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Prius headlights

I have a 2007 Prius with 67K miles. Last night before driving 4 miles home from a Staples in Herndon VA, I turned on the headlights as usual. On a four-lane heavily traveled highway a policeman pulled me over and said the headlights were off. I showed him that the switch was in the on position. Without looking at the switch, he turned the indicator off and then on again, and headlights came on. He said he could give me a ticket for reckless endangerment. (He didn’t). I called the Toyota dealer today, and he said sometimes light bulbs go on and off spontaneously. But both at the same time?

The lights are fine today (I mean I can turn them on}. What could really cause this? This is an extremely dangerous thing if it happens to many people. In heavy traffic, you don’t even know exactly when your lights fail if the indicator on the dash shows they are on.

The policeman said I was driving with parking lights, which is not true. I have since found messages online of similar things happening to other people with the 2006 and 2007 Priuses.


Bad switch or you just thought you had them on. I have done that myself.

Actually, the Prius seems to have a lot of problems with its HID headlights. Sometimes the ballasts don’t start the bulbs, and then they won’t start until you turn the switch off and then back on. Often, both the bulbs and the ballasts have to be replaced, very expensive.

When the cop stopped me, I checked very carefully to see that the headlight switch was fully on. It was and the symbol for lighted headlights was showing in the dash.

Without even looking when I tried to point that out to him, he grabbed the switch lever and turned it to the off position and then back on again. He was the most unprofessional cop I have ever encountered.