oh, it is 800-331-4331
oh, it is 800-331-4331
OK, I promised an update on my status, but have been remiss until now.
Toyota reluctantly agreed to replace my 2006 driver's side HID headlight, but said that this would be my last free trip to the well.
(Read my appends above.) I had to front the money first. They will reimburse me now that I have FAXed them the dealer receipt.
I am now in the process of waiting for my passenger side headlight to go. (My first pair of headlights went bad within a little more than two weeks of each other, both within the 36,000 mile warranty period. At that time, the bulbs would have cost $308 apiece and the labor was $80 to replace them. Today, the bulbs are nearly half the former price, but the labor cost remains about the same.)
I will try Toyota once more, but if they refuse to cough up any more dough, I will do it on my own nickel.
First, I will try to contact Aaron Reiff (see his append just above) to find out where to buy the new lamp. That price he mentions ($37.99 + tax) is the best I have heard about so far.
Where do you get the HID capsule for $37.99?
I would like to hear what information you have about this. The same thing is happening to my car! I've been quoted $250 by the dealer for it.
he probably has the lower package Prius with the plain old tungsten lamp.
I removed the passenger side HID headlight myself (I do have somewhat smaller hands) after an hour and a half struggle brought it to our local repair shop and was told I probably wanted to check whether the warranty would cover it as the cost they gave me for the bulb was $275. I went to the dealership and indeed it was covered under the original 3 years and 36,000 mile warranty. Of course the driver side didn't go out now until I'm at 41,000 miles so now although it is less than 3 years I have no coverage. When I told the Toyota dealer repair manager that it made no sense to have a mileage restriction on this part given that there is no direct correlation to miles driven and light bulb lifespan he simply shrugged. I greatly appreciate this forum as I now have some potential resources to explore that may reduce the cost I was quoted of $455. Ridiculous! Remember that old slogan, I love what you do for me - Toyota! Like everyone else here, I wish Toyota would get in the driver's seat (pun intended) and accept responsibility to satisfy their customers. Becoming and staying the #1 car seller in the world is entirely driven (again) by customer loyalty which takes into account not only the purchase experience and the on the road experience, but perhaps most importantly the service experience. I will definitely be calling the 800-3331-4331 number listed previously and filing a complaint at http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/.
I, too, have a package seven 2006 Prius and am furious about the headlight issue. I had a package 5 2006 that I replaced and IT had headlamp issues, too, but I had the extended warranty. The original dealer has agreed to take care of me, so I will take it there tomorrow. I think that there must be some known issue or they would not be replacing bulbs for free after the warranty expired. And this was implied when I talked to them, though not stated explicitly. It is clearly a defect that can have serious safety consequences. This really must be a recall issue or else a class action. Put me on that list.
I thought that you could all use a quick overview from an Electrical Engineer.
**************** mounting Soapbox, again ***************
HID = “High Intensity Discharge”. In order to light up one of these babies, you need to apply very high voltage to the lamp module (commonly called the “capsule”). The application of high voltage actually strikes up an “arc” (just like lightning) across the terminals inside the capsule. Once the arc is established, if measures are not instantly taken to limit the electrical current, the process will run away and the high current will destroy the capsule (and anything nearby). Current limiting is performed by a device called a “ballast”. So… in order to produce light, we require this thing that everyone has been calling a “computer” (a high-voltage power converter), the ballast (correctly named), and the “bulb” (more properly called the “HID capsule”).
What may be causing premature failure of the light (I may be wrong) is excessive depletion of metal on the contacts inside the capsule perhaps in combination with the release of contaminants trapped in the metal. I theorize that each startup of the headlights (in states with DRL requirements, every time the car is turned “on”) causes a few atoms of metal to be eroded from the electrode(s), and secondarily may release impurities trapped within the metal. Eventually, either the electrode(s) shrink to a size insufficient to sustain the arc, or the vaporized impurities interfere with the arc and cause it to be extinguished. This would explain the symptom that the light can usually be coaxed back on by cycling the headlight power switch. My headlights would never restart on their own, but if I interpret some of the previous appends correctly, some owners have seen theirs do so spontaneously. Perhaps the power converter is smart enough to automatically attempt to re-strike the arc.
It is obvious to me that the headlamp lighting system has one or more engineering insufficiencies. The system should be investigated, the failure mechanism uncovered, the guilty part(s) determined, and the system should be re-engineered to eliminate (or mitigate) the failure.
***************** dismounting soapbox ******************
Add me to the list. I was stopped by the Oakland police this evening and issued a warning because the driver's side headlamp on my 2007 Prius was out. 27,000 miles. After reading all these posts I feel better prepared to confront my dealership service manager tomorrow. Thanks.