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 7 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #362

Feb 172014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 106,000 miles


Purchased car used. I noticed immediately that the right light was flickering. In a few days, it started going out. Came back on later, then went out again back and forth. After having bulb replaced, with in 2 days, it did the same thing. Left hid light is now doing the same flickering, though not going out totally yet that I have noticed. Turning lights on and off make them work again until the next time they randomly go out. They will randomly go out or on even if sitting still. After researching, I am finding that people are spending 1000S of dollars and still not getting this fixed.

- New Braunfels, , TX, USA

problem #361

Feb 282014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 97,450 miles
The hid headlamps on this vehicle were part of a class action suit several years ago alleging the lamps failed prematurely. Toyota settled the suit by acknowledging the defective parts and extending the warranty to 5 years or 50,000 miles. I was forced to have both headlamps replaced right at 50,000 as one had gone out and almost immediately the other started going on and off intermittently. It created a significant safety hazard at the time. On Friday February 28, 2014 I had another headlamp go out while on a dark stretch of rural highway in central Missouri. I was fortunate enough to get home, but was forced to have the lamp replaced at significant cost ($247.38) the next day. This headlamp lasted approximately 45,000 miles. Toyota has refused to accept responsibility for this item which I feel is creating a very significant safety hazard. While I was fortunate enough to be in a dark area at the time of the failure that made the issue quite obvious, drivers in a more urban environment would have easily never noticed. Even for those who did notice most drivers would be unaware of the proclivity for these lamps to fail and the imminent danger they are in driving at night on a single lamp with these particular lamps. Unfortunately headlamps have been such a reliable part that most drivers will feel it's a once in a blue moon event and there is no urgency for the replacement. It appears that while they said as part of the suit settlement that they had resolved the issue with the lamps failing prematurely they quite clearly have not. They are most definitely putting drivers in danger. It is my hope that NHTSA will look into this issue.

- St Peters, MO, USA

problem #360

Feb 212014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
When I was on the freeway, one of my headlights just went out. I had the same exact headlight replaced only one year ago. A few days later, both of my headlights had the same problem. They would flicker and then just go out while I am driving at high speeds. If I turn the light switch on and off while I am driving they sometimes come back on. Sometimes I have to pull over and restart the car for them to come back on. This issue is not safe! please help.

- Redondo Beach, CA, USA

problem #359

Feb 192014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 125,899 miles


The headlight turns off suddenly. Most of the time it is the left head light and some time right head light.the head light comes back on after turning off and on. It is dangerous when all of a sudden the light went out at night. Mechanic find no problem. Hwever, the head light cuts off suddenly.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #358

Nov 132013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
The exterior headlights continue to malfunction. They turn off randomly, and you much switch them on and off again to get them to continue to work. They at times malfunction at the same time, and the cost of the replacement bulb is astronomical at approx. $200 per bulb. Malfunction continues to happen, even after bulb replacement.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

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problem #357

Mar 082013

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
Although the investigation of hid headlight failure on 2006-09 on the Toyota Prius was closed in 2009, I wanted to add my complaint to your file. I just paid to replace my drivers' side headlight for the third time. It was replaced once under warranty, comped a second time by the dealer and now I had to pay $1,022.24 to replace it after the company refused to. There is clearly an issue with this headlight and the cost of replacing it is obscene, making it a safety threat.

- Atlantic Beach, FL, USA

problem #356

Jun 282013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


I was driving down the highway at night at approx. 70 mph and both headlights turned off. I then slowed down and shut the headlights off manually and then turned them back on. Both headlights turned on and worked properly. Within that week I brought the car to a shop and had him replace both headlights at a crazy cost. Thinking that this fixed the problem I continued to drive the car, I have had one other time that both headlights went out but have had multiple times where one head light would go out. I have been pulled over by the authorities at least twice by having the headlight out. In order to fix the lights I have to shut them off and then turn them back on. This is very unsafe, my life, my family members life, and possible other lives are at risk!!!

- Jefferson City, MO, USA

problem #355

Mar 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
One or both headlights shut off intermittently while driving. Usually come back on when switch is turned off, then on. May happen repeatedly.

- Bellefonte, PA, USA

problem #354

Feb 052013


  • 89,000 miles
The lights just turn off by themselves. One will go out, then the other. Many times both will go out at he same time it is really scary. The lights have been replaced and it still happens.

- Sonoma, CA, USA

problem #353

Jan 192014

Prius 4-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
Driving down 4 lane, undivided highway at night and both headlights went dark.

