Toyota is recalling certain 2007 through 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser SUVs for auxiliary headlights that may be too bright.
A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website puts the number of vehicles potentially affected in the U.S. at 11,489. Affected vehicles were built from January 25, 2006 through February 23, 2013 and were equipped with Toyota Auxiliary Driving Lamp Kits mounted to the front bumper.
The lamp assemblies on the affected vehicles include 55 watt bulbs. According to the NHTSA bulletin, due to the wattage on these bulbs and the mounting angle on the front bumper, the combination of the auxiliary lights and the vehicle’s upper beam headlamps are too bright and exceed maximum light output allowed for an upper beam headlamp.
As such, affected vehicles fail to conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, “Lamps, reflective devices and associated equipment.”
Lights that are too bright result in increased glare for oncoming traffic, thus increasing vehicle crash risk.
Toyota documentation (PDF) provided to the NHTSA said that only FJ Cruisers with Auxiliary Driving Lamp Kits are affected. Auxiliary Driving Lamp Kits were not specified as accessories for any other Toyota model. The problem was detected during audit testing of the Auxiliary Driving Lamp Kits in mid-April 2013.
What Toyota will do
Toyota will notify owners and dealers will replace the 55 watt bulbs with 35 watt bulbs and the mounting brackets replaced with ones that reorient the bulbs so that photometric values are within the standard. The service will be performed at no charge.
The Toyota safety recall is expected to begin in late May 2013. In the meantime, owners of 2007 through 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser SUVs with any questions or concerns may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.
Alternatively, owners of vehicles involved in the campaign may contact NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to http://www.safercar.gov. Reference the NHTSA campaign ID No. 13V163000.