really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,210 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 13 of 25)

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problem #242

Oct 152008


  • 10,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact was driving 30 mph when the drivers side headlights failed to illuminate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who confirmed the bulb needed to be replaced. The failure occurred on three previous occasions. The manufacturer was not notified, but the vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 10,000 and the current mileage was 100,000.

- Gallatin , TN, USA

problem #241

May 182011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
Headlamp went off and on while driving. Driver's side headlamp was replaced and now the passenger's side is doing the same thing only a couple months later.

- Rowlett, TX, USA

problem #240

Sep 282011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 56,451 miles
I have had intermittent trouble with headlights on either side of the car going out spontaneously while driving. I have been able to correct it by turning the switch off and then back on again and they come back on. I have now had an instant where both headlights went out at the same time. This is quite scary when you are traveling at 65 miles an hour with limited street lights.

- Benicia, CA, USA

problem #239

Jun 232011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles


My 2008 Toyota Prius headlights work intermitently. Sometimes one side goes out, flickers or both go out. This occurred while driving at night on the freeway several times. I turned the light switch off and back on and the lights work again. It is extremely dangerous. I have contacted Toyota and they say there is nothing they can do but replace the bulbs at a big cost. I looked on a blog and many are experiencing the same problem. This is a safety hazard. What can I do?

- San Clemente, CA, USA

problem #238

Sep 022011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 41,000 miles
Around or just after 40,000 miles the right headlight on my 2008 Toyota Prius started turning off while driving. Turning the lights off then on corrects the problem -- but this is annoying and dangerous when driving at night.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

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problem #237

Jul 232011


  • 39,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the headlights failed without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who replaced both headlights. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance with the repairs. The failure and current mileage was 39,000.

- Fresno , CA, USA

problem #236

Jun 152011


  • 80,000 miles


Hid headlight bulbs go out and come back on sometimes both at the same time. I am told by many other Prius owners that this happens a lot.

- Appomattox, VA, USA

problem #235

Feb 012011


  • 28,000 miles
Hid headlights flickering on and off - 2008 Prius w only 28,000 miles.

- Pacific Palisades, CA, USA

problem #234

Nov 142010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
2008 Toyota Prius, VIN [xxx], both driver side and passenger side headlight go on and off while in the on position. Started Nov. 2010 with both headlights going out on a trip out of town. Then for about 5 months no problems. Now since April 2011 the drives side headlight occasionally goes off, but the passenger side constantly goes off. I will turn on my light to drive at nigh and the passenger light will be on at first then within a few minutes it will go out. I can get it to come back on if I switch the headlight switch off and back on, this turns off all the lights momentarily and then it will come on again for a few more minutes, then have to constantly repeat the process over and over. I have gone online and found forums where there are hundreds if not thousands of the same complaints and Toyota has done nothing to remedy the problem all but to charge outrageous prices to temporarily fix the problem that will just start all over. I have gone to our local dealer who gave us a quote and said it was a problem that they were not aware of. Come on, they are sweeping it under the rug and ripping off pruis owners. I certainly hope it doesn't take someone dying to get Toyota or someone to realize what a major problem there is and that it needs to be addressed immediately. I do not feet this is an issue with the bulb itself, as the bulb works, it has to be something wrong with the electrical, as many others have replaced the bulbs to only have the same problem return in a short period of time. Your help in this matter would be greatly appreciated. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #233

Feb 102011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
Headlights on my 2008 Toyota Prius intermittently go out. The left side or the right side or both headlights at the same time. A very very hazardous condition at night! I checked the Toyota site, but no sign of a recall going on. I can't understand why a recall hasn't already been issued, as I understand they are aware of the problem.

- Windham, NH, USA

problem #232

Apr 042011


  • 60,000 miles


One headlight on my Toyota Prius keeps going out. 3 new lamps in just 6 months. It is only on the passenger side.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #231

Oct 152008

Prius 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
My 2008 Toyota Prius headlights keep going out, the bulbs are fine, but I have to turn off and turn on the light many time on highway to make them stay on. That is not safety way ever. If I forgot to turn it off and on again, I can cause an accident or police officer will give pull me over.

