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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
80,522 miles
Total Complaints:
25 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (15 reports)
  2. replace lights (10 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 #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

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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

problem #13

Sep 012013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles

I see there are many complaints on line about this issue.

What suggestions do people have regarding getting this fixed by dealer/Toyota?

- , Columbia, MD, USA

problem #12

Jan 282013

Prius Senergy Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,600 miles

Someone would call to my attention that my right front light was out. I would tell my wife, she would check and it would be on. After this happening repeatedly called my dealer and said they would check it out when next I brought it in. Of course, it worked fine. They told me they checked it all out and could fine no problems with the lights.

- , Marlborough, MA, USA

problem #11

Mar 012013

Prius Touring

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles

The day I took my prius in to have 4 new tires put on, I was told by the service person at the dealer that my headlight needed to be replaced. He explained that water had gotten int the headlight and caused it to go out. He stated that it could cost up to $1,200 to replace. I have been trying to find a salvaged one as I've been told it would reduce the cost by 50 percent.

- , Seminole, FL, USA

problem #10

Dec 152012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

Prius has consistently had a headlight or taillight out every six months since I drove it off the lot brand new. Whenever I took it into the dealership to be looked at, they claimed I was crazy and that there wasn't a problem with the car. When I shared this with the police officer that repeatedly pulled me over for a missing light, he went with me to the dealership and told them that indeed the car had a severe lighting issue. Despite the officer's statement, and four years of complaints from me, the dealership would not cover the bad lights under warranty, and charged me around $2000 to replace lights in that time. I will never buy another Toyota from that dealership, and will be very hesitant to ever buy another Toyota, period.

- , Richland,, MI, USA

problem #9

Feb 202013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

Both headlights go out while driving. Turning them off and on works. Really awfull!

- , Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #8

Jan 132013

Prius Touring 1.5l4 Fi Dohc 16v

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,200 miles

From checking the internet this appears to be a recurring and very dangerous problem with the HID headlights. It's expensive and there is a class action suit underway but Toyota, having long known of this problem, should have had and still should have a recall. The only reason that they haven't recalled them is because of the money involved. This shows that they do not have a proper sense of corporate accountability. If they persist in this behavior they will lose my business forever. I recently got a recall notice on this same car for the steering intermediate extension shaft and the hybrid electric water pump which they will fix but if they think that the headlight problem is less important they are nuts. The lights go out without warning and for a few seconds leave you driving blind. They are opening themselves up to huge lawsuits if people are injured or killed especially since they openly admit to knowing of this problem from tens of thousands of customers. If they had a half a brain they'd just bite the bullet and repair the problem before it really costs them as well as the health and lives of customers.

- , Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, USA

problem #7

Oct 012012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

My non HID headlights on my Prius are having the EXACT same issue that I see others having with their HID lights. They intermittently turn themselves off. The solution is to switch the lights off and on again and they come back on. This has happened at least twice while driving at night (both lights went out). Once, while following my husband home, he told me I had one headlight out. I have no idea how many times this could be occurring during the day.

I took the car to a Toyota dealership and they acted like they had no idea what in the world the problem could be and would have to run their $120.00 diagnostic test before they could tell me anything. I found that completely unacceptable since they know that thousands of other Prius owners are experiencing the identical problem.

- , Georgetown, TX, USA

problem #6

Mar 312012

Prius 1nz-Fxe

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,500 miles

In March 2012, someone told me that my right headlight was out. However, when I got home and looked at the lights, the right headlight was on. It goes off and on intermittently. When it goes off while I'm driving, often if I turn the headlights on and off again, the right headlight will be working again. I'm told that the problem is with one of 2 bulbs involved in the headlight, one costing $20, the other $300+. It's the $300+ bulb that is the problem and must be purchased through Toyota.

- , Pacifica, CA, USA

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