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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
83,629 miles
Total Complaints:
33 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (20 reports)
  2. replace lights (13 reports)
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2008 Toyota Prius lights problems

lights problem

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2008 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #33

Sep 212014


  • 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 #32

Sep 012015


  • 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 #31

Jul 282015


  • 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 #30

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 #29

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

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problem #28

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 #27

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 #26

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

problem #25

Mar 192015


  • CVT transmission
  • 79,500 miles

Toyota USA Max Paul's Ardmore PA Toyota: Hopefully you are monitoring this and will do the right thing by your customers.

I am another in a long line of Prius owners asked to pay for a Toyota design flaw: Toyota engineered the (last gen) Prius model such that the front bumper assembly must be removed in order to replace a headlight. Then, Toyota fought to prevent the failure of the HID headlamps from constituting a recall notice. Toyota, and Max Paul's Ardmore Toyota continue to ask their unsuspecting customers to pay for the cost of this design flaw, people who paid a premium price for the trim package including the HID headlight "upgrade".

To All Toyota Prius Owners affected by the HID headlamp problem: do not agree to pay the suggested amount to have your local Toyota Dealer's Service Dept. replace HID headlamps. This is not your fault. Yes, you need to pay for the cost of a replacement lamp - no one expects a lamp to last forever; however, Toyota must be responsible for labor costs to replace these headlamps since it was their design that requires this complicated work to replace a lamp, rather than an easily accessible alternative.

I successfully argued against paying the $275 cost of replacement and suggest you all do the same. Do not go silently along with the amount your Toyota dealer is willing to charge you for something that is not your fault. Argue with them. Toyota knows this is a design flaw. Prius owners know this is a problem. Demand to speak with the service manager, the dealership owner.

The Service Manager at Max Paul's Ardmore Toyota suggested that I "got a really great deal" today for my service bill. Seriously? I had to engage in a protracted discussion with the service rep, who had to refer me to the service manager in order to reduce the suggested cost of $275 - to replace a headlamp.

This is not my idea of a "really great deal".

- , Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #24

Jan 232015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

A known problem of headlights flickering off while driving! I had my family in the car going 80mph down a dark Idaho freeway when all of a sudden -BLACKNESS-!! If it was the Toyota CEO's 3 year old strapped into the car seat behind me then perhaps they would recall these dangerous lights.


problem #23

Oct 172014

Prius ES 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 169,600 miles


I didn't realize the extent of the problem with 2008 Prius'. Problem started around 150K miles and has continued with the alternate headlight going out within a month or so. I recently got ticketed for having a low beam headlight burn out while I was driving. I tried to explain to the officer, but he told me "take it to court" so I am. What a pain in the butt as I live in western NJ where there are a lot of farms and I have to take back roads. Without headlights the likelihood of my hitting a deer is drastically increased. I see that there is no easy fix for the headlight burn out. Moisture in the headlight assy is ridiculous. At least I have enuf evidence that I can give to the court to explain my lack of a headlight. From what I can see Toyota sucks on this issue!

- , Neshanic Station, NJ, USA

problem #22

Jun 112014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Headlights intermittently started going out months ago- no specific pattern or reason. If you got out of car and hit the right headlight it would come back on. Then go back out at again at a later time. The problem is that it would go out while driving - no warning. Now it is completely out and never comes back on as of yesterday. I have the extended warranty - i have to contact dealership to see if they will cover this. I am finding out now after researching online that this is a growing problem with other prius owners and will not be an easy fix of just changing the light bulb.

- , Eugene, OR, USA

problem #21

Apr 102014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,886 miles

Right head light would turn off on its own. It was replaced by dealer a year ago now it's back and has escalated To BOTH HEADLIGHTS!!!!

- , San Diego, CA, USA

problem #20

Jul 252014

Prius 1.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

My right headlight goes out randomly and scares my socks off! When I turn off the lights and turn them back on both lights come on for a short time, sometimes longer. This has been going on for months and we don't know what to do other than not drive at night or not drive when it is raining - not always easy to accomplish!