- Ashtabula, OH, USA

problem #230

Oct 012010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
We have a 2008 Toyota Prius purchased in October 2007 and have had intermittent problems with the headlights going off during operation. We have had this problem for the past 6 months. When contacting Toyota they have not helped at all saying that they extended the warranty to 50,000 miles for this and we are over that mileage mile stone which is very convenient for Toyota. The cost to put in two new headlights is over $600 which I cant afford. With all the complaints I'm reading about its amazing that a recall is not in affect or that the department of transportation isn't ordering a recall.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #229

Apr 102011


  • 52,000 miles
Both headlights and inside lights failed, suddenly and without warning, while traveling on a dark stretch of interstate highway at night. For the past two months, the right headlight failed suddenly on occasion, but it could be turned back on my switching off the headlights and then turning them back on. This is the first time all lights failed, and it almost caused a crash.

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #228

Mar 162011

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
I will start the car and both headlights are on then one or the other will just turn off, luckily both have not turned off at the same time. Sometimes they can be on for a long time and sometimes a short time, there is no rhyme or reason for it. It happens all the time, enough that I was stopped by the police for having a headlight out.

- Bealeton, VA, USA

problem #227

Mar 012009


  • 26,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that two years ago, the headlights began illuminating intermittently. The headlights were replaced by an authorized dealer yet the failure continuously recurred. Both the dealer and manufacturer advised the contact that the headlight failure was due to production and that they were able to repair the failure, but at her expense. The vehicle was not further repaired. The current mileage was 55,000 and the failure mileage was 26,000.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #226

Jun 042010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
Headlight passenger side going while driving coming back on do not know when both will go out. Cost to replace one headlight $150 for bulb $95 to replace. Have heard other owners having same problems and more then one time. Have heard of overheating problem causing early outage of bulbs over and over. Also problem with computer causing these problems. Problem show up for first time I believe in 2010. It is getting worst and I'm no longer driving.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #225

Sep 102010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
I have a 2008 Prius and have had to replace both the left and right hid lamps. Approximate cost is $150 per replacement. I feel that the hid failure is a hazard, both of the hid lights came on and went out periodically over time before eventually failing, finally. The hids should last longer than 2 years and intermittent outages should not be a part of a critical night time operating system.

- Union, KY, USA

problem #224

Feb 252011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 35,457 miles
Condensation builds up inside the hid headlights during humid days, after rain, and after carwash. Inside of headlight is streaked with water stains.

- Bryan, TX, USA

problem #223

Jan 152011


  • 44,000 miles
Purchased new 2008 Prius August 13, 2008. Has hid headlights. Present mileage 45000. Around January 15, 2011, first noticed headlights appeared to not be on in early evening. Check switch, turned it off-on, headlights came on. 2nd time, 2 days later, lights again seemed to not be one, checked switch, which was on. Turned switch off then on, lights came on. Subsequent times, problem with driver side headlight intermittently turning off. Sometimes turns on without doing anything, other times must turn switch off, then on. No noticed problem with passenger side headlight. Dangerous when headlight switches off at night. Noticed on websites that others experiencing same problem. Contacted dealer from whom purchased vehicle. Told that since car out of warranty, would have to pay for any diagnostic and repair costs (estimated $300-$500 cost). Indicated problem is most likely bulb going bad, but couldn't guarantee repair work would fix problem. Asked dealer why hid bulb goes bad after only 30 months of operation (have original headlights in 2004 Chevy cavalier and 1976 GMC pickup). Was told that should only expect 24 months of life with hid bulbs which contradicts what was told by dealer when car purchased that bulbs should last lifetime of car. Toyota implies that issue is my problem to solve.

- Kennewick, WA, USA

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