HID Headlight Manufacturer notice

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by fgoodyear, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. fgoodyear

    fgoodyear New Member

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    Did anyone else get this stupid letter from Toyota stating that they are lowering the price of the HID bulb from$300 to $150 in light of the problems with the HID system. Also they will reimburse for the computer module if it was replaced. This is bulls**t!!!. My dealer told me about 2 months ago that the price for an HID bulb is $100 ALREADY!!! $150 IS NO DISCOUNT!!! Toyota should eat this and replace ALL of them free. MY car is 2 1/2 years old , but is out of warranty. Both bulbs are acting up. There is no way I will ever pay $100 a bulb and $300 labor for a total of $500 to get headlight bulbs changed. They are supposed to last 10 times as long as a regular bulb and last half as long and designed so you have to take the whole front end off the car to change them. I think someone should drag the designers out to change them for FREE. I will be complaining to Toyota and to the govt. site in another post. If everyoone does this, maybe we can make toyota do something about this problem. Why else would Toyota discontinue the HID's on the 2010. They know there is a problem but they won't acknowledge it because they don't want to pay for their screw up. This is a safety problem, unlike the stupid floormat fiasco.:mad:
     
  2. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    I heard about this but have yet to receive a letter. I doubt I'll get one. They never seem to update me about stuff.

    Anyways, an alternative is to buy your own headlight. If you can't replace it yourself, and I'm assuming most people won't because it is a rather difficult job [purposely left out of the manual], you can go to your dealer, have them disassemble the headlight, and let YOU physically screw in the bulb you bought, then have them put it back together. And they'll probably charge you for 30 minutes of labor. This is because they are not authorized to install non-Toyota parts. They will tell you that you take responsibility should there be any malfunction, but I think it's worth it -- you're saving a lot of $$$.

    Or you can read this forum more and try DIY. But again, I believe HIDs are harder to replace than normal halogens.
     
  3. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    There's already a thread on this at http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-...toyota-will-pay-hid-repairs-i-got-letter.html and another at http://priuschat.com/forums/toyota-...ns-tsbs/74125-hid-replacement-tsb-letter.html.

    No, I haven't received a letter and my HIDs on my 06 are still fine. (knock on wood)

    Please cite where you've read that HIDs "are supposed to last 10 times as long as a regular bulb". That seems highly unlikely. If a set of halogens lasts 2 years (too short), HIDs should last 20 years? :confused:

    Regardless of what Toyota's motivations are for ditching HIDs on the 2010, one reason given is lower power consumption. Per http://priuschat.com/forums/attachm...video-2010-prius-technical-overview-final.pdf
    They also mention lower power consumption at About Toyota | Our News | Toyota Reveals All-New Prius.
     
  4. acacia987

    acacia987 Junior Member

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    I thought the ebay bulbs are OEM (from japan) bulbs. i figured they would have no problem installing it for u. just like the non OEM oil/filters i bring them when getting my oil changed.
     
  5. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    They say OEM, but really what does "OEM" mean to them. You have to be careful what you buy.

    Most of the bulbs on ebay are probably 3rd party. But if you are lucky enough to order a true OEM/Toyota bulb from ebay or another site, I suppose you can bring it (package and all) to your dealer and ask them to install it.
     
  6. fgoodyear

    fgoodyear New Member

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    Think again about taking your aftermarket bulb to the dealer...... I was told it was $300 labor to replace bulbs. actual changing of the bulb is about 5 min, it's the rest of what has to be done that is the problem. Half an hour labor.....HA! Good luck with that @ the dealer.
     
  7. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    What a confusing post, I don't understand what you're saying.

    You say don't go to the dealer; the bulb-changing is easy, only 5 minutes. So what exactly is "the rest of what has to be done that is the problem"? Then why would you not go to the dealer....?
     
  8. Bob64

    Bob64 Sapphire of the Blue Sky

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    The rest of the work is probably taking the other parts out and getting TO the bulb.
     
  9. buster brown

    buster brown Junior Member

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    Yes, I last year, after getting advice from this forum, I contacted Toyota, got a case number and a case manager.