My husband and I have read the manual and have fiddled with the switch and prayed. So far nothing has solved this SCARY issue and our local Toyota dealer acts like they know nothing about the problem and has given us the run around and has offered to replace the headlights for $526. (Highway robbery - pun intended!) We said "NO THANKS!" We asked another shop which specializes in Toyota's and they suggested that we look on the internet. Wow! Had no idea we are not alone! How do we get Toyota to do the right thing?

- , Yucaipa, C, USA

problem #19

Aug 012014

Prius 1.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

This has happened several times over the past three years. There needs to be a recall to fix this!

- , Jamestown, OH, USA

problem #18

May 282014

Prius 5dr HB Touring 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,565 miles

I let my daughter take my 2008 Prius to California where she just got a new job. She kept telling me her friends would tell her she was driving behind them and her head light was out. She took it to a shop and they said it wasn't out. She came home (Texas) to visit and told me about the problem. I had her turn on the lights and they worked. Last Wednesday night returning home from friends house she got pulled over by Highway Patrol and got a warning ticket for the same headlight out. She got home and noticed it out. Shut off engine then started back and light came on!

I looked on line to see if there was a problem or recall and noticed that there were many complaints of this same problem with this year model Prius. Having your light go out at night while driving is very unsafe- especially if it is your precious daughter at the wheel. Very Unsafe! Toyota needs to fix this before someone gets killed! At this time there's nothing I can do! Getting a new headlight will not fix! Come on Toyota- do the right thing!

- , Mount Peasant, TX, USA

problem #17

Nov 132013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

My headlights on my Prius randomly flicker off for no reason; sometimes the left one; usually the right one, and every once in a while, they both go off.

When I turn of the headlight and turn it back on, the light(s) come back on; sometimes for 1 second, sometimes for a few minutes; sometimes for a bit longer; but then it eventually flicks back off again and I have to do that over and over and it is very dangerous, as it is a distraction while driving to have to suddenly be flicking lights on and off...

This is a major safety issue. I live in the mountains on curvy streets, and the lights have gone off, and luckily I am a ninja and quickly turned the lights back on before flying off of the cliff, but I am scared to let my wife drive my car at night as she is not quite as much of a ninja...

After calling Toyota, they are saying this is NOT a safety issue, and that I have to go pay a bunch of money to fix this. I have now researched this online, and have found this to be a common problem out there, and it is strange that it is not considered a recall. Here are some links below that I have researched:







- , Malibu, CA, USA

problem #16

Jan 152014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

As like many other Toyota prius owners I've had issues with my VERY expensive headlights going off and on.

- , Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #15

Aug 012013

Prius Prius

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles

HEADLIGHT FAILURE! These headlights are supposed to last a very long time... says the dealership but this is headlight failure and that means I should have to pay 260.00 to fix the light so I can drive safely. I BELIEVE THIS SHOULD BE A RECALL FOR SAFETY REASONS FIRST OF ALL.

I have been pulled over twice for this by the police. The light fades out but when I turn them off and on again the light works for a while then fades out again. Very dangerous. Toyota insists that I have to pay $260.00 for replacement of this headlight. I AM APPALLED and I believe an attorney should help us, the consumer, out after all we are helping our environment in many ways by purchasing this vehicle and Toyota says themselves that it is a headlight failure and should not have happened!!!!!! SOMEONE PLEASE HELP US.

- , Braintree, MA, USA

problem #14

Sep 252013

Prius Sedan 1.5L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,690 miles

I started noticing both of my headlights intermittantly go out when they on. It's sporadic for both of them and they don't go off at the same time. The right front intermittently flickers on and off on occasion also. While I've never had both go out at the same time while driving, one or the other has gone off which is annoying and not safe.

- , Waukesha, WI, USA

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