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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 3 of 24)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #437

Jan 092016


  • 112,000 miles


When driving home on highway just after dark, both headlights went out simultaneously without driver interaction. Headlight switch was still on, untouched. Visibility outward as well as other vehicles seeing me (black Prius at night without lights) severely impaired, could easily have caused an accident. Pulled over and turned headlight switch off, then back on; lights came on bright and immediately dimmed, apparently normal. Checked online and found a number of similar (escalating) occurrences by others, without a recall yet by Toyota. After pulling over and stopping

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #436

Jul 012009


  • 90,000 miles
Constant headlight bulb replacement - serious safety issue - while driving on the highway a headlight bulb will go out; first on one side then the other side. Bulb replacement has occurred every couple of months for several years now. What happens if both headlights go out at the same time"?? I loose time from work to have the replacements done. Why has there been no recall"

- Queensbury, NY, USA

problem #435

Oct 252015


  • 90,000 miles
The headlights on my 2008 Toyota Prius turn off sporadically sometimes one sometimes both very dangerous at night because they both turned off so I need to get ahold of somebody and see what I need to do to get this problem solved my name is janet cuaron and the phone number to reach me at is 505-489-8951. The lights turn off in all weather on country roads of the free way.

- Belen, NM, USA

problem #434

Dec 192015


  • 118,000 miles


This month, when leaving for a trip, I noticed the passenger side headlamp was out. I planned on replacing it when I returned. Upon returning, the headlamp has mysteriously come back on. I researched intermittent headlamp problems with my car and found out many others have had the same issue. I'm now not sure if the problem is the headlamp or some circuit.

- Los Osos, CA, USA

problem #433

Jan 012013


  • miles
Started to have issues with right headlight on 2008 Prius starting in 2013 but was not aware of the class action lawsuit. Finally replaced the bulb 10/14 and spent $200 out of pocket to replace bulbs. I'm frustrated because the same headlight went out just nine months later!

- Falls Church, VA, USA

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problem #432

Dec 172015


  • 80,000 miles
The headlights on my 2008 Toyota Prius are totally unreliable, have been replaced once, and now I find there was a class action lawsuit - and there should be one again. The dealer does not know what to do. They do not know if the bulbs or the headlight mechanism is flawed. The lights flicker, go out (both or each) unexpectedly, and while driving - this is terrifying. Turns out it is a well known problem and NHTSA has not addressed it fully. Most recent was at the dealer 12/17/2015, flickering, going out, and not properly going to brights. The bulbs cost $188/each. Ridiculous.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #431

Jun 012015


  • 90,000 miles


Driver side head light turns on, then flickers and then goes out. I have been stopped twice. Replaced relay ($75) no differance..this happens when starting the car before even putting in gear

- Dayton, TX, USA

problem #430

Aug 092015


  • 200,000 miles
The headlights intermittently, and without warning, go out. This happens every time the lights are turned on. By quickly turning the lights off and then back on, they have thus-far turned back on. They will remain on for up to ten minutes. The turning off happens whether the car is moving ot not.

- Jacksonville, IL, USA

problem #429

Nov 202015


  • 62,000 miles
Bought the car in late October and the left front headlight has gone out twice.

- Parkton, MD, USA

problem #428

Nov 052015


  • 50,000 miles
Left headlight goes out while setting still and while driving. On a ten mile trip the light will go out 6 - 10 times. Turning the light off and back on makes the light to burn again. I have been stopped by the police for this. When I stop I, turn the headlamps off, when they tell me why I was pulled over for I play dumb and they instruct me to turn on my lights and dim them or put on high beam. They are left scratching there head and I'm on my way. This happens every time the vehicle is driven at night. Also happens setting still.

