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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 7 of 24)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #353

Jan 192014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 118,000 miles


Driving down 4 lane, undivided highway at night and both headlights went dark.

- Missoula, MT, USA

problem #352

Sep 122013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
My head lights will all of a sudden go out while driving. I've had to click them off and on again, but it keeps happening and is quite scary while driving at night. Since I work until 10:00pm every night, I am constantly driving at night. I have also been stopped by our local police department and issued a warning for having a headlight out. I have been to my local Toyota dealer and was told by them that since my warranty has expired, it would cost me about $350 per headlight to replace. I have also been researching and noticed that this is an ongoing problem with this type of car. I also understand that there was a class action suit involving this model, but we have never been notified of anything to do with this problem. Why hasn't the NHTSA notified owners of this ongoing defect? when this happens it is quite scary.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #351

Dec 192013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 56,300 miles
Pulling away from home after starting car, I noticed dashboard lights were out, no speedometer, etc. Although blinker lights worked. Later, backing up, I noticed the camera image did not work. Big problem was when I got to work and car would not turn off. I tried for 20 minutes including that I made the mistake of putting smart key into slot thinking that would help only to realize that key could not be removed without car being off. I absolutely had to go to my office; had to leave car unattended in downtown. When returned a few hours later to go to dealer, I tried it again and it turned off.

- Miami Shores, FL, USA

problem #350

Jun 262013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles


In July of 2013, while driving, the drivers side headlight went out. I bought a new headlight hid bulb and had it installed a few days later. In December of 2013 the light went out again. I was able to get it to work intermittently by toggling the on/off switch. The light would stay on for 1-2 minutes before going out again. I had the lightbulb removed and will have to purchase another bulb to be installed. Each bulb costs nearly $175. I have been quoted $120 by a Toyota dealer for labor.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #349

Mar 072012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
Head lights shut off while driving usually on passenger side I turn them off and back on and they work then it may or may not happen again some times it is on the drivers side as well getting worse taken it by dealer ship they say they don't know what's causing it yet this is a common problem with this car I believe it is a flaw in manufacturing and designee.

- Alvarado, TX, USA

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problem #348

Mar 202013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
Left head light goes out while driving. I can turn head lights off and back on and it starts working again. The dealer says I need a new bulb at the rate of $330 dollars plus tax and $50 to install. I asked if it was guaranteed they said no once it is installed there is no guarantee. I was born at night but not last night!! I think they have another problem and don't have a clue what it is! at $400 a light bulb-good money if you can get it.

- Chatham, VA, USA

problem #347

Jul 112013


  • 100,000 miles


While driving my car the headlight go off without any warning. This is extremely dangerous. I have already filled one complaint. I thought I had fixed the problem when I replaced my headlights but that only worked for about a month and the same thing started to happen again, now I cant drive at night with out my headlights going out.

- Mount Union, PA, USA

problem #346

Nov 202013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
I was driving home at night when both my headlights on my Toyota Prius suddenly completely went off for no reason. I had an issue a few weeks before, and had noticed that sometimes the front right headlight would just blink off, and a friend of mine had pointed out that I had a headlight out. But when I turned on my car the next time both lights were working... soon I realized that if the light blinked off, and if I turned the lights off and back on again they would both come one; sometimes for a few minutes or longer, but sometimes only for a second and then blink back off... I was about to look into getting that checked out when suddenly this time last week both lights went off, on my curvy street in Malibu in the dark where there are no street lights as I live in the mountain 2 miles away from the pch and it is a very dark and dangerously curvy road... luckily my reflexes kicked in and I quickly flicked the lights off and on as I had done before and the lights came back on, but I could have easily flown off the cliff here... if my wife was driving my car and not known about flicking the lights on and off she could have died. I will not let her drive my car at night until this is fixed. It was completely pitch black for a second there and the average person who had not discovered this yet could have had a fatal death in that moment. Imagine if I had not known that I needed to flick my lights back on and off which I had luckily just found worked only weeks before with the singly headlight going out... I contacted Toyota and they said they will not fix this on their own, and that have to pay in full for replacing the bulbs. I have now done research on this and found countless complaints online about this, and I can't believe this is not a simple recall issue and that Toyota is not taking responsibility... absolutely ludicrous. What can be done?

- Malibu, CA, USA

problem #345

Oct 242013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
The drivers side headlight goes out intermittently. We replaced the bulb, but we are still having the problem.

