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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 6 of 24)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #377

Aug 172014


  • 101,000 miles


Both of my cars headlights turn off intermittently and for no reason (the bulbs and ballasts have been replaced and are in working order). I will be driving down the road at night (interstate 70mph) and occasionally both headlights will just turn off. I have almost gotten in a wreck multiple times due to the fact I'm driving at night and out of nowhere my lights go out. This is a huge safety issue. When looking this up online, I'm not the only person with my year/make/model that is having this issue. This has been happening on and off since my vehicle was at 75,000 miles. Last night specifically I almost got in a wreck going 70mph on the interstate because of it. Many times I can turn the headlights off and back on again and one or both will work again.

- Live Oak, FL, USA

problem #376

Jun 012014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
While driving, the left hid headlight went off. Turning the lights off and then on allowed the left headlight to come back on. This problem has happened over a several week period. Headlight illumination is suddenly cut in half without any warning. This seems like a safety recall item to me.

- Brandon, SD, USA

problem #375

May 012014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Low beam headlights have failed. Drivers right headlight fails mostly, but left headlight fails about 33% of the time. I have lost both headlights after a while and is extremely dangerous at night! we have had to stop driving at night because headlights will not stay on past 5 mins. I have looked into the class action lawsuit and at 60000 miles I do not qualify for the settlement. I am very concerned with the safety of my family. I hope Toyota finds a real fix for this problem, or the 1000+ dollar fix will be for nothing. At this point I have lost faith in Toyota and I hope this issue is addressed properly.

- Ewa Beach, HI, USA

problem #374

Nov 302011


  • 65,107 miles


Hid headlights have failed twice on driver side and twice on passenger side. We continue to replace the bulbs and they continue to fail.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #373

May 282014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 34,909 miles
On May 25, 2014, I was informed that one of my headlights was out. Upon doing some research, I discovered that many other Toyota Prius owners had the identical problem, and that following a class action suit, Toyota agreed to reimburse owners for repair of the faulty parts, but only up to 5 yrs/50K miles. My Prius had under 35,000 miles but was 9 months over the age warranty. The Toyota dealership charged $739.19 to replace Toyota's defective headlight bulb along with their defective module, and Toyota refused to provide any relief for this known safety issue after the vehicle beyond 5 years. Toyota failed to issue a recall for this defective headlight issue, which of course is an issue of safety.

- Abbeville, LA, USA

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problem #372

May 282014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 103,565 miles
Right headlight continues to go off while driving down the road. My daughter drives this car now and got pulled over last Wednesday night and got a warning ticket for headlight being out. When she got home she noticed it out. She stopped the engine then restarted and the light came back on. Her friends have told her several times over the last 3 months that she had a light out, but every time she checked it was working. This is a huge safety concern, I looked it up on internet and see that many others are experiencing the same issue. Please help us Toyota!

- Mount Pleasant, TX, USA

problem #371

Jun 012011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


The headlights have repeatedly burned out since the car warranty expired. The don't just slowly dim like other headlights. They go completely out of a sudden. I have had to replace headlights five times.

- Kingman, AZ, USA

problem #370

May 132014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 176,037 miles
Since shortly after purchasing a new 2008 Prius I have had issues w/ 1 headlight going out while driving. If I pull over, shut the car off & restart it, the light usually comes back on. Sometimes I have to do this several times to get the light back on.the problem has escalated to both headlights going out at the same time. I was driving alone on a dark curvy road at 10pm going 35 & suddenly both of my headlights went off! I couldn't see a thing & was now driving in the pitch dark on a curvy road! I pulled over as quickly as I could & actually hit a mailbox because I couldn't see anything. If someone was walking their dog I would have run over them while trying to pull over.after continuously turning the car on & off, turning the lights on & off, turning the high beams on & off, I finally got the lights to go back on. While driving the rest of the way home,1 headlight went out.this is very dangerous.not only are you left driving in the dark & no one else or other cars can see you but it causes panic as it is totally unexpected & how a driver reacts when this happens can cause an accident (if not having headlights doesn't do it). A new driver or older person driving when both headlights go out would certainly cause them to panic. I have been pulled over by police for having a light out. This problem started when the car was only a few months old; Toyota replaced the bulb under warranty; this did not solve the problem as the lights have continued to go out. Having 1 light out is bad but having both go out while driving is asking for an accident & for someone to get killed. If I can be ticketed for having a light out because the car is considered unsafe than a safety recall S/B issued. These cars are getting older; please re-open this investigation so that we don't have another GM ignition issue where people have died & we find out the problem was known about for years.

