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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,338 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 18 of 24)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #135

Apr 152010


  • 45,000 miles


2008 Toyota Prius hid headlamps are intermittent while driving. Public and personal safety hazard! replaced hid bulbs with the proper type, and the intermittent continue to occur. Phillips D4R hid bulbs are the recommended replacement bulbs. Hid headlamps wink off at random, when the brakes are applied. I think that the internal mechanism of the headlamp beam adjuster (which consists of a weighted, damped and movable subreflector) may be hitting the bulbs and causing them to prematurely fail, or the bulbs and ballast are faulty. Phillips D4R hid bulbs are extremely expensive, and are extremely difficult to replace because the access to the back of the headlamp assembly is very cramped and confined.

- Canyon Country, CA, USA

problem #134

Apr 102010


  • 28,000 miles
Hi, while driving to work this morning, my left headlight flashed and then stopped working. My 2008 Toyota Prius is about 1.75 years old with approximately 28,000 miles. I have heard from other Prius owners that they have had problems with their headlights. I have also heard the replacement cost for the headlight is $300. I find that hard to believe, nonetheless headlights in everyother car I have owned seem to have a life of 10 or more years. This is a safety issue because I drive to work early in the morning when it is dark and I sometimes don't return home until after dark. The bulk of my driving has been in the daylight, however I need my car to get to work. Also on 3 occasions my cruise control accelerated beyond where I set it. For example I reset the control after having hit the brakes. I got back to my speed and set the cruise control at 70mph. I noticed a short while later the car was going 95. I hit the brakes to slow down and the car immediately came out of cruise control and slowed down as it should. I now take the car all the way out of cruise control shutting it off after I hit the brakes. I next turn the control back on and reset the cruise. Using the cruise this way I have not had the problem of the car speeding up. II figure I will continue to use the cruise this way and observe whether there is any problem. However, I don't believe Toyota intended for the cruise control to be used this way. Thank you

- Janesville, CA, USA

problem #133

Dec 102009


  • miles
Thank goodness nothing happened yet but my Toyota 2008 Prius has headlight issues. My passenger side headlight keeps going out. I find out that it costs anywhere between 200 to 300 dollars or more to repair. And fixing it does not guarantee it won't happen again! Toyota sent me a letter explaining the problem and that if I bring it in to a dealer that it will only cost me 150 dollars plus labor. Well thanx for nothing Toyota.

- Glenmoore, PA, USA

problem #132

Apr 032010


  • 42,200 miles


Feb 6, 2010 - purchased 2008 Toyota Prius with 40,940 miles. March 1, 2010 - passenger side headlight failed during night driving. Mileage approx. 42200. Light worked the next day, but only for a short time. Worked intermittently throughout that day. Contacted dealership. March3, 2010 - headlight replaced by dealership for cost of labor only. April 3, 2010 - new passenger side headlight again failed during night driving. Worked the next evening without incident. Will contact dealership 4/5 to address intermittent headlight issue.

- Dekalb, IL, USA

problem #131

Apr 022010


  • miles
I noticed the passenger side headline on my 2008 Prius start flickering, my car has 44K miles. According to my dealership, the fixture is overheating and will fail soon. Total cost to replace and install new bulb will be over $400 for a light bulb. I believe that this part or design is defective.

- Valley Glen, CA, USA

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problem #130

Mar 282010


  • 59,541 miles
Toyota Prius - 2.5 years old, under full parts & labor factory warranty head lights hid bulbs work intermittently. Dealership response: Pay $771.43+tax for bulbs - got written quote

- Newark, CA, USA

problem #129

Mar 012010


  • 32,000 miles


Prius 2008 headlamp: Both the passenger and driver side headlamps, one at a time, intermittently turn off. If I turn the lights of for a few seconds, the light comes back on and stays on, sometimes for a short while and sometimes for a longer period. I have not had both go out at the same time. This has been going on for at least one month.

- Merion Station, PA, USA

problem #128

Mar 222010


  • 40,000 miles
I was driving to the airport one night and the headlights on my 2008 Prius turned off. I was able to turn them back on by reseting the light switch. This happen several times during my trip to and from the airport. I took the vehicle into dublin (ca) Toyota but they were unable to accurately diagnose the problem. Everything checked out ok to them even though the lights were turning on and off in their service bay. They suggested changing both lights for $600 which they said was a discount from Toyota. However they could not guarantee this would correct the problem. I decided to order the bulbs and change them myself. I understand this is a fairly common problem with the Prius. Need your help to force Toyota to find the root cause of the failure.

