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 1 of 25)

problem #482

Dec 162015


  • 119,000 miles


Headlights randomly shut off, can sometimes be turned back on if headlights are turned off and then on, but they never stay on. Very unsafe when driving at night. Toyota should recall and fix this issue.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #481

Jun 082015


  • 80,000 miles
My headlights go out without warning while I amdriving down the road. The have gotten worse and go out more frequently and sometimes stay off. I have replaced the lights several times and am still having problems. I need help because I have almost gotten tickets behind this problem. My thing is Toyota knows abot this and refuse to have a recall on this issue.

- Longview, TX, USA

problem #480

Oct 202014


  • 45,000 miles
The headlamps go dark at random times while driving at night. This occurs on the highway or city street and more often shortly after beginning the drive rather than later in the trip. On numerous occasions one or both headlamps will shut off. I am able to restore the lights by switching the headlamps off and then on again. This has been a problem for two years since the car had 45,000 miles until now with 65,000 miles.

- Berkeley, CA, USA

problem #479

Jul 152014


  • 130,000 miles


Either headlight, or both, may suddenly go out. Turn off switch then back on and light(s) restored. Happens frequently (say six times per evening) and has been doing this for about two years. Frequently stopped by police.

- Jefferson, NH, USA

problem #478

Dec 232016


  • 69,359 miles
Cluster went blank and vehicle would not power off, key fob stuck in ignition. Toyota service recommended replacing combo meter but I am one month out of warranty. I was driving tried to park but car would not turn off, but would come to a stop in the parking lot.

- Santa Cruz, CA, USA

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problem #477

Nov 232016


  • 208,000 miles
My headlights are flickering before going completely out. Sometimes it's the left, sometimes the right. Turning the light switch off, then on, seems to rectify the issue but only temporarily. A very small % of the time would both lights go off completely. Again, turning light switch off, then on, fixes it temporarily. There is no exact timeframe in which the lights start to flicker. And sometimes I notice it happening when going over a bump, but that is not always the case.

- Vandalia, OH, USA

problem #476

Nov 192016


  • 170,000 miles


My headlights intermittently go off and it will change which headlight (between my two white front headlight and gold headlights). It happens while I am driving. I can turn my headlights on and off and it sometimes fixes the problem. On one occasion all my headlights went off.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #475

Oct 242006

Prius 4-cyl

  • 105,111 miles
My passenger side headlight blinks off while driving (in motion). Turning the lights off then on again corrects the problem for a short time, but then it goes off again. Replacing the bulb did not correct the problem.

- Coon Rapids, MN, USA

problem #474

Oct 112016


  • 130,000 miles
Headlights go out unexpectedly.

- Paramount, CA, USA

problem #473

Oct 072016


  • 170,000 miles
Both headlights cut off at the same time while driving at night (55-65 mph) on an unlit winding road above a reservoir. Managed to stop the car near the right side of the road without going off the edge and although the headlights did not come back on, we used the high beams to get us down the hill to our destination.

- El Sobrante, CA, USA

problem #472

Jan 012014


  • 45,000 miles


For years the driver side hid headlight goes off every few minutes. I have to turn the headlights off then on again for both to relight. The driver side light then stays lit for only 2 to 5 minutes. This problem poses a serious risk to me as well as other motorists. This problem needs to result in a formal NHTSA recall.

- Shorewood, IL, USA

problem #471

Sep 282016


  • 242,000 miles
Hid lighting, headlights go off intermittently when driving. Need to turn light switch on and off to turn back on. Ongoing problem unexpected unable to predict

- Hatfield, MA, USA

problem #470

Sep 012016


  • 100,000 miles
Driving at 35 miles per hour on a rural paved road both headlights failed simultaneously nearly causing myself and my son go off the road down an embankment while trying to get the lights to come back on at night. The hid headlights have been an issue in the past with a class action lawsuit being paid. I need to get this repaired and want Toyota to cover the recall warranty work.

