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Thread: Aftermarket Headlight Assemblies

  1. #1

    Default Aftermarket Headlight Assemblies

    Purchased a 2004 Toyota Sienna LE (halogen) last year. The OEM housings by then leaked and were worn out. The choice was either close to $500 for OEM replacements or $150 for Eagles Eyes "OEM" equivalent (not!).

    At the same time I purchased a set of Philips X-treme Vision 9005/9006 to place in the new headlights and took it to my mechanic who does Maryland State Inspections and has a optical aimer to make sure they were adjusted properly. He noticed immediately that the light intensity was much higher than he expected to see (due to the bulbs) and we aimed the lights accordingly.

    The pattern of light was never good with these headlights. It shone weird shapes against the wall, seem to throw light where most high beams would throw light, didn't really shine so much light on the road and to boot recently started leaking. I convinced the Ebay company to give me a full refund on the lights and picked up a set of OEM (from a Toyota dealership) that I have had installed (with the Philips X-treme Vision) but have it parked until I can make sure that they are adjusted properly per the optical aimer.

    I'm going after Eagle Eyes for the install fee and aiming fee that I paid for a subpar set. I don't even know how they get away with selling their products when they are so far from OEM quality. Is there any group at the DOT or NHTSA that I can get in touch with about this company and their products? I'll never go with another non OEM application when it comes to headlights. Even for 1/3 of the price they are still a waste of money.

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aftermarket Headlight Assemblies

    Quote Originally Posted by JMSinMD View Post
    Purchased a 2004 Toyota Sienna LE (halogen) last year. The OEM housings by then leaked and were worn out. The choice was either close to $500 for OEM replacements or $150 for Eagles Eyes "OEM" equivalent (not!).

    The pattern of light was never good with these headlights. It shone weird shapes against the wall, seem to throw light where most high beams would throw light, didn't really shine so much light on the road and to boot recently started leaking. I convinced the Ebay company to give me a full refund on the lights and picked up a set of OEM (from a Toyota dealership) that I have had installed (with the Philips X-treme Vision) but have it parked until I can make sure that they are adjusted properly per the optical aimer.
    Sorry you had to learn the hard way that there are no acceptable aftermarket replacements for composite headlamps (the J.W. Speaker 7" lamps that replace the 7" composite lamps on Jeeps and motorcycles notwithstanding). Whether "OEM-style" or not, the non-OEM replacement headlamps are absolutely terrible.

    I'm going after Eagle Eyes for the install fee and aiming fee that I paid for a subpar set. I don't even know how they get away with selling their products when they are so far from OEM quality. Is there any group at the DOT or NHTSA that I can get in touch with about this company and their products? I'll never go with another non OEM application when it comes to headlights. Even for 1/3 of the price they are still a waste of money.
    It may be difficult to impossible to get that money back.

    File complaints for non-vehicles here. The Consumer Product Safety Commission also has a webform to report an unsafe product.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Aftermarket Headlight Assemblies

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    Sorry you had to learn the hard way that there are no acceptable aftermarket replacements for composite headlamps (the J.W. Speaker 7" lamps that replace the 7" composite lamps on Jeeps and motorcycles notwithstanding). Whether "OEM-style" or not, the non-OEM replacement headlamps are absolutely terrible.



    It may be difficult to impossible to get that money back.

    File complaints for non-vehicles here. The Consumer Product Safety Commission also has a webform to report an unsafe product.
    '

    Thanks for the links, anything through DOT you think?

    If this thread saves one person from wasting their time with aftermarket it will be well worth it. Crapa certified my @$$. Seems like the government has dropped the ball (what else is new) and it's the foxes guarding the henhouse in automotive lighting. The companies get away with advertising DOT/SAE approved and it's absolutely meaningless.

    Speaking of which I decided to give Rigid Industries another try after seeing their new line of "SAE" compliant fog lights. While the majority of the beam was at 45 degrees, there was enough bleed above the line that they came off and were returned the next day.
    Last edited by JMSinMD; 02-01-2016 at 02:53 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Aftermarket Headlight Assemblies

    Quote Originally Posted by JMSinMD View Post
    Purchased a 2004 Toyota Sienna LE (halogen) last year. The OEM housings by then leaked and were worn out. The choice was either close to $500 for OEM replacements or $150 for Eagles Eyes "OEM" equivalent (not!).
    Yeah, if you're going to drive at night at all, you really need the genuine lamps...everything else is a lamp-shaped toy/trinket.

