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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 3 of 24)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

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

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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

problem #417

Jun 062015


  • 104,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, the head lights suddenly failed to illuminate intermittently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 104,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Fredrica, DE, USA

problem #416

Apr 182012


  • 95,000 miles
As I was driving from work at 2:00 a.M., the driver's side headlamp went dark. I'm on a two-lane road, not that heavily traveled when this happened. I was able to rotate the headlamp switch off then back on and the headlight was restored. For the balance of my 60 mile ride, this happened 2 more times. As time progressed the failures happened more often and closer together. Eventually, the lamp wouldn't stay on for more than a minute. I went to an auto parts store to get a replacement bulb and they told me it was a "dealer only" item. I called the dealer and they told me a replacement bulb was $300 and it was $300 to install it. That's preposterous! I found a "youtube" video and purchased a bulb on amazon for $50 and installed it myself. This has happened 3 more times. Toyota knows there's a design or component flaw and they refuse to fix it. Thanks Toyota.

- Binghamton, NY, USA

problem #415

Jul 282015


  • 82,528 miles
Driving at night I noticed my headlights dimming. I turned on my high beams and my headlights went out completely and I was in the dark. I turned the headlights off and then back on again and they came back on at full light. I pulled to the side of the road and had my passenger check the headlights outside. The right front light was out and the drivers side was on. This had happened one time previously. I took my car into Toyota and they ran a check and told me that my right hid bulb was out, but that the left was still working. They replaced both bulbs and said I was good to go. I worry, from reading all of the complaints on 2006-2009 Prius headlights that this may or may not solve the problem. I consider this a safety hazard - losing lights at night. I have read there was a class action suit filed against Toyota in 2011, but still, nothing has been done by Toyota to fix this problem. The suit has ended and I am not able to claim anything. Still, I am worried that this will lead eventually to someone's accident. This needs to be investigated and solved. There are too many complaints dealing with this problem.

- Carmichael, CA, USA

problem #414

Aug 182014


  • 25,870 miles
Vehicle starts, runs for limited time -2-3 mins. Shuts off vehicle starts no electrical visibility on dash.. blank. Vehicle starts with electrical visibility, runs for 3-5 miles, looses electrical visibility. Vehicle starts with electrical visibility runs for 3-4 miles.vehicle stops, shuts off in traffic. Vehicle will not start. Requires jump start, ,. and runs enough to take car to dealer. Vehicle will not start, requires jump start and will not hold charge. Requires towing to dealer. MA 10/8

- Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

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