- Newton, NJ, USA

problem #369

Apr 222012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 81,600 miles
I was leaving a store parking lot when the driver in front of me stopped and told me my driver's side headlight was out. It was getting dark so I had to postpone my plans and go straight home. When I arrived home the headlights were both on, but then on parking in the garage I noticed the passenger side headlight was off. The next morning I drove to my mechanic and the headlights were both on when I left, but on arriving there they were both off. I as shocked when my mechanic said to go to the dealer because this was a known problem with my vehicle and Toyota was sued for it. He said the dealer needed to report it to Toyota, however, the dealer denied knowing anything about the issue or that there was a lawsuit until I showed it to them online and then they admitted it. When I asked them if Toyota has changed anything about the headlight problem they said "no!" the estimate was $485. I called Toyota and complained because many people with this problem said replacing the bulbs doesn't fix the problem and that it may recur or more expensive repairs might be necessary. The Toyota customer service said they would cover the cost to replace the headlamp bulbs just this time only because I've been a Toyota customer for 17 years and not because of any negligence on their part. And like the dealer, basically lied and refused to admit they knew anything about the issue or the lawsuit but at the same time mentioned the 50,000 mile/5 year extended warranty from lawsuit for same issue, which excludes me. I do not feel safe driving this car anymore. My headlights could go off again while I'm driving at night and I could be involved in an accident. It's irresponsible and totally unacceptable to ignore dangerous safety issue like this and lie to cover it up, not only by Toyota but any government Agency paid by taxpayers to look out for the safety of the public.

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #368

Feb 132013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
Headlight will go off when driving, sometimes one only. Then the other. There is no set pattern. Headlights will come back on when the on/off switch is turned off then back on, then will go off again. Three oem bulbs have been replaced in one and a half years. I understand that I am not the only person that is having this problem. Toyota does not acknowledge that there is a problem. They say that it is just a bad bulb and just replace the bulb only to have the same thing happen. This is a safety issue as we cannot predict when bulbs will go out!

- Grapeland, TX, USA

problem #367

Apr 102014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 66,000 miles


I was driving my 2008 Toyota Prius and the hid left headlight suddenly went out. While driving in the dark, I had to turn off my headlights and turn them back on. When I did this, both lights came back on. This issue happened several times over the course of an hour.

- Janesville, WI, USA

problem #366

Apr 032013


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the driver's side headlight would continuously fail without warning. The contact mentioned that he was able to turn the head light back on immediately after the failure. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician stated that the headlight needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 115,000 and the current mileage was 137,000.

- Ferdinand, IN, USA

problem #365

Apr 102013


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated while driving at night the headlights shut off intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the light bulbs needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000 and the current mileage was 55,000.

- Lancaster, OH, USA

problem #364

Oct 282013


  • miles
Every few weeks (even several times in the same week), the dashboard lights on the car go completely dark, without warning (no, the dimmer switch is not turned to "low" or "off"-- that is the first thing we tried). Simultaneously, or sometimes at different times, the car refuses to turn off, even when the "off" switch is pressed constantly or intermittently, for up to a half-hour. Obviously, it is extremely dangerous to leave a car running, so one cannot leave the car; when driving, the loss of all the dashboard information is terrifying, especially at night when it is so distracting as to be potentially crash-causing. The Toyota dealer first claimed it was the 12-volt battery, so we replaced it. This did not fix it. At the dealer's request, we left the car with them for a long weekend, and they claimed that since they weren't able to reenact the situation, they could not help us. After some back-and-forth, they agreed to replace a "combination meter, " which Toyota had apparently found troublesome enough to offer free "out-of-warranty" repairs of. However, the dealer first said Toyota would not pay for it unless the dealer was able to independently verify the trouble, and they were not able to recreate the distressing situation. As if we would lie in order to receive a new combination meter! we just want to car to work and be safe. Now we are waiting five-plus days for the part to come in, and not even sure if it will fix our problem. There's plenty of discussion of this exact same issue all across the internet. Why has the company not figured this out, and trained its mechanics accordingly?

