LED Headlights and Wipers in snow?

DanW

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I called FCA and the lady said “no this is bad we’re sending this right upstairs” so a manager is supposed to call me and we’ll see where that goes. Thanks I will go with the turtle!
I'll nominate you for a JLwranglerforums medal if this gets barked up the chain and fixed. I think tht response is a positive step! Keep us posted!

I think I have some pics of mine iced over, if needed. The conditions have to be just right, but when they are, it is undoubtedly a hazard. I hope they address this. I think this could have been avoided with some simple design changes that allow some heat to get in behind the lens. It wouldn't take much heat.





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FCA knows that LED's do not produce much heat. If they wanted to they could of put heated LED's in the JK's, JL's and JT's but they did not. The fix will be either a heated LED headlight in the MOPAR catalogue or a choice to pay even more when you order your Jeep. Regular lights come standard LED's $900+ (cant remember the price) Heated LED's $1,800.

Either way if you get the non heated LED's it is your choice. If you drive in cold climates and you bought non heated LED's that is your mistake.
 
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Slowpoke

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I called FCA and the lady said “no this is bad we’re sending this right upstairs” so a manager is supposed to call me and we’ll see where that goes. Thanks I will go with the turtle!
I reported this to my dealership. They acted like they never heard of it.
They gave me a case number.
I have heard nothing yet.
Please keep us posted.
 

DanW

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FCA knows that LED's do not produce much heat. If they wanted to they could of put heated LED's in theJK's, JL's and JT's but they did not. The fix will be either a heated LED headlight in the MOPAR catalogue or a choice to pay even more when you order your Jeep. Regular lights come standard LED's $900+ (cant remember the price) Heated LED's $1,800.

Either way if you get the non heated LED's it is your choice. If you drive in cold climates and you bought non heated LED's that is your mistake.
Well, unless you can show us where they offer heated LED's, then it doesn't look like there was a choice. We'll see what they do. I'm not holding my breath, but you never know. In the mean-time, I'm gtg with auxillary lighting in case mine freeze over.
 

Troybilt

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Well, unless you can show us where they offer heated LED's, then it doesn't look like there was a choice. We'll see what they do. I'm not holding my breath, but you never know. In the mean-time, I'm gtg with auxillary lighting in case mine freeze over.
Correct they did not offer heated LED's. The choice right now is the standard lights or the optional choice of the non heated LED's. If you live in a cold climate and you chose the optional non heated LED's live with that choice. FCA is not at fault for your choices.

I am not saying FCA is in the right by not putting heating elements in the $900 LED package. I think they could of done so with little loss of profit. At very least heat the headlights. I am just pointing out that as of now getting the non heated LED's was a choice.

Anyone that thinks they will take this to a court of law and win is mistaken. FCA will eat you up.
 

DanW

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Correct they did not offer heated LED's. The choice right now is the standard lights or the optional choice of the non heated LED's. If you live in a cold climate and you chose the optional non heated LED's live with that choice. FCA is not at fault for your choices.

I am not saying FCA is in the right by not putting heating elements in the $900 LED package. I think they could of done so with little loss of profit. At very least heat the headlights. I am just pointing out that as of now getting the non heated LED's was a choice.

Anyone that thinks they will take this to a court of law and win is mistaken. FCA will eat you up.
The NHSTA might think it is a little bit of a problem. I think they made a negligent error here and it could potentially come back and bite them.

I still don't see how it was a choice if someone didn't know it was an issue. It isn't a choice when there is no communication. There was no warning, not even fine print, to my knowledge. I'd bet that more than 99% of customers didn't consider at all that this could happen.

So I guess it is a choice if I unknowingly walk onto a wet floor at a store and slip, fall, and suffer an injury, even though there was no sign warning of a wet floor? Hmmm. I just don't see how that is a choice.

It also doesn't take a lawyer or deep pockets to spur an investigation by the NHSTA. There just needs to be enough complaints/reports to indicate a pattern. Crashes aren't even required. They just have to have reasonable concern to initiate an investigation. If they determine there is a safety problem, then there are multiple ways they can deal with that, and they can ultimately force a fix, if they deem it necessary.
 
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Troybilt

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The NHSTA might think it is a little bit of a problem. I think they made a negligent error here and it could potentially come back and bite them.

I still don't see how it was a choice if someone didn't know it was an issue. It isn't a choice when there is no communication. There was no warning, not even fine print, to my knowledge. I'd bet that more than 99% of customers didn't consider at all that this could happen.

So I guess it is a choice if I unknowingly walk onto a wet floor at a store and slip, fall, and suffer an injury, even though there was no sign warning of a wet floor? Hmmm. I just don't see how that is a choice.
You are not the victim of FCA. You are a victim of your own ignorance.

I am constantly the victim of my own ignorance. I learn and move on.

Is FCA suppressing any information about the heat issue? If the answer is no then learn and move on. If you have any information that FCA suppressed common knowledge that LED's do not give of heat let fill up our bank accounts.
 

