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Headlight problem

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

  1. bbald123

    bbald123 Thermodynamics Law Enforcement

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    I've reviewed the parts list at several Toyota OEM parts sites online.

    Part of the problem seems to be that Toyota is packaging the bulb inside a whole assembly. I'm afraid the problem may be Toyota itself.

    I don't have access to the service manuals. Can someone look to see if the instructions in the manual direct the Tech to replace the entire assembly rather than just the bulb? If they do, Toyota needs to be brought up short on this practice.
     
  2. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Champion Toyota sells the bulb for $258 each; MSRP $344.
    DiscountToyotaParts

    The 2005 repair manual provides instructions to remove and replace the individual bulb.
     
  3. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    :eek: Man, after installing these and having them work so well.... anything over 50 bucks each seems ridiculously expensive.

    Its funny how cutting edge stuff varies so much on price... I can buy a memory stick right now for 199 at circuit city, or 117 from an international vendor for the "exact" stick from the same manufacturer.

    Until the word gets out... there is allot of room for profit with new technology.

    I just don't see any reason for paying so much for a bulb when you don't have to.

    If paying 10 times the price makes someone feel like they are getting 10 times the quality.. they are mistaken... they could even be getting worse.

    Look how long the original Phillips bulb lasted that came with the prius?

    As for me, I'm gambling mine will last as long if not longer ( like it should have in the first place), and if it doesn't.. I'm only out a few bucks and can either replace it with the same or make another choice at that time.

    Normally, I would say you get what you pay for, but in this case, I'm not so sure, since the original factory bulb has totally lost its credibility by so many people having problems with it.
     
  4. Lukefahr

    Lukefahr New Member

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    We've had the same problem. The first one (driver side) went intermittent in January and was replaced under warranty. The passenger side has now done the same thing. The dealer says this is now a "known problem" and when people bring it in they automatically change both. But we're out of luch because we are no longer under warranty and the extended warranty does not cover this. This is really annoying. I agree with others here that this ought to be a recall item.

    As for the pricing, the dealer is telling us we cannot get only one lamp because they are only ordering them in sets ($760) since they now automatically change both. Arrgh! All I can say is if you are still under warranty with a 2006+ get thee hence to the dealer and complain of your intermittent bulb while you still can!

    PS No problem with my 2005. (We have a 2005 and a 2006.)
     
  5. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    It is usually good to get pairs simply because one light could be a tiny bit different in Kelvin and be a tiny bit different color....

    I contacted Stan who I bought mine from on ebay and told him I had talked about his bulb on PC and why did his price go from 69.00 a pair to 99?...

    Here is his reply:

    Here is his link to where I bought them.... looks like as I type this they are still 99, but he said he will accept 69.00 a pair if offered and the sale price will soon be reflected.

    Thats 35.00 a piece!.....

    I tried to sell a car once at an awesome bargain and no one would buy it because they thought something must be wrong... so I just raised the price and it sold quickly! LOL!

    All I can tell you is.. mine still work perfectly and this guy has 99.1% positive feedback.
     
  6. resoh02

    resoh02 Member

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    I have 27000 on my 06 Prius and the passenger side went out, so trying to save money I got replacement bulb 2 bright for 55.00 put it in and still no light. Took it to the dealer, he changed bulb and it now works but won't change the other one so I have bright one and on regular. The Toyota dealer claims you have to have a Toyota bulb in it to work, not sure why a non Toyota light works on the drivers side.
    Does anyone know if you have to have a toyota bulb. To replace they said $300, mine that goodness under warranty
     
  7. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    Unless you installed it wrong or its a different type than a D4R I don't know... I installed both sides of both of my cars and they work perfect.....

    Is it possible you installed it wrong and didn't do the 1/4 turn to engage the connection on the back of the bulb or something?
     
  8. robinalexis1954

    robinalexis1954 New Member

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    yes, i have the same problem, is there anything going forward on this, ie: class action, recall? can we sue Toyota if it causes a crash?
     
  9. bbald123

    bbald123 Thermodynamics Law Enforcement

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    You can sue for anything. Good luck prevailing though.
     
  10. robinalexis1954

    robinalexis1954 New Member

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    Free repair! well, well, somebody from my local dealership must monitor these pages. This morning From my dealership I received 2 emails offering to fix my headlight as a "goodwill" gesture. I wonder how they figure who I was. Yea I know my sign on is my name but the local dealer?
     
  11. PurcellvillePinball

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    My driver HID headlight went out. I contacted my dealer. They said it would cost $350 for the bulb and $175 for labor to repair. They said they would check the electronics. Based on what I was reading here on PriusChat, I expected them to really do something.

    I brought in the car on Wednesday, June 25th and watched the tech look at the car for 10 seconds. I was paged to come to service. I spoke with them. They said the tech with 27 years experience (I assume solely fixing Prius :)) said the bulb needed to be replaced. I asked them why they didn't do a diagnostic or anything. They said they didn't need to.

    I felt really stupid but paid $510 to change the light bulb. It took the tech with 27 years experience 15 minutes to change the light bulb. But they charged me for 1 and 1/2 hours of labor. Of course, based on this site, I could buy two for $99 and pay maybe $50 or less to get it replaced someplace else. but I felt that this was a warranty issue.

    On Thursday, June 26, 2008, I called Toyota's 800 number and filed a complaint. I also wrote a long letter to Toyota and created a web site (which I have since taken down).

