Chrysler Headlight Condensation Problem
Hi John, a few months back I purchased a 2014 Chrysler SRT8 CORE. I've since had a condensation issue with my headlights. I reported the problem to the dealership, and I have had my headlights replaced, twice. Liaison at the dealership (Suttons Rosebery) has been great. It seems Chrysler is dragging its feet. They are well aware there is an issue. People over the globe have reported the same issue.
I wanted to ask you, other than chasing the dealership, and Chrysler Australia, do you think I should turn this into a civil matter? I just don't want my headlights replaced, only to have the same issue happen. Surely they would have a revised version to offer, anyway, your advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Firstly let me say I hope this isn’t diminishing your enthusiasm for the car overall. I loved my week-long test drive in the SRT8 Core and they needed a swat team and the jaws of life to extract me from it.
This problem: Well, it’s not the friggin’ mission to Mars, is it? Headlights get hot. The air in them expands and contracts. They need to breathe, I suppose, as a result. When you turn them off, the air cools and contracts, sucking fresh air in. If that happens there could be a condensation problem if the engineering development of the headlight unit was under-done. That seems like a reasonable hypothesis.
Just to give Chrysler the benefit of the doubt, and I’m not an apologist for them - if they are dicking you around they deserve to look bad, they might be working on a fix. If they are, doubtless they’ll roll that out in due course. It’s counter-productive for them intentionally to piss customers off.
Just for perspective, it sounds like an annoying but ultimately minor problem. (Not going to kill you any time soon.) So doing the whole ‘lawyers at 10 paces’ thing will not help (because their lawyers might be bigger than yours). And also because it might not expedite a fix. They might allege that minor condensation inside the lights does not affect their functionality and is normal facet of their operation, and that they never made any representations to the effect that this would not happen. (Audi did this with the 2.0 TFSI engine, which drinks oil faster than a sailor on shore leave.)
Instead I would approach it a bit more like:
- You love the car
- You want to continue to love the car, and buy another one down the track
- Doing that is going to hinge on you being happy with the lights
- Are they working on a fix?
- When can it be expected?
That seems reasonable. It’s a commercially reasonable proposition. If you threaten to sue them they won’t be helpful. Guaranteed. Also, what damages have you really suffered?
I will pass this on to a senior executive at Chrysler Australia and ask her to look into it for you and respond. Hopefully in a constructive and positive way. Hope this helps.
FOLLOW-UP / RESPONSE
Hi John, Thanks for getting back to me, I've had Chrysler contact me this morning, they informed me that they will contact the dealership. I will take your advice, and hang in there. I do want to keep the car, and I'm happy to wait for them to get back with a fix. Thanks in advance for passing my complaint onto the Chrysler head honcho, I appreciate your time, hopefully a fix will come soon. Cheers, Jim