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7.9

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$680.00
Average Mileage:
86,260 miles
Total Complaints:
69 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (45 reports)
  2. replace lights (14 reports)
  3. replace headlamps (7 reports)
  4. replace lights, assemblies (1 reports)
  5. replaced headlamp (1 reports)
  6. Toyota made me buy a new headlamp at 36300 miles (1 reports)
2008 Toyota Prius lights problems

lights problem

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2008 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #69

Apr 012015

Prius Touring Hybrid

  • CVT transmission
  • 96,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I READ 28 COMPLAINTS ABOUT THIS HEAD LIGHT PROBLEM AND THEY ARE ALL THE SAME INCLUDING MINE . ALL STATE THAT CHANGING THE BULB DOES NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

IN DIGGING IN TO THIS PROBLEM I FIND THAT THERE IS A HID BALLEST??? AND THIS SEEMS MORE THE SOULTION I DO NOT KNOW IF THERE ARE ONE OR TWO " BALLESTS" AND AT 90 BUCKS AN HOUR I AM HESITANT TO LET THE DEALER SHIP ANALYZE THE PROBLEM. WITH THIS COMMON A PROBLEM TOYOTA SHOULD BE CHECKING IT OUT FOR THE SOLUTION. I REALY LIKE MY 2008 PRUIS AND CONSIDERING BUYING A NEW 2016. BUT I CANNOT SELL MY AND PASS THIS PROBLEM ON TO SOME ONE ELSE. IF I TRADE IT IN WOULD THE DEALER KNOWING RESELL IT AS A USED CAR WITH THE DEFECT NOT FIXED. OR WOULD THEY LOWBALL MY TRADE BECAUSE OF IT.THIS PROBLEM MUST BE RESOLVED

- , DeBary, FL, USA

problem #68

Jan 012015

Prius

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

This has been an ongoing problem which started about one year after I purchased the vehicle. I can remember the exact date it started. I've lost time from work to have the bulbs replaced every couple of months. My mechanic now tells me I should replacement both headlight assemblies because the bulbs have been changed out too many times. These tie into the wiring harness; I'm told is a costly repair. Just the headlight assemblies alone will cost approx. $700.00.

This is serious safety problem! I would think Toyota would be concerned about liability! Wouldn't it be better to do a recall and fix the problem; it would be good public relations on their part.

- , Queensbury, NY, USA

problem #67

Oct 122015

Prius

  • CVT transmission
  • 121,000 miles

I have to use my headlights more now and it is dangerous.

- , Visalia, CA, USA

problem #66

Jan 092016

Prius Touring 4c

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Driving down highway just after dark, both headlights went out simultaneously. Checked the switch, it was on, and dashboard lights remained on. Fortunately was only a few blocks from home at that point, so when I got there I tried turning lights off and back on - they came on bright and immediately dimmed (but stayed on), which was normal. Checked online first to see if this had been reported by others and found this site - will contact Toyota next.

Update from Jan 23, 2016: Two calls, both lowered my opinion of Toyota.

The short version is that (after consulting with their master mechanic) they 'haven't heard of a problem like this' and would need to run some tests to find out what could cause it. None of the possible explanations Matt gave held any water: Bad bulb? (Not when they both drop simultaneously, and can re-light later.) Bad on/off switch? (not even touched) Bad socket? (Again, not when both go out at once) Bad ground? (Since it IS possible for only one headlight to work, they're grounded separately) Loose connection caused by going over a bump? (no bump)

Personally, I think it's a bad computer-controlled circuit, exacerbated by poor diagnostic capability - he said they can't just connect a diag. computer to it to check the onboard computer unless it's currently failing. That would make it easier, of course, but there should be some basic functions they can test. There isn't even a 'light failure' visible on the dash when light switch is on and headlights aren't - which is another indication that the computer's got dementia (along with the designer).

