Headlight Replacement Costs On The Rise, Study Shows18
The average cost to replace a broken headlight on a vehicle has risen from $307.73 in 2015 to $418.36 in 2019, according to a study conducted by business insight firm mPower by Mitchell.
The firm also found that current model year vehicles have experienced an even sharper increase in headlight replacement costs. In 2015, headlight replacement costs for new or late model year cars sat an average of $499.20, but that figure has since risen to $773.
There are a number of factor contributing to rapidly escalating headlight replacement costs, including more stringent testing from safety regulators and the implementation of more advanced headlight technologies.
Expectedly, Mitchell found that luxury automakers had the top 10 most expensive headlight repair averages. General Motors and Fiat Chrysler experienced the most rapid expansion in headlight cost between 2015 and 23019, however. The study found that Dodge cars have experienced a 137 percent increase in headlight repair costs in just four years.
It’s not likely that this trend will change anytime soon, either. Not only are safety regulators now paying more attention to headlight strength and performance, any potential future autonomous vehicles will need to have a well-lit view of the road ahead in order to operate properly. The same is true for semi-autonomous safety system being deployed on production cars currently.
“The trend towards more advanced lighting systems is bound to continue as smarter systems are critical in the journey toward autonomous driving,” Mitchell’s study said. “The improved visibility created by these new complex headlamps will be instrumental to ensuring that other ADAS sensors and components are able to function at the highest level and provide the greatest degree of safety, especially in a vehicle cockpit devoid of a driver.”
The study also named the Cadillac XT6 as a vehicle with particularly expensive available headlights. The crossover’s optional matrix beam headlight system, which can automatically dim or adjust the headlights so they do not blind oncoming traffic or any traffic the vehicle is following. They will also automatically switch from high-beam to low-beam based on the driving conditions. These lights are legal in Canada, but have not yet been approved by the NHTSA.
Source: Repair Driven News/mPower by Mitchell
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So true. But add to that list:
Front windshield costs way up due to safety tech/sensors/cameras, etc
Front and rear bumpers due to sensors and other tech. Also due to specialized paint being more common.
Rims. The bigger the more expensive to repair/replace.
Door mounted mirrors. More complex and added safety tech within the mirror housings and with more power features.
And the list goes on. And our insurance goes up.
All so idiots can sit in their car and play on their 12″ infotainment tablet display as they roll down the road, completely oblivious to their surroundings until something beeps at them or flashes a colored light. Eventually they’ll all just pile into a bunch of big deformable plastic balloons with one seat inside, along with millions of others on the highway, that way it doesn’t matter if you smash into everyone else, they’re in a balloon too. There will be a tiny electric engine to roll the ball in case traffic stops, but once moving you will depend entirely on the momentum of other balloons around you. The inner surface of the balloon will be a large virtual reality display. Inside your balloon, you’ll be hooked up to a pedal system to generate power for the electric engine. The virtual reality display will tempt you to pedal more with prizes or virtual coins that you can redeem for other virtual items that mean nothing. There will be a zero percent chance of any crash or significant injury, but also a zero percent chance of actually getting to where you intend to go in any reasonable amount of time, and a 100% chance of your existence being utterly futile.
Huge lol! But I don’t know if I should really laugh or cry though, because what you say is probably not that far out.
Thanks AUDI for making DRLs the focal point in vehicle design.
The cost of headlamps went up when the HIDs arrived and with LED they are not going to go down.
Technology cost money and many forget that when they complain about no LED lights on some models.
I remember years ago a Hyundai that rear ended a ZR1 and the two headlamps were $1500 at the time.
This is why when I explain cost and pricing automakers have to make choices as if they give you everything you would not pay the price in many models.
Yet it costs $12 to make 2,000 LEDs in China….but people will pay for perceived luxury….and thus far Americans have only gotten newer lighting sources and not new technology. LEDs were invented in 1962 after all!
The headlamps are a little more than the $12 red light on your TV. Most have to have cooling systems or ways to cool that are not cheap. Most retro units sold have small fans in them to cool them and keep them on.
Add in the cost of meeting government regulations along with new electrical systems that can handle them and it cost more.
Point is, LEDs are way over priced because people are gullible enough to pay!
Regulations can’t be an excuse since incandescent bulbs too had to meet regulations, however, GM didn’t apparently worry about that seeing how many recals theve had over headlights.
As for cooling systems, I seem to recall that heaters are also needed on luxury units to help de-ice the lenses among other reasons. Kinda makes one wonder if it is even necessary. Especially if a whole new electrical system in necessary. All this expense means higher cost cars, which means fewer cars sold, which reduces scales of economy, etc, etc, etc, which means the instrument of the product’s ultimate failure is self inflicted. And the answer given to remedy that is car sharing? It just doesn’t seem logical to not address the problem instead of developing band-aid solutions for the side effects of poor planning and engineering!
Survival of the fittest at work!
The biggest problem as their complexity increases, they’re not inteded to be repairable…LED DRL goes out, you need a new hamplamp assembly…
A little unrelated, but I think that if automakers are going to start putting mirrors on doors again, then vent windows should make a come back. Just my $.02.
This is wrong. Very wrong.
USED headlights in fair condition for the Cadillac XLR go for $3000. Each. Same for tail lights.
Why is that? Because GM didn’t make enough of them. And won’t make any replacements. Thus, get in a fender bender with your $100,000 GM Halo car (which btw, was one of the most expensive GM vehicles) and your insurance company will TOTAL your car.
Bodes well for the future of GM vehicles, regardless of how much you love your classic GM car, you won’t be able to get it fixed, period.
And people wonder why GM doesn’t have the same customer loyalty as say Mercedes or BMW… How can you be loyal when GM leaves their former halo car high and dry without repair parts as simple and needed as a headlight?
AMG components are worse.
I was about to point that out. Even when it comes to obvious design errors in their engines, they leave the customer to pay the expensive AMG tech to fix the engine.
I too, own an XLR.
In addition to your very correct comment on the replacement cost, there is the fact that the headlight lens design was inferior, made of a sub-standard plastic rather then long-lasting glass (GM likely did this to save a buck or two per headlight). The plastic yellows (burns) over time from the heat of the HID lamp. This results in a condition commonly referred to as “cataracts”. That yellowing of the lens degrades the light output over time. So even though my headlight are intact, I would love to replace them if there was a reasonably priced option.
They’re just expensive because all this tech is relatively new.
You think automobile level halogen headlamps were super cheap when they first appeared on cars? It takes 5-10 years after a new technology gets implemented before the manufacturing processes get refined enough to where they become “cheap” relative to the cost of the entire vehicle. Give it 10 years and LED headlamps will be more reliable, cheaper, and easier to replace.
Maybe it would be a bit cheaper to replace them if you didn’t have to remove the damned front clip to change a bad lamp like you had to do on my ‘09 Malibu.
Honda Accord LED headlights are some of the worst. The DRL’s burn out after a year or two and the headlight assembly is $1,200 each.
I need to replace the headlamps on my 2012 Buick LaCrosse. $450. I’m in a bit of shock. They have to remove the entire front end bumper and grill assembly. 2.7 hrs labor