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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 21 of 24)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #77

Oct 282009


  • 59,000 miles


I was driving my 2008 Toyota Prius on the highway at night, and both headlights suddenly cut out. I immediately pulled over, put the car in park, and flipped the head light switch back and forth. In doing this, both lights came back on and remained on for the remainder of my trip. The following day the driver's side light went out, but came back on after I flipped the headlight switch back and forth. The car continues to have this same headlight issue on a daily basis, though it is typically the driver's side headlight that goes out. I first contacted the dealership, and they encouraged me to merely change the bulb. However, I investigated the problem further, and contacted Toyota directly. They confirmed that they have had other cars with the same issue, and that the light will actually burn so hot, that a mechanism shuts them down, so that it doesn't burn up a sensor. They went on to say that they have issued a technical service bulletin because the bulbs should last longer, however they do not plan to issue a recall at this time.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #76

Nov 282009


  • 40,000 miles
Drivers side headlight failed. Did not work at all after turning headlights on and off. I was traveling for work (about 2000 miles of driving over 4 days) and did not have time to either repair the problem myself or take it to the dealer. During the 4 days of driving with one headlight, I noticed the passenger's side headlight failing as well, intermittently, leaving me with no headlights. If I turned the lights off then back on, the passenger side worked, but the drivers side still didn't. the passenger side light would stay on for hours after cycling the power, so it seems to me like a random intermittent problem, not due to overheating or bulb life.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #75

Nov 202009


  • 29,000 miles
Toyota Prius 2008, driver's side hid headlight went out at 29K miles <2 years of use, different dealerships tell different stories on whether it's a warranty repair; bulb pricing ranges from $30 to $350; sandy springs Toyota sold us the wrong part; owner's manual gives wrong instructions: The light bulb casing looks nothing like the diagram; some online sources cite a total cost + labor $1700; some don't recommend downgrading to a non-hid bulb; some say that the voltage is very high and poses risk of electrocution when replacing at home;

- Norcross, GA, USA

problem #74

Oct 092009


  • 22,300 miles


Off and on high intensity discharge headlights on 2008 Prius with nearly 23,000 miles. Since October 2009 my right side hid headlight intermittently turns off. To get the headlight working again I have to pull over, turn the car off, wait a minute, then turn the car back on. Once the light is on again, sometimes it will stay on for the remainder of my trip and other times it will go out again. This is dangerous, especially at night. This is definitely a safety issue.

- Bellmore, NY, USA

problem #73

Nov 172009


  • miles
I own a 2008 Prius purchased new. I have the hid headlights. The car has 49,000 miles. The headlights go out and will come back on sometime on their own or by turning the lights off and back on. This is very dangerous. I do not think it is the bulbs that are bad due to the come back on. I went online and found that this problem is happening to alot of Prius owners and the outrageous prices that dealers are charging to replace the bulbs just for it to recur.

- Georgetown, KY, USA

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problem #72

Nov 042009


  • 30,000 miles
2008 Toyota Prius headlights: The driver side headlight goes out unexpectedly. If the lights are turned off and back on the headlight comes back on. This occurs with both low- and high-beam operation. The problem is intermittent and very dangerous. I took the vehicle to a repair shop to diagnose the problem and they said the lights worked fine for them and they couldn't replicate it. They checked the connections thinking that may have been an issue. The problem has gotten worse. I had an occasion driving to work along a very dark rural section of open road where there are large herds of deer and elk often jumping the fence and wandering close to the road. On one occasion my lights went out and I had to turn the lights off and on again while also trying to slow down without causing an incident. Upon the lights coming back on I immediately saw several deer that had wandered out of the growth by the side of the road and into my path no more than a 100ft in front of me. I had to brake very hard to avoid them. Without adequate lighting if I had tried to pull off to the side of the road in a controlled manner I would have likely driven right into the deer. This caused an extremely dangerous situation that could have been a lot worse. I am now furious at the quoted cost to replace the bulbs. But, I have no option but to shell out the money to replace them. I'm even more furious that Toyota seems to be ignoring the problem in the hope it will go away. I regard this as a huge safety issue that I believe Toyota should address with a recall to fix the obvious defect in the Prius lighting system. This problem detracts from an otherwise excellent car.

- Farmington, UT, USA

problem #71

Nov 112003


  • 21,692 miles


Off and on high intensity discharge headlights 2008 Prius 15 months old, 22,800 miles. Randomly go off making driving at night hazardous. Replacement price over 500 dollars! no accident yet.

- Roseburg, OR, USA

problem #70

Nov 072009


  • 28,000 miles
I drive my car and the driver side headlight goes off. I can switch the light on and off and it will come on for a few minutes to a little while and then go back off. It happens all the time. Replaced the bulb and check the fuses.

- Midland, GA, USA

problem #69

May 012009


  • 38,000 miles
2008 Toyota Prius headlamp keeps going out. Replaced both hid headlamps as Toyota corporate told me to do and problem consists. Safety hazard while driving at night with children in car and busy pedestrians on dark roads with strollers and babies not counting deer or other animals. Toyota has refused to recall issue. Im tired!

