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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 20 of 24)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #97

Jan 022010


  • 30,000 miles


I own a 2008 Toyota Prius. Given the already many complaints, I would like to add my comments on this Prius. First this car is very unsafe due to poor visibility. You can not see out of this car. Second, I had the headlight failures that these cars have. I have had both headlights replaced in this car. The headlights would go out while driving in the dark. Many times I had to turn the switch off and back on while driving in the dark to get the headlights to come back on. This is not safe and many, many Prius's have this problem. The dealer replaced the headlights but not without a struggle on my part. Last point I would like to make is that this 2008 Prius has the same exact issues with brakes and stopping that the 2010 does according the accounts I have read. For example, I went over a railroad track recently which when it hits an uneven surface it is very hard to stop! I almost hit a car that was turning just past these tracks because it feels like the car does not have a good "grip" to the road. It happens also with even a small cluster of small pot holes. This car is not safe in my opinion. I do not understand how the headlights alone did not make a recall. It is an ongoing unsafe situation. The car not stopping however is something that needs to be recalled and not just limited to the 2010 Prius.

- Seabrook, TX, USA

problem #96

Nov 172009


  • 50,000 miles
Headlights on Toyota Prius 2008 started dimming and going out intermittently at 50,000 miles. Lights will go back on when turned off and then back on again. I have been stopped 3 times by the police for a headlight out and been let go with a warning. In addition, the ABS system activates for no reason on dry roads and brakes are slow to engage.

- Chatham, MA, USA

problem #95

Oct 062009


  • 36,600 miles
The hid lamps in my 2008 Toyota Prius began flickering about 4 months ago. After being pulled over by an officer for an out headlight, I noticed the headlight would shut off at random times. The problem has only increased in frequency. One of the headlights now goes out about every 20 minutes; a couple of times they both have shut off at the same time. I keep my lights off during the day, but this has not helped the problem. I was lucky to not get a ticket from the officer, and even luckier to not wreck on the pitch black road when they both shut off at the same time.

- Athens, AL, USA

problem #94

Jan 182010


  • 40,000 miles


2008 Toyota Prius with hid headlamps that flicker and impossible to replace. The cost to replace is prohibitively expensive. The owners manual incorrectly depict headlamp replacement. Generally this is a major repair and not a maintenance issue.

- Troy, NY, USA

problem #93

Dec 242009


  • 36,000 miles
I have a 2008 Toyota Prius. The hid bulbs did not last over a year.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

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problem #92

Jan 252010


  • 45,000 miles
2008 Toyota Prius hid headlights failing after 45K miles or 750 hours. Iniitially it was just the drivers side that would just turn off while driving, now it is both headlights at the same time. If they are turned off, you can then turn them both back on but there is no telling when they will shut off again. I called the dealership and was told that I would have to foot the cost of the replacement lights and labor. I have done some further research and found that I am not the only one having this issue. Hid lamps have an average of 2000 service hours. These headlights did not even make it to 50% of the average service life. I am concerned that if I replace these items out of pocket that I will again have to replace them in two years.

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #91

Dec 012009


  • 22,000 miles


Toyota Prius hid headlight - my Prius headlight went out while driving down a highway. Since then the low and high beams go on and off randomly. I took it to the dealer and they told me the bulb was fine and it was a short in the electircal that they could not find. They suggested that I just drive with it and keep trying to shake the wires and determine where the problem was. Now (a month latter) I get a letter from Toyota telling me it is a known problem with the bulb all along. The solution is to avoid using my headlights (that was the suggestion in the letter, only use them when required by law) and if I have to use them allow them to cool before I turn them on again! what a bunch of idiots for suggesting not using your headlights! I'm still under warrenty, but will now have to pay ~$200 each time this problem bulb burns out - unless I follow Toyota's advice and skip using them at all :).

- Longmont, CO, USA

problem #90

Jan 172010


  • 36,800 miles
2008 Toyota Prius with hid headlights and 36,800 miles. One or both lights turn off intermittently usually on wet or damp days. Nighttime driving is frightening just waiting for the lights to suddenly go off. This is a well documented safety related defect yet nothing has been done.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #89

Jan 012010


  • miles
I would like my name added to the formal complaints regarding the Toyota Prius headlights. I know that you have many cases on file. I have a 2008 Prius and find it deplorable that the owners have to pay such high prices to have our headlights fixed. This should be a factory warranty recall. It is truly unacceptable. Please push for a recall. In these hard times, it is almost impossible to maintain a vehicle. When you buy a car, you expect that the headlights of all things (especially on a 2008 vehicle) would actually work. Thank you.

- Rocky Point, NY, USA

problem #88

Jan 012010


  • 55,000 miles
Driver-side headlight turns off after driving for a while. It happens consistently. If I turn the lights off and then on again, it'll work for some time and then turn off again. Dealer mentions that they will need to diagnose the problem and will charge about $200 for that.

