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Lighting Forum
Angel Eyes, DDEs, lighted rings, Clear Turn Signals, LEDs, Xenon, HID, or Bi-Xenon. If it lights up and you want to discuss it, post here!

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Old 06-30-2011, 05:40 PM   #1
edlvrt
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Exclamation ZKW Reflector Recall-Open NHTSA Investigation

As most of you know, and from what I gather through several internet sites in addition to my experience, the low beam reflectors on 2003-2004 ZKW HID headlights were made of some material that degraded when subjected to the heat produced by OEM Xenon bulbs. This results in a significant decrease in light output as the reflector became scorched. I don't know the exact ins and outs, but I would imagine that BMW and ZKW were and are aware of the defect as the newer, redesigned headlights do not suffer from this problem.

I called the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) out of curiosity to see if the problem had been noted and if there was anything in the works to fix the defective parts. The gentleman that I spoke with said that an investigation of the issue was opened in 2009, closed at one point, and has been reopened. I gave him my information, VIN, and a description of the problem and the affected cars, and he told me their engineering staff would be sending me their ongoing investigation report with a questionnaire of sorts for me to return.

He also told me that the more people who report the issue, the greater the chance of some sort of recall. If you suffer from the headlight issue and have a few minutes to spare, please call the NHTSA at 888-327-4236 to report a vehicle defect. If you would rather not call, there is the option to fill out an online form. Go to http://www.nhtsa.gov/ and click the blue banner to the right "Report a Vehicle or Child Seat Defect," then choose to File an Online Form and go from there.

Thanks

Ed
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Old 07-01-2011, 04:16 PM   #2
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Good stuff Ed - I see several complaints about ZKW headlights already, but I'm sure it takes a ton before there's any chance of recourse.

My car only has 54K miles and the ZKW projectors are horrible.
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:59 PM   #3
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Submitted the online form. My headlights have sucked since the day I bought it with ~56,000 miles on it.
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:56 PM   #4
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Thanks to all who have reported the defect. I realize that the chances of any recall, especially this late in the game, are slim, but it does not hurt to try, so keep them coming. If you submitted a form online, feel free to call the hot line and follow up.

Just got off the phone with a lady with the NHTSA to see if there have been any updates. She was able to tell me that BMW issued a service bulletin to somehow correct the issue at the owner's expense, but the head investigator for this issue was not satisfied with the response. She gave me the investigator's name, and a quick google search provided his contact info, so I shot him an email. I'll let you know where this leads.

Last edited by edlvrt; 07-19-2011 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:56 PM   #5
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I still have my crispy old holes burned through the bowl reflectors sitting on the bench in my garage if they need some evidence for their investigation....
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Old 07-24-2011, 05:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TxZHP04 View Post
I still have my crispy old holes burned through the bowl reflectors sitting on the bench in my garage if they need some evidence for their investigation....
Same here
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:20 PM   #7
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:42 AM   #8
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I just submitted a compliant this morning and did a search on the what has been reported to date. They only show 14 complaints. I thought by now they would have a lot more complaints. With all of the posts on this forum on ZKW bowls what is everyone waiting for? Come on folks, it takes less than 5 minutes to submit a form at the link mentioned above.
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:21 PM   #9
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Update...

Yesterday I received a letter from the NHTSA stating that there is not enough evidence of 2004 330s with defective headlights to warrant a safety investigation. So apparently there never was an investigation....

I am composing a letter in response to the one I received stating that the issue is not limited to 2004 330s but all E46s (1999-2006). I also want to stress to them that me driving 45 on the interstate at night is more of a safety concern than the tail lights, which have received the appropriate attention. If you want the name and mailing address so you can write as well, PM me.

Keep calling in, sending online complaints, and mailing letters. They are listening, but they need to hear from more people. Be sure to make note of any near misses or accidents due to your lack of visibility at night.

Thanks

Last edited by edlvrt; 12-08-2011 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:39 PM   #10
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I hope this goes somewhere
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:00 PM   #11
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just filled out
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:53 PM   #12
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Complained submitted
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:16 PM   #13
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Maybe cross-post a link to this thread in the general section. Way more views there...
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:21 PM   #14
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Bump...

If the mods want to tow this elsewhere they can, but I through cross posting was against the rules.

Thanks again to all who have submitted complaints.
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:04 AM   #15
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This should definitely be in general. It's common sense. Why would OP post it here?
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:41 PM   #16
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I just submitted mine
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:23 PM   #17
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Submitted as well..

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Old 01-03-2012, 10:30 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
This should definitely be in general. It's common sense. Why would OP post it here?
Perhaps because this section is titled "lighting forum" and this thread is about lights...
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:51 AM   #19
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I've discovered my newly acquired e46 has a burnt zkw bowl. Quite irritating to say the least. I've submitted my NHTSA complaint.
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:07 AM   #20
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^I'm in the same boat. Just purchased my ZHP and the light output is very dim. I'll be changing the bowls soon for safety.
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