Sylvania taken to task for their false claims of headlamp superiority

Alaric Darconville

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FromLED Inside

U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo has preliminary approved Osram Sylvania US $ 30 million settlement over falsely advertising superiority of halogen headlights to deceive consumers into overpaying, according to a Law360 report.

...In September 2011, Imran Chaudhri sued the company for misrepresenting the halogen headlights as brighter, offering wider beam angle and providing drivers better visibility on the road than standard halogen headlights. In reality, the company "rigged the process" and committed consumer fraud, court documents noted...

...Sylvania failed to disclose to consumers the headlight comparisons were not based on similar testing conditions, alleged Chaudhri. He also noted the headlamps were sold at double the price of halogen headlights...

Sylvania would "sortof" disclose the parameters of their claims, such as saying a particular bulb, when new, is X% brighter than a worn standard halogen bulb. But I guess that wasn't enough.
 

-Virgil-

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Oh my! This is interesting. From the link, The ruling will allow millions of class members to submit claims for partial refund of Sylvania's SilverStar headlights, according to an order filed in New Jersey federal court.

Hey, I guess I wasn't making it up after all...all that stuff about how Sylvania Silver Star (and all other blue-glass "whiter" bulbs) are a downgrade instead of an upgrade.
 

dansranch

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Well I installed them on a buddies Jeep last year. The claims on the package and their related product sheets compared them to Xenon HID and lef the uninformed buyer thinking he was getting something that he clearly was not. But he did get what he paid for.. the local autoZone store sold hime the Sylvania's for less than 50 bucks.. so I would not say he was ripped off or anything..
 
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-Virgil-

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the Sylvania's for less than 50 bucks.. so I would not say he was ripped off or anything..

But he was. For his fifty dollars he got bulbs that put out less light than a standard bulb, and have a much shorter lifespan...all in a package claiming his headlamps' performance would be improved. That's a pretty textbook example of a ripoff.
 
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Hilldweller

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Silverstars, almost as bad as PIAA. When will we see the noose around their filaments?
 
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Alaric Darconville

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the local autoZone store sold hime the Sylvania's for less than 50 bucks.. so I would not say he was ripped off or anything..

But he was. For his fifty dollars he got bulbs that put out less light than a standard bulb, and have a much shorter lifespan...all in a package claiming his headlamps' performance would be improved. That's a pretty textbook example of a ripoff.

What -Virgil- said.

Through a breakthrough in marketing, your friend was sold inferior technology for too high a price.
 

degarb

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All marketing departments lie, it seems. It is like to justify their marketing degree and marketing genius, they think lying/stretching the truth will get them the result to prove they can do better than those not ordained.

My first 1 watt luxeon ran on 3 watt hour pack, and claimed 17 hours. After 3 hours, the light was suprisingly useless to work by. My Moto X phone gets me 5.5 hours, but marketing claims 17 hours. I can clearly measure the unit drawing an average of 400 ma during use and 230 ma idle (170 ma with cell tower, bluetooth, screen, sound, and alerts off); this, on a 2200 mah battery. .. The only thing you can trust with marketing departments is that they lie, and even smart people will believe, because they want to believe.

Anymore, never read the 'copy', even suspect the specs.
 
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dansranch

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I agree on the PIAAs.. and also on the Silverstar Halogen replacement bulbs. I have been burnt on those myself.
 
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sadtimes

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This is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo awesome. Ive wondered why someone had not done this already.
 

Lightdoctor

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Does this mean Sylvania will recall all of their blue bulb crap and that it will not be sold in stores anymore? One can only hope.
 

-Virgil-

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It looks like there might be more changes afoot than just new packaging. Take a look at this recent auction for a set of Sylvania Silverstar Ultra bulbs. Yes, the packaging has been changed, they've removed all the percentage-improvement claims and replaced them with weasel buzzwords like "more clarity" (???), but take a close look at the bulbs themselves...notice anything new/different? I do!
 

-Virgil-

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Or is it that they're now doing a partial blue tint, leaving a band around the filament now?

That's what it looks like to me. That would be more like the Europe/rest-of-the-world "Night Breaker" Osram product line: a band of uncolored glass surrounding the filament(s) so all their light reaches the reflector, with blue everywhere else to change the appearance of the headlamp itself and give the marketing department somehing to babble about.
 
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Lightdoctor

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I didn't see the clear window on those linked SS bulbs. I guess that would be an improvement over the last generation of bulbs. I personally am not a fan of the Osram Night Breaker...I still think they are a joke when compared to the Philips XV or GE NHP. (Osram should've put their foot down and told their rowdy step child to market the silver star lamps here in there original form. The SS lamps have not helped Sylvania's reputation.)
 

RoGuE_StreaK

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All marketing departments lie, it seems. It is like to justify their marketing degree and marketing genius, they think lying/stretching the truth will get them the result to prove they can do better than those not ordained.
Not all of us with marketing degrees are manipulative liars.

Then again that might explain why I never made it in the world of marketing...
 

haha1234

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So, now with the clear window (only on the Ultra, not the regular Silverstars), are these about as good or better than the Nightbreaker? Are they finally worth buying over the NB's?

I notice that the 9003 Ultra has the fat glass envelope as opposed to the thinner glass that the NB uses (and also the Euro Silverstar, and Philips' Xtreme and Vision Plus bulbs)
 

-Virgil-

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I don't like the small clear-glass window on the Osram Night Breaker/new Silver Star -- especially how the H4/9003 completely covers the high beam filament with blue tint. I prefer the Philips Xtreme and GE Night Hawk Platinum, with much bigger clear-glass area (and yes, smaller diameter glass envelope, which is better for performance)
 
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