Headlight problem

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by AlphaTeam, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    Therein may be the source of allot of our issues.

    IF the D4R bulbs truely are "new" for 2006 and for the first time they are using half the voltage of their successful predessesors, that may explain why the symptoms keep acting like they aren't getting enough amperage from the voltage supplied and further explain why a second blast helps them along.

    Maybe they miscalculted the voltage that would be needed for these new bulbs. Regardless, it seems some of the foreign D4R bulb manufacturers don't have the same problem "so far".

    If thats the case,.. it only means that other vendors recognized the issue and changed thier bulbs to match the new lower voltage of the D4R ballasts.

    Why phillips who is supposed to be the big dog in bulbs hasn't figured it out, I don't know.

    Plus, I'm not an engineer but when you lower the voltage by half and keep the wattage the same, you must "double" the amperage to get the same job done.

    This means allot more heat and oxidation of internal bulb parts as heat oxidizes.
    (Volts X Amperage = wattage)
    "amperage" causes heat.

    There is always good reason why heavy use appliances run at 220V instead of 110V.. the amperage is half and so half the size wires are needed and poteintial heat issues are less.
     
  2. BShanahan14rulz

    BShanahan14rulz New Member

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    Wouldn't the difference between a cold bulb and a hot bulb be a very big difference in resistance? Not to mention when you "dissolve" the electrodes in such a small area as an arc chamber, concentration of metal mixed with salts increases. the problem -doesn't have- to be extremely sensitive to change in resistance.

    That said, everybody here has had valid points but we still have no conclusion! Dang I wish I knew what was going on!
     
  3. ATX

    ATX New Member

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    I have an '04 Prius and have the same problems: winking out that is temporarily remedied by turning the lights off and back on again.
     
  4. ATX

    ATX New Member

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    [FONT=Calibri, Verdana, Helvetica, Arial]I also registered a complaint online at the [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, Verdana, Helvetica, Arial]Office of Defects Investigation[/FONT]'s site.
    [FONT=Calibri, Verdana, Helvetica, Arial]
    It seems that the more people that log complaints on this government site, the more likely we're all to see some sort of action from Toyota.[/FONT]
     
  5. ATX

    ATX New Member

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    [FONT=Calibri, Verdana, Helvetica, Arial]There's a slew or recent(ish) articles on the problem. Links coming up[/FONT]
     
  6. ATX

    ATX New Member

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    I have an '04 Prius w/ the same headlight problem.

    [FONT=Calibri, Verdana, Helvetica, Arial]I registered a complaint at: Office of Defects Investigation (ODI), File A Safety Complaint

    It seems that the more people that log complaints on this government site, the more likely we're all to see some sort of action from Toyota.

    There's a slew or recent(ish) articles on the problem:

    Prius HID Headlights: Toyota Tagged by Tall Poppy Syndrome? | The Truth About Cars

    Is Toyota HIDing from Prius Headlight Problem? | The Truth About Cars

    http://www.examiner.com/x-10697-SF-Autos-Examiner~y2009m6d30-Faulty-Prius-headlights-Hell-hath-no-fury-like-a-Prius-owner-scorned

    http://www.autonews.com/article/20090630/ANA08/906309987/1186/FRONTPAGE

    Toyota stung by possible Prius HID headlight defect

    Toyota facing lawsuit, potential recall over Prius HID headlights

    and a class action suit:
    TOYOTA PRIUS HEADLIGHT FAILURE[/FONT]
     
  7. ATX

    ATX New Member

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  8. picadog

    picadog New Member

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    Follow up to my post #455.
    (Correction: my mileage was 45K.)

    After paying almost $550 for HID bulb replacement in April. I recently called Toyota Customer Experience Center (Phone: 800-331-433) to get a reimbursement. It took a few faxes and phone conversations, but the rep spoke to the dealership and got me a reimbursement for the cost of the bulbs. The dealership claimed that the I only paid for labor and that the bulbs were covered with my extended warranty. (I wonder if they billed me and Toyota for the costs of the bulbs.)

