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:evil: My husband and I recently left our 2005 Prius in Long Term Parking Lot #3 at LaGuardia Airport in NYC for 2 days. Upon our return, OUR HEADLIGHTS WERE COMPLETELY GONE!!!! A new racket is using crowbars to pry the metal away from the headlights in order to take the "lighter" for the HID headlights. Apparently, they sell them on the black market so that $*#&^ punks can hot-rod their old POS's. (They are also using them as unsuspecting weapons.) It is going to be over a $10,000 repair job, including a new hood, new fenders, new front bumber and an entire system that turns on the headlights. It will probably take more than 2 months to repair, as there are so many parts that must be ordered that the Toyota dealership said they would be coming from all over the world! They even jacked up the windshield wiper fluid bottle.

This is happening to the following cars that I am aware of: Lexus, Prius and Nissan and any other new cars that have the HID headlights.

Oh, and Toyota's anti-theft deterant system does NOT activate because it is not rigged to activate for anything other than glass breakage and cabin entry.

It is a little known scam right now, but police around the country that are aware are trying to crack down on older cars that appear to have the HID's. NYPD's finest at LaGuardia thought the theft had to do with the light bulbs (which are expensive). We plan on contacting them tomorrow to tell them the real deal.

Good luck and let's hope that Toyota can find a remedy for this unfortunate situation.
 

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HID theft

Very sorry to hear this, PriusLuver. I hope that your insurance covers most of the cost, and that a rate increase does not follow.

There have been Prius HID thefts reported before in NY and NJ I remember. Also in other car models. I guess you are not considering replacing them with conventional halogen lighting?

I have 2001 Prius with halogen. I have recently installed Sylvania Silverstar bulbs, and they are an improvement. Certainly will not claim that they are as good as HID, but this theft/collateral damage issue would keep me away from HID.

2006 buyers may read of your experience (and others) and consider dropping a notch in the options department.

I guess I doubt that they could be made "theft-proof", but if I did have HID I would be looking for decals saying "inoperative if removed" or something along those lines.

DAS
 

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There's been a few threads on this already. Old news by now.

"Oh, and Toyota's anti-theft deterant system does NOT activate because it is not rigged to activate for anything other than glass breakage and cabin entry."

True there's no motion detector, but I do believe the hood is protected by a 'courtesy' switch. Not sure if it is a pin switch, or part of the hood release though. Either way, if the hood is still in place, then the alarm won't go off. Glass breakage is a dealer installed accessory, not part of any package.
 

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It may be an old thread but it is important to know it is a continued problem. Not doing much "nightime" driving on back roads I believe that personally Id'e stay away from that option for a few more years.
It's sort of like my next door neighbor who just bought a new Jaguar sedan for his wife and they really have to be concerned where they park it around Boston because of that darn chrome Jaguar on the hood. It is made to break-away easily now so as to not damage the aluminum hood however.
From the estimated repair bill it just might be a lot cheaper if Toyota made the whole units just "slide-in" with instructions on the glass on how to just "pop them out." (that should at least remove the month delay for toyota parts which seems to be an ongoing problem)
 

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hyperion said:
From the estimated repair bill it just might be a lot cheaper if Toyota made the whole units just "slide-in" with instructions on the glass on how to just "pop them out." (that should at least remove the month delay for toyota parts which seems to be an ongoing problem)
Great idea, let's encourage and make it easier for low life scumbags to break into cars. I want to get the flame thrower option installed on my prius as an anti-theft deterant :)
 

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hyperion said:
Do you have any idea just how much gas is consumed by a flamethrower?
LOL...Not too much considering the first time someone gets hit with it all the crooks will know about it and not come within 100 feet of my car :)

Glad we can be sarcastic about this.
cheers,
Ryan
 

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Sorry to hear of this; but, as more and more cars are now coming with the HID lights as standard equipment, this trend should decline.

The only thing worst than a crook taking your lights is a crook with no skills who destroys the car taking your lights. If these POS crooks would learn their trade and be professionals about it I guess then it would not hurt quite so much. Regardless, they should be going to jail for this stuff.
 

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Ehhh... this story about Prius HID getting stolen sounds like BS. I find there are a lot of people making up urban legends about Prius for whatever reason. Disgruntled GM employees, Japanese haters, who knows.


When I looked into this issue I couldn't find any examples of it happening on the Prius. It used to happen to some Nissan and Porsche several years ago, because they had poorly designed lights easy to steal. Since then, all makers seem to have adjusted the design to defeat theft, which isn't very hard to do.


Also, there are a lot of cars offering HID now, not just Prius. So, If this were an epeidemic, it would be widespread for a wide range of cars, and we'd all know about it.


I suspect that the theft story above is either a fabrication, or a very rare event. Another thing is that auto related theft doesn't happen very often at airports due to security and few escape options. Especially since 9/11. But supposedly the car was taken apart with a crowbar? That must have been rather loud and conspicuious. Why would a crook take that chance at an airport as opposed to all the other easier targets. Smells fishy.
 