- San Ramon, CA, USA

problem #127

Mar 172010


  • 36,000 miles
Left from headlight has failed at 28 months / 36,000 miles, and I've been quoted >$200 to repair!

- Berkeley, CA, USA

problem #126

Mar 172010


  • 35,000 miles
2008 Prius. At 35,000 miles the passenger side headlight burnt out, covered by warranty. At 40,000 miles the driver's side burns out, but it is not covered by warranty. $200 to replace. I've never been told by carson city Toyota that Prius cars have a problem with headlights.

- Gardnerville, NV, USA

problem #125

Feb 062010


  • 8,500 miles


Hello....I just received a notice from Toyota entitled customer support program..(no mention of recall). In it, they say that there is a problem with headlights going out...and while they've been charging for them at 300 dollars each, they now realize that it's some kind of electrical issue....that causes the lights to, in light of everything else, it seems that this is a potentially serious problem and should be a recall...not a "hide the problem" kind of customer support letter......someone should be monitoring this one too....if Toyota can hide something that is a recall-warranted problem, what next..? it worries me....

- Corvallis, OR, USA

problem #124

Mar 052010


  • 45,000 miles
2008 Prius head light failure. Both headlights have gone out. Not under warranty I had new headlight put in (1-2009 & 1 in 2010).

- Pacific Grove, CA, USA

problem #123

Mar 132010


  • 35,499 miles
Toyota Prius VIN=[xxx] passenger hid headlight failed while driving at night. Stopped, shut off engine, restarted and headlight reenergized, but failed again while driving after a few minutes. Miles on car 35,499. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Avila Beach, CA, USA

problem #122

Mar 062010


  • 36,900 miles
2008 Toyota Prius hid headlamp has gone out on the drivers side...dealership in asheville only says its past the 36,000 miles and out of warranty. Going to have the dealership check out the light and what is wrong. Saw all the complaints with other owners and this is a problem, and a safety issue. There should be a recall on this or a lemon law put on it so Toyota will handle the costs. I am just wondering how much it will cost. The light alone is about $150 each.

- Franklin, NC, USA

problem #121

Mar 082010


  • 49,878 miles
Premature failure of hid light bulb on 2008 Toyota Prius with 49,000 miles on it. Then being told by the dealer it will cost $250 to replace it.I understand this a really common failure on Prius with hid light bulbs and it happens alot..

- Layton, UT, USA

problem #120

Sep 012009


  • 43,000 miles
Both headlights went out periodically without warning making it unsafe to drive at night. Then noticed the drivers side went out periodically and had to flip the switch for light to go back on. This happened for month or so. Then it completely went out. Then about month later - the passenger light would go out without warning leaving me with no lights while driving at night. By flipping the switch, the light would go back on for few minutes and then again shut off. Car is a 2008 Prius. This should not happen to a barely 2 year old car. There seems to be some sort of malfunction with the wiring, etc because the lights should not be going out so soon...

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #119

Mar 012010


  • 44,000 miles
I purchased a 2008 Prius with hid bulbs and they both started going out a couple weeks after owning it while I was driving home at night. In just a matter of minutes, I had no lights at all! I was in a urban area, so the street lights were there so that I could see. But if I were in the country, as I usually am about once a week, I would have been in big trouble.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #118

Mar 082010


  • 25,000 miles
The driver's side hid headlamp intermittently fails while the car is in operation. I have brought this to the Toyota dealers several times, only to be told the problem cannot be recreated.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #117

Mar 052010


  • 49,000 miles
Headlights often go out. If I stop and manipulate the connection, it will come back on. There is no guarantee the light will stay on. Primarily happens on the drivers side light but passenger side has also gone out. They have never(as yet) both gone out at the same time.

- Lawrenceville, IL, USA

problem #116

Feb 062010


  • 30,200 miles
Approx. One month ago I noticed that the headlights on my 2008 Toyota Prius would intermittently turn off while I was driving. This has happened on at least 4 occasions. Three times only the left headlight would go out, and one time both headlights went out simultaneously. I don't do too much night driving so I don't know exactly when the problem began, but my best estimate is one month ago. Again, this is an intermittent problem as the vast majority of the time the headlights are working as they should. I know of no cause for this problem as the situation has occurred during freeway driving during clear conditions and rain conditions, as well on when driving on surface streets. When both headlights went completely out it was dusk and I was only a block from home. The 3 other times when just the left headlight went out I knew of no way to get the light back on and just continued my trip with one headlight functioning.

- Pismo Beach, CA, USA

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