definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,925 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 1 of 2)

problem #29

Mar 012013


  • 87,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While driving at night with the headlights activated, the headlights flickered before shutting off. The failure occurred intermittently. The dealer stated that the high intensity discharge head lamps needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 87,000.

- Clarkston, MI, USA

problem #28

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 #27

May 152012

Prius 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the headlights stopped illuminating. The contact mentioned that he was able to turn them back on by engaging the switch several times. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 62,000 and the current mileage was 65,000. Updated 09/05/12 the consumer stated after driving for about 10 minutes with the headlights on, one light would go out. By turning the headlight switch off then back on, the failed light would come back on. After about five minutes, the other light would go out. Updated 09/111/12

- Gainesville , VA, USA

problem #26

Mar 112012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


Passenger side headlight went out while driving on a rural 2 lane road - approximate speed of 65 mph. Flicking the light switch off and back on turned the light back on, but it continued to turn off every couple of minutes. I find this situation very dangerous, especially in my rural location where there are no other lights along the road and wildlife abounds. Given the expense of going to a dealer to change out a light bulb (estimated cost of $300-500) and that my vehicle is no longer covered under warranty, I will change out the bulb myself. I find the cost of these hid bulbs outrageous and the circumstances of the light bulb dying very dangerous. What happens if both of my lights decide to turn off while driving" what do I tell the officer when I eventually get pulled for having a headlight that intermittently turns on and off before I can get this replaced? what do I do about the lack of availability of this type bulb in my location of residence and the extreme cost to replace these dangerous lights" these bulbs should not be allowed in vehicles until they can figure out a better way to warn the driver that the headlight needs to be replaced, and also reduce the cost of the bulb so that the driver can afford to replace the bulb.

- Goodland, KS, USA

problem #25

Oct 012011


  • 39,000 miles
While driving at night, the drivers side headlight will intermittently dim and then turn off. Turning the light switch off and then back on will allow the lights to come back on but the drivers side headlight will immediately dim and then without warning turn off again.

- Santa Clarita, CA, USA

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problem #24

Dec 022009

Prius 4-cyl

  • 30,150 miles
My hid headlights started to fail at 30K. The dealer replaced the left one. A few months later the right side failed. Since then I have experience the one or the other headlight going out and when I shut the car off and restart it may or may not come back on. The latest event was 30 Dec 2011. I was at the dealer trying to price a bulb and verified the light was not working. When I left the dealer the bulb started working again. I saw the lawsuit was settled but my car was out of warranty. I feel this is a safety issue Toyota should recall and resolve before someone gets killed on a dark winding road.

- Hagerstown, MD, USA

problem #23

Aug 272011

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles


2008 Toyota Prius. Consumer writes in regards to both headlights failed while driving at night. The consumer stated the headlights did not flicker, nor was there any gradual flickering dimming of the lights. About a month before, one headlight went out. The next day, the vehicle was taken to the dealer, but both headlights were operational and no repair was made. The dealer informed the consumer the lights were working and that the hid headlights sometimes exhibit an erratic behavior when they were in the process of failing. The consumer agreed to let the dealer replace the hid bulbs at a cost of $ $555.32.

- Troutville, VA, USA

problem #22

Sep 282010


  • miles
2008 Toyota Prius. Left headlight goes out, turn off then on lite comes on for a few minutes. Now right headlight is going out, with both lights going off @ night I have a serious safety problem. These are the hid headlights which are very expensive to replace, ($300 to $500). Checking on line it seems that this is becoming a major safety problem..

- Budd Lake , NJ, USA

problem #21

Jul 202010


  • 56,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While driving 40 mph the contact noticed that the headlights suddenly shut off without warning, within a few seconds, the contact activated the headlights switch and they began to function normally. The failure was not diagnosed and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages was 56000.

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #20

Feb 142010


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While the contact was driving approximately 30 mph the driver side headlamp flickered and became inoperable. The vehicle continued in operation. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for inspection where the technician stated the headlamp failure was common. The headlamp was replaced at the cost of $250. The identical failure occurred on a separate occasion with the passenger side headlamp. The authorized dealer had been notified to schedule an appointment for the other headlamp replacement. The failure mileage was approximately 36,000.