    So here's the damage (pun intended):
    745.21 -- 2 Computer Sub-Assy (#81107-47150) + labor. Covered by ext warranty
    300.00 -- 2 Bulb, HID (#90981-20015). Will be reimbursed
    198.00 -- labor for 2 bulbs. My cost.

    I mentioned that others have paid only $40 for the labor but the rep said she couldn't help me there. I'm hoping that eventually Toyota will fess up and reimburse the cost of labor also.
     
  9. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    I want to know how to get involved in this lawsuit:
    Toyota facing lawsuit, potential recall over Prius HID headlights

    I"m almost positive the dealer charged you and toyota.... why don't you fax your invoice to toyota and ask them if they paid for the same item the dealer required you to pay?

    I think this goes on all the time and because there is a communication gap between us and what Toyota is doing, so the dealer takes advantage.

    If this is in fact true, its toyotas own fault that they won't employ one person to follow through and checkup on the dealers activity that would save them thousands every day.

    I don't want to be presumptuous but there has to be some explanation why one dealer can do it for free or 40.00 bucks, while another cannot do it unless they have hundreds and hundreds.

    This inconsistency is totally unprofessional and has gone on far too long. I can give grace in the beginning when the problem was not common knowledge, but it has become obvious that Toyota is in survival mode at the expense of the golden geese... "that would be the customers"
     
  10. sctrojan96

    sctrojan96 New Member

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    Hey all! I too have had this problem!!! Of course I first noticed it after 36,000 miles, and therefore out of warranty. The passenger's side headlight would turn off, even if you let the car sit there idled without driving. Took it into the dealership last Thursday for the 40,000 mile service and explained to the them about the flickering of the lights and eventually the passenger side light would go out and would only come back on if turned off completely and turned back on. The service representative herself saw that the light was out when I drove into the service bay. So as they did the 40K service, they said they would check the lights out. To no surprise, the mechanic says he "could not replicate" the problem, even after explaining in detail how to do it. He then said that it if I had non-HID headlights, the cost to replace them would be ALOT cheaper and that the "TOYOTA HAS BEEN HAVING PROBLEMS WITH THESE HID HEADLIGHTS, ESPECIALLY THE ONES ON THE PASSENGER SIDE", and that they were very expensive to fix, but not as much now than a few years ago. I then asked them, if this was a problem, then why hasn't Toyota recalled the HID headlight system on all these cars. Their response was "Not enough people reporting it and therefore no need to do so." They then explained that they could replace one side or both at the same labor cost (which was around $318), but the parts were about $570 each (bulb and computer module), and they would have to remove the entire bumper to access the system. Visibly upset...the service rep said she would talk to the manager to see what they could do for me. When she came back, she told me that Toyota would pay for the affected side, but not the other and I would still have to pay the labor costs. So I decided to get both lights replaced at the same time and my total ended up being around $880, instead of $318 for the one light or close to $1500 had they not paid for the one. Now I noticed that the lights are out of alignment!!! Is there any way to fix that myself? I've also heard of a class action lawsuit against Toyota about these headlights. Is that true? Where do I sign up?!!! This is obviously a problem affecting alot of Prius owners with the HID lights...is there anywhere else we could report the problem?
     
  11. CBarr31

    CBarr31 Active Member

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    SCTrojan96,

    The best place to start with reporting the problem is here:

    Office of Defects Investigation (ODI), File A Safety Complaint

    This was given in ATX's post #526 as well. The more complaints registered here hopefully the sooner something is done about it but the investigation is still listed as "Open" as of today.

    Here is some information I posted previously for those of you following this issue. I just wanted to list the NHTSA Action Number for this problem since I had some trouble finding it earlier in this thread.

    The correct number is: PE09019

    And can be searched for here: ODI - Office of Defects Investigation

    Windstrings,

    The lawsuit appears to have been filed from New York so my guess it is the same one listed it ATX's post #526 as well.

    The link to it is: TOYOTA PRIUS HEADLIGHT FAILURE

    The contact information for Howard Gutman is listed at the bottom of the page. He has an AOL account email, address and phone number listed.

