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 9 of 25)

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problem #322

Jun 022013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 101,000 miles


All lights suddenly went black, front, back everything. I was going 50 mph on a mountain road and was on a straight road section out of the curves when everything went black. It was night-time at about 9:30 pm so very dark. I went into shock immediately slammed on brakes, just glad no one in back of me and carefully tried to feel to the side of the road. This is a road with alot of 18 wheelers as it is a major route. Also very curvy, and I was lucky not to get killed!!!!!

- Auburn, ME, USA

problem #321

May 192013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
Driving down the highway and the head lights just stopped working, turned them off and back on and worked for about 25 miles and did it again this time I had the fog lights on and it wasn't as bad but again turned them off and then back on worked till I got home..

- Mountain Home , ID, USA

problem #320

Mar 112013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 89,966 miles
Intermittent headlight failure. Headlight will go out. Usually, if lights are turned off and back on, headlight will come back on. Sometimes the headlight will turn on, sometimes it won't. this has happened several times (3 or 4) since I have noticed the failure two months ago.

- Dexter, ME, USA

problem #319

May 012013


  • 79,500 miles


Both headlights turned off randomly while driving on the freeway late night.. it was extremely dark because there were not many other cars around at the time.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #318

Sep 262012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
My front passenger headlight goes out constantly when driving. I have taken it to two mechanics who cannot find anything wrong with the bulb itself and have told me it's a problem with the hids wiring. I have seen hundreds of complaints online from other Prius owners having the identical issue and they are urging for a recall. I am also urging for a recall. There was a class-action lawsuit in regards to this dangerous problem and I don't understand why Toyota has created a knowingly faulty lighting system and can't recall it. Those who sued Toyota have gotten theirs fixed, does it really have to go that far for the rest of us?

- Valley Village, CA, USA

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problem #317

Aug 072012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 136,000 miles
The headlights of my Prius suddenly went out at night. They came back on after I turned the light switch off and then back on again. This happens 10 or more times an hour for the last several months. Almost collided with a bike rider because they suddenly turned off and I couldn't see the person crossing the street.

- Indio, CA, USA

problem #316

Feb 282013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 56,000 miles


Headlights turn off while driving. Turning them off and on works. This has happened several times, randomly.

- Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #315

Jun 012012

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
2008 Toyota Prius. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle headlight issues. The consumer stated around June 2012, he noticed the left front headlight would go out intermittently and come back on. He went to the local dealer and paid $ $203.60 to have the bulb replaced. Soon after, the new bulb exhibited the same problem and on September 29, 2012, the dealer replaced the bulb again at no charge. The problem continued with the second replacement bulb and the dealer informed the consumer, that Toyota would most likely not replaced the bulb again and the problem was likely the left headlight ballast needed to be replaced. The consumer contacted the purchasing dealer, to get their opinion on replacing the headlight ballast, and he was informed the problem was in litigation and as a result, Toyota could not take responsibility for the issue. On December 27, 2012, the dealer replaced the ballast at a cost of $331.24. Recently, the right headlight turned on and off intermittently. The consumer was advised not to replace anything else, until he heard from Toyota.

- Sonoma, CA, USA

problem #314

Aug 032009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
Headlights intermittently turn off while driving or parked. Headlights must be cycled off, then on to make them work again.

- Valencia, CA, USA

problem #313

Mar 132013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 96,615 miles
When I started the car, the lights on the dash didn't come on so I could see how fast I was going or how much gas I had. I called the dealership and they said it's due to cold weather. After 15 minutes, the dash lights came on. Toyota suggested I could get the issue fixed for $1500 but it wouldn't be easy to get the part. Could take 30 days or more and may not 100% solve the issue.

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #312

Mar 092013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 78,217 miles


The headlights have intermittent operation. Function does not seem to be based on time, weather, or speed. It poses a safety threat when driving on the highway at night. The bulbs have been repetitively changed but the problem persists.

- Palm Desert, CA, USA

problem #311

Feb 012012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Approximately February of 2012 my headlights began to randomly turn off. If I turned the headlights off, and then on again, they would turn back on. However, since this first occurrence, both headlights would turn off. One will no longer turn back on. I have replaced the bulb ($300) and this did not fix the problem. I was told from the Toyota dealership that the headlight computer would need to be replaced ($1800). To date, I have been pulled over approximately 5 times for driving without headlights. This is a huge safety issue. I am terrified that the safety of my two boys, along with myself is at stake. Please investigate this. This is not O.K.

- Pflugerville, TX, USA

problem #310

Jun 202012


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph, the headlights failed. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer for inspection and they stated that the light bulbs needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 85,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Agusta , ME, USA

problem #309

Jun 012012


  • 45,000 miles
As I was driving, one of my headlights went out. I bought a replacement bulb, but the next time I turned my car on, the bulb was no longer out. After the first incident, I noticed the lights went out more and more frequently. Many times, both lights went out simultaneously. If I turn the light switch off then back on again, both light work. However, it is temporary and after about three minutes, one or both of the lights go out again. It is creating hazardous driving conditions because it is unpredictable.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #308

Feb 172012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 1,001,001 miles
Both headlights go out without warning, I can turn the headlights back on by turning switch off and then back on. In doing research I have found this is a common defect with the Toyota Prius years 2006-2009. Why isn't this a recall? when getting an estimate to fix is up to a $1,000. I feel like Toyota needs to step up before someone is hurt or dead from an accident pertaining to this issue.

- Fall River, MA, USA

problem #307

Sep 012012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
One headlight went out. Was able to get it back on by turning both headlights off and then back on. Since the first time I have had either the right or left headlight just randomly go out and have to turn off my headlights while driving and back on to reset it. On numerous occasions(maybe about 5 or 6) I have had both headlights go out at the same time and been in complete darkness. Just last week it happened to my 16 year old daughter who was driving, on the freeway, and was very scary. About a month ago, I had my lights on during a dark overcast day for safety and a deputy pulled me over because one of the headlights had temporarily turned off. Told the officer that this is a common defect with Prius(and reported by many) and that Toyota has failed to respond. He shook his head and said he'll remember that when pulling over other Prius.

- Albany, OR, USA

problem #306

Jan 242013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 140,121 miles
This morning when I started my car the dash panel lights would not come on. I drove seven miles to top off the gas(I could not tell how much I had because of the dash being off.)I then could not shut the car off. I drove for about a half hour and my dash lights just came on. When I got to my destination I was able to shut the car off and the dash lights are fine now. This happened once before about six months ago. I see on line that several people have had this same problem.

- Laconia, NH, USA

problem #305

Oct 132010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 41,000 miles
High density headlight on passenger side burned out quickly, after only 2+ years of driving. Dealer garage replaced at no cost - since it was still under the full extended warranty. High density headlight on driver side went out while driving. It went back on later that day, and has been intermittent since, but mostly not working. Just started researching replacement bulb prices when I found out how many people have been having this same issue. Passenger side tail light went out. Wiggling the bulb, socket and wiring got the light working again.

- Kent, WA, USA

problem #304

Jan 172013


  • 68,000 miles
Recently purchased used 2008 Prius. When driving at night I noticed that the headlights shut off intermittently. They go back on by turning lights off and on. This happened three times when driving for 10 minutes on a dark road. Very dangerous!

- Broomfield, CO, USA

problem #303

Jan 152013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 65,929 miles
Headlights will go off spontaneously either separately or together. Sometimes will come back on by toggling the light switch. Can be either headlight when fails singly. Problem is variable but can happen when parked or while driving. Most recent episode both lights failed at 50 mph then after toggling the switch came back on.

- Clearlake, CA, USA

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