- Westminister , CO, USA

problem #19

Mar 012009


  • 20,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the headlights on the right side of the vehicle kept failing and turning off. They were replaced twice. The contact called the manufacturer who replaced the headlights the first time at no expense to him. The contact then received a letter stating the second pair of headlamps would be replaced at a reduced rate. The failure mileage was approximately 20,000. The current mileage was approximately 30,000.

- Bedford Corners , NY, USA

problem #18

Feb 232010


  • 25,000 miles
The high intensity discharge ("hid") headlamp on the driver's side continues to flicker on and off. The car is still under warranty, but according to Toyota, they are unable to replicate this and continue to send me back on the road with malfunctioning headlights. This combined with issues surrounding the traction control (submitted in a prior complaint) render the vehicle dangerous and I am now uncomfortable driving this vehicle. Toyota and my dealership, walser Toyota of bloomington (Minnesota) have refused to do anything. I have now scheduled an appointment to have the lights replaced at my own expense (despite the factory warranty).

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #17

Dec 102009


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius which was purchased in 2008. He stated that the exterior hid headlights failed intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where they replaced the light bulbs but would have to remove the entire front fender in order to reach the headlight assembly. There were no recalls for the type of failure as described. The contact was concerned with the unpredictability of the headlight failure and his safety at night. The VIN was not available. There was no particular speed described at the time of the incident. There were no repairs made to the vehicle to date. The failure and current mileages were under 38,000.

- Ellicott City, MD, USA

problem #16

Jun 012009


  • 29,000 miles
2008 Toyota Prius both headlights went out @29,000 miles. Was able to replace under warranty. 6 months later @44,000 miles, left headlight went out. This should be a recall. Its terrible that a hid lightbulb costs $150 and not including labor! in this economy, we don't have $200 laying around to replace the bulb. On top of that, you get pulled over by the police and you get a ticket and you are forced to replace the bulb when you don't have the money. These high priced bulbs should last for the life of the car not replace them every 6 months or so. Please make Toyota recall these lights.

- Eagan, MN, USA

problem #15

Dec 232009


  • 46,000 miles
Prius is 2 years old. Driver's side hid headlamp fails intermittently. Note the numerous complaints on this website re: Hid headlamp failure. Toyota offered to install a new bulb without charge for the part (normally $150 dollars) but insisted on charging $93 labor. 93 dollars to change a bulb" a bulb that should last for many, many years? when will Toyota admit to a defect? I paid extra for hid headlamps for this"

- Wenonah, NJ, USA

problem #14

Jun 122008


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While driving the headlights failed intermittently without warning. The vehicle has not been taken to the dealer for inspection. The current mileage was 40,000.

- Peterman, AL, USA

problem #13

Nov 102009


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While driving at night the head lights intermittently fail. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection. Since the technician could not identify the cause of the failure, he could not provide a remedy. The failure mileage was 30,000.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #12

Nov 192009


  • 39,500 miles
I own a 2008 Toyota Prius and the driver side hid bulb burnt out on 11/19/2009. I normally drive my car to and from work. I promptly called Toyota service department on 11/20/2009 and I asked the female customer representative if the hid would be covered under warranty. I purchased an extended warranty when I purchased the car back in January of 2008. She said she did not know if it would be covered; I would have to come in and see. At 11/21/2009 7:30 am, I roll into Toyota's dealership and one of the service managers replied to me that the bulbs were only covered up to 36,000 miles even with the extended warranty. He was rude and I promptly left Toyota.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #11

Oct 282009


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. On October 28, 2009 both headlights failed. He turned the vehicle off for a few minutes, and then the head-lights turned back on. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer to be diagnosed. He will contact the manufacturer. The current and the failure mileages were 60,000. The VIN was not available.

- Cleveland , NY, USA

problem #10

Sep 172009


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. While driving 45 mph at night the driver-side headlight failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, and the headlights' computer chip was replaced. After the repair both exterior head lamps failed. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer and both computer chips were replaced. The failure mileage was 24,000. The current mileage was 25,000. The vehicle identification number was unavailble. Updated 10/29/09. Both headlights failed and were replaced. Updated 10/29/09

- Rome, GA, USA

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