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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
93,301 miles
Total Complaints:
39 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (25 reports)
  2. replace lights (14 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 #39

Nov 132015

Prius LMT 3,2V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


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 #38

Feb 022015


  • 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 #37

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 #36

Oct 012015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 203,000 miles


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

- , Henderson, NV, USA

problem #35

Aug 032015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

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

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problem #34

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 #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

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

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