Mechanic suggested either driving it until it happens again and THEN bring it in while it's not working (yeah, that sounds safe and plausible...NOT) - and try turning switch on & off if it does go out (yeah, I figured that out - only (might) work when you KNOW they're out. That could also contribute to a switch problem) - or I can leave it with them and they'll park it with lights on & engine running until it fails...then begin the diagnosis process, which starts at $105. but goes up at each step after they rule out the easier stuff. Could be hours, could be days, may not even occur again - until of course the bulbs DO finally fail. In which case they'd fix that (at over $300. each), but it wouldn't solve the underlying issue.

------

Took it into another Toyota dealer across town, who also hadn't heard of a headlight issue (other than requiring bulb or ballast replacement 'due to normal wear'. They couldn't replicate the problem, but what they could see appeared OK. Same advice: Keep driving, turn off & on if they go out again (and I can tell), or bring it back when not working.

- , Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #65

Dec 192015

Prius Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,100 miles

We were starting out on a six hour drive on a vacation and noticed the passenger side headlamp was out. We modified our plans to only drive during the daytime whenever possible, and ordered a headlamp for $49.96 on Amazon.com, so we could replace it when we returned. On the drive back, we noticed that the headlamp had come back on! Then, I did some research and found out that this intermittent headlamp problem is fairly common in my 2008 Prius. Now, I'm not sure if the problem is the headlamp or some type of circuit problem. I will try replacing the headlamp myself the next time it goes out, and see if that fixes the problem. I have heard it is fairly expensive to have it done at the dealer.

- , Los Osos, CA, USA

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problem #64

Nov 012015

Prius

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

My left headlight goes out while driving. If I turn my headlights off and then back on it comes right back on, but only for a few minutes usually. This is a huge safety concern and I can't afford a ticket for not having a working head light.

- , Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #63

Nov 132015

Prius LMT 3,2V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I went out to a meeting and left after dark, had no headlamps. Stopped and played with the switch and headed home. Got a few miles from home and headlamps blacked out and had to drive the rest of the way home with my emergency blinkers on. Frightening!

- , Lone Oak, USA

problem #62

Feb 022015

Prius

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I've been driving Toyotas for YEARS, but the fact that they have issued so many recalls in recent years, and REFUSE to fix this extremely dangerous issue--my headlights cut out completely with NO warning!--makes me reconsider whether I want to buy another potential troubled vehicle from Toyota!

- , Glendale, CA, USA

problem #61

Apr 152015

Prius 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

Right headlight goes out. It will come back on if you flash the headlights on and off. However, it soon goes out again. I went to my independent mechanic for this. I have a longstanding relationship with this guy, and he's had success in the past. He put a lot of effort in. He changed the ballast once and the bulb twice, but the problem resurfaced almost immediately. I should have don't this earlier, but I googled this recently, and this is a notorious problem with 2006-2009 Priuses. Also got pulled over for this once. Trooper was a nice guy and let me go without issuing a summons. Anyway, I am going to suck it up and go to the dealer tomorrow. If they intend to skin me alive over this, I will be heard.

- , Fishkill, USA

problem #60

Oct 012015

Prius

  • Automatic transmission
  • 203,000 miles

The headlights keep going out while I am driving and this is a huge problem!

- , Henderson, NV, USA

problem #59

Aug 032015

Prius

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Known formally as high-intensity discharge (HID) lights, they either work intermittently – making nighttime driving a lot more exciting – or fail entirely.

- , Madison, AL, USA

problem #58

Sep 152015

Prius Hybrid 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

2008 prius nasty light problem. the left rear tail light goes off and when banged on it goes on and the left front marker light also deserves a bang. now we were stopped by mister state trooper approx. two weeks ago, very nice fellow no ticket. we removed bulb and reseated socket. still goes off. called lebruen dealer in canandaigua and was quoted $96 including diagnostic to replace bulb. what!!!!! asked about a recall and was told no recall for that problem. now looka here peoples if you have complaints for head light problems and bang on the light and it works how long would it take to realize you got a problem with wiring for headlights and taillights and banging or tapping especially on the left side. it ain't the bulb . could it be the socket but why the left marker light????? WHY DO YOU IGNORE SUCH PROBLEMS ??? YOU CAN'T HIDE THIS FOR MUCH LONGER. anybody out there with this problem care to weigh in??? the headlight problem you can see but the taillight isn't noticable until someone tells you .but i still have to get it fixed. oh my god!!! i managed to type this without swearing although its very close!!!

