The Toyota Prius HID debacle has taken a new turn: Class Action settlement in US District Court. Anyone following on Prius Chat etc. is aware of the festering anger among owners who paid unnecessarily high amounts to have these bulbs replaced. Now Toyota will reimburse owners for the repairs, effectively subsidizing their own dealerships ill-behavior.
I still need to read the settlement information all the way through; the PDF is available below (released by the Class Counsel). Meanwhile we will do our best to respond to requests for invoice copies.
It is my professional opinion that the problem is not the bulbs but dealership service policies. All machines break, and hybrids are not immune. In its quietness, ease of use, and overall reliability (read: good engineering), the Prius falsely suggests that it is not a machine and should not break, or if it does, it is Toyota’s fault. There is a gap between drivers and high tech cars, and service departments have the option to bridge the gap or exploit it.
Dealerships fixed the headlights, but they broke their customers. At this shop, we replace the bulbs at a cost which is fair to us and fair to the customer ($30 labor, $94 part). We repair the customer and the car, and the trust in our services bolsters owners’ trust in their cars. Toyota has yet to make that connection.
Link to the Class Counsel’s website dedicated to the settlement:
Link to LG’s related blogs:
Top: a Philips brand D4R HID headlight bulb—the kind installed at the factory, which go bad (in due time)—recently replaced by LG
1. Close up of a Harrison brand D4R—the kind that the dealer now sells as replacements, which also go bad (in due time)—recently replaced by LG
2. Close up of a newer Philips D4R bulb (identifiable by the green tube around the ground wire stem, original being brown)—the kind LG sells, which also go bad (in due time)—recently replaced by LG
3. HID bulbs replaced by LG in the last six weeks or so
4. All kinds of bulbs replaced by LG in the last six weeks or so