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Warranty denial due to custom headlights. Opinions needed

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Old 03-08-12, 08:19 AM   #1
4everkidd
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Default Warranty denial due to custom headlights. *Solved

Hey guys,
I had quite a frustrating day yesterday with an unnamed Lexus dealer. I customized my headlights in November and my passenger side low beam recently stopped working. Immediately I assumed it was the bulb, no dice. I then checked all fuses, and further removed the bumper and made sure that the headlight was receiving power (which it was). Therefore I came to the conclusion that the ballast/control module had failed.

Keep in mind, that at no time during my headlight customization were any electric devices touched. The ballasts are in a sealed casing on the outside of the headlight, and my headlights were properly sealed and have not seen condensation.

I took the car in for warranty on the ballast, informed them that it was the ballast and waited. Sure enough I received a call that the ballast would not be warrantied as the headlights were customized, and it would be a $2300 bill to replace. They further stated that the ENTIRE headlight had to be replaced, as they do not sell the ballasts separately. Immediately I told them to stop, and that I would be dealing with Lexus directly or following through with the repair myself. (as i know you can remove or replace the ballasts)

I would like to hear the forums opinion on whether or not this dealer is justified in denying warranty work when the customization clearly is not the reason for the failure. I also have been informed that legally the dealer must prove that the defect/failure is a direct result of said customization.

Thanks guys.

Update
well yesterday I took the leap to repair the headlight, hoping that it was indeed the ballast. Upon taking apart the ENTIRE headlight I found that it was indeed the ballast, and it was damaged by water from a leaking turn signal tower. There was water and dirt lying in the bottom of the headlight casing, which pools directly on the ballast. It looked like a failed battery, acid along the edges. As you can see in the pic, the shiny new ballast, and the old failed unit.

I also finished off my 6000k fogs and color matched the low beams while the car was apart.
*sidenote* my AFS light is now blinking, and the headlight which i took apart is not auto leveling.. looks like I either missed a wire or tweaked the motor while putting it back together.
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Warranty denial due to custom headlights. Opinions needed-calgary-20120318-00481.jpg   Warranty denial due to custom headlights. Opinions needed-calgary-20120318-00483.jpg   Warranty denial due to custom headlights. Opinions needed-img-20120318-00486.jpg   Warranty denial due to custom headlights. Opinions needed-calgary-20120318-00482.jpg  

Last edited by 4everkidd; 03-19-12 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 03-08-12, 08:43 AM   #2
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sorry but you didn't take your headlights off and customized it. as much as you think you didn't touch anything, i can also understand how the dealership can think otherwise since they have no idea what you did (they just know you did). it becomes one of those your say their say things. at this point with everything documented i am not sure going to lexus corp would help anything.

for the ballast, you might want to just check on ebay. i forgot where i read before, i somehow i recall that lexus indeed doesn't sell just the ballast itself. i could be wrong though
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Old 03-08-12, 08:55 AM   #3
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Couldn't you just buy a new set of after market HID bulbs with ballasts and swap out the ballast on that side with the after market one? Like someone would do when they add HIDs to a car without them. I'd imagine theyd be about the same, considering people swap bulbs all the time.
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Old 03-08-12, 09:05 AM   #4
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Even though the headlights were opened, the ballast is a seperate entity entirely. It is mounted externally on the headlight, not in it.

I do not want to run aftermarket hids. I would like to find an oem ballast if I go that route. Regardless I will be calling Lexus USA and Canada. (I moved to Canada with an American car)
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Old 03-08-12, 09:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4everkidd View Post
Even though the headlights were opened, the ballast is a seperate entity entirely. It is mounted externally on the headlight, not in it.

I do not want to run aftermarket hids. I would like to find an oem ballast if I go that route. Regardless I will be calling Lexus USA and Canada. (I moved to Canada with an American car)
i know how the headlights work and where the ballast is, studied them for long. but that doesn't change the fact that the headlights have been touched and modified, they can say the lens was removed, potentially having unnecessary moisture, etc...

again i am not trying to debate what caused the issue, thing is how lexus is probably going to think about the situation
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Old 03-08-12, 10:05 AM   #6
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What did you do to customize them?
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Old 03-08-12, 10:17 AM   #7
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I agree..

A cracked open / modified headlight will void the warranty on them... It’s just the nature of the beast...

The good news is that Sewell Lexus has a surplus of IS Ballasts .. I say cut your losses tremendously and order one up..!!



Regards,

Joe Z
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Old 03-08-12, 10:48 AM   #8
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It seems like you have a lot of these warranty issues.... I agree though, its not there problem after you modified the headlights.
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Old 03-08-12, 11:02 AM   #9
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Sucks man this is why ive held back from getting the blackhousing done on my headlights
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Old 03-08-12, 11:35 AM   #10
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Sorry dude, but mods are the easiest way to void warranties. I once had a dealer refuse replacing a power window motor because of tints on a benz.

It's cheaper just to get a brand new set of fully loaded LED hamplamps for $1700 with their march sale. Comes with a warranty!

Last edited by malujerry; 03-08-12 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 03-08-12, 12:07 PM   #11
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^^ The ballast link I posted will only cost him approx $167

Which is a steal..............

~ Joe Z
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Old 03-08-12, 01:26 PM   #12
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Aghhh you guys are right. I'm just pissed off because I know the modification did not cause the failure, and also because the service guy laughed when I said I could get a set of the new led headlights from Sewell for $1200.

And as for "a lot of warranty issues" , I have an electrical gremlin somewhere. Other than that the car has only been in the shop for the drivers seat.

Thanks for the link Joe, but I lucked out and found one on eBay used out of a 2010 Is.
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Old 03-08-12, 01:28 PM   #13
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Here is a strict guideline of what's not covered by warranty. It looks to be void based on "tampering".


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Old 03-08-12, 02:04 PM   #14
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and what was done to the headlights for MisterSkiz



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Old 03-08-12, 06:52 PM   #15
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get one on ebay? pretty much any dealer will tell you the same thing, lexus, bmw, benz, vw, etc...if it comes in a whole unit...they will only replace the whole unit.
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