    At the same time I purchased a set of Philips X-treme Vision 9005/9006 to place in the new headlights and took it to my mechanic who does Maryland State Inspections and has a optical aimer to make sure they were adjusted properly. He noticed immediately that the light intensity was much higher than he expected to see (due to the bulbs) and we aimed the lights accordingly.
    I'm not sure what you mean...the beam aim doesn't really depend on the intensity, it depends on the type of headlamp and its mount height.

    The pattern of light was never good with these headlights. It shone weird shapes against the wall, seem to throw light where most high beams would throw light, didn't really shine so much light on the road and to boot recently started leaking.
    Yep, sounds typical of the aftermarket "headlamps".

    I convinced the Ebay company to give me a full refund on the lights
    Good! That can sometimes be an uphill battle.

    and picked up a set of OEM (from a Toyota dealership) that I have had installed (with the Philips X-treme Vision) but have it parked until I can make sure that they are adjusted properly per the optical aimer.
    So far, so good, you're thinking along the right lines.

    I'm going after Eagle Eyes for the install fee and aiming fee that I paid for a subpar set.
    Oooohhhboy. Good luck with that. You are dealing with a Chinese company and their American importation-and-marketing outfit, with only two interests: selling their garbage, and selling more of their garbage. Cheating is their most important product (hit the link, see what I mean).

    I don't even know how they get away with selling their products when they are so far from OEM quality.
    Pretty much they do it by just simply lying. "OEM quality", "SAE/DOT approved", etc, are the basic lies. They've also set up groups such as CAPA, the "Certified Auto Parts Association", to gussy-up the image of their knockoff parts, create the illusion of a difference between "CAPA certified" parts and non-certified parts, and lobby insurance companies, body shops, and consumers to specify their junk rather than legitimate parts. The BS they spin is that CAPA-certified parts are "genuine replacement parts". Nice bit of tapdancing with words, there.

    The CAPA criteria is that the aftermarket item must be certified as meeting the requirements of FMVSS 108, and that it must look the same as the original lamp. It spends a whole lot more words on "looks the same" than it does on actual performance, which is just left as a matter of "must be certified as meeting the requirements of FMVSS 108". Which basically means the trinket factory in China has to say "Yes, we promise it's legal"...and that's fine, as long as the part is cosmetically a convincing-enough knockoff, and the maker pays its CAPA dues, then the part is "CAPA certified". This is reflected in CAPA's complaint program; read it and see what they do when a complaint is initiated: they buy the allegedly crappy part, and the genuine OE part, and they install them on a vehicle. If the crappy aftermarket part fits, they say "It fits, so what's the problem?" and close the complaint.

    But even if we suspend our disbelief for a moment, and assume the aftermarket-headlight makers aren't telling their usual pack of lies, that still doesn't mean jack squat. A piss-poor tungsten sealed-beam headlamp is legal; it meets the requirements of FMVSS 108. The CAPA specification doesn't say the aftermarket item has to match the performance of the original, it says it has to be certified as meeting the requirements of FMVSS 108.

    More proof that CAPA is a bunch of clowns: Have a look at this report, published by CAPA itself, presenting the results of a DOT-sponsored scrutiny of original-equipment and aftermarket versions of headlamps. Total failure of the aftermarket lamps, some of which wouldn't even bolt onto the vehicles they were supposedly for. And this was with TYC and Depo, two of the supposedly "best" lines of aftermarket car lights. The dirt is on pages 21 and 30 if you don't want to read the full report. Yes, you read it right: CAPA itself trots out this damning report as if it's some kind of proof that "CAPA certified" parts are just as good as original equipment.

    Yet more proof that CAPA is a bunch of clowns: take a look at this. It shows a genuine Ford bumper reinforcement and then a "non CAPA-certified" aftermarket item in impact tests. The aftermarket junk flies apart, of course. No structural integrity at all. Zero crash protection. But I can't help feeling like that something's missing from the video, like the comparison's somehow incomplete. Wait a moment, I think I know what it is: they don't show us how a "CAPA-certified" aftermarket item performs in the same test. Duhhhhhh...I wonder why not?

    Still more proof CAPA is not at all about warm, fuzzy things like quality control and safety performance: they're in Washington DC. What's the major industry there? Is it auto parts? No, it's lobbying.

    The latest game is so-called "NSF certification" for aftermarket car lights. Second verse, same as the first. The average consumer doesn't know there's no such thing as "DOT/SAE approval", doesn't know the difference between DOT, SAE, CAPA, and NSF...they're going to see "certified" or "approved" and say OK. Add that to the political lobbying to basically force consumers to accept this garbage via body shops and insurance companies, and life is super happy for the trinket makers.

