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post #14 of (permalink) Old 23rd October 2007
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Originally Posted by madnoel10 View Post
The EU rules baically state Xenon headlights should have a self-levelling system but I wonder how this rule is enforced.
I think it's enforced at Type Approval level - i.e. if a car has xenons as standard (or as a factory fit option) they must be self-levelling and have washers. If the manufactuer doesn't comply, the design will not be Type Approved and it won't be legal on European roads. For small volume manufactuerers, the SVA test has different criteria may well have different requirements when it comes to xenon lamps.

If someone decides to retro-fit xenon lamps, they're under no legal obligation to meet the Type Approval criteria, though the 'common sense' behind the requirements still apply: The xenon beam is around three times brighter than the Halogen ones, so getting the correct footprint is important. Though it's interesting to note that the levelling system doesn't have to be dynamic (i.e. constantly adjusting while the vehicle is in motion.) A static system that adjusts the lamps at the start of the journey is adequate, even though the car will pitch the beams upwards whenever you accelerate and pitch them downwards whenever you brake.

The quote that you gave earlier makes for interesting reading though. My interpretation is that xenon lights are unauthorised for use in the UK, but have to be allowed on the basis that anything that meets European Type Approval is implicitly legal in any member state. This is open to a number of interpretations, one of which is that it may even be illegal to retro-fit xenon lights to any haogen equipped UK car, even if you identically match the components that would be used by the manufacturer on a car that had xenons as standard
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