- Cupertino, CA, USA

problem #87

Jan 122010


  • 66,000 miles


The right headlight was intermittently going off and on. Didn't realize it until stranger pointed it out. I would turn the headlights off and on and the light would turns on again. I tried to use the high beam because I couldn't see road and then both lights went is a very dangerous situation when its night and your far from home. There is no warning lights on car to indicate that the headlights go out. I am at the dealership right now and they have informed me they have to replace both lights at $150 each plus $100 each for installation - totaling $500+. the car has 66K miles. This cost is ridiculous and it is a safety issue not having any headlights.

- Encino, CA, USA

problem #86

Oct 182009


  • 46,400 miles
The right head light will intermittently go out while vehicle is being driven. Turning off the lights completely and then turning them back on will sometime solve the problem and the head lights will work for a while. Driving visibility is greatly affected. Since the problem is intermittent, I never actually know when both my headlights are working properly. And, turning the headlights off and on while driving is not really a safe thing to do.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #85

Nov 102009


  • 34,000 miles
Under normal driving conditions both the passenger and driver front headlamps have gone out. By switching the light control off and on, then the headlamps come on for 10 - 30 seconds and then go off again. This occurs every time the headlamps are turned on. It is a definite safety issue. I took the Prius into the dealership and was told that the hid mechanism and the lamps needed to be replaced. The original warranty is up, but I have an extended warranty. Even with that, the dealership is charging $300 to fix the problem. I will ask for the old parts.

- West Jordan, UT, USA

problem #84

Dec 302009


  • 37,000 miles
I was driving down the road, and the driver's side headlight suddenly quit working. I turned the lights off and then back on; the headlight began working again. This happened three times in a 10 mile stretch. The following day the same thing happened with the passenger's side headlight. My parking lights have done the same thing as well.

- Bargersville, IN, USA

problem #83

Dec 272009


  • 26,000 miles
My 2008 Toyota Prius headlights stops working all of a sudden without any warning. If I turn off and turn on the lights again, they work fine for few minutes and suddenly stop working again. Since the lights stops working randomly, this is very dangerous while driving alone in remote roads that do not have adequate street lighting. I request NHTSA to investigate into this promptly.

- Issaquah, WA, USA

problem #82

Dec 252009


  • 20,000 miles
While driving, the driver's side headlight will fail (turn off) for no apparent reason. Turning the headlight switch off then on will restore the headlights functioning. I have been stopped by the police once for this, and have noticed it now on my own many times since; almost every time I drive.

- Salem, OR, USA

problem #81

Aug 012009


  • 42,000 miles
Toyota Prius hid headlight unexpectedly turns off. Car only has 42,000 miles on it. This is second headlight to go through this problem. First occurred at about 15,000 miles. Replacement costs upwards of $300+. first light was covered under warranty. Second, the dealer simply told me to "pinch pennies."

- Caledonia, MI, USA

problem #80

Nov 202008


  • 31,000 miles
2008 Toyota Prius (non-touring) -- hid headlamp auto turn off noticed that upon arrival at home one evening from work, that only my passenger headlamp was working. However I went to replace the bulb the following weekend, the driver bulb was clearly on and working properly. Since then and in seemingly increasing frequency, I have been keeping notice of this matter and it has now gotten to the point where the driver hid headlamp turns off at least every other trip home from work during the evening. Turning all lights off and immediately back on corrects the issue unless done too fast. And after doing so the driver side is not as bright for some 5-10 minute period of time. However, after the hids have been off over night and during most of the day (while parked) they both turn on and appear to be at nearly the same brightness until the driver hid headlamp just up and turns off when it wants to. The turn off is rarely associated with a major bump or other road obstruction but the lamp rarely stays on when encountering such things (rocks, bumps, chipped road surface, etc), but in general it just turns off when it wants to without any detectable reason. First noticed on or around Nov 20, 2008 but in the past year the problem has grown in frequency to maybe once every 4-5 weeks to now once every 2-3 days. I travel approx. 65 miles eachday round trip to work and it is generally dusk or nightfall when I return home.

- Saint Peters, MO, USA

problem #79

Dec 092009


  • miles
Led brake tail lights too bright. Blind driver behind vehicle at night.

- Antioch, CA, USA

problem #78

Dec 072009


  • 49,100 miles
The headlights on my 2008 Toyota Prius went out while driving at night in a very rural setting! I was able to turn them back on by turning off/on the headlight switch. Yet, only one or both lights would come on. As my car has 49,000 miles in less than 2 years, it is out of warranty. I took it to the dealership and was told that the bulbs had a short in them. Yet I thought the bulbs were to be longlasting? also, it was a safety factor that they both went out at night! I have seen other reports on blogs that this has happened to others. Can you help before someone gets hurt! finally, the repair cost for the lights was enormous! it was $254 per light to be fixed! I am just blessed that this did not occur in a busy intersection or with oncoming traffic!

- Amelia, VA, USA

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