    I took the car to the dealer here in NC where I purchased the 2006 PRIUS and asked they replace the headlights - citing the 162 pages of complaints on the NTSB site about the problem of the headlights going out but coming back on for a few minutes after manually turning them off and on. They confirmed that many people are complaining about this but the issue is routine maintenance - headlight bulbs do go out - that PRIUS headlights are not as expensive as some of the other headlights used by other Toyota vehicles. I was treated well and provided the contact information of Toyota Customer Care. They also phoned the provider of the extended warrenty i purchased from a dealer on this forum to ascertain if this was covered.

    I was told by the case manager to get them repaired while they reviewed my case. I did this - paying $150 per bulb, $182 in labor, $18 in misc and $23 in taxes. I was informed by my case manager that because of my history of service with the dealers, they would pay for the cost of the bulbs ($300).

    I contacted the extended warrenty coverage I purchased from a dealer on this website and was informed that their coverage does not include headlights - which is a maintenance issue and not covered under warrenty. They would not pay the $223 balance incurred for the headlight replacement.

    Today, when talking with my Case manager, I learned about the letter going out to customers about Toyota's 'Customer Support Program' authorizing partial reimbursement of the HID lights as well as the engine control unit (ECU). They did not replace the ECU on my vehicle, as this has not become a problem.

    I may contact the insurance company again to see if they will reconsider ... but I am not hopeful.

    Good luck and be persistant.
     
  10. Aegison

    Aegison Member

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    Does anyone know whether the HID bulb burnout issue was corrected for any given model years? For example, are a 2008 or 2009 as much at risk as earlier model year cars?

    Second, when I turn my headlights on there are, for an instant, much brighter than they are for the rest of the time they're on. Have you seen this bahavior from the HIDs? And if so, could the extra enery pulse at start-up cause or contribute to the failure rates?

    Third, does anyone know whether any other Toyota vehicles have this same HID bulb burn-out? If enough vehicles have the problem, a recall is not out of question (eg, so, what do you do at 11PM when all of a sudden your headlights go out? It's thus a safety issue)

    Lastly, wouldn't failure come sooner if headlights are used as daytime running lights? Another safety issue --> possible recall.
     
  11. buster brown

    buster brown Junior Member

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    The Toyota dealer here said that at 76K, I was doing very well to have the original lights last so long; he has replaced the HIDs in vehicles with 30 - 40k miles. As the lights are a 'maintenance' issue, I think most owners would have ponied up to replace them.

    I routinely keep my headlights on 24x7, so I doubt if this affects the length of time before they burn out.

    I have no idea if the problem has been corrected in later models.

    Yes, my headlights are brighter when they first come on - as if the hi beams are engaged. i do not know if this causes or contributes to the failure rates.

    when driving and the lights go out, the trick is to turn off the lights and turn them back on - they will stay lit for another 10 - 15 minutes. The unsafe time is at dawn and dusk (when most accident occur) because the dashboard lights are on and one assumes that the headlights are also visible to oncoming cars - but this often is not the case. I agree that this is very dangerous.

    What I do not know and do not understand is the role of the ECU and the headlights. why a computer is needed to run the headlights exceeds my comprehension of car wiring. knowing that Toyota is now acknowledging ECU problems as well as the headlights is encouraging.

    i DID lodge a complaint that it is very goofy to design a car that required the dismantling of the front end of the car in order to change headlights - a task that they consider 'general maintenance'
     
  12. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Running time is a direct factor in how long they last. Another factor is how often they are struck (started).

    The Gen III Prius no longer has HID headlamps. In this respect the problem has been corrected. Toyota also claims that the new replacement capsules (HID bulbs) are a fix.

    HID headlamps do not have high/low beams in the conventional sense. The capsules are the same intensity for both high and low beam. A small shutter mechanically moves into place for low beams.

    The bright flash you see at first is from the capsules striking. It takes a high voltage to force them to conduct, after which a lower voltage maintains the discharge.

    Turning them off and back on restrikes the capsules. The maintenance voltage is a bit low on the Toyota units, so they have a tendency to go out when the capsules get older. Restriking lights them up again.