    Is there any group at the DOT or NHTSA that I can get in touch with about this company and their products?
    You can try filing a report with NHTSA's Office of Defect Investigation, but I hope you can hold your breath for a long, long time.

    I'll never go with another non OEM application when it comes to headlights.
    aftermarket taillights and other safety lights aren't so hot, either.

    Even for 1/3 of the price they are still a waste of money.
    That is quite true!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Aftermarket Headlight Assemblies

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean...the beam aim doesn't really depend on the intensity, it depends on the type of headlamp and its mount height.

    You can try filing a report with NHTSA's Office of Defect Investigation, but I hope you can hold your breath for a long, long time.
    The machine he uses also measures intensity and he mentioned during the aiming process how the light was 'metering' very high which reinforced to me that the Philips Xtreme isn't just a marketing ploy. I forgot the exact number he quoted me but when I go back I'll write it down.
    http://www.nussbaum-usa.com/portfoli...-beam-testers/

    Thanks for the link. I also sent a complaint to the NHTSA Office of Inspector General.

    Anyone asks about aftermarket please direct them to me or this thread. I knew I was taking a 'risk' in order to save some money but it's so far from acceptable the DOT should put a stop to it.

  6. #6
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aftermarket Headlight Assemblies

    Quote Originally Posted by JMSinMD View Post
    Thanks for the links, anything through DOT you think?
    The NHTSA is part of the DOT; complaining to the NHTSA is ultimately complaining to the DOT.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Aftermarket Headlight Assemblies

    I figured the more fires I can light the better

  8. #8
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aftermarket Headlight Assemblies

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    The latest game is so-called "NSF certification" for aftermarket car lights.
    Which is important if you want to know that you can serve food from your aftermarket headlamps!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Aftermarket Headlight Assemblies

    This is just an FYI. I am a long time follower here and greatly admire and respect the knowledge these folks give us. I have greatly benefited over the years.

    But........ sometimes we have to do what we have to do. Before recently I would rather be nibbled to death by ducks than go after Market OR TYC and recently inquired about NSF & CAPA. And again, thanks the this place I am glad I did.

    We just put our 19 yo student daughter into a 2011 KIA Sorento. Being an automotive lighting interested party I seen the headlamp assemblies and knew they would have to be replaced.
    I kind of put it off until I drove it one night and was horrified. The low beams were useless and the high beams were a close second. Nothing resembling a cut off. She never complained. Heck she must have thought its normal. Sigh!!

    Then I got the sticker shock on the OE replacements. There is just no blood in that turnip. I priced the Rockauto TYC stuff and learning here how the CAPA and NSF is BS so I opted for the cheapest plain Jane units until we can regroup and get better ones. If there was no improvment or worse I would return them.

    Well....... as you can see in the pictures I got NSF anyways. Just goes to show how much they regard that stuff.
    The lighting on the road is more then fine. She is excited and I have my fingers crossed they make it through a few rains and don't oxidize in a week.
    We have a plan for putting back savings for an OE set.

    No before or on the road images. Just some info FYI.

    The NSF sticker, the bulbs that came in them. I swapped them all out for Phillips X-treme Visions +100 and +130's.
    The before patterns looked like dim floods. The cut-offs are slightly arched with out the step I usually see.

    800x2934 is too large, please review CPF Rule #3
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 03-21-2017 at 08:02 AM.
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  10. #10
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aftermarket Headlight Assemblies

    Quote Originally Posted by therock View Post
    But........ sometimes we have to do what we have to do.
    Yes, we do-- but we don't have to waste our money on light-shaped toys.

    I priced the Rockauto TYC stuff and learning here how the CAPA and NSF is BS so I opted for the cheapest plain Jane units until we can regroup and get better ones. If there was no improvment or worse I would return them.

    Well....... as you can see in the pictures I got NSF anyways.

    The lighting on the road is more then fine.
    No, the lighting is not more than fine. You're putting your daughter and others at risk by putting on aftermarket headlamps. No matter how clear the new lamps' lenses are, no matter how shiny everything is, you've simply traded one kind of bad for another. You might think there is an improvement with them but there isn't.

    If you couldn't afford genuine parts NOW, how will you afford them later? You just dumped money into junk, money that you could have held on to. You'd have been better off buying just one new OEM lamp now and the other OEM lamp later, rather than buying a pair of noncompliant junk.

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