- Potomac, MD, USA

problem #363

May 012008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 0 miles
I purchased my Prius new. I have had a chronic & constant issue with my head lights & tail lights not working properly. I have had this issue checked by mechanics and have been told this is a "Toyota electrical issue". there is no problem with the bulbs or components that can be found by mechanics. This is a dangerous problem, and occurs randomly without notice. My head lights or tail lights just "go out"...any time, anywhere! I have spoken with other Toyota Prius owners (other years too), and they have the same problems.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #362

Feb 172014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
Purchased car used. I noticed immediately that the right light was flickering. In a few days, it started going out. Came back on later, then went out again back and forth. After having bulb replaced, with in 2 days, it did the same thing. Left hid light is now doing the same flickering, though not going out totally yet that I have noticed. Turning lights on and off make them work again until the next time they randomly go out. They will randomly go out or on even if sitting still. After researching, I am finding that people are spending 1000S of dollars and still not getting this fixed.

- New Braunfels, , TX, USA

problem #361

Feb 282014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 97,450 miles
The hid headlamps on this vehicle were part of a class action suit several years ago alleging the lamps failed prematurely. Toyota settled the suit by acknowledging the defective parts and extending the warranty to 5 years or 50,000 miles. I was forced to have both headlamps replaced right at 50,000 as one had gone out and almost immediately the other started going on and off intermittently. It created a significant safety hazard at the time. On Friday February 28, 2014 I had another headlamp go out while on a dark stretch of rural highway in central Missouri. I was fortunate enough to get home, but was forced to have the lamp replaced at significant cost ($247.38) the next day. This headlamp lasted approximately 45,000 miles. Toyota has refused to accept responsibility for this item which I feel is creating a very significant safety hazard. While I was fortunate enough to be in a dark area at the time of the failure that made the issue quite obvious, drivers in a more urban environment would have easily never noticed. Even for those who did notice most drivers would be unaware of the proclivity for these lamps to fail and the imminent danger they are in driving at night on a single lamp with these particular lamps. Unfortunately headlamps have been such a reliable part that most drivers will feel it's a once in a blue moon event and there is no urgency for the replacement. It appears that while they said as part of the suit settlement that they had resolved the issue with the lamps failing prematurely they quite clearly have not. They are most definitely putting drivers in danger. It is my hope that NHTSA will look into this issue.

- St Peters, MO, USA

problem #360

Feb 212014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
When I was on the freeway, one of my headlights just went out. I had the same exact headlight replaced only one year ago. A few days later, both of my headlights had the same problem. They would flicker and then just go out while I am driving at high speeds. If I turn the light switch on and off while I am driving they sometimes come back on. Sometimes I have to pull over and restart the car for them to come back on. This issue is not safe! please help.

- Redondo Beach, CA, USA

problem #359

Feb 192014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 125,899 miles
The headlight turns off suddenly. Most of the time it is the left head light and some time right head light.the head light comes back on after turning off and on. It is dangerous when all of a sudden the light went out at night. Mechanic find no problem. Hwever, the head light cuts off suddenly.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #358

Nov 132013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
The exterior headlights continue to malfunction. They turn off randomly, and you much switch them on and off again to get them to continue to work. They at times malfunction at the same time, and the cost of the replacement bulb is astronomical at approx. $200 per bulb. Malfunction continues to happen, even after bulb replacement.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

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