- Missoula, MT, USA

problem #352

Sep 122013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles


My head lights will all of a sudden go out while driving. I've had to click them off and on again, but it keeps happening and is quite scary while driving at night. Since I work until 10:00pm every night, I am constantly driving at night. I have also been stopped by our local police department and issued a warning for having a headlight out. I have been to my local Toyota dealer and was told by them that since my warranty has expired, it would cost me about $350 per headlight to replace. I have also been researching and noticed that this is an ongoing problem with this type of car. I also understand that there was a class action suit involving this model, but we have never been notified of anything to do with this problem. Why hasn't the NHTSA notified owners of this ongoing defect? when this happens it is quite scary.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #351

Dec 192013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 56,300 miles
Pulling away from home after starting car, I noticed dashboard lights were out, no speedometer, etc. Although blinker lights worked. Later, backing up, I noticed the camera image did not work. Big problem was when I got to work and car would not turn off. I tried for 20 minutes including that I made the mistake of putting smart key into slot thinking that would help only to realize that key could not be removed without car being off. I absolutely had to go to my office; had to leave car unattended in downtown. When returned a few hours later to go to dealer, I tried it again and it turned off.

- Miami Shores, FL, USA

problem #350

Jun 262013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
In July of 2013, while driving, the drivers side headlight went out. I bought a new headlight hid bulb and had it installed a few days later. In December of 2013 the light went out again. I was able to get it to work intermittently by toggling the on/off switch. The light would stay on for 1-2 minutes before going out again. I had the lightbulb removed and will have to purchase another bulb to be installed. Each bulb costs nearly $175. I have been quoted $120 by a Toyota dealer for labor.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #349

Mar 072012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
Head lights shut off while driving usually on passenger side I turn them off and back on and they work then it may or may not happen again some times it is on the drivers side as well getting worse taken it by dealer ship they say they don't know what's causing it yet this is a common problem with this car I believe it is a flaw in manufacturing and designee.

- Alvarado, TX, USA

problem #348

Mar 202013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
Left head light goes out while driving. I can turn head lights off and back on and it starts working again. The dealer says I need a new bulb at the rate of $330 dollars plus tax and $50 to install. I asked if it was guaranteed they said no once it is installed there is no guarantee. I was born at night but not last night!! I think they have another problem and don't have a clue what it is! at $400 a light bulb-good money if you can get it.

- Chatham, VA, USA

problem #347

Jul 112013


  • 100,000 miles
While driving my car the headlight go off without any warning. This is extremely dangerous. I have already filled one complaint. I thought I had fixed the problem when I replaced my headlights but that only worked for about a month and the same thing started to happen again, now I cant drive at night with out my headlights going out.

- Mount Union, PA, USA

problem #346

Nov 202013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
I was driving home at night when both my headlights on my Toyota Prius suddenly completely went off for no reason. I had an issue a few weeks before, and had noticed that sometimes the front right headlight would just blink off, and a friend of mine had pointed out that I had a headlight out. But when I turned on my car the next time both lights were working... soon I realized that if the light blinked off, and if I turned the lights off and back on again they would both come one; sometimes for a few minutes or longer, but sometimes only for a second and then blink back off... I was about to look into getting that checked out when suddenly this time last week both lights went off, on my curvy street in Malibu in the dark where there are no street lights as I live in the mountain 2 miles away from the pch and it is a very dark and dangerously curvy road... luckily my reflexes kicked in and I quickly flicked the lights off and on as I had done before and the lights came back on, but I could have easily flown off the cliff here... if my wife was driving my car and not known about flicking the lights on and off she could have died. I will not let her drive my car at night until this is fixed. It was completely pitch black for a second there and the average person who had not discovered this yet could have had a fatal death in that moment. Imagine if I had not known that I needed to flick my lights back on and off which I had luckily just found worked only weeks before with the singly headlight going out... I contacted Toyota and they said they will not fix this on their own, and that have to pay in full for replacing the bulbs. I have now done research on this and found countless complaints online about this, and I can't believe this is not a simple recall issue and that Toyota is not taking responsibility... absolutely ludicrous. What can be done?

- Malibu, CA, USA

problem #345

Oct 242013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
The drivers side headlight goes out intermittently. We replaced the bulb, but we are still having the problem.

- Campbell, CA, USA

problem #344

Sep 252013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 82,600 miles
I was driving about 70mph on Sept. 25, 2013 when I noticed my rt. Front headlight went off on a dark road. Later it came back on. When I stopped to pull over, it was out completely. I continued traveling and it came back on. Since then, I've noticed both rt. And left headlight intermittently turn off by themselves and go back on by themselves while driving. Recently it's become more frequent and the left front flickers occasionally. It's a safety hazard. My address is: [xxx]driver license #:[xxx]/ ss#: [xxx]VIN: [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Waukesha, WI, USA

problem #343

Nov 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
Head lights suddenly went out for about 5 seconds at night! they came back on by themselves. I was told by dealer hard to find intermittent problems. Of course it was working when at dealer. Told I needed both hid head lights @$265. Each. Also possible head light assembly and computer. Approx another $2200. My passenger side headlight has been intermittent for a while, but this is the first time both have gone out and left me blind!! many other complaints from others I have talked to. Should be recalled.

- Ferndale, WA, USA

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