to Replace one bulb. I already replaced 3 times. Also this is safely issue while driving in night.

- dee324, Voorhees, US

problem #68

Nov 012016

Prius

  • CVT transmission
  • 60,000 miles

One or both headlights turn off when braking or going over a bump, then come on when off/on stalk is rotated a few times. This is very dangerous.

The Toyota dealer says the bumper must be removed in order to replace the light bulbs (which cost $180 each!!). If these are supposed to be replaceable bulbs, it is not clear why they are not accessible without removing the front bumper.

There is a you-tube video showing Prius bulb replacement from the inside of the engine compartment -- without removing the bumper. Who is lying to whom?

- saifer, San Carlos, CA, USA

problem #67

Jan 072006

Prius

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5 miles

My 2006 Toyota Prius started having Headlight problems 3 weeks after I purchased it new. The headlights go off or dim at intermittent times one at a time or both together, while driving or sitting in park. Nothing consistently instigates the problem (bumps or turns, etc.) It is completely unpredictable, except now that I have had my car for 10 years it is getting worse! I was not notified of the 2011 recall that I found on the internet but I will try to get the issue repaired (once again) at the dealership. Problem is that I have put more than $2000 to fix this issue with new bulbs, entire headlight fixtures (at $ 600 a pop) and still Toyota is refusing to look any closer than a headlight issue. Please don't tell me again that this is a headlight issue? It is an electrical problem...that is what I always tell them but no one is listening. So frustrating after having the issue for 10 years now. During a night drive I will have to turn the lights on and off again just to get them to work for the next 1/2 mile, then one or both shut down again. Scary!!!!

- Deborah J., Ferndale, MI, USA

problem #66

Sep 012016

Prius

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

Based on my research, the problem appears to be very expensive to repair, estimates from $400.00 to $1200.00. As this seems to be a systemic problem, Toyota should acknowledge it and issue a recall for the effective vehicles

- ronaldoca, Fremont, CA, USA

problem #65

Nov 012016

Prius

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

About a month ago(11/2016) I noticed the driver side headlight was out. I thought I would have it replaced ASAP in a few days. In that time I noticed the headlight was working fine. OK...good for me. Then about 2 weeks later I was driving home in the dark when i hit a little bump in the road(not sure if that is significant) and both headlights went out. I was on a dark country road and was quite startled. I immediately turned the switch on and off. The lights came back on. When I got home I tried to investigate why this was happening with no explanation. OK, I have to get this car in for service to see whats up. In the meantime Im driving home again and i noticed the passenger side headlight was out. I pulled over in a gas station to get a good look. No explanation. the light is out, doesnt look bad, neither does the driver side light...??? I then turn lights off and on and they work. WTH! I got the can in 2 days later on 12/17/16. By then I Googled the problem only to find that this is an ongoing issue.

When the service rep calls me with their diagnostics I get the old "car is 10 years old and needs new headlights". When I mention to her that there is a known issue with the headlights shutting off, I got the standard dont know what your talking about response. She says she will talk to the technician and get back to me. Yeah sure...She calls and say the technician now looked very good at the lights and sees flickering which is a sign the lights are going bad. They also use this term "flickering" on my paperwork. I never used the term flickering to describe the problem. I told her during our conversation to stop characterizing my description as flickering. They did not flicker they just SHUT OFF without warning.

Long and short of if I tell them to replace the bulbs at ~ $550.00(criminal). I had to try something, I drive 40 miles home at night from work and fear the situation. I wish the service rep would have said, We are aware of an issue with the lights going off unexpectedly but have no fix at this time. Some people notice that replacing the headlight resolves the problem. I would be much happier to see that they are on my side, the side of safety. Instead you get a denial routine. I told her if I replace the bulbs and it happens again I will be back for a refund...yeah sure...I'll get bounced around the middle management maze.

- fortaz, Lancaster, PA, USA

problem #64

Jul 082016

Prius

  • CVT transmission
  • 160,000 miles

4 trips to dealer and $1000 to replace one headlight. Made appointment to specifically replace headlight. After an hour, dealer came back and said they did not have the part and I would have to pay for the headlight before they would order it. So I did. Called me and said they got the light. Went to appointment, they did not have the part. got it the next day and completed the replacement. expensive and poor service

- Kenneth B., Fair Haven, NJ, USA

problem #63

Nov 152016

Prius

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

The headlights on my 2006 Toyota Prius I just bought recently are having problems with turning off while driving at night, and sometimes one only light goes out, luckily they come back on when I turn them off and on again. I was wondering if there's anything that can be done about it?

- James S., Algonquin, IL, USA

problem #62

Jan 012012

Prius

  • CVT transmission
  • 60,000 miles

A few yrs ago my headlights stopped working right. They could usually be turned on, but it was anyone's guess how long would stay on. Might be one or both that would suddenly go dark ((a problem since most of my commuting is After dark. Sometimes the light would come back on if I flicked it on and off, sometimes not. Sometimes they would begin bright, then quickly fade to a level that made the car visible to others but didn't illuminate the road usefully. I was pulled over a couple of times when they happened to go dark in sight of a patrol ca.r.

The dealer said the entire headlight assembly would need to be replaced, not just a bulb. After learning that they wanted hundreds of dollars for each, I went online and found dozens of similar situations. Learned that it was possible to buy just the bulbs from Amazon for about $50. YouTube had several videos showing how bulbs could be replaced in 5 minutes, as long as you could work by touch. Eventually had my trusty local mechanic do it while replacing the breaks. Charged me $50 to do it. About 18 months ago, and working flawlessly since then.

- Susan B., Rockville, MD, USA

problem #61

Aug 012016

Prius

  • CVT transmission
  • 209,239 miles

I've brought my Prius to the Toyota dealership for an inspection sticker. I mentioned needing to have my front calipers worked on as well as fixing my headlights, stating the drivers side headlight goes off and on. The rotor and caliper was replaced however they found no issues with my headlights not working properly. I left the dealership with an inspection sticker. The Headlight issue continues to persist. My current course of action has been to turn the lights on and off in order to have both lights available while driving. I will be bringing this issue to my dealership, again, for it to be fixed. This Prius is one of the seven Toyota vehicles we've purchased from this particular dealership. It is our intention to provide our daughter this vehicle for her travel needs to school, work and eventually college. I will not be happy if they state there is no issue with my headlights. There are plenty of other car dealerships around for me to do business with.........

- Scott C., Waterville, ME, USA

problem #60

Sep 012016

Prius Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 182,000 miles

from what i read its a common problem which is dangerous

- kernan, Wrightwood, CA, USA

problem #59

Dec 012014

Prius 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 65,000 miles

headlight on driverside intermitantly turns off while driving ,then you have to turn head lights off and on while driving head light may stay on for a minute or 15 minutes this ia a severe safety issue and needs to be fixed by toyota corperation ASAP

- milonis, Lebanon, TN, US

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