- Cogan Station, PA, USA

problem #469

Sep 232016


  • 62,535 miles
My wife, 2 children, and I were on a rod trip last night. About an hour into the trip, I noticed that I thought one of the headlights appeared to be flickering (but both had been fine art he beginning of the trip). We stopped about an hour later to rest, and I saw that the passenger headlight was out. We decided that the flickering must have been the headlight failing, and that we needed to get it repaired after getting to our destination. Our real problem happened about 2 hours later when my wife was driving and suddenly both headlights went out while traveling 65mph and we were plunged into total darkness. Fortunately, we were approaching an exit off ramp, and we were able to safely get off the freeway and to a gas station using the light of our hazard lights. After getting to the gas station, we were able to get both headlights back O by toggling the headlight control on and off. We decided the safe thing to dosas to get a hotel and resume our trip in daylight. The hotel was only a short distance down the road, one of our headlights began flickering again and went out again in the short time it took us to get there. Toggling the control again got the lamp back on, but need to take our car to get serviced as soon as possible before driving it at night again. After experiencing this problem, I found several articles on line, including the following: www.toyotaproblems.com/trends/Prius-headlights/ this seems to be a serious problem that is not isolated to our case or even just a few cassie's. I urge the NHTSA to reopen their investigation, as many drivers' and passengers' lives could be in danger because of this engineering defect.

- Edgewater, MD, USA

problem #468

Jan 122016


  • 60,000 miles
While driving at night one or both of the front headlights will go out. Sometimes they also go very dim. When either headlight goes out, I have to turn off the lights and turn them on again. I have almost gone off the road a few times on a windy stretch of road where the lights kept going off every few seconds. I've already gotten a ticket over this, when I was on a well-lit main road and didn't even know a light had gone out. I've been dealing with this for 9 months. Everything I read says that buying the expensive new headlights again doesn't fix the problem. I try to avoid driving at night, but I can't always, and I shouldn't have to. Nothing draws the attention of the cops like blinking your headlights on and off repeatedly while going down the road. We had a few really stormy days and my choices were to leave my headlights off, which was completely unsafe in that heavy of a tucson monsoon, or to drive knowing I'd only have one headlight on after a few minutes, and I wouldn't know which one, or to drive in a storm, calling attention to myself for only having one headlight, and inviting a second ticket.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #467

Sep 102016


  • 77,000 miles
Passenger side headlight will come on normally but then will dim and go out while in operation (parked or in motion). Headlight will come on again briefly when headlights are turned off and then on again, but then dims and goes out. Mechanic said bulbs are fine, that the problem is the computer.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #466

Dec 012015

Prius 4-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
Ever since my fiance and I have had this car (late 2015, bought used with about 98,000 miles on it) there has been intermittent headlight failure! we thought we needed the headlights replaced and that would solve the problem. First of all, the specific headlight type for this vehicle (VIN [xxx]) is very expensive. About $100 per bulb! secondly, they are so difficult to replace that my trusted, long-time auto shop had to remove the entire front bumper to replace them, costing me $300 in labor. That's a total of $500 for repairs, just for headlights! then, just a few months later, the intermittent headlight failure started again. It is happening now (Sept 16, 2016) and is a threat to my safety. I have been pulled over twice by the police for having a "burned out headlight, " but I switch the lights off and back on again and they work fine for another 20 minutes or so. This problem is absolutely a threat to the safety of drivers, passengers, and others on the road at night. Headlight replacement itself is so outrageously expensive that it is absurdly unfair that unsuspecting vehicle owners should be responsible for the cost. Toyota needs to recall these vehicles and pay for the repairs to the electrical system. I am afraid that if Toyota does not take responsibility for this problem, they will eventually be sued by someone who is hurt in an accident caused by this problem. Problem happens while the vehicle is stationary, in motion, on city streets and highways, while turning, while going straight forward, and reverse. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #465

Sep 092016


  • 170,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the high intensity discharge (hid) indicator on the passenger side malfunctioned while driving various speeds. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the vehicle needed a new hid light. The dealer did not repair the vehicle. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 170,000.

- Wonelsdorf, PA, USA

problem #464

Sep 022016


  • 63,000 miles
Headlight go out while driving car. Sometimes one light goes out and both have gone out at highway speed.

- Greensburg, PA, USA

problem #463

Aug 312016


  • 115,000 miles
Right front headlight fades out after 9-10 minutes of driving. Toyota dealer says it's due to some "overheating" issue and wants $600+ to replace!!

- Springfield, VA, USA

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