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 19 of 25)

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problem #122

Mar 062010


  • 36,900 miles


2008 Toyota Prius hid headlamp has gone out on the drivers side...dealership in asheville only says its past the 36,000 miles and out of warranty. Going to have the dealership check out the light and what is wrong. Saw all the complaints with other owners and this is a problem, and a safety issue. There should be a recall on this or a lemon law put on it so Toyota will handle the costs. I am just wondering how much it will cost. The light alone is about $150 each.

- Franklin, NC, USA

problem #121

Mar 082010


  • 49,878 miles
Premature failure of hid light bulb on 2008 Toyota Prius with 49,000 miles on it. Then being told by the dealer it will cost $250 to replace it.I understand this a really common failure on Prius with hid light bulbs and it happens alot..

- Layton, UT, USA

problem #120

Sep 012009


  • 43,000 miles
Both headlights went out periodically without warning making it unsafe to drive at night. Then noticed the drivers side went out periodically and had to flip the switch for light to go back on. This happened for month or so. Then it completely went out. Then about month later - the passenger light would go out without warning leaving me with no lights while driving at night. By flipping the switch, the light would go back on for few minutes and then again shut off. Car is a 2008 Prius. This should not happen to a barely 2 year old car. There seems to be some sort of malfunction with the wiring, etc because the lights should not be going out so soon...

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #119

Mar 012010


  • 44,000 miles


I purchased a 2008 Prius with hid bulbs and they both started going out a couple weeks after owning it while I was driving home at night. In just a matter of minutes, I had no lights at all! I was in a urban area, so the street lights were there so that I could see. But if I were in the country, as I usually am about once a week, I would have been in big trouble.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #118

Mar 082010


  • 25,000 miles
The driver's side hid headlamp intermittently fails while the car is in operation. I have brought this to the Toyota dealers several times, only to be told the problem cannot be recreated.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

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problem #117

Mar 052010


  • 49,000 miles
Headlights often go out. If I stop and manipulate the connection, it will come back on. There is no guarantee the light will stay on. Primarily happens on the drivers side light but passenger side has also gone out. They have never(as yet) both gone out at the same time.

- Lawrenceville, IL, USA

problem #116

Feb 062010


  • 30,200 miles


Approx. One month ago I noticed that the headlights on my 2008 Toyota Prius would intermittently turn off while I was driving. This has happened on at least 4 occasions. Three times only the left headlight would go out, and one time both headlights went out simultaneously. I don't do too much night driving so I don't know exactly when the problem began, but my best estimate is one month ago. Again, this is an intermittent problem as the vast majority of the time the headlights are working as they should. I know of no cause for this problem as the situation has occurred during freeway driving during clear conditions and rain conditions, as well on when driving on surface streets. When both headlights went completely out it was dusk and I was only a block from home. The 3 other times when just the left headlight went out I knew of no way to get the light back on and just continued my trip with one headlight functioning.

- Pismo Beach, CA, USA

problem #115

Jan 192010


  • 20,000 miles
While driving my 2008 Prius at approximately 2 a.M.on a mountainous road with many curves and wildlife the passenger headlight went out in both the high and low beams. I was startled and swerved, but luckily I maintained control of the car. I did not feel safe driving while it was still dark. At the first opportunity I pulled of the road in a safe place and spent the remainder of the night in the car. When it was light enough to continue I drove to my destination and called the local Toyota dealer and was utterly shocked when I was told what it would cost to replace the bulb. I am on a fixed income and this posed a financial hardship. The car only had a little less than 20,000 miles. I have since learned that this is a common problem. Not only is the cost to replace a bulb (yes a bulb) ridiculous but this poses a safety hazard and Toyota should "be made" to correct this defect.

- Lake Havasu City, AZ, USA

problem #114

Feb 212010


  • 22,400 miles
I have a 08 Prius. Several days ago someone told me that one day-time running light was out. Two nights ago I checked and both lights were working so I thought I was ok. Last night after driving about an hour, both head lights went out. I turned the switch off and on again and the lights came back on. About a minute later the right light went off. After another hour of driving the left light went out and I repeated the turn on cycle and it stayed another coupler hours. (I drove home with the flasher as this would have enabled me to see the road a little is case the light went out again., ) I made it home ok and am contacting my dealer today.

- Tullahoma, TN, USA

problem #113

Feb 152010


  • 19,100 miles
Intermittent operation of hid headlight (one side) on 2008 Toyota Prius. Sometimes both hid headlights work as intended; sometimes one (in this case the left) headlight ceases to work.

