Now, hold on. This recall isn't quite as serious as it sounds. Yes, Toyota is recalling 11,489 FJ Cruiser models from the 2007 to 2013 model years, and yes, it's because the vehicles, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states, "fail to conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, 'Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment.'" But read the fine print and you'll see the catch: This recall is only for vehicles fitted with the automaker's auxiliary lighting kit that can be mounted to the front bumper.

Basically, the auxiliary lamp assemblies use 55-watt bulbs, and when these are turned on in conjunction with the upper beam headlamps, it's a pretty blinding sight. NHTSA states that excessively bright lights can blind other drivers, increasing the risk for a crash.

To remedy the situation, Toyota will replace the 55-watt bulbs with cooler 35-watt units. The recall is expected to begin later this month. Scroll down for the full details in the NHTSA report.
Show full PR text
Report Receipt Date: APR 25, 2013
NHTSA Campaign Number: 13V163000
Component(s): EXTERIOR LIGHTING
Potential Number of Units Affected: 11,489

All Products Associated with this Recall
2007-2013 TOYOTA FJ CRUISER

Manufacturer: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing

SUMMARY

Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) is recalling certain model year 2007-2013 FJ Cruiser vehicles manufactured January 25, 2006 through February 23, 2013 and equipped with a Toyota Auxiliary Driving Lamp Kits mounted to the front bumper. These lamp assemblies include 55 watt bulbs and due to this wattage, the combination of the upper beam headlamps plus the auxiliary lamps are too bright and exceed the maximum light output allowed for an upper beam headlamp. Therefore, these vehicles fail to conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, "Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment."

CONSEQUENCE

Excessively bright lamps may temporarily blind oncoming drivers, increasing the risk of a crash.

REMEDY

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will replace the 55 watt bulbs with 35 watt bulbs, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in late May 2013. Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

NOTES

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 53 Comments
      Ulf
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't see the problem. Front aux. lights are either fog lights or driving lights. Fog lights should only, as the name implies, be used in fog, and they are aimed low with a sharp cutoff so they don't dazzle anyone. Driving lights on the other hand have no cutoff at all and should only be used together with the high beams when there are no other vehicles present ahead of you. To me it seems like a question of education on use rather than faulty equipment...
        S40Powered
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ulf
        I agree. Some people are dumb enough to put 55K HID in their foglights and use it as a driving lights.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      radroach
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is a pretty true statement. I was blasted from behind by headlights from an FJ's auxiliary lights while driving my BRZ. I tried to signal them that their high beams were on, on a public road, and was met with road rage. Stupid suburbanites.
      William
      • 1 Year Ago
      "This recall is only for vehicles fitted with the automaker's auxiliary lighting kit that can be mounted to the front bumper." So shouldn't the headline be, "Toyota recalling FJ Cruiser due to excessively bright auxiliary lights"?
      mcdull
      • 1 Year Ago
      Isn't the auxiliary lights only for offroad use? or Toyota forgot to put that on manual? Recalling offroad equipment sounds lame, it's the driver's responsibilities to decide when to use it.
        jase.s
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mcdull
        It's in the Toyota manual. Also, in order to turn them, the high beams also have to be on. This is in response to people who drive with their high beams and auxiliary lights on public roads. Unfortunately, there are drivers out there who believe that their ability to see at night time supersedes everyone else's--including oncoming traffic.
          m_2012
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jase.s
          If oncoming car has its brights and auxs on, will this really make a difference? Isnt the oncoming traffic already blinded by the brights? This makes no sense at all except for somebody's friend works at a light bulb factory and made a quick sale.
      Mr. Bader®
      • 1 Year Ago
      What a bland car maker
        VDuB
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Mr. Bader®
        General population doesn't care about your opinion. #1 car maker what?
          jase.s
          • 1 Year Ago
          @VDuB
          @m_2012 Actually, Honda is #1 in recent recalls as of December 2012. In recalls involving injury or death, Ford is #1. Toyota is in the top five, but they are pretty average for being the largest or second largest manufacturer.
          m_2012
          • 1 Year Ago
          @VDuB
          #1 in recalls. General population is a bunch of morons.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        Don't buy it? Regardless of how it looks, they still seem to sell enough of them and they are right at the top of Toyota's when it comes to resale value.
        MVM
        • 1 Year Ago
        I was going to write something of the kind, but then I scrolled down and found your comment. Well said. This car is grotesque.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @MVM
          [blocked]
      bK
      • 1 Year Ago
      They gotta do a nationwide ban on HID conversions on taller vehicles like the Hummer and those heavy duty pickups that are lifted to the max, and fine them...
        Peter DePriest
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bK
        Sometimes even cars are bad too. Technically putting HIDs into a reflective housing is illegal but it doesnt seem to get enforced anywhere.
          bK
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Peter DePriest
          Yes, cars too. any HID retrofits need to be banned and enforced.
          NightFlight
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Peter DePriest
          Worst glare I've ever seen from a PnP HID kit is in the 2005-2009 Mustang, and actually the FJ Cruiser. I mean it is absolutely blinding. Also, why are people so stupid to get 12,000K kits, or anything over 4,300K for that matter? Don't they know it produces less usable light?
      Jeff
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hell, every Toyota made in the past 9-10 has blindingly bright headlights, I don't know if its a faulty design, or if Toyota just purposely aims them up high so they blind people but every one of those things made needs to be recalled. Of course, it's Toyota, so they get a free pass..
        blasds78
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jeff
        Do you really believe the unfounded/unsubstantiated nonsense you just submitted?
          SquareFour
          • 1 Year Ago
          @blasds78
          The sheer amount of goofy hatred (and blind adoration) is pretty odd, isn't it?
          SquareFour
          • 1 Year Ago
          @blasds78
          What he said.^^^ Some of us, Jeff, aren't idiots who display either excessive hatred or creepy loyalty depending upon the corporation in question. We take them as they come instead. It's important to remember that these corporations really don't give a damn about any of us. We're all just dollar signs to them. There's no sense in being a "fan" of any of them. There's just as little sense in wasting energy hating them as well.
        wilkegm
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jeff
        My Tundra had pityfully dim light from the factory. ONe of the reasons were the "long life" bulbs they use. They're basically the opposite of what a bulb like the Sylvania Silver Star or X-tra Vision bulbs are- they run a little cooler, giving them superior life spans, but comparatively poor light output.
      thedriveatfive
      • 1 Year Ago
      NHTSA... were the government and were here to help... lol
      Rambo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yeah, no thanks. If I ponied up the extra money for factory auxiliary lights, I'm not going to let the dealer gimp them. Why do they come on with the high beams? Usually these types of lights are clearly stated for off road use only, and are on a separate circuit. That seems like a more intelligent solution (although probably not as cheap).
      Kuro Houou
      • 1 Year Ago
      LOL, if I owned one of those already there is no way I would go get them replaced with lower wattage bulbs. Chances are if I had those things mounted in the first place I might be doing some off roading and need the bright lights. Seems like they just need to educate their drivers not to turn them on like highbeams.. if any cars are near by make sure they are off.
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