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Old April 5th, 2012, 01:30 PM   #1
NordikNerd
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Why did non american cars have different headlights in the US ?



Why does the US verision of this Volvo have another type of headlights than the original verision ?


Was there a legislation necessitating these headlights.


Also MB had another type of headlights in the US, but now all MB's look the same all over the world.
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Old April 5th, 2012, 03:14 PM   #2
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They are called "sealed beams" and it meant that the whole headlight assembling was one unit - everything from the bulb, glass, reflectors etc. was bolted together to create one sealed beam. It was mandatory in the US from the '40s into the mid '80s. I believe the reason was simply because sealed beams were cheaper and easier to replace and the NHTSA care more about cost vs benefit than their European equivalents.
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Old April 5th, 2012, 03:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galro View Post
They are called "sealed beams" and it meant that the whole headlight assembling was one unit - everything from the bulb, glass, reflectors etc. was bolted together to create one sealed beam. It was mandatory in the US from the '40s into the mid '80s. I believe the reason was simply because sealed beams were cheaper and easier to replace and the NHTSA care more about cost vs benefit than their European equivalents.
How could it be cheaper to replace if it was bolted together and sealed?

On the swedish verision you could disassemble the headlight and change the glass or the reflector if they were worn out. Must be a lot cheaper to buy a new glass or only the reflector than buying the whole unit which was the case in the US according to you. Or was this a method of earning profit for US dealers so the customer had to replace the whole headlight unit ?
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Old April 5th, 2012, 03:25 PM   #4
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I meant that it was cheaper over the lifetime of cars as they lasted longer (at least when the law was introduced). Didn't express that to well. I believe it was the insurance companies that pushed for the rule. They were also behind the 5mph bumper which graced many American cars for a while.
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Old April 5th, 2012, 08:54 PM   #5
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This Volvo is from my city - Jasło, Poland
As I know, that car was from Illinois, probably from Chicago. KSR plates were issued in Jasło in ca. 1990. Those days it was not easy to register "american" car in PL, because asymmetric front lights were forbidden. So you had to replace it of european model.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 02:17 PM   #6
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Same thing goes w/ the 8th Gen Honda Civic (2006-2011)

US VERSION


ASIAN/JAPAN VERSION -the one which's available here in the Philippines

philippine spec


and 2nd Gen Ford Escape (2008-2011/12)

US VERSION


ASIAN VERSION

Last edited by CarltonHill; April 9th, 2012 at 02:24 PM.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 02:33 PM   #7
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I think that the Ford Explorer (Asia) is the old European Ford Mercury, so its completely different from the US Explorer. Same goes for European and US Focus, e.g., so you should't get confused by the name.

Regarding the Civic, that's probably the result of a facelift.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 02:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NordikNerd View Post
How could it be cheaper to replace if it was bolted together and sealed?

On the swedish verision you could disassemble the headlight and change the glass or the reflector if they were worn out. Must be a lot cheaper to buy a new glass or only the reflector than buying the whole unit which was the case in the US according to you. Or was this a method of earning profit for US dealers so the customer had to replace the whole headlight unit ?
I had seal beam lights on my first car and I could swap both headlights in 5 minutes and it probably cost about $25 for the two new lights. However, these things were phased out twenty years ago.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 03:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thun View Post

Regarding the Civic, that's probably the result of a facelift.
not really.. that 8th gen US version has never been sold here, 7th Gen US and Asian versions had the same headlights/tail lights.... the asian version looks good though....
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Old April 9th, 2012, 04:01 PM   #10
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The advantage of requiring only sealed-beam headlights meant that there were only four types of headlights to choose when replacing - large round (for single headlights), small round (for dual headlights), and after 1980 or so, large rectangular and small rectangular. While it's easy to replace the bulb in a non-sealed beam headlight should it burn out, it's much more difficult to find a matching lens (or whatever the clear cover is called) if the lens is smashed or becomes opaque. Thus, with a 1965 Ford, you can just head down to your auto parts store and buy a replacement, while with a much newer model, you might end up having to search a junkyard for the model that was built specifically for your car.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 04:19 PM   #11
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And the European Civic completely different:




Same with Accord:


European/Japanese:




US-Version:

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Old April 9th, 2012, 04:59 PM   #12
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It's largely for commercial reasons, i.e. aesthetics/what sells in different markets. U.S cars have always had a distinctive look and US customers expect a car to have that appearance. Other markets also have distinctive style preferences but imo to a lesser extent than the US car market. So US versions often look quite different.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 05:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vienna21 View Post
And the European Civic completely different:


Same with Accord:

These are completely different cars that have very little in common with each other except for the name plates. That's done because different markets value and requires different things, and the Us' Civic and Accord is therefore built to meet Us needs (usually larger and less stressed engines, generally bigger size and a chassis set up for comfort rather than ultimate handling) while the European is not.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 05:29 PM   #14
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In the other hand

nissan platina = Renault Clio

American dodge Caravan = Town & Country and Grand Voyager
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Old April 10th, 2012, 03:50 PM   #15
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In the United States, the foreign version of the Honda Accord is sold by Honda's luxury brand, Acura, as the TSX:


Note the similarity to the white "Accord" posted above.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 05:39 PM   #16
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I have to admit, I actually miss the old sealed beam lights. They always seemed brighter, and they didn't yellow out over time.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 05:48 PM   #17
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As said, the sealed beams ware obrigatory in the US until the 80's.
Now the difference is that the U.S. uses symmetrical headlight, while elsewhere use asymmetric headlights.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 05:11 PM   #18
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Volvo has the safest car title.
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