    I stopped at the dealer, Leesburg Toyota in Leesburg Virginia, which I do not particularly like but they are close to me. I gave them the letter and explained to them my position that it shouldn't cost $500 to change a light bulb. The service advisor just didn't get it. They told me that I made the decision to get the light fixed there. I acknowledged that I was an idiot for paying $510 and did not believe the problem was solved.

    On Friday, June 27, I received a call from Toyota. They acknowledged that there is a problem with the head lights and that they are failing too soon. She asked if they changed the CPU. I told her that they only replaced the light bulb for $500. I asked her if she thought that paying $500 for changing a light bulb seemed reasonable. She said absolutely not. Finally, someone at Toyota acknowledging that $500 to change a light bulb is outrageous! (If only I can get this point across to Leesburg Toyota.) She asked me to fax her my receipt and registration and they would reimburse me the entire amount. This is the customer service I was hoping for and expecting from Toyota!

    I don't trust my head lights. I check them everytime I finish a drive (or can see them reflected in teh car in front of me). When I got home from work Friday night after just speaking with Toyota, the driver head light was out again. This time my head light lasted two days! There is probably a CPU problem.

    I feel vindicated that I should not be paying $510 for a light bulb repair. I am at 47,000 miles but have the entended warranty. I know the warranty should cover this, but I also think Toyota is stepping up to the plate on these HID lights and handling the problem.

    Now I am worried about the passenger side going. I will speak to Toyota on Monday and see what they will do to be proactive about this.


    Thanks for listening.
    Michael
    Purcellville, VA
     
  12. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    So can you get ahold of the same lady again at Toyota and get them to change the cpu under warranty?

    You "we" shouldn't have to pull teeth to get the service from Toyota.. if they acknowledge there is a problem.... lets fix it!......

    Maybe you should take your story to the news folks and get it broadcasted over satellite... or at least locally.

    Seems they are still sweeping this one under the rug.
     
  13. bp10782

    bp10782 New Member

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    Same problem with BOTH headlights. Started as just one in December and got worse over time until one or the other or both would only last 2-10 min after tunring off and on again in June.

    I called a few dealers and they all knew about the issue and were going to charge around $1000 to replace the bulbs. I called Toyota and explained the stituation. I was told to take the car to a dealer and have the dealer contact the rep at Toyota. Much to my surprise and delight, Toyota stepped up and paid to have both bulbs and both ECUs (computers) replaced which the dealer told me would have cost over $1200. My rep at Toyota was Nicole and she was very helpful.

    I must say I went from being angry at the thought of having to pay $1000 every three years (the length of time Toyota said the bulbs should last) to being very happy with Toyota's response. I just wish Toyota would take the next step and recall all of the 06's with HIDs and make the repairs. It is not right that we have to research the internet, make calls and ask for something that they should fix now. I hope by the time I buy my next Prius I can get leather without having to get HIDs.
     
  14. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    HID's are good to have.. they are extremely bright for the power they use....this problem does not exist with all HID's nor every automaker.

    Toyota just needs to admit the ECU's need to be recalled and do it, thats all.

    I can't imagine they would repeat the same mistake on their next models.
     
  15. djkrs2

    djkrs2 New Member

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    I think it's great that people are getting some satisfaction from Toyota but too bad that so many dealers have such crumby customer service. I think everyone who has a bad experience with a dealer regarding this problem should use something like Anglies List to write a review of the dealer. Just by describing the scenario honestly people who read it may decide to take their business elsewhere. Dealers know that they can't survive long without customers. Likewise, if you have had a good experience that should be passed along too. There may be a lot of people out there that don't read forums that might see your review on Anglies List and go to one of the better dealers. Honest, fair dealing dealers should be rewarded for treating people well. Just my 2 cents.
     
  16. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    I wasn't aware of that site... thanks...

    BTW... anglieslist.com is a real estate page... I think you mean't angie's list?

    I'll have to keep tabs on that page.... :)
     
  17. djkrs2

    djkrs2 New Member

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    You are correct, thanks.
     
  18. PurcellvillePinball

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    I brought the car in yesterday. They provided a rental car. They said that the bulb they replaced on Wednesday was bad. They said they checked the ECU and it was working.

    So, I am still not trusting of this car's headlights. I still check the headlights every time I complete a trip. I believe they will go out again and I will demand that they change the ECU on both sides.

    I did meet someone there with a Prius and the same problem except they already paid $800 to replace both headlights. I think this time the high beam went. They were almost ready to sell the car. I gave them the number to Toyota. They were calling when I was there. I hope and expect that they will be reimbursed.

    Thanks
    Michael
    Purcellville, VA
     
  19. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    ON HID lights on the prius there are no high beam and low beam.. its all the same light.. on all the time... there is a reflector that physically moves to give the effect of high and low beam.

    Let someone get in your car and flip it from high to low while you stand outside and look into your headlamps and you'll see what I"m talking about.

    The problem being discussed is HID lamps... the regular halogen lamps are simple bulbs without ballast... just simply hooked up to 12volts like every other car that does not have HID's.
     
  20. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Boy am I glad I "only" have halogen lights. When I was still in the Army I had an ancient Chevy Nova, the wiring was so ratty the headlights kept cutting out on me

    I eventually ran heavy wire directly from the battery, to a heavy duty DPDT switch I stuck in the dash, and wired directly to the headlights.

    Whenever I swtiched from low to high, the headlights would naturally blink out for a second until I moved the swtich to the next position. However, once on they never cut out on me for as long as I had that used up, rusted out s***box