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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,890 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 2 of 24)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #457

Jun 272016


  • 133,000 miles


Same issue as described here this should be recalled. It is extremely dangerous to have headlights issues that were known to be there since factory manufacturing. I am puzzled a recall was never done. I first replaced the headlights last week. They are new! the headlights work but they turn off within a minute. If I turn headlights off and on, they turn on and go off within a minute again. This is very dangerous if it happens at night time and you drive fast on the freeway (I live in la, so I am always on the freeway). And it costed about $800 to repair.

- Tarzana, CA, USA

problem #456

Jun 242016


  • 69,700 miles
My hid headlights are acting crazy. I start my car and pull out after about 10 mins my passenger headlight will just go out. I can turn my headlights off by the switch and back on and it will come back on. It scares me though that both might go out one night and not come back on. I was actually pulled over tonight by the police because of this issue with the headlights.

- Swansboro, NC, USA

problem #455

May 232016


  • 193,948 miles
Both headlights come on when turned on, however after an undetermined amount of time (the time frame varies) the drivers side hid light turns off. I am able to temporarily correct the problem by turning the lights off and then back on. This, however, is a huge safety issue, as I am unable to see the roadway during the time the lights are off (I drive on county roads where there are no street lights). I have replaced the bulb, however that did not fix the problem.

- Cottonwood, CA, USA

problem #454

May 122016


  • 107,500 miles


While driving down a two lane highway at 55mph in a very remote and dark location, both headlights failed. I was able to avoid what would likely have been a fatal collision only because I was on a straight portion of the road at the time - had this happened a few seconds earlier, I'd have been taking a very sharp curve at speed and would likely have driven off the road before I could react. I was able to pull over and toggle the switch to reactivate the lights, but I was in an area so remote that calling for a road service was not possible, so I had to drive the vehicle another 35 miles to reach my home. I was told by the dealer that it was likely a "fluke" - but... both headlights failed, simultaneously, a second time, a few weeks later. Toyota wants to replace the bulbs but will not guarantee that they will not fail, simultaneously, again. I've since learned that this has happened to many Prius owners and that NHTSA investigation determined that this problem is "not serious" because simultaneous failure of both headlights is "rare" - but this very thing has happened twice in so many months to my vehicle. The problem is in fact so common that there was a class action lawsuit. It is not possible to safely or legally drive a vehicle that has potentially failing headlights (that the dealer will not guarantee can be fixed), leaving me with a basically useless car that I cannot in good conscience resell to another motorist. Really, it is only a matter of time until this known issue results in a fatality.

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #453

Oct 202014


  • miles
Driving at night the head lights went out, could have been killed. Had to turn headlights on and off for them to work. Took car to dealer, said it might cost 1,000S of dollars to figure out what is wrong. Sounds like a recall, now I can't drive my car at night!!! : (

- West Orange, NJ, USA

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problem #452

May 052016


  • 85,000 miles
One light randomly went off. Then as we were driving (at night) both front and back lights went off, both high and low beams. Only the flashers and fog lights worked. We called for a tow ($120) and as they were unloading the car at home, the lights came back on again. So it's not a bulb, not a fuse. I found out online that this is a known problem.

- Point Harbor, NC, USA

problem #451

Apr 272016


  • 90,000 miles


While driving, high intensity headlights are unreliable - each side randomly turns off. This is a dangerous issue.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #450

Apr 042016


  • 96,000 miles
I have had to replace 6 headlamps on this vehicle. The first two failures were covered under warranty but the problem persists. I now have had to replace 4 other lamps at a cost of about $330 for each lamp. Toyota has not responded. There are many complaints from other Prius owners having the same issue.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #449

Jan 112016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While driving approximately 50 mph, the headlights failed without warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the headlights needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The VIN and failure mileage were unknown.

- Pegram, TN, USA

problem #448

Mar 242016


  • 100,120 miles
Front left light will randomly turn off. Sometimes it occurs after making a turn. Light will sometimes come back on if you turn them off, then turn them back on.

- Abingdon, MD, USA

problem #447

Jan 082016

Prius 4-cyl

  • 78,000 miles


This is the intermittent headlight issue for 2008 Toyota Prius' a front headlight will go out, and if you turn off an on the lights, they both come back on. This first happened to me a few months back. The only suggestion to fix this is from Toyota which is to take the car to a dealer and for $550 they take off the bumper (do some trick), and put in new bulbs. Instead, I spent $180 for 2 new bulbs, and replaced them myself (without taking off the bumper and doing the trick), and it worked for 2 weeks before 1 or the other bulb intermittently goes off. At least they are brighter now, though this is 1) a safety issue as the lights act unpredictably, and 2) replacing headlights is on the order of changing a tire or windshield wipers. It's like changing a light bulb, no?! the real issue is the ballasts which as I understand it regulate the lights. These are not easy (for me) to fix. This only seems to happen on some cars, and I think that Toyota should replace the ballasts when this comes up. All the back and forth has left me with not great headlights (going off randomly) for 2 months now while I've been trying to figure this out. I hardly see why I should pay $550 at a dealer, when I'm not even sure that will fix the issue. I have requested Toyota (national) should fix the issue whatever it is (not have me keep going back for estimates and submitting them). Thank you.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #446