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lights

Ok, let me back up now and ask the idiot question: What, exactly, are HID lights? I've been reading about them now for months, but don't even know what the acronym stands for. I don't recall ever hearing about them as an option, though it seems likely I got them with my 2005/pkg 6.

Why would you replace them with halogen if nothing's wrong with them?

Anyone care to enlighten those of us who haven't kept up with the current trends in lighting?

Thanks!

marlowe
 

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There have been several firsthand reported cases on this forum and on PriusChat, so I doubt it is urban legend.

HID = High Intensity Discharge. Takes high voltage and causes special gasses to glow. Not unlike street lights or neon signs. I almost said flourescent, but actually in that case, the coating on the bulb is made to glow.

Because of the higher brightness, greater regulation is placed on it to be sure that it doesn't blind oncoming traffic, which requires auto-leveling to compensate for car load shifts. Also, since its intensity can't be well controlled like halogen which uses different filaments, switching from low to high beam simply adjusts the cutoff on the top side of the beam. Both the cutoff and the leveling are done with actuators.
 

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DanMan32 said:
There have been several firsthand reported cases on this forum and on PriusChat, so I doubt it is urban legend.
Ah, I'd call that a major failure of skepticism.

In order for that assumption to be true: 1) people on the internet must be reliable 2) there must not be people motivated to circulate false rumors about the Prius.

NOT!

We all know people lie on the internet, a LOT, because it's so easy. It's also well known that various rumors have been circulated about the Prius deliberatly to disparage it, even here on PriusOnline and other Prisus fora; which later prove to have no basis in truth. We know a lot of people for varios reasons have an axe to grind with Prius.

But, what many people don't know is that stealth marketing, i.e. the practice of intentionally deceptive marketing using actors and false identities or false pretenses, is multi-billion $$$ industry, growing at a fast rate as many ad-agencies are quietly moving in that direction. This phenomenon has been covered by several reputable news outlets, including the News Hour, CNN, the NYTimes, etc, but is stil off many people's radar. But if you participate in forum on popular consumer topics, from books to movies to cars, you've probably already been stealth marketed many times over and never known it. Many stealth marketers aren't even paid so much as just moticvated by free giveaways of products, to go out and spin online. For example, if your kid goes to a forum for kids movies you'd hope he only meets other honest kids. In fact, companies regularly pay people to troll those fora marketing products like music CDs and moves, etc. And yes the same is done for cars.

So basically, saying you heard something on the internet, even from a few sources, so it must be true… a very poorly considered assumption. A good rule on the internet to be very skeptical.

Again, I checked into that story, for my own benefit since I have HID, and if there’s a threat I want to know about it. I looked very hard, but the only examples of HID theft I could find were from Porsche and Nissan several years ago, which they had already taken actions to fix, and which caused Nissan a rather nig scandal and class action law suit.

Now, one could suppose Toyota and other makers were unaware of that scandal and class action law suit, but I doubt it. One could assume if they knew they decided to take their chances rather than design in simple precautions, but I doubt that also. One could assume there is an epidemic of HID lamps being stolen from all cars, and that for some reason it just hasn’t made the news since the examples several years ago, but again that makes no sense. Lastly, one could assume the Prius alone has a problem, and with all the biased negative coverage of the Prius, that also hasn’t made it’s way into the news, anywhere. But does that make sense? No.

Here’s my guess, some people roam Prius forum looking for anything to invent or otherwise hype up, because they’re paid to, are crazy, hate imports, whatever. They hear about Prius HID, and invent some stuff. They hear about the Prius battery, and invent more stuff. Etc.

Again, if anyone has verifiable information showing otherwise, then I'll beleive. But I looked hard and couldn't find squat from a reliable source, for the Prius. On Nissan and the Porsche several years ago, I found loads of information. So it just doesn't smell right.
 

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As you might have noticed from the varius polls taken the numbers are not all that high for the folks posting here. I don't know about Priuschat. You doubt the veracity of these reports but we have two regular posters who have passed on their personal experiances. One in New York and one several months ago in Boston. (who was vandalized twice and thinking of selling his car because of it)
In Boston the owner wondered if he could have the HID's replaced with standard. No ax to grind and certainly no way degrading the car in any way. (Possibly upset with the lack of replacement parts.)
You believe these are "trolls" attempting to degrade the Prius? Why, for gosh sakes? The Prius is probably one of the lowest number car model produced today and is taking business away from other economy cars produced by Toyota along with the rest of the industry.
It's one interesting car that has captured the imagination of the car owning public since the price of gas hit 2 dollars a gallon.
I see no conspiracy here.
 

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No, all you have are a couple of unsubstantiated stories posted to fora. If that passes your bar for credibility, you're either lacking critical information skills, or as I suspect a Prius troll, as you always seem to slip in something negative tn say about Prius, that nobody else can verify.

There is no credible evidence of this happening. It sounds like a case of some Rush Limbaugh ditto-head, probably from the NE, adapting the Nissan HID headlamp theft story to the Prius, and trying to start another urban legend.

Of course Hyperion will try and accredit the story, just as he does for anything Prius-negative, and that seems to be his purpose here. Him and Antlers, if that is plural.
 
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