    As stated above, HID capsules require a high starting voltage and a low maintenance voltage. The circuit that does this is the ECU. In the lighting world this device is often called a ballast. All fluorescent lamps have one, including CFLs. So do all HIDs.

    Tom
     
  13. howardbc

    howardbc Member

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    I too got one of those confusing letters from Toyota. So spending $300 instead of $600 for replacing defective bulbs is a deal?!? I have read all of the posts as of January 22, 2010. I have low miles but I do leave my lights on all the time when I do drive. I still don't understand what I am supposed to do when the bulbs wear out. Pay to replace them? I think it is fair to expect the car owner to pay for maintenance, but $300 for a part that is defective and very difficult to access does not seem fair. I am not a mechanic or even a young person. I would like to learn more about what I can do. Thank you.
     
  14. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I did not find the letter confusing, if I had paid for bulb replacement, they were offering me $150 back, for computer replacement, 100% back.

    If/When the bulb wears out, you buy a new one and replace them. That is how it works on every other lightbulb in the world, why not on a Prius? You now know what Toyota will charge, so you are armed to shop elsewhere. There is nothing 'special' about the HID system on a Prius.

    Unless you have a burned out (flickering) bulb, there is no need to do anything. If you have replaced a bulb at a dealer, you can ask for money back.
     
  15. Don-RI

    Don-RI Member

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    I need to replace one of my HID bulbs. Does it make sense to have both headlamps replaced at the same time -- given the labor to pull the bumper, etc.? Would replacing both at once in one job be a savings rather than to replace them as two jobs -- replacing the one failed one now and the other one on another date in the future when it finally fails?
     
  16. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    First, tell the dealer specifically that one bulb is "flickering." Then they should replace it for free. Argue hard. Some posters here have been successful with getting their dealership to repair it for free - it is a safety issue.

    If they won't do it for you free of charge, then I suggest buying an aftermarket HID bulb, but you must be sure to replace BOTH, otherwise the your R and L headlight won't match. You can still go to the dealership and have them replace it for you, and they should charge you no more than 1/2 hour of labor (be sure to mention that the bumper does not need to be removed).

    I know it may seem like you're telling them how to do their job, but chances are they will try to take advantage of you if you look like you don't have a clue. Well lucky for you, you're now well-informed, so they should know they'll have to do the job right. :)
     
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  17. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    :)
    Great Advice! Especially last para.
     
  18. josh2008

    josh2008 Active Member

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    Not sure what other dealers are doing to install the HID bulbs, but they can be installed without removing anything (other then the fuse box lid). Toyota suggests charging customers .5 hour labor per bulb to install, which we do. .5 hour labor at our dealership is $40. Not sure why you guys are getting ripped off so bad. Buy the bulb and change it yourself :) its really not too bad. We do see alot of HID failures, Prius only tho. We never see any issues out of our other HID cars. Also, most common failure is in the 06-09 Prius. The 04-05's have a different bulb design and do not fail no where near as often. In fact, one of our customers has an 04 with 197k miles on it with original HID bulbs.
     
  19. avocadoman1

    avocadoman1 Member

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    on the SYLVANIA website "Change your headlights in pairs, before they burn out. Most headlights dim over time. Headlights should be replaced every other year for the brightest light."

    i've always replaced them in pairs so that they have the same brightness.
     
  20. Aegison

    Aegison Member

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    I think it rates right up there with the Caddy on which you had to pull the bumper in order to replace a stop or turn signal light. Or the Corvette on which to replace one of the spark plugs you had to (if I remember right) either loosen the engine mounts & tilt the engine, or cut a whole in the fender well, to get at it.

    Back on topic.
    From what I gather, the trick is for someone with small hands, and who has replaced them before without dismantling the whole front, to do the work.

    It might help if we could find members in various geographic areas who've done the replacement of HIDs and to put together a file on the site listing those willing to do the replacement for others, as well as any fee they ask for doing it. At the same time, the best bulbs for the job could be recommended.

    I know it's an unusual suggestion, but the dealer cost for the fix is pretty unusual too.

    For the record, I have big hands, and have never done the fix. And, my HIDs are fine so far.
     
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