Jun 122014


  • miles
Headlights are malfunctioning while I am driving making it extremely dangerous.. I live in a canyon and drive alot at night and have almost had some extreamly deadly collisions due to this issue not only that but have spent a insane amount of money in court fees and fix it tickets

- Topanga, CA, USA

problem #445

Jun 302015


  • 150,000 miles
Front left headlight suddenly goes out while driving or stationary but will come back on once I turn headlights off then on again. Happens constantly - at least 2-3 times per hour while I'm driving. I have to constant turn my lights off then on again to get the headlight to come back on. Nothing is wrong with the bulb - it is not burned out or dim - the whole headlight just turns off. This problem has been on-going since I purchased the car in June of 2015 and happens every time I drive it during the night. It is extremely dangerous - what if my other headlight goes out, too?

- Edwardsville, IL, USA

problem #444

Feb 032016


  • 10 miles
I've got a 2008 Prius. One of the headlights keeps going out. I can't really tell when or how it goes out since I can't see it. I'll notice it when I see the reflection in the back of another car. If I turn the bright lights on and off it has no effect, but when I turn them all the way off and back on the light comes back. Sometimes on long trips it will stay on the whole time, sometimes it won't. sometimes on short trips it will go out, sometimes it won't. it is not an event I can make happen.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #443

Dec 052015


  • 73,000 miles
Headlights go completely out or the right headlight goes out...both situations are randomly occurring. I was driving on the beach line hwy. In Florida, at night, on my way to the orlando airpirt, when my headlights went completely out. The beach lineis a 2 lane hwy. With no center barrier or median, no exterior lighting, and cars coming from the opposite direction going 60+ mph. Needless to say, it was a "white knuckle" experience. I thought that there was only something wrong with my car, but when I recently researched thus problem, I became aware that it effects 2006-2009 Prius's. why hasn't there been a forced recall on Toyota to fix this serious safety issue? it needs to be addressed!

- Menfon, MA, USA

problem #442

Dec 152015


  • 85,000 miles
Headlight went out on highway at 65 mph at night.was very dark and created a blind spot on the left side of the car. I now find that Toyota knew about this and tells me to just turn the lights off and on and the headlight will come back on, thats fun at 60-70 mph. Very dangerous.

- Morgan Hill, CA, USA

problem #441

Feb 032016


  • 160,000 miles
Driving down a highway at 10:30pm and my headlights just failed. Both of them off! no warning, just black. I turned off the light switch and back on, they lite up again bright for about 2seconds then dimmed a little and 30 seconds later, off again. This continued for about then minutes; off, bright, dim, off, etc...then only one light stayed on for the remainder of my 20 mile drive home. Thank goodness it was a relatively straight road and not very busy but there are no street lights or bill boards on this road so when the lights went was very dark.

- Pacifica, CA, USA

problem #440

Sep 012015


  • 158,000 miles
Right headlight flickers and intermittently turns off and on. About a week ago both headlights turned off while driving. This has happened 2X in the past week and half. Luckily we turn them off then on and they have come back on each time. We have had the right headlight fixed several other times also. I just heard about the issues that other people have had which is why I am just now pursuing this.

- Goose Creek, SC, USA

problem #439

Jan 012016


  • 100,000 miles
While driving on the highway at night, the left headlight will go out. I turn the headlight switch off and back on and the left headlight comes on again. However, within a few minutes it goes out again. This happens repeatedly. One time both headlights went off at the same time. I'm reporting this because it is an issue that many Prius driver's have had so seems to be a design problem. This issue has occurred many times and seems to be a permanent problem now.

- Zionsville, IN, USA

problem #438

Jan 162016


  • 10 miles
The hid headlights on my 2008 Toyota Prius touring model have numerous critical safety problems. The headlights go out completely and randomly at any time while driving. I have been thrown into complete blackness on windy country roads. I have had several vehicles swerve to avoid me as I have swerved to avoid cars, trees, curbs, poles etc. Furthermore, the lights are very dim causing further driving difficulty and danger with even worse performance in inclement weather. I have become very anxious and the lights going on and off distract and worry other drivers. It is so bad that I risk my life by driving the car at night.

- Warwick, RI, USA

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