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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,084 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.

2008 Toyota Prius lights problems

lights problem

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2008 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 12 of 24)

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problem #253

Nov 072008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 22,000 miles


The passenger side headlight suddenly went out.

- Gaylesville, AL, USA

problem #252

Oct 012011


  • 39,000 miles
While driving at night, the drivers side headlight will intermittently dim and then turn off. Turning the light switch off and then back on will allow the lights to come back on but the drivers side headlight will immediately dim and then without warning turn off again.

- Santa Clarita, CA, USA

problem #251

Jan 262012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 62,750 miles
I received a warning ticket for the driver's side headlight being out while using windshield wipers in rain. When I got home after less than 50 miles, both headlights were working. During the next 3 days both headlights were on every time I checked. On Monday at about 5:30 pm the passenger side headlight was out. When checked several hours later only the driver side headlight was out. On Tuesday I took the car to the gateway Toyota dealer service at route 37 East and batchelor street in toms river, NJ. There I was charged $521.56 for the replacement of both headlights. It took from 2 pm to 5:45 pm. In addition to this repair they wanted to do about a thousand dollars additional work. I purchased my Prius from towne Toyota in ledgewood, NJ and take it there regularly for service. The most recent service was about Jan. 12th, 2012. That dealer performed the regular 60,000 mile service and suggested no more. I have found information about this intermittent headlight problem on line and the class action suit. Unfortunately, my car is beyond the mileage limit of 50,000 miles. My concern is safety should both headlights fail at once and that no warning about this problems comes from Toyota. And I don't like getting tickets for problems that come and go.

- Newton, NJ, USA

problem #250

Jan 092012

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles


Similar to other complaints regarding the headlight bulb on the Toyota Prius ( when I turn them on to drive at night, after a couple of minutes the driver, passenger, or both headlights will go off (as if the bulbs have burned out) but if I turn off my lights and turn them back on, both lights will come back on and will eventually turn off again. In most cases when the headlights randomly turn off, both lights turn off when driving at night and I have to quickly turn off the lights and turn them back on so that I have temporary visibility with the headlights until they go off again. For example, my commute from work to home is roughly 45 minutes and every 5 - 7 minutes the lights will go off and I have to turn them off and then back on to regain visibility at night. For example on the forum, the following Toyota Prius owners had similar problems with their vehicle. 1) [xxx] 2) [xxx] 3)[xxx] 4)[xxx] 5) [xxx] 6) [xxx] 7)[xxx] list goes on and these complaints have been going on for at least 3 yrs.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #249

Sep 012011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Intermittent headlamp failure.

- Volo, IL, USA

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problem #248

Feb 022009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
Hid headlights turn off intermittently. Problem first occurred in early 2009 and a Toyota dealer replaced both headlights (one had stopped working and dealer stated the other had issues). Problem recurred late 2011, with either light sometimes not working, but then re-lighting by itself. Usually, turning the headlights off and back on manually will resolve the issue for a time. Also, both of the tail lights will sometimes stop working. Usually, if I take the cover off from the inside and turn the light socket (where it snaps into the plastic molding) the light will turn back on. Unfortunately, I can't tell how often I am driving with one or both tail lights not functioning, as I don't look at the back of the car often. I have found them non-functioning 3 times in the last 3 months, and each time the bulb was fine and began working when I turned the socket back and forth.

- Yakima, WA, USA

problem #247

Dec 022009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 30,150 miles


My hid headlights started to fail at 30K. The dealer replaced the left one. A few months later the right side failed. Since then I have experience the one or the other headlight going out and when I shut the car off and restart it may or may not come back on. The latest event was 30 Dec 2011. I was at the dealer trying to price a bulb and verified the light was not working. When I left the dealer the bulb started working again. I saw the lawsuit was settled but my car was out of warranty. I feel this is a safety issue Toyota should recall and resolve before someone gets killed on a dark winding road.