DanW

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You are not the victim of FCA. You are a victim of your own ignorance.

I am constantly the victim of my own ignorance. I learn and move on.

Is FCA suppressing any information about the heat issue? If the answer is no then learn and move on. If you have any information that FCA suppressed common knowledge that LED's do not give of heat let fill up our bank accounts.
I'm not a victim of anything. It hasn't caused me a loss or injury, and it won't, as I've already taken care of it on my Jeep.

Where did I say they suppressed anything? I said "negligent error." That implies it was a mistake, not a deliberate design flaw or coverup. If someone loses visibility in a snowstorm and crashes and is injured or killed, and the investigation finds that this was a causal factor, then FCA will undoubtedly be sued for negligence. The family wouldn't need deep pockets for that scenario, as they'd have product liability law firms lining up at the door. Even if FCA honestly didn't know there was a problem.

Here's a great way to handle it for anyone who has experienced this. First, let your dealer or FCA know. Then, file a report with the NHSTA. They make it very easy, and FCA DOES pay attention to these complaints. They have people (probably attorneys) whose job it is to communicate to the NHSTA on a regular basis.

I still think there's a chance FCA could look at it and decide on their own it is a problem. They could do a silent warranty or even a voluntary recall. Who knows? I think they are a good company and they've done recalls many times before that weren't ordered by NHSTA or a court. They also may determine in good faith that it isn't a common or severe enough problem to address.

In my years of driving Jeeps with LED's, I've only had it happen twice where visibility was significantly impaired. I was able to deal with it both times, thanks to auxillary lighting. I would have had to stop driving, otherwise, which would have been an inconvenience, as I wouldn't risk my life over it. BUT, there are people who aren't so cautious or aren't that bright. (No pun intended.) The worst for me was 2015 in my JK (with Truck-Lites) I was in a bad snow/ice storm in Vail Pass on the way back from the Easter Jeep Safari. If I hadn't had incandescent auxillary lighting, It would have been as bad or worse than no headlights at all. When it happened last winter in my JL, I still had enough light to see, but would have had to slow down to the point of potentially impeding traffic. Fortunately, I had Hella 500 incandescents on the bumper, so it wasn't a problem. Most folks won't have auxillary lighting, however. (The LED fogs froze over, too, btw.)

Even if I was certain it was an issue, I would have still bought the LED's, because the benefits outweigh the cost of adding alternative lighting, for me.

Here is the link, for anyone who is concerned that this is a safety issue: https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/
 

Troybilt

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I'm not a victim of anything. It hasn't caused me a loss or injury, and it won't, as I've already taken care of it on my Jeep.

Where did I say they suppressed anything? I said "negligent error." That implies it was a mistake, not a deliberate design flaw or coverup. If someone loses visibility in a snowstorm and crashes and is injured or killed, and the investigation finds that this was a causal factor, then FCA will undoubtedly be sued for negligence. The family wouldn't need deep pockets for that scenario, as they'd have product liability law firms lining up at the door. Even if FCA honestly didn't know there was a problem.

Here's a great way to handle it for anyone who has experienced this. First, let your dealer or FCA know. Then, file a report with the NHSTA. They make it very easy, and FCA DOES pay attention to these complaints. They have people (probably attorneys) whose job it is to communicate to the NHSTA on a regular basis.

I still think there's a chance FCA could look at it and decide on their own it is a problem. They could do a silent warranty or even a voluntary recall. Who knows? I think they are a good company and they've done recalls many times before that weren't ordered by NHSTA or a court. They also may determine it isn't a common enough problem to address.

In my years of driving Jeeps with LED's, I've only had it happen twice where visibility was significantly impaired. I was able to deal with it both times, thanks to auxillary lighting. I would have had to stop driving, otherwise, which would have been an inconvenience, as I wouldn't risk my life over it. BUT, there are people who aren't so cautious or aren't that bright. (No pun intended.) The worst for me was 2015 in my JK (with Truck-Lites) I was in a bad snow/ice storm in Vail Pass on the way back from the Easter Jeep Safari. If I hadn't had incandescent auxillary lighting, It would have been as bad or worse than no headlights at all. When it happened last winter in my JL, I still had enough light to see, but would have had to slow down to the point of potentially impeding traffic. Fortunately, I had Hella 500 incandescents on the bumper, so it wasn't a problem. Most folks won't have auxillary lighting, however. (The LED fogs froze over, too, btw.)

Even if I was certain it was an issue, I would have still bought the LED's, because the benefits outweigh the cost of adding alternative lighting, for me.

Here is the link, for anyone who is concerned that this is a safety issue: https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/
First off I would like to say that I have been a member of this forum for a long time like yourself. I respect your point of view on this subject but for the most part I disagree. I hope your cool with that.

With that said please explain how you figure FCA was negligent? FCA knows that LED's do not have enough heat to melt snow at a fast rate. So does every other company in the world. FCA offers a non LED at zero coast that other companies do not with standard LED's.