- Chatham, VA, USA

problem #427

Nov 082015


  • 72,152 miles


My lights have been going off intermittently for a few months now. I went to the dealership for a 12 V battery issue and a couple of recall items, including the hybrid cooling recall issue and the dealer thought this might fix the issue but it has not. What happens is that at any given moment, each and every day/night, when I am driving one or the other headlight will go out. Occasionally both will go out. The only way this is remedied is when I toggle the light switch off and on. Sometimes it takes 2-3 toggles to get the problem to resolve, the suddenly and again, and again the one or the other lights go out. Apparently this is an issue with Toyota Prius's of my year. This happens every time I drive and there is no rhyme or reason. I happens when I am driving. I have tested it to see if happen over bumps and it does not specifically--it just happens when I am driving and several times over. I am not a mechanic though you don't have to be one to see that this kind of issue is not the bulb, because when the bulbs are working they shine brightly. It has to be some other issue with the functioning of the lighting system. This happens on city streets, on highways and when stationary. It happens when I am going straight and turning. It happens and any and all speeds.

- Longmont, CO, USA

problem #426

Apr 152015


  • 17,500 miles
Right headlight goes out after a few minutes. Have changed ballast and bulb twice, the problem recurred almost immediately both times.

- Fishkill, NY, USA

problem #425

Oct 302015


  • 110,000 miles
Headlights intermittently flash off with no warning. Can not be repaired. Sometimes both flip off at same time. One goes out (or both) appr. Every 5-10 minutes of driving, or while car is stationary with lights on.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #424

Feb 022015


  • 95,000 miles
About two years ago, one of my headlights began to cut out without warning. Now, starting 2 months ago, both of my headlights stop working at the same time without warning, I have had 2 near-misses because of this issue, Toyota, my car manufacturer, refuses to do anything to fix this highly dangerous issue, even though over 200,000 Prius owners have reported the problem. Who knows how many other owners out there who have not reported anything?!

- Glendale, CA, USA

problem #423

Oct 202015


  • 0 miles
Known formally as high-intensity discharge (hid) lights, they either work intermittently making nighttime driving a lot more exciting or fail entirely......updated 12/03/15

- Madison, AL, USA

problem #422

Oct 142015


  • 150,000 miles
Headlights short out intermittently. Both headlights have gone out, the left has gone out, the right has gone out. If I turn off the lights and flip them back on, they occassionally both come back on, or one comes back on or neither come back on. This is extremely dangerous at night. It has to be electrical. There's no way it's the bulbs, I've owned the car for a year and have blown through many bulbs already. This is getting expensive besides dangerous. This happens on bumpy roads, smooth roads, turning, going straight. I haven't found a certain thing that makes them turn off. This has been happening for a long time, but I can only choose one date below.

- Jacobus, PA, USA

problem #421

Oct 082015


  • 79,000 miles
While driving in the early morning before sunrise, several times, the headlights turned off suddenly. Frightening while on the highway. Luckily the lights turned back on. This happened at least 5 different times.

- San Rafael, CA, USA

problem #420

Jul 012015


  • 70,000 miles
Headlights flicker, dim, and eventually go out altogether while driving. I have replaced the 12V battery and it still occurs. Concerned for safety of myself and my family.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #419

Jan 212015


  • 86,523 miles
Initially the passenger side headlight began to flicker. Then it went out. When I turned the lights off and on again it came back on. Since then completely randomly one light or the other, but more commonly the passneger side will flicker and dim, and then later go out. Turning the lights off and back on will usually restore the light but more than half the time only to a dimmed or flickering condition. Sometimes both lights just go out randomly and without warning.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #418

Jul 262015


  • 84,000 miles
Very dangerous situation...was driving home from the mountins down a windy road and both headlights on my Toyota Prius failed. Brought car into Toyota of manhatten next day and had to have both headlights replaced for $530.$300 for the light bulbs and 230 for labor. Learned online that this is a common failure for 2008 Prius, and that there was a class action lawsuit that was settled too early and does not cover older vehicles with complete light failure.

- New York, NY, USA

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