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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 22 of 24)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #53

Sep 222009


  • 39,400 miles


Passenger-side hid headlamp failed on my 2008 Toyota Prius at ~36,400 mileage. Took it to dealer 2 days later and they said problem could be lamp or computer and that both were expensive ($300), but since lamp was on they could not investigate the problem. I took car back and once again light dimmed then flickered off while driving. I did some reading and found that this hid failure is a well-known defect on second generation Prius. Current mileage is 36,900 so not under warranty. Placed call to manufacturer to find out if there is any remedy for this defect and they will get back to me w/in 24 hours. I will have to get a replacement since it is unsafe to drive at night in semi-rural area with on-again/off-again headlights. This is a safety issue and I hope we don't have to wait for a fatality, like with the floormats, to get some action.

- Highland Mills, NY, USA

problem #52

Sep 042009


  • 39,000 miles
I have a 2008 Prius with about 40,000 miles on it, the headlamps are turning off randomly. I quickly flip the switch off, then back on and they remain on for about 2 minutes, then fail again. Very dangerous when on country roads. I keep the fog lights on as back up. Just got back from dealer and they told me $400 to replace. Ouch! I decided to take the risk and keep on driving due to the extremely high cost and no decent guarantee after the install.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #51

Sep 152009


  • 50,000 miles
Both headlight bulbs will go out when the vehicle is hot. It can be one at a time or simultaneously. Additionally both tail light bulbs stopped working approximately 1 week prior. When the rear bulbs were replaced the headlight problem seemed to worsen.

- Valley Stream, NY, USA

problem #50

Aug 062009


  • 31,000 miles


2008 Toyota Prius headlight failure--headlights will go out at anytime. Driver switches lights off then back on to regain headlight. Dealer said it is a failure of the high density lamp assembly. Entire assembly replacement is the only repair. Cost of assembly is 250 dollars and 50 dollars to remove & install.

- Middleboro, MA, USA

problem #49

Aug 252009


  • 38,000 miles
2008 Toyota Prius - hid headlights. Lights turn off independently and intermittently. Sometimes one, sometimes both. Restarting vehicle will resolve problem temporarily, but they usually fail again. I contacted Toyota experience hotline. A case manager stated that this is normal behavior for these headlights when they are starting to need replacement. This vehicle had 38000 miles when problem started. If the behavior were normal, wouldn't it be in the owners manual? a normal behavior wouldn't create such a safety hazard without some kind of warning light. For instance, when my tire pressure is low, a warning light comes on. We were only told to bring it to the dealer for inspection.

- North East, MD, USA

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problem #48

Aug 312009


  • 40,000 miles
Headlights on car go off while driving. I have to keep turning the switch off and on to get them back on. This is happening more and more. I will be driving on a dark road with no streetlamps and my headlights will go completely out. All of a sudden I find that I'm driving blind.. I have found that other Prius cars are having this same problem. I have a 2008 Prius with 41,000 miles on it. It's scary and very dangerous:

- Titusville, FL, USA

problem #47

Oct 012008


  • 25,600 miles


Hid head light goes off while driving in Toyota Prius 08.

- West Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #46

Sep 062009


  • miles
My 2008 Prius frequently had failure of one and both headlamps at the same time. I was unable to bring them back on by turning them on and off. They would reset after vehicle sat for a time.

- Peoria, AZ, USA

problem #45

Mar 012009


  • 42,088 miles
2008 Toyota Prius pkg 6...lost power at 65mph...engine shut down and I lost control of car...pulled over...lights said there was no fuel but I had refueled earlier that morning. Took to dealer...could not find a problem. Also, hid headlights intermittently don't work...very unsafe...has caused trouble with police...I am beyond irritated with Toyota.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #44

Jul 012009


  • 35,000 miles
We have 2008 Prius that first began having left headlamp go out when driving, we would have to pull over safe place along road turn mess with turning headlights on and off... created unsafe driving remainder of trip, aprox 200 miles night drive to get home with one headlight... not good on Montana roads with wildlife prevalent on roadway... dealer replaced under warranty... two weeks later same trouble with right headlight while driving home at night from spokane wa. To bigfork, mt again dangerous 5 hr drive at night on freeway with poor visibility... this time dealer said they needed to replace both the right headlight and a computer sub assy... help.. both instances caused unsafe driving conditions, night with only one headlight with lots of wildlife crossing the hwy... and it is important to know we can not simply pull into service station and replace the headlight, it is a dealer only item that we are told involves removing the front bumper to replace...

- Bigfork, MT, USA

problem #43

Jun 092009


  • miles


Headlight failure, had to have replaced. The part was covered by warranty but labor for $700 was not.

