Headlamp is covered in cracks and grazes

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MB James

Active Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2014
Messages
83
Location
Cheltenham
Car
S-Class W222
Hi all,
This one's a mystery to me. I have a 66 plate V250. I have noticed over the last 6 months lots of tiny scratches or grazes appearing on the driver side headlamp. More and more have appeared over time and there are also now large cracks. Took it in to two Merc dealerships who basically both said its caused by stone chips and I'd just have to buy a new headlamp unit. £1000.00 !! However there are no impact marks where the cracks appear as you would expect to see. A number of people have told me its either the sun causing it or its a bad batch of headlamps that where produced and the plastic is too thin, or its a badly fitting unit which is making cracks appear. The passenger side has no tiny scratches but one or two larger cracks. Both sides it's getting worse. See what you think from the images. Any way I contacted Mercedes customer services who said they would follow up with my local dealer and get back to me. What I would like is both units replaced on the warranty. I have never seen this happen before but I'm convinced its not caused by stone chips.IMG_1900.jpegIMG_1901.jpeg
 
Never stone chips in it's Nelly Puff!! That's surface crazing of the plastic due to the effect of U/V in the absence of the correct amount of inhibitor, particularly in the first image. So...faulty units! As it's a 66 plate, it should still be in warranty?

Ernie
 
... And if it was that many stone chips your paintwork would be just as peppered which it doesn't appear to be. Warranty?
 
What a crazy thing to happen, as the above posts,the front of your car is free from stone chips,what are MB trying to pull here,it must be a faulty light housing.
 
... The way I see it, they should replace these under warranty - as a goodwill gesture.
 
Wow! Thanks for the replies guys. I've spoken to customer service who told me to go back to my local dealer who will then file a warranty claim which will be sent to Merc. Fingers crossed
 
Never stone chips in it's Nelly Puff!! That's surface crazing of the plastic due to the effect of U/V in the absence of the correct amount of inhibitor, particularly in the first image. So...faulty units! As it's a 66 plate, it should still be in warranty?

Ernie


Ernie what do you mean by "absence of the correct amount of inhibitor" please?
 
An update:
I actually bought a new headlamp unit last month but had not fitted it because of people telling me it could be a warranty claim. Yesterday Merc customer service told me to go back to Cheltenham Sytner Mercedes and have it inspected and discuss claim with them. Today I went in and they looked at it and said it is not warranty claim. I spoke to services manager who took photos and sent them to Technical services dept. The response was it is most likely caused by an impact which then caused stress fractures on the plastic. They fitted my new headlamp and charged me £300.00 to do it. Tempted to take this up with trading standards.
 
Utter rubbish that amount of deterioration is caused by stone chips......I worked for MB back in the 90's and can tell you from experience, if they think its stone chips they should (better) examine the surrounding body work with the correct equipment to find other stone impact evidence.......stones dont pick headlights and leave body panels alone.
 
Definitely trading standards £300 to fit it? Thieving b@stards
Jeez, I'd have driven all the way down from the Highlands to fit it for less!!
 
Ernie what do you mean by "absence of the correct amount of inhibitor" please?
Plastic materials exposed to the UV rays of sunlight need to be protected by an additive which is added in small amounts during manufacturing and inhibits the ageing process, which includes yellowing, brittalising and crazing like what yours has. The protection doesn't last forever, though, hence you see older cars with yellowing plastic light units. Does that help?

Just to follow on from your various posts, I think you said the problem was getting worse. If it was impact damage, I'd be surprised if it worsened after the initial impact, but photos at various times might help to demonstrate this as evidence if you had them.

Ernie
 

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