- Hagerstown, MD, USA

problem #246

Oct 032011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
Hid bulbs turn off randomly while driving. The cost was over $700 to replace.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #245

Dec 102011


  • 69,000 miles
My passenger headlight will sporadically go out. Shutting off and turning back on works, but the light dims and then goes off completely. I don't know how long it's been this way, but it is a recent occurrence. It happens whether the car is parked or in motion- no certain speed causes it to happen.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #244

Aug 302011

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
In August 2011, a princeton, NJ, police office stopped me to report that my right headlight was not working. On September 1, 2011, I paid lawrence Toyota $281.84 to replace the right side headlight. Later that month, when I drove home, I noticed that the right light was not shinging against the garage door. When I got out of the car, I saw the headlight was not working. Early in October, the front end of the car was damaged by another vehicle, including both headlights. The body shop replaced the headlights. Shortly after I took the car home, I notice both the left and right headlights failed randomly. While driving, I notice the light would not be uniform along the pavement. When traffic was stopped at a light, one light would reflect from the car in front of me. When I took the car back to the body shop, they confirmed that the lights would go on and off spontaneously. They replaced both lights and the "modulator" that governs the headlights. The problem persisted. They took the car to freehold Toyota who "adjusted" the lights and modulator. When I drove the car away from the body shop, I light was higher than expected; reflecting off tree branches well above the car. A few days later, I drove the car to a store and noticed the right light was not shining against the wall of the building. A person the car that pulled in before me commented that the left leadlight was aimed so high that it blinded him, making his rearview mirror unusable.

- Princeton Junction, NJ, USA

problem #243

Oct 302011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles


Prius 2008 headlights turns off intermittently. One can never be sure when or how if fails. At times it works fine then it does not.

- American Canyon, CA, USA

problem #242

Oct 152008


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact was driving 30 mph when the drivers side headlights failed to illuminate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who confirmed the bulb needed to be replaced. The failure occurred on three previous occasions. The manufacturer was not notified, but the vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 10,000 and the current mileage was 100,000.

- Gallatin , TN, USA

problem #241

May 182011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
Headlamp went off and on while driving. Driver's side headlamp was replaced and now the passenger's side is doing the same thing only a couple months later.

- Rowlett, TX, USA

problem #240

Sep 282011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 56,451 miles
I have had intermittent trouble with headlights on either side of the car going out spontaneously while driving. I have been able to correct it by turning the switch off and then back on again and they come back on. I have now had an instant where both headlights went out at the same time. This is quite scary when you are traveling at 65 miles an hour with limited street lights.

- Benicia, CA, USA

problem #239

Jun 232011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
My 2008 Toyota Prius headlights work intermitently. Sometimes one side goes out, flickers or both go out. This occurred while driving at night on the freeway several times. I turned the light switch off and back on and the lights work again. It is extremely dangerous. I have contacted Toyota and they say there is nothing they can do but replace the bulbs at a big cost. I looked on a blog and many are experiencing the same problem. This is a safety hazard. What can I do?

- San Clemente, CA, USA

problem #238

Sep 022011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 41,000 miles
Around or just after 40,000 miles the right headlight on my 2008 Toyota Prius started turning off while driving. Turning the lights off then on corrects the problem -- but this is annoying and dangerous when driving at night.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #237

Jul 232011


  • 39,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the headlights failed without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who replaced both headlights. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance with the repairs. The failure and current mileage was 39,000.

- Fresno , CA, USA

problem #236

Jun 152011


  • 80,000 miles
Hid headlight bulbs go out and come back on sometimes both at the same time. I am told by many other Prius owners that this happens a lot.

- Appomattox, VA, USA

problem #235

Feb 012011


  • 28,000 miles
Hid headlights flickering on and off - 2008 Prius w only 28,000 miles.

- Pacific Palisades, CA, USA

problem #234

Nov 142010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
2008 Toyota Prius, VIN [xxx], both driver side and passenger side headlight go on and off while in the on position. Started Nov. 2010 with both headlights going out on a trip out of town. Then for about 5 months no problems. Now since April 2011 the drives side headlight occasionally goes off, but the passenger side constantly goes off. I will turn on my light to drive at nigh and the passenger light will be on at first then within a few minutes it will go out. I can get it to come back on if I switch the headlight switch off and back on, this turns off all the lights momentarily and then it will come on again for a few more minutes, then have to constantly repeat the process over and over. I have gone online and found forums where there are hundreds if not thousands of the same complaints and Toyota has done nothing to remedy the problem all but to charge outrageous prices to temporarily fix the problem that will just start all over. I have gone to our local dealer who gave us a quote and said it was a problem that they were not aware of. Come on, they are sweeping it under the rug and ripping off pruis owners. I certainly hope it doesn't take someone dying to get Toyota or someone to realize what a major problem there is and that it needs to be addressed immediately. I do not feet this is an issue with the bulb itself, as the bulb works, it has to be something wrong with the electrical, as many others have replaced the bulbs to only have the same problem return in a short period of time. Your help in this matter would be greatly appreciated. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

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