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Thread: "euro" or "ece" headlight use in US?

  1. #1
    Enlightened
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    Default "euro" or "ece" headlight use in US?

    I'm not sure if either of those terms are correct, but that's what ive heard the European lights called before.

    My wife owns a 2007 VW Jetta. I was not impressed with the stock halogen headlights even after installing Philips XV H7's. I found an online retailer that had the OEM Xenon option headlights at a great price, i ordered them and to my surprise they imported them direct from Germany, i received the lights last week and noticed that these appear to be "ece" lamps, the cutoff slope of the projector appears taller than the US version, it also has lever on the shield to make the cutoff flat, they have different projector lenses, the US light has a "line" on the lens to throw up light to illuminate road signs, these do not, but they still light up signs well. I guess my question is that if for some reason my wife gets into an accident, could the insurance company blame the lights for some reason since they are not "DOT" headlights? Or am i worrying too much?

    Here are some pics of the markings on the lamps, and how the lever on the shield works (whats the levers purpose anyway?) Thanks, Joe









    and a pic of the whole headlight:



    Shape of cutoff:

    2 Inova T4's, one optic, one reflector, TF 2C Cree, Energizer 2AA "3W" Luxeon, Dorcy 3AAA "1W" focusing optic

  2. #2

    Default Re: "euro" or "ece" headlight use in US?

    Could it happen? Yes, theoretically. Is it likely to happen? No. Don't touch the tourist lever (which flattens the cutoff); that's for when Europeans cross the channel to drive in the UK. See to it that the lamps are aimed to the US "VOL" specification (0.7% declination), preferably with an optical beam setter which your VW dealer should have and should use correctly, in exact accordance with this VW service document. If push were to come to shove and some eager-beaver insurance adjustor were to squawk about your headlamps, a lab test would almost certainly show that the lamps, when aimed to the "VOL" setting, do in fact comply with the US photometric requirements. Plus, there are the "SAE" markings on the housing, which don't necessarily apply to this particular headlamp (same housing used for multiple different versions of lamp) but would end almost any headlamp witch hunt.

    FWIW, Oregon until a few years ago explicitly permitted ECE headlamps. This permission, written into their vehicle equipment code in the mid-1970s, was a probably-unintended casualty of their code rewrite. After the rewrite, nobody was required to go remove the ECE headlamps they'd installed in their vehicles. The rewrite, which adopts the Federal lighting standard (FMVSS 108) by reference, was done to allow law enforcement officers' tickets for unsafe lighting equipment to hold up in court. Before the rewrite, officers would write tickets for unsafe lighting, then the driver or his daddy would go to court and say "Yeah, I have blue turn signals. Yep, I have black covers over my brake lights. You betchya, I have an HID kit in my halogen headlamps. Now show me which Oregon statute I'm violating. Right, didn't think so. Bye!". So the previous code was replaced by the rewritten one, which fixed some of the old loopholes and introduced several ugly new ones. Washington State, on the other hand, did not delete their permission for ECE headlamps in the process of rewriting their vehicle code to refer to the Federal standard.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 02-25-2012 at 12:25 PM.

  3. #3
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: "euro" or "ece" headlight use in US?

    Thanks Scheinwerfermann, that's what i figured, I just wanted to make sure, i can see where the "tourist lever" would keep you from blinding other drivers when driving on the other side of the road. I will give my local VW dealer a call and see if they have one of those beam setters
    2 Inova T4's, one optic, one reflector, TF 2C Cree, Energizer 2AA "3W" Luxeon, Dorcy 3AAA "1W" focusing optic

  4. #4
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    Default Re: "euro" or "ece" headlight use in US?

    that lever i believe flips automatically when you turn the high beams on and it shields the HID partially from creating a blinding situation.
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  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: "euro" or "ece" headlight use in US?

    Quote Originally Posted by DisrupTer911 View Post
    that lever i believe flips automatically when you turn the high beams
    No, the lever is meant to be manually moved.

  6. #6

    Default Re: "euro" or "ece" headlight use in US?

    Quote Originally Posted by DisrupTer911 View Post
    that lever i believe flips automatically when you turn the high beams on and it shields the HID partially from creating a blinding situation.
    No, the lever is manually operated by the driver to flatten the cutoff when driving in a country with other-side-of-the-road traffic.

  7. #7

    Default Re: "euro" or "ece" headlight use in US?

    Baiting/trolling post deleted by moderator

    hyro00, please review the rules of this board. You are expected (and required) to follow them.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 04-20-2012 at 04:47 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: "euro" or "ece" headlight use in US?

    Quote Originally Posted by hydro00 View Post
    Baiting/trolling post deleted by moderator

    hyro00, please review the rules of this board. You are expected (and required) to follow them.
    Simmer down, don't even remember what I wrote, but I have not gotten such an edit in tens of thousands of forum posts and they have more than a half dozen active members. Just remember this famous quote by Abraham Lincoln: "Being small in life is no excuse to pretend to be large online".

    ...I may be off on that quote, not sure.

  9. #9

    Default Re: "euro" or "ece" headlight use in US?

    hydro00, I am going to warn you one more time: Read and follow the rules. That means no (more) namecalling, taunting, flaming, baiting, trolling, or backtalk to moderators. As I have already warned you several times today, if you continue with your present tone and attitude, you will likely find yourself taking some involuntary time to rethink how you behave in this community.

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