- Tustin, CA, USA

problem #42

Aug 012009


  • 36,020 miles
Both the driver's and passenger's side high intensity discharge (hid) headlamps in my 2008 Toyota Prius have been flickering while driving over the last several weeks, creating a sudden unexpected hazardous limited visibility condition. There is less than 40,000 miles on the car, which I bought brand new from the dealer in November 2007. Toyota's warranty does not cover the exorbitant repair cost of the prematurely expired hid bulbs, though there have been over 400 complaints against this defect. Therefore I am filing an official complaint, and a suggestion for a full investigation into the possibility of a recall of the hid lamps.

- New Rochelle, NY, USA

problem #41

Apr 102009


  • 32,000 miles
In the 2008 Toyota Prius "touring edition", the hid (high intensity discharge) lamps fail at a more rapid pace than their standard halogen counterparts. When they do fail, they fail without warning and can be turned on intermittently, giving the impression of a loose bulb or wire and delaying repair. If the headlights are outside of their extremely short warranty period (only 36,000 miles), Toyota also wants over $500 in parts and labor to repair these nigh-impossible-to-replace light bulbs, per bulb, even though the bulbs only cost about $123 each from a third-party supplier ($215 through Toyota). Because of the false sense of security caused by the appearance of a loose wire or bulb, and the reluctance to shell out $500 for repair, many drivers will choose to wait on repairs. Shortly after the first bulb fails, less than 2000 miles in my case, the other bulb will fail, most likely because of an imbalance in the high-voltage hid system.should this happen at night, it could pose an extreme safety risk to the occupants of the vehicle. I recommend that a recall, or possibly a warranty extension on the headlights, be issued with all haste.

- Sandia Park, NM, USA

problem #40

Feb 012008


  • 32,000 miles
Hid headlights have performed poorly, dim - particularly on high beam, since it was new. Now left headlight only works intermittently.

- Healy, AK, USA

problem #39

Apr 092009


  • miles
Head lamps went out with only 30K mile and both went out within a week of each other costing me 1K to repair.

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #38

May 152009


  • 33,000 miles
About 33K on my new beloved '08 Prius my left headlight went out as I was pulling into my garage. The next morning it came on just fine. I noticed a decline from there. A few days later the right one went out and on a Sunday trip about 2 months later both headlights flickered. I found that in the interim turning them off and then back on again helped sometimes. Now the lights are out and I cannot drive at night or in the rain! the first dealership said they couldn't replicate the problem, so they couldn't fix it under warranty. They said they could replace the headlight, but at my cost. It doesn't seem like the light itself is the problem (why would it then come on after turning it off and on again?)

- Cherry Hill, NJ, USA

problem #37

Jul 142009


  • 38,000 miles
Prius 2008 headlight go off and back on. Dealer says this is a known problem but Toyota has not done a recall. New light will be $500 plus labor to put it in. Asked if this can happen with the other side and dealer says yes.

- New Castle, IN, USA

problem #36

Aug 152009


  • 30,000 miles
I currently own a 2008 Toyota Prius, and formerly owned a 2003 Prius. After approximately 30,000 miles, I was made aware by others that my driver's side headlight was out. After further investigation, I learned the lamp would turn on if I turned off the lights and then turned them back on again. I have since been pulled over three times due to a headlight being out. The function of the light has become very inconsistent- I conducted a road test of over 30 miles (auto mileage 47000) resulting in the drivers side lamp burning out seven times without relationship to driving conditions (speed, bumps etc). This is a serious safety hazard. I have paid almost $200 to Toyota dealers who could not isolate a problem. Since then, I carry the dealer info with me so when I get pulled over again, I can show the officer I have attempted to fix this problem to no avail from the manufacturer. Since then I have discovered this is a common problem in this model. I have even seen other Prius' with the driver's headlight out.

- Middle Grove, NY, USA

problem #35

Jul 252009


  • miles
I own a 2008 Toyota Prius. My passenger headlight began to change color and intensity and then began to turn off while driving. Then both headlights started to turn off while driving. The headlights will come back on if I turn the switch off and then back on. The headlights have been inspected at a Toyota dealership who said that they need to be replaced. The dealership quotes $655 for this repair. After researching the problem, I have found this is a known defect among many Prius owners.

- Livermore, CA, USA

problem #34

Jul 152009


  • 70,000 miles
Headlight passenger and driver side will intermittently turn off. If I turn off the headlights completely and turn them back on they will sometimes correct themselves and stay on for up to 15 minutes before turning off again.

- Madison, AL, USA

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