- Hillsboro, OR, USA

problem #112

Feb 142010


  • 21,000 miles


Premature headlight failure at 20,000 miles.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #111

Nov 142009


  • 55,000 miles
I have about 57,000 miles on my 2008 Toyota Prius. When driving at night the headlights will go out. Not both but either the left or right headlight. The left more than the passenger side. If I turn the lights off and back on the lights re light. As my running lights are on, oncoming traffic can still see me coming, but my vision is greatly reduced.

- Ft. Mitchell, KY, USA

problem #110

Nov 052009


  • 20,000 miles
After owning our 2008 Toyota Prius hybrid for 2 years, we have had to replace both headlamps already. They both failed prematurely. Fortunately for us our dealership replaced the headlamps with no charge as we are well under the 36,000 mile warranty. My question is what is going to happen when that warranty expires, and it will soon. Will Toyota or our dealership keep replacing these headlights bulbs. I think not! they will more than likely make me pay for them! with the 35 complaints that are listed here about the same issue, one would expect/demand that Toyota would voluntarily cover the costs involved with replacing these headlight bulbs, that keep going out prematurely. Surely this is a safety hazard as we need 2 working headlights to avoid being ticketed by the police. My wife and I are extremely disappointed with Toyota that these headlight bulbs keep failing prematurely! why is there not a recall issue about these headlight bulbs. Surely they should last a lot longer than 2 years. I have owned vehicles that never had the headlight bulbs replaced. One in particular was a 1987 camaro with 187,000 miles on it. Neither headlight bulbs were ever replaced on that vehicle in the 12 years we owned it.

- Fort Mohave, AZ, USA

problem #109

Jul 072009


  • 15,000 miles
Headlights unexpectedly stop working.

- Basalt, CO, USA

problem #108

Jan 032010


  • 65,500 miles
Hid headlights go out when driving. Sometimes can be turned on again by turn off headlight and turning the switch back on. The headlights go out one at a time.

- South Windsor, CT, USA

problem #107

Sep 152009


  • 34,000 miles
2008 Toyota Prius (touring model) -- driver side hid headlight began to fail in Sept 2009. Became more frequent as time elapsed (would occur 3+ times during 30 minute trip). Turning lights off and back on temporarily resolved issue, but driver bulb would eventually fail again. Resulted in reduced visibility and potential blind spot for driver in front of vehicle. Researched online - suspected ECU. Contacted Toyota corporate around December 2009. Was advised that ECU was not the problem - bulb repair suggested. Dealer diagnostic suggested. Did not go to deal to spend $100 to tell me a light bulb should be replaced. Received notice Jan 2010 that symptoms matching mine was due to headlight reaching end of life. Ordered and attempted to replace bulbs in Jan 2010. Did not bring to Toyota as cost to replace bulbs was at least 6X more that "do it yourself". attempt to replace bulbs resulted in mixed success. Was able to get both hid headlights replaced and functioning (after passenger side or driver side would not remain on consistently). Tested high beams - after high beams were disengaged both headlights went out, but headlight switch remained engaged. Disconnected and reconnected wiring. Only passenger side bulb functioned. Afraid to use high beams and no faith in headlights. Reluctant to spend hundreds of dollars to have dealer change bulbs, same problem occur, and spend hundreds or 1,000+ dollars. Original bulbs retained and I will be putting them back in once weather is warmer. Strong belief that bulbs are not to blame and ECU or other electrical component is at fault. Dozens of similar issues reported online.

- Medford, MA, USA

problem #106

Jan 262009


  • 39,000 miles
Hid bulb went out on front left of car when it was just out of warranty.

- Clermont, FL, USA

problem #105

Nov 282009


  • miles
2008 Toyota Prius. Brakes seems to "lose hold" when driving at slow speeds and hitting a bump in the road. The loss of braking seems to only last for a fraction of a second but is very disconcerting. Also, driver's side headlamp kept malfunctioning, going off periodically when driving. Dealer could not replicate problem in shop, so stated there was no problem. Took car back three additional times for same issue. Finally dealer said there'd been numerous complaints and changed out the headlamp at a cost of $250. ($150 for the headlamp and $100 for labor) later got a letter from Toyota acknowledging the faulty headlamp issue, but said Toyota had given us a discount by only charging $150 for the headlamp instead of the regular $300 cost. $300 for a headlamp seems excessive and if it's a common issue why is Toyota not issuing a recall for this matter.

- Midway, KY, USA

problem #104

Oct 092009


  • miles
The headlights on my 2008 Prius will intermittenlty fail, sometimes both at the same time while driving. The intermittent failure is daily, and will happen several times depending upon the duration of the drive.

- Elkton, MD, USA

problem #103

Jan 302010


  • miles
Hid going on and off constantly.

- New York, NY, USA

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