- , Livonia Ny, NY, USA

problem #57

Sep 212014

Prius

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

Toyota, you should be providing compensation for this headlight failure. I was on the highway over the mountain pass at night, and my headlights were going out and it was incredibly dangerous.

- , Kirkland, WA, USA

problem #56

Sep 012015

Prius

  • Automatic transmission
  • 158,820 miles

The headlamp is very expensive by itself and replacement requires the front end of the car to come off, so labor is outrageous for fixing a defective leadlamp. This is a known issue in this model year Prius. Why aren't the bulbs cheaper at this point?

- , Stafford, VA, USA

problem #55

Jul 282015

Prius

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,528 miles

Driving at night I had my headlights dim. I turned on my high beams and they went out completely. I was in the dark. I frantically looked to see if I could pull off the road - which I couldn't safely. I turned the lights off and back on again. This time they came on - full amount. Not more than a minute later, the right front headlight went out completely. I drove home and called Toyota Service. I took the car in and they replaced both HID bulbs at the tune of $526.50 with labor. This same exact problem occurred a week before and I thought it was a fluke. It wasn't. I'm worried about safety with this happening. I started searching on the WEB and found that this is a common occurrence with 2006-2009 Prius. A class action suit was filed against Toyota in 2011 and they settled by meeting the demands, but never recalled and did anything for the rest of us out here that would eventually have this problem. Now with my car being at over 80,000 miles, I'm sure they think a headlight going out is normal. My concern is - it wasn't just a headlight. It caused my entire headlight system to shut down and only came back on when I fiddled with turning it on and off. What if someone out there doesn't do it and ends up in an accident? Toyota needs to recall these cars and fix the problem!! NOW!!!

- , Carmichael, CA, USA

problem #54

Jun 172015

Prius SE Hybrid

  • CVT transmission
  • 75,000 miles

While driving I noticed that my right headlight would dim over a short period of time and it would go off. When I turned the lights off and then back on, it would come back on. This is a safety hazard as well as a defect that causes a vehicle to fail state inspections.

- , Washington, DC, USA

problem #53

Apr 232012

Prius Level 6 1.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 91,000 miles

I purchased a new bulb from Amazon for $50. "Dealer only" part at $300 as far as auto parts stores were concerned. Dealer cost to replace $300. I would never have purchased a car that was fuel efficient but needed $1200 headlights if I knew it ahead of time. Ridiculous. What I've saved in fuel I more than spend on "special order" parts. That's the financial part. Going down the road in the dark is the safety part of my complaint. They "know" about it but they don't have to fix it?

- , Binghamton, NY, USA

problem #52

Mar 212015

Prius 1.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

The left (driver's side) headlight keeps going out. I bump the side of the car next to the headlight cover with my hand and it comes back on. It can go out anytime, while driving or not. I know it isn't the bulb. This is a safety concern and I think Toyota should either have a recall or a solution to the problem.

- , Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #51

Mar 282015

Prius 4D SED 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,650 miles

I was on my way home from performing in a concert. While 2/3 of the way home (of 30 miles) my lights all went out. Pitch black. I pulled over to the side of the road. There were huge rocks at the side which I almost hit. I knew I couldn't stay there, so I pulled back into the road and slowly traveled on and tried the lights on and off and finally after a few minutes, they came back on and stayed on. I felt like I was in the twilight zone. How could this happen???? I could have been easily killed! I though maybe it didn't really happen. But it happened to me again tonight, so I looked it up and sure enough - it's a defect in the car. Now what!?

- , Winsted, CT, USA

problem #50

Apr 032015

Prius 4D SED 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,717 miles

The situation of losing head & rear lights while driving almost gave me a heart attack. In pitch black I had to maneuver to the side of the highway, not knowing exactly where that was. I am lucky to be alive! I turned on my flashers (thank heavens they worked) and drove the last 8 or so miles crawling along with only the flashers giving intermittent light. I don't dare drive at night now!

- , Winsted, CT, USA

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