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 8 of 25)

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problem #342

Nov 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 66,000 miles


Most recently I was driving at night and the left headlight was not working at all. The next day I took the car to my local mechanic and both lights were working fine so they were unable to do anything. Two days later I was driving home late and again the lights worked fine. This has been a constant problem. Sometimes the lights (one or both) work and sometimes they don't. two months ago I was driving on a dark winding rode with only the fog lights working, both of the headlights were out. You never know when it's going to happen and it's extremely dangerous. Is it a problem with the hid lights or a circuit issue? my Toyota dealer was unaware of the problem despite what appears to be several complaints having been logged. My car only has 66K miles and I don't drive at night very often.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #341

Oct 012012

Prius 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Both headlights went out. This was my first experience about 1 year ago. For the past several months, one or both headlights will go out at least a couple of times each morning during my one hour commute. Recovery is to turn the headlight switch off and then on quickly. Fortunately, my car has fog lamps which I now keep on continuously to avoid being completely in the dark. I have checked online reports and understand this is a known problem. Toyota dealer doesn't think there is a problem since the lights work fine when the car is in their service area. Seems the car must be moving to cause the issue.

- San Francisoc, CA, USA

problem #340

Oct 112013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Intermittent hid headlight operation this has been recurring over the last 5 years. Always mentioned during the maintenance check-ups never corrected.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #339

Aug 032012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles


Headlights blink out singly or at the same time for over a year now. Increasingly both lights go out over last year. Car at 74000 miles now. Can be one or both so I doubt this is a bulb issue.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #338

Mar 292011

Prius 4-cyl

  • 46,248 miles
Hid headlamp intermittent, replaced under warranty but has failed again @ 76,000 mi.

- Brownsburg, IN, USA

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problem #337

Oct 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 113,000 miles
Drivers headlights goes on and off randomly. Bulbs will not fix it and there is no factory fix for this problem. If they both go out at the same time very unsafe. For a fairly new car.

- Anchorage , AK, USA

problem #336

Oct 012013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 56,100 miles


2008 Prius headlamps intermittent hid problem. This is a known and common problem with Toyota Prius 2004-2009. No recall for it that I am aware of, however they light will go out randomly. The cost of repair can been extreme. Toyota was sued for this, but did not make an official recall (www.girardgibbs.com/Toyota-Prius/). when driving my lights will go out for no reason. Turn the switch off and back on will sometimes correct the issue, but others times I have to wait a bit and retry. This is a danger and safety issue. I have read where repairs can run from 300 - 1100 per side to repair. In addition, the rear lift gate latch rubber is becoming very sticky. I have again read numerous complaints that it eventually melts and again Toyota has not put a recall in place for this. Lastly the mpg is horrible. In the city I get 27 to 36 randomly changes, there is no stability in the mpg. It is all over the board. I am the only driver. This vehicle was purchased at tustin Toyota in tustin California. They have refused all calls from me. They have not called back after 4 messages and two internet chat messages.

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #335

Aug 192013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
One, the other, or both headlight turn off unexpectedly while driving. Rotating the headlight control stalk to off position and then back to on position will relight the headlights. The problem is getting progressively worse. There are now multiple incidents even during short trips.

- Cupertino, CA, USA

problem #334

Jun 222013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
Following the purchase of my 2008 Toyota Prius, we visited a friend who told us our passenger side headlight was out. When we turned off the lights and turned them back on it came on. We have had the dealer we purchased the car from and our mechanic try to find the problem but the lights still go out, sometimes passenger side, sometimes driver side, and a few times they have both gone out. When the switch is shut off and on they come back on. I'm afraid my lights may fail and be the cause of an accident. We, my husband and I, took the car to a Toyota dealer to fix the safety recalls on the vehicle and specifically asked them to check the headlights and described our problems to them. They failed to check our lights but gave us a checklist of other maintenance suggestions.

- Martinsburg, PA, USA

problem #333

Aug 012012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Passenger side headlight turned off. When light switch was toggled headlight turned on again. Over the course of a year the driver side headlight exhibited the same problem, sometimes both headlights have gone out (including on a secluded road at night) without warning. There is no warning light to indicate either bulb is malfunctioning. Currently passenger side light does not function at all, and now the driver side light does not stay on more than 30 seconds at a time.

- Redwood City, CA, USA

problem #332

Mar 012013


  • 109,000 miles


While driving my 2008 Prius at night, I had my headlights on. Driving at approx 50 - 60 mph my hid front lights went out. I was in complete darkness. I can not understand why this not a safety recall by now because I understand that this is happening with regularity.

- Wilmington, MA, USA

problem #331

Sep 092013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
My headlight keeps going out. I know its a known problem but there has not been recall and it did not occur until recently, so it does not fit in with the Toyota 50,000 miles and under rule. However, I have been stopped a couple times and its happening more and more every day. This should be recalled!

- Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #330

Apr 132013


  • 94,000 miles
I was driving on the highway when both my lights started to flicker and then both went out. Then after turning the headlights off then my right headlight stayed off and my left headlight came back on and I continued on the road, after about 5 mins down the road the left went out again but came back on. And didn't have problems with it again. Then 3 weeks ago I got my right bulb replaced and it worked with no problems. Then after 2 weeks my bulb blew again. Then last night I was coming home on my way from my barn and the left headlight flickered 1 time and then I had no headlights and took my car down into a field because I couldn't see after I came to a stop my lights came back on with me turning the lights on and off.

- Mount Union, PA, USA

problem #329

Jul 222013


  • 83,000 miles
This has happened a number of times before. We were driving at night about 11:00 P.M. and the headlights were working fine. Suddenly, both headlights went out. I slowed the car and turned the headlights off and turned them back on again very quickly. No problem the rest of the way home. Sometimes the lights would dim and I was not sure if they were on or not and would shut them off again and then on again. Sometimes other drivers would signal me that the headlights were not working and I would turn them off and then on again and they would both be lit. But often when there is still ambient light as on a city street or lots of other cars, I would not be aware that they were off until I hit a dark section of road. I went to Toyota yesterday and the replaced both bulbs. This happened a couple of years ago and I became aware of it because I was following my son in law in his car and he said that I had no lights. Very scary. I did the same thing then and turned them off and on again.

- Pomona, NY, USA

problem #328

Jul 042013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 58,800 miles
While driving home, friends who were following me passed me then calledto let me know that my car's right front light and left rear light was not working. For the last week or so people coming towards me blinked their lights.. I have regular checkups at the Toyota place, so I ignored it. Looking back on it, they were probably trying to tell me about the headlight. I took my 2008 Prius to the Toyota dealer to replace the bulbs. The repair representative said that the front lights were working but the left rear light wasn't. when I told him both lights were definitely not working the previous night, he said if I wanted, they could replace the rear light with a bulb, but the right headlight was more difficult due to removing the bumper and changing the light assembly (not just a bulb!). this would cost me about $300. I thought that a bulb replacement would do it but not so, this car has blue lights that require bumper removal to even get to the light. Since the light was working at that time and $300 is a lot for a retired single woman, I told him I would think about it. Not knowing if the light will work or not, I quit driving after dark. However, unexpected rain storms forced me to turn the lights on a couple days ago. It worked. However, the problem is I am not sure if they will come on or not. Maybe the left headlight is doing the same thing: Going off and on when I have no indication that this is happening. I bought the Prius to save money on gas and called it my "last" car and have taken care of it as prescribed. Now I don't feel safe to drive it at night or when it rains.

- Cedar Park, TX, USA

problem #327

Jun 272013

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
Left hid headlight flickers on and off, then turns off. If I turn the headlights off and then back on again, the light will stay on for a bit, but then will eventually flicker out again. Also, the bulb is very difficult to access and replace, and Toyota reportedly charges a lot to replace and install these bulbs.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #326

May 152013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
There is condensation in driver side headlight. Toyota and also their extra care platinum policy are not willing to take care of problem. Toyota dealer said "it is a common problem for Prius", but there is no repair sealing, they say the entire housing needs to be changed, moisture is a danger to the electrical system! they say, total price around $600. Why should I be responsible for their manufacturing defect, and also be in danger if lights would go off when driving. I am a 67 year old female keep my car in perfect order and it would be very dangerous for me if any light failure was to happen when I am driving at night.

- Woodland Hills, CA, USA

problem #325

May 012013


  • 55,000 miles
The headlight will go out, I turn my lights off than on again the light will come on again. This keeps happening over and over again

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #324

May 032013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
Light will turn off, I will turn the switch and they come back on but don't stay on, I have been using the high beams but now they will not work. The regular beams are staying on a little longer but have to do the same thing, turn the switch and on again, the dealer can't seem to find the problem at a cost of $1100, and now replacing the light bulbs at $350 is a bit much. I do a lot of driving during dawn hours and night. Why is Toyota not cover the cost of this problem. This is an issue with many of the Prius from 2005 to 2008 it should be a recall to have the control module replaced on all hid lights D2R.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #323

Jun 132013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 64,355 miles
I was driving the vehicle when the driver side headlight went out. The vehicle continued to drive fine, while on the freeway all the lights turned off. I was able to turn the switch off and then on again. When doing so the passenger side light turned back on. Approximately 7-10 minutes later the lights went out again. Again I flipped the switch off then on again and the lights turned back on. This happened about 3-4 times over a 32 minute drive. When I got home, I turned the lights on in my driveway and they were both working. As I backed out of the driveway the left head light went out again.

- Gilroy, CA, USA

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