    I love Toyota's, own 2 current Prii and a Taco and would really like to seem them step up to the plate and fix this.

    Happy driving,
    Chris
     
  12. captpg

    captpg New Member

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    I have been in contact with Toyota over the past couple of weeks on this issue and am totally astounded by their abysmal reaction. My daughter, a teenage driver, received two tickets for driving at night without headlights before I became aware of the HID problem, not from Toyota, but from research on this website.

    Contrary to the treatment others have reported, Toyota is insisting they will not even consider doing anything to remedy the problem until I bring the car to a dealer “for analysis” which would be subject to a rather hefty diagnostic charge. Turns out on questioning, Toyota admits the analysis is looking to see if the lights are out or flickering. No matter that the good police officers have written tickets indicating the lights were out. Toyota says they aint fixin' it until they see for themselves that they are not working in their shop, no matter how many diagnostic fees they soak me for.

    It’s hard to believe that any reputable company – let alone one with Toyota’s prior reputation for quality and customer service -- would knowingly subject their customers and their family members to this extremely unsafe condition, but there you have it. I have owned other Toyotas in the past, have recommended their cars to others and was actively considering another Toyota purchase later this year, but this experience has left me with a very bad taste and my current recommendation would be to stay away . Not because a part was defective – that can be expected -- but because of the distressing and dangerous way it is being handled at the Company corporate level. One wonders if their executives are old enough to remember the Corvair and the AMC Gremlin.

    If anyone has any suggestions on how I can improve Toyota’s attention to this problem, I would be grateful. Thanks!

    2006 Prius
     
  13. icarus

    icarus Senior Member

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    The dealer should be able to diagnose without you committing to pay for anything. I just had mine done, 39k out of warrantee. I told the dealer what the story was. The claimed that the control units were fine, but it needed new bulbs. They would supply the bulbs if I would pay the labour. I said I was NOT going to pay $1, and I wished to speak to the service manager, or to Corporate,,, they called back in an hour and said they would foot the bill for the whole deal.

    Don't let them jack you around, let the dealer look and go from there.

    Icarus
     
  14. captpg

    captpg New Member

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    I agree this is absolute nonsense, but Toyota corporate really does seem to be saying (to me): nope, nothing doing unless you bring it in with the lights out. So because this is different from the experience at least some others have had, I am wondering if this is the vanguard of a new policy. Anyone else -- especially on the east coast -- have had their requested acted on or declined in the last couple of weeks?
     
  15. icarus

    icarus Senior Member

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    Take the car to the dealer,, intimating that you are not going to pay anything without an estimate. Be nice and say,,"My headlights are acting a bit funky,, (explain what has been happening) can you take a look?"
    They'll know right away what they are up against. They'll call you back and suggest that the controller checks out fine and that you need bulb(s). I would almost bet on it. They will then try to charge you for the deal,,, that's when you politely refuse,, ask to speak to the service "manager" (BS position if ever there was one!) If you don't get the deal you wish,, then go to corporate,, telling them you have filed a complaint with the NTSB (do it!) and then suggest that your next call/letter will be to the states attorney general's office thank you very much. Print out the NTSB stuff linked from this site, tell them this is a known defect and you are not going to pay. Then see what happens. Be nice but firm!

    Good luck,

    Icarus
     
  16. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Icarus

    Good advice, I agree.

    Do NOT back down on this
     
  17. dannyo

    dannyo New Member

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    I have a problem with intermittent operation of my driver's side headlamp. I want to chack the bulb, butI can't figue out how to get to it. Any idea?
     
  18. dannyo

    dannyo New Member

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    I have a problem with intermittent operation of my driver's side headlamp. I want to chack the bulb, butI can't figue out how to get to it. Any idea?
     
  19. ETP

    ETP 2021 Prime(Limit),Highlander HYB Plat,B52-D,G,F,H

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    Has this been resolved in the 2009?
     
  20. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    I'm gonna guess "no"..... the 2008 has already come up with probs and the 2010 did away with HID altogether "rather than fix it"...... so thats my best guess.
     
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