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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,338 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 4 of 24)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #413

Jul 102015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 92,146 miles
I've been told a few times I had a headlight out but half the time when I check it, it would be working. It's not just the headlight it's also the parking and front side marker light on the same side. These lights are expensive and should last a lot longer than 90K miles. Seeing how it works intermittently and more than one I don't want to waste money to replace it. If it's going to happen again like most complaints I've read about. I've tried when it was out to turn the lights off and back on. It would work. While you're driving in area with street lights you wouldn't know it's out. There's 1064 complaints at the time I write this. When is Toyota going to step up and correct this failure. Is someone at NHTSA looking into this issue?

- Greendale, IN, USA

problem #412

Jul 032015


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While driving at approximately 55 mph, the headlights failed without warning. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the concealment devices accumulated moisture, which contributed to the failure. The lights were replaced but the failure recurred. The manufacturer had not been notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- Enid, OK, USA

problem #411

Feb 232015

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles
Drivers side headlight will dim then go out out after a few seconds of operation. If the lights are turned off and then on again the headlight will work for a few more seconds then dim and go out. The bulb has been changed but that did not resolve the problem. Updated 12/21/2015

- Sunderland, MA, USA

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problem #410

Jun 152011


  • 55,781 miles
Almost weekly my passenger side headlight goes very dim or out completely. I know it when I turn right as it is dark as I enter a side street until driver's headlight illuminates area. Bulbs are $ 279 and new ones don't correct it. I keep getting defective equipment tickets as well. Thank you

- Holiday, FL, USA

problem #409

Jun 072015


  • 60,000 miles


I was driving my Toyota 2008 Prius in the pitch black at 70-75 mph in the badlands state park. The headlights turned off spontaneously. I had to make an emergency stop. No headlights!! they eventually turned back on.

- Duluth, MN, USA

problem #408

Jul 102009


  • 26,000 miles
The left headlight goes on and off. This is a recurring problem with 2008 Prius according to other internet sites I have visited. There should have been a recall.

- Durant, OK, USA

problem #407

Apr 082015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 150,777 miles
I bought a used Toyota Prius 2008.right side headlight keeps turning off at night.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #406

Apr 032015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 78,700 miles
I was traveling on a major highway and all my lights went out. Pitch black. Luckily, there were very few cars on the road. I was able to pull to the side and put my flashers on and use their intermittent flashing to slowly find my way home (about 8 more miles). This could have caused fatalities - my own and others who may have crashed into me. This was a terrible situation and from what I have just researched, it happens with the Prius. Now I have the inconvenience (and expense?) od figuring out how to get this fixed so it will never happen again!!!!

- Winsted, CT, USA

problem #405

Mar 212015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 94,000 miles


The left headlight keeps turning itself off when driving or not. When bumped next to the headlight cover it comes back on. The bulb and connector are fine. This is a safety hazard, that if the right one starts doing the same thin at night, it would put me into a dangerous and life threatening situation. I think Toyota should have a recall on this problem.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #404

Nov 012013


  • miles
Intermittent headlamp failure. Flicking lights on and off will temporarily remedy only to fail again during the same drive. Near accident on pitch black mountain road when both lights failed. Bulbs have been replaced multiple times by dealer and problem continues. I've been pulled over by law enforcement and given warnings. We have two young children and cannot safely drive our car during the night or for travel. There is clearly a problem...why is there no accountability" must there be deaths or injuries to get this resolved"

- Monte Sereno, CA, USA

problem #403

Jan 012014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Right headlight started working intermittently around 50,000 miles, then finally failed. Replacing the bulb did not fix the problem. Then left headlight completely failed around 63,000 miles. It was definitely annoying to have one functioning headlight, and now it's just plain unsafe not to have any at all.

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #402

Jul 182014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 112,011 miles
The headlights intermittently fail - turn off - during driving (without warning). Fortunately, so far only one headlight has failed at once. Toyota is aware of this issue, but so far there haven't been enough problems, apparently, to justify a safety recall. Seems like a very serious thing - and it is just a matter of good fortune on Toyota's part that there have not been fatalities (to my knowledge).

- Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #401

Mar 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
The driver headlamp turns off after approx 5 minutes of use. Can turn lights off then on again to restart headlamp. I first took to dealer after purchasing used because of this problem and they did not mention what I have recently learned is a known defect. This has been occurring for the last two years. Changing bulb fixes problem for a while but problem re-occurs. This issue is a major safety issue, and Toyota is charging exorbitant rates to replace the headlamps. I am afraid to drive my car at night or for long distances. This problem needs a permanent fix!

- San Ramon, CA, USA

problem #400

Dec 302014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Headlights are not reliable.

- Naples, Fl, FL, USA

problem #399

Oct 012014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Driving up provo canyon at 4:30am and suddenly both headlights completely turned off. I had to come to a complete stop because I had zero visibility. I now have to toggle the headlight switch off and on every couple of minutes in order for the headlights to remain on. There appears to be a short, but from what I have read about this problem, it is a common issue with the 2008 Toyota Prius. The repair costs can be very steep--$800-$1800 dollars to have both headlights replaced and that does not guarantee that the problem will be fixed. Toyota needs to recall the 2008 Prius model and fix the obvious safety related issue with this model! I could have been killed on that early morning drive and now I have to constantly be aware that my headlights will not stay on as they are supposed to do!! it is more than annoying--it is a very severe safety issue that needs to be addressed by the corporation!!

- Highland, UT, USA

problem #398

Dec 172013

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
Purchased used in Oct 2013, first had to replace headlight in Dec 2013. Have replaced right headlight 6 times and ballast once. Problem only temporarily resolved. This month headlight went out again. Have replaced ballast and bulb with no success. Headlight will not stay on longer than 30 sec before going back out.

- Colfax, IN, USA

problem #397

Dec 092014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 113,000 miles
The driver's side headlamp has been going off intermittently for many years. Now, both lights go out and I am driving with the fog lights only? very dangerous! if Toyota knows about this, there should be a recall and fix!

- Collier Twp, PA, USA

problem #396

Nov 102014


  • miles
Head lights go out. While driving at night lights went out. Very unsafe.

- Tifton, GA, USA

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