- Woodridge, IL, USA

problem #68

Nov 012009


  • 23,210 miles
Driver's side hid headlight spontaneously failed, both high and low beams, was able to continue driving with only passenger-side headlights but was concerned they might fail as well. Car is less than 2 years old; dealer covered replacement under standard Toyota Prius warranty.

- Roslyn, NY, USA

problem #67

Nov 082009


  • 16,000 miles


A recall is necessary on this Prius headlight issue. They are continuing to fail right and left and the dealerships are ripping people off to the tune of over $300 to change a headlamp. They fail at less then 16K miles either totally or by intermittently going on and off.

- Auora , CO, USA

problem #66

Oct 292009


  • 15,000 miles
Hid headlights on 2008 Toyota Prius began to dim suddenly and stay dim. Flashing lights on and off temporarily brighten the lights but they become dim again. Happens constantly.

- Rock Island , IL, USA

problem #65

Nov 022009


  • 56,000 miles
Both headlights on our 2008 Prius began flickering on and off, and ultimately would flicker off at night leaving us with no lights. If we turned the lights off and then on again, the lights would work for a few minutes then turn off again. The car was only two years old. When we took the car to the dealership, we were told we would need to replace both bulbs at a cost to us of over 600 dollars. Toyota dealership replaced both lights, the next day the passenger hid headlight was already out again, so we took the car back, and they said the brand new bulb must have been defective. I don't believe them, it seems obvious there is a problem with these hid lights.

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #64

Nov 022009


  • 42,000 miles
Left front headlight on 2008 Toyota Prius keeps going off.

- Dunwoody, GA, USA

problem #63

Oct 262009


  • 56,000 miles
Both headlights on our 2008 Prius began flickering on and off, and ultimately would flicker off at night leaving us with no lights. If we turned the lights off and then on again, the lights would work for a few minutes then turn off again. The car was only two years old. When we took the car to the dealership, we were told we would need to replace both bulbs at a cost to us of over 600 dollars.

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #62

Oct 102009


  • 47,000 miles
I had a headlight go out. Before I could get it fixed I noticed that it would come on when I turned the lights on and then fade out. Subsequently, the other headlight went out while driving down the road, at night. I turned off the headlight switch and then turned it back on and the one light came back on. I took it to the dealer and they replaced one bulb. It lasted a week and then driving at night the lights went out again. I again turned the lgithts off and on and the came back on. I have researched this problem online."sourceid=navclient&aq=2H&oq=&ie=utf-8&rlz=1T4ggik_enus283us283&Q=Prius+headlight+problems. This is a clear safety issue that needs to be addressed. Who is to say that someone hasn't been killed already. Are there any unexplained Prius accidents running off the road for no reason"

- Larwill, IN, USA

problem #61

Oct 262009


  • 41,000 miles
My right headlight goes off and sometimes it will come back on with me turning off the on the headlight. My wife today had the light turn off and the maintenance light came on. I tried to turn off then on but the light stayed off. I am going to have the vehicle towed 55 miles to the Toyota dealer in redding ca. Upon reading the Prius chat site I have found out that this is a common problem with Prius's with hid lights. This I feel is a factory problem and should not cost me anything to fix. Thanks dennis swope

- Burney, CA, USA

problem #60

Jul 162009


  • 41,500 miles
The hid bulb on the passenger side of my 2008 Toyota Prius with only 40K miles on it, goes out intermittently. If I turn my switch off and then back on, the bulb will come back on, for a little while. The dealership wants $300 to replace the bulb. The hazard of possibly losing the driver side light before I can get the passenger side repaired is of great concern. This is a continuing, constant problem.

- Temecula, CA, USA

problem #59

Oct 152009


  • 37,000 miles
I work in the field of law enforcement. I got off duty and was getting ready to leave when another officer notified me that my drivers side headlamp was not operable. As a peace officer I can testify that I've had numerous contacts with the owners of late model Prius' pertaining to headlamps and tail lamps being inoperable. This is a serious safety issue and Toyota needs to recall the vehicles and make the necessary repairs. I can say that the local Toyota dealer fixed the issue immediately when I took it in for repairs. I told them I was not going to pay the $300 plus to fix the issue considering it's a common problem with the late model vehicles. The dealer is very reputable and fixed the vehicle without charge. Now I'm concerned about the other head lamp and having it replaced before it goes out.

- Fairifeld, CA, USA

problem #58

Oct 162009


  • 38,000 miles
The hd headlights on my 2008 Toyota Prius go off at times. Last night I was driving and both headlights went off, I tried the brights but they didn't work either. I pulled over to a gas station and turned of the car and restarted it. This time only one light came on and the brights worked only on one side. This happened in August too but then the lights came on again and there wasn't a problem. However in the past 3 days the problem has resurfaced. The bulbs are not burnt. I live in the mountains so it was very scary when the lights suddenly went off on the winding mountain road.

- Topanga, CA, USA

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