1995 Dodge Grand Caravan - plastic headlight covers turned dangerous opaque yellow color

Posted on Wednesday, January 16th, 2002 at 12:00am CST by d5929a41

Company: 1995 Dodge Grand Caravan - plastic headlight covers turned dangerous opaque yellow color

Category: Other

# 5 for January 16, 2002

Complaints.com received the following e-message on January 15, 2002:

From: COMPLAINTS.COM_FORM_MAIL_19183#

1995 Dodge Grand Caravan - plastic headlight covers turned dangerous opaque yellow color

I need to replace both headlight covers on my 1995 Dodge Grand Caravan. The plastic covers have glazed over to an opaque yellow color and the headlight beams barely reach the road anymore, let alone anything else. Driving at night has become downright dangerous, and not just for me. Last week I almost ran over some boys walking in the street at night. Until last week I didn't realize how bad the condition really was. I drove to the Dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth dealer (in Alhambra) and asked the gentleman at the parts counter if he had any headlight covers for my vehicle. After describing the vehicle make, model and year, the first words out of his mouth were "So they're brown?" I was a little surprised that he would guess that in the first try, seeing how they might have been broken or cracked or scratched, suggesting that this glazed condition is more common than I originally thought. I asked if there was anyone I could talk to about it, seeing how I thought this condition to be the result of a material DEFECT. He suggested I talk to someone in the service department. So I did. The gentleman at the service counter walked out to my vehicle with me to take a look at the headlight covers and agreed that they were pretty bad and should be replaced. He said that the covers are not sold separately and that I'd have to buy the entire headlight housing. He said they would cost around $70 to install. I asked him if there seemed like a DEFECT in the material and he replied, "I don't think there is a recall on this, and you won't get anything from Chrysler because it's too old by now." For safety's sake the headlight covers must be replaced. It's not like I have any choice here. So I went back to the parts counter and I talked to a different gentleman (the first one was somewhere in the back). After describing the vehicle make, model and year again, even more surprisingly this time the first words out of his mouth were "They're yellow?" It made me think that this must be a VERY common occurrence. I asked him if this is a material DEFECT, and he replied, "I think so." So I asked him what it would cost, and he looked it up on the computer, and said "$117". My guts knotted up.

This was just a piece of plastic used to hold the headlight bulb in place. How could it be so expensive?!! And then the man behind the counter continued, "...each", and my mind unhinged. It's not like I have any choice here. I have to replace them for safety's sake before somebody gets seriously injured or killed. But $117??? EACH??? I might be able to accept $50 for the pair, but even that is pushing it considering my now firm belief that these plastic things are DEFECTIVE, made of DEFECTIVE plastic material that glazes over in a short period of time. I compared the plastic headlight cover to the plastic turn signal cover immediately adjacent to the headlight and I noticed that the turn signal cover is perfectly transparent. I've also begun actively scanning the headlights of all Dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth caravans I pass and can make the following observation: The headlight covers on all Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler minivans of the same approximate vintage exhibit the tell-tale signs of opacity. I noticed several that were far worse than my own! How could these people see at night? They can't! I'm keeping my eyes and ears open for even the slightest hint of a class action lawsuit.


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