- Campbell, CA, USA

problem #344

Sep 252013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 82,600 miles
I was driving about 70mph on Sept. 25, 2013 when I noticed my rt. Front headlight went off on a dark road. Later it came back on. When I stopped to pull over, it was out completely. I continued traveling and it came back on. Since then, I've noticed both rt. And left headlight intermittently turn off by themselves and go back on by themselves while driving. Recently it's become more frequent and the left front flickers occasionally. It's a safety hazard. My address is: [xxx]driver license #:[xxx]/ ss#: [xxx]VIN: [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Waukesha, WI, USA

problem #343

Nov 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles


Head lights suddenly went out for about 5 seconds at night! they came back on by themselves. I was told by dealer hard to find intermittent problems. Of course it was working when at dealer. Told I needed both hid head lights @$265. Each. Also possible head light assembly and computer. Approx another $2200. My passenger side headlight has been intermittent for a while, but this is the first time both have gone out and left me blind!! many other complaints from others I have talked to. Should be recalled.

- Ferndale, WA, USA

problem #342

Nov 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
Most recently I was driving at night and the left headlight was not working at all. The next day I took the car to my local mechanic and both lights were working fine so they were unable to do anything. Two days later I was driving home late and again the lights worked fine. This has been a constant problem. Sometimes the lights (one or both) work and sometimes they don't. two months ago I was driving on a dark winding rode with only the fog lights working, both of the headlights were out. You never know when it's going to happen and it's extremely dangerous. Is it a problem with the hid lights or a circuit issue? my Toyota dealer was unaware of the problem despite what appears to be several complaints having been logged. My car only has 66K miles and I don't drive at night very often.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #341

Oct 012012

Prius 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Both headlights went out. This was my first experience about 1 year ago. For the past several months, one or both headlights will go out at least a couple of times each morning during my one hour commute. Recovery is to turn the headlight switch off and then on quickly. Fortunately, my car has fog lamps which I now keep on continuously to avoid being completely in the dark. I have checked online reports and understand this is a known problem. Toyota dealer doesn't think there is a problem since the lights work fine when the car is in their service area. Seems the car must be moving to cause the issue.

- San Francisoc, CA, USA

problem #340

Oct 112013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Intermittent hid headlight operation this has been recurring over the last 5 years. Always mentioned during the maintenance check-ups never corrected.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #339

Aug 032012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
Headlights blink out singly or at the same time for over a year now. Increasingly both lights go out over last year. Car at 74000 miles now. Can be one or both so I doubt this is a bulb issue.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #338

Mar 292011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 46,248 miles
Hid headlamp intermittent, replaced under warranty but has failed again @ 76,000 mi.

- Brownsburg, IN, USA

problem #337

Oct 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 113,000 miles
Drivers headlights goes on and off randomly. Bulbs will not fix it and there is no factory fix for this problem. If they both go out at the same time very unsafe. For a fairly new car.

- Anchorage , AK, USA

problem #336

Oct 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 56,100 miles
2008 Prius headlamps intermittent hid problem. This is a known and common problem with Toyota Prius 2004-2009. No recall for it that I am aware of, however they light will go out randomly. The cost of repair can been extreme. Toyota was sued for this, but did not make an official recall ( when driving my lights will go out for no reason. Turn the switch off and back on will sometimes correct the issue, but others times I have to wait a bit and retry. This is a danger and safety issue. I have read where repairs can run from 300 - 1100 per side to repair. In addition, the rear lift gate latch rubber is becoming very sticky. I have again read numerous complaints that it eventually melts and again Toyota has not put a recall in place for this. Lastly the mpg is horrible. In the city I get 27 to 36 randomly changes, there is no stability in the mpg. It is all over the board. I am the only driver. This vehicle was purchased at tustin Toyota in tustin California. They have refused all calls from me. They have not called back after 4 messages and two internet chat messages.

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #335

Aug 192013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
One, the other, or both headlight turn off unexpectedly while driving. Rotating the headlight control stalk to off position and then back to on position will relight the headlights. The problem is getting progressively worse. There are now multiple incidents even during short trips.

- Cupertino, CA, USA

problem #334

Jun 222013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
Following the purchase of my 2008 Toyota Prius, we visited a friend who told us our passenger side headlight was out. When we turned off the lights and turned them back on it came on. We have had the dealer we purchased the car from and our mechanic try to find the problem but the lights still go out, sometimes passenger side, sometimes driver side, and a few times they have both gone out. When the switch is shut off and on they come back on. I'm afraid my lights may fail and be the cause of an accident. We, my husband and I, took the car to a Toyota dealer to fix the safety recalls on the vehicle and specifically asked them to check the headlights and described our problems to them. They failed to check our lights but gave us a checklist of other maintenance suggestions.

- Martinsburg, PA, USA

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