Recourse for fogged headlight lenses

I didn’t want to get this thread about Headligh Restoration off topic, so I decided to do a new thread:

Is there any recourse for headlight fogging? Headlights are a necessary item for safe driving, yet I have seen some lights that are completely fogged over, like cataracts.

I seem to notice it mostly with Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz products (which makes sense, since they used to be one company).

But I’ve also seen it with others.

Headlight lenses can be very expensive to replace on newer cars, and the fogging definitely seems like a genuine defect. Is there any recourse?

If your car is still under warranty, ask the service manager about the problem. If your car is past warranty but at some reasonable mileage past, ask anyway. There are often replacement programs in place, but they are often of the “only on demand” type where if you don’t ask, they won’t tell you about it. If the problem is bad, be pushy about it. Yes, it is a defect - and they know it, and you aren’t the only one affected, and they’d rather buy off the ones who complain loudly enough than set up an open replacement program.

Sometimes you get a good service writer who will help. I took our XC90 in for fairly routine service right around the end of the warranty, and the service writer took down notes on the things I mentioned, then said, “And you said your headlights were getting foggy…” - to which I promptly responded with a complaint about the slight fogging, and drove home with shiny new units.

The 3M polishing kit that you use with a household drill works very well IME.

Check out local auto repair and glass repair shops. Many of those places will professionally restore your headlights for about $75. Some of them might even come out to your car instead of you having to take it in.

Yep. I bought a higher end 3M lens polishing kit off of Amazon two weeks ago.
It worked perfectly. They give you multiple grits of sandpaper and a polishing disk w/cream etc. etc.

It will seem like they give you too many pieces of sandpaper in the kit {to attach to the drill}. Don’t worry about it, just take your time and use ALL of the materials provided.

I did and my 2007 Toyota Sienna headlight lenses, and they now look like they’re 98% new. The only reason they don’t look 100% perfect is that it was my first time using such a kit.

You would not notice any flaws in my now clear and sleek lenses, but if I look close I see a tiny, tiny flaw here and there. The next time my lenses will turn out perfect.