I find it very unlikely that FCA will back down to a product liability lawsuit over this mater. How long have car companies had non heated LED's as as a standard option? Did the NHSTA step in at any time?
 

DanW

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First off I would like to say that I have been a member of this forum for a long time like yourself. I respect your point of view on this subject but for the most part I disagree. I hope your cool with that.

With that said please explain how you figure FCA was negligent? FCA knows that LED's do not have enough heat to melt snow at a fast rate. So does every other company in the world. FCA offers a non LED at zero coast that other companies do not with standard LED's.

I find it very unlikely that FCA will back down to a product liability lawsuit over this mater. How long have car companies had non heated LED's as as a standard option? Did the NHSTA step in at any time?
No problem disagreeing. It's all fun talking about Jeeps, agree or disagree, so no worries. I'd happily buy you a beer if we were at a bar. I consider folks around here to be friends. The Good Lord and plenty around here know I've been wrong many, many times, too.

Back to the discussion....Read my post again. I did not say they were negligent, but rather that they could be held as negligent or accused of it, if an accident were to occur that involved injury or death AND the headlights freezing over were determined by investigators to be a contributing factor. All hypothetical. I also mentioned that I think they are a good company, and that's been my experience with them. I am not questioning their intentions. I have no reason to think they won't take a serious look at this and again, they may offer a fix or may in good faith determine that it is not a significant safety issue.

As for car companies with non-heated LED's, I'm unfamiliar with others. I've not owned another vehicle with LED headlights. Again, what I'm saying is speculation. I don't even know that NHSTA has an investigation of this. I"m simply saying that if there are enough complaints and/or reports of accidents, they could launch one. I honestly don't know what their threshold is.

I also mentioned that the issue could be found not to be common enough or severe enough to warrant a fix. Like I said, it only has happened to me twice in all the years I've had LED headlights, and only once, with the Truck-Lites in 2015, did it degrade the forward lighting enough to render the headlights useless. I'm trying to remember how long I've had those Truck-Lites. I don't know exactly, but I'd guess 6 to 8 years. I'm also unaware of any accidents from it, which would probably be one of the criteria for NHSTA to trigger an investigation. Again, I'm speculating, as I have no specific knowledge of that.

In my situation, the headlights froze over at a temperature just below freezing, so I don't think there is any heating effect, at all, coming through the lense. I think even a very slight amount of heating would actually make a big difference.
 

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Here's some more anecdotal info supporting the argument that this is just an inherent problem with LED/HID/recessed headlights...

I had HID projectors retrofitted in my old Jeep, and they also filled with snow when driving in a blizzard over Vail Pass. I stopped in Eagle Vail to clear them. Then after I got out of the storm gassed up and they were nearly frozen again. The halogen fogs faired a bit better, but not by much.

20180315_222953.jpg



My Subaru STI had LED headlights, and a slight ledge beneath the headlights. They also froze over and I had to stop and clear them - not on the side of the road mind you, I just kept going until there was a rest stop or a safe exit to pull over. It wasn't such an immediate need that it had to be fixed asap.
20180328_164747.jpg



Then there's just simply mag-chloride build up from road spray. My headlights were about as effective as when covered in snow - they didn't project much down the road. This would be a universal problem, regardless of the headlight technology.
20180211_190939.jpg


In all three situations, I never felt in danger - I just adjusted my driving accordingly until I could fix it and move on.
 

DanW

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I wonder if someone in the aftermarket might develop a windshield fluid sprayer for the headlights? That wouldn't seem to be too difficult to design. I've got a 4th Aux button still looking for something to do!
 

aprez27

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Driving in the snow is hazardous period, and unless you're an emergency worker you are assuming that risk every time you go out and drive in the snow.

What did everybody do 10 years ago? They got out of their cars and cleaned the headlights or ignored it and kept driving.
 

DanW

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Driving in the snow is hazardous period, and unless you're an emergency worker you are assuming that risk every time you go out and drive in the snow.

What did everybody do 10 years ago? They got out of their cars and cleaned the headlights or ignored it and kept driving.
10 years ago my JK's standard headlights, weak as they were, would melt right through it. I never had incandescent lights freeze over. Getting out and clearing them off is something new that came with LED's. Lol!
 

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You are not the victim of FCA. You are a victim of your own ignorance.

I am constantly the victim of my own ignorance. I learn and move on.

Is FCA suppressing any information about the heat issue? If the answer is no then learn and move on. If you have any information that FCA suppressed common knowledge that LED's do not give of heat let fill up our bank accounts.
I’m 61 years old. Actually more like 18 ver.43. I don’t need a lesson in ignorance. I know my own ignorance very well thank you. We are in a very close relationship and commune several times daily. It was a simple question to the manufacturer. With that simple question maybe that makes FCA look inward for the future. Do not make the mistake of putting them above their own ignorance simply because they have more money. I did a follow up call and this has been changed to another, maybe higher case manager and they asked me for another day to answer my case. At least they are looking. Maybe they would not have otherwise. Or maybe I’m just ignorant in thinking so.
 

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