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Nissan Maxima: Stolen Headlights!!

rantiranti Posts: 2
I have a 2003 Nissan Maxima and live in the NE area. My headlights have been stolen twice in the past 5 months. These are very expensive to replace and I am afraid my insurance company will drop me.

Has anyone had a similar experience?


  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Sorry to hear about your misfortune.

    I'm not sure what the appropriate place is for this discussion. Maybe we should start up a "car crimes" section someplace!

    You might consider posting your message in one of these discussion: Aftermarket headlights/ bulbs (halogen, xenon, etc.), Nissan Maxima or Nissan Maxima Problems.

    tidester, host
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    HID's off Max's are hot property. I think there are locks or retainers of some kind available for them. Forget the dealer, look in the aftermarket. Do a web search for them, I'm sure you'll find stories from others who've had their stolen too.
  • carz10carz10 Posts: 4
    I got a letter in the mail from my local precinct in New York City. It was a Service bulletin from Nissan about a Xenon Headlamp Theft Deterrent Kit. The reference # is NTB02-117. Description Anti-Theft Kit Part # 65601-6Y300 I called one dealer an was quoted $250 and another quoted $350 but said it is really not that good. I am still looking into this. One other little detail the bulletin says it is not covered under warranty.I an still looking into this. If I find out more will post it.
  • It really is a shame that Nissan isn't stepping up and taking responsibility for what amounts to a design flaw. I've had my 2003 GLE for a couple of months now and am resigned to the fact I can't take it to public places. In one weekend alone at the local mall six sets of headlights were stolen.
    The insurance companies have got to be putting pressure on Nissan to correct the situation - they can't go on paying these claims.
  • bsull99bsull99 Posts: 1
    I own a 2002 maxima, in the last 9 months they stole the lights twice the dealer put in some kind of kit and yesterday they tried to get the light again. The kit stopped them but I guess they were frustrated and the smashed in the fenders on both side more body damage than both other time. I have a question has Nissan done anything for anybody. Their consumers affairs says it the owners issue, we all know its a design flaw. Has anyone be able to get any assistance from nissan on this issue other than them telling you to get alarm ?? Thank You
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    Think of all the things on the exterior of your car that could be stolen. The only reason headlights are being stolen is because their is a market for them. I don't understand how an illegal black market for stolen headlights is a design flaw. Its not like headlights from other cars cannot be as easily stolen.

    The Toyota Camry is the #1 stolen car in America. Is the Camry a flawed design? Should Toyota discontinue the Camry simply because thieves want to steal it?

    In the 80s I used to know guys who would steal Corvettes for their engines and transmissions. In those days the Camaro and Firebird had wimpy 5.0L V8's but there was a black market for the more powerful 5.7L V8 out of the Vette. I knew a guy who "placed an order" for a Corvette drivetrain to put in his IROC Camaro. The order was "filled" in about a week and a couple weeks after that the IROC was on the road with a Corvette engine and tranny. Should Chevrolet have stopped production on Corvettes simply because Camaro owners wanted their engines?

    I could go on and on (80s Toyotas with plastic door locks that were easy to pop; VW Golf and Jetta stereos that were super easy to steal; Caddy Escalade grills and nosepieces stolen for Tahoes and Suburbans...). I agree the factory should help and it sounds like they're trying. But the key here is to find a antitheft kit that makes the headlights unstealable. Even then there will be people trying to snag them. Nissan can help with the headlights but they can't stop the black market.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    you forgot about Camaro, Trans Am, Corvette, 300ZX and Supra t-tops and targa roof panels....
  • prayerforprayerfor Posts: 161
    Bret --
    HID headlights are being stolen because there is a black market for them (naturally). Many cars have HIDs, yet the Maxima is the target of choice because of the way their headlights are designed... the design itself facilitates easy theft. That points the finger at Nissan.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    is how are they getting the headlights? are they smashing a window to open the hood or what? or is there a way to get it out without entering the car itself?
  • nisinfiguynisinfiguy Posts: 13
    Im looking to buy an 02 or an 03 Max in a few months. Should I? Where are the Maxs being hit, all over the country, or mostly around certain areas like L.A. and NYC? Would any of yall not bought the car in retrospect bc the problem is so big??
  • Mine 2003 SE was attacked twice. first in May, and 2nd today.
    I had NIssan anti-theft kit installed but it was useless. don't buy it.

    2nd time the thief only removed the fender without getting the lights. I guess my new alarm ($400) went off so he fled. Damage is about $700.

    I am selling this car.
  • cpolocpolo Posts: 9
    I recently posted a message in the Toyota Sienna group. The host, Steve, provided a link to this group. I'll ask you guys the same questions. Does anyone know the theft rate of HID headlights for Maxima cars or for other cars in general? I also wonder if there are localized black markets in the country or is the problem country wide. Does anyone know of a web site to find out the answers to these questions? This problem may also be a good story for the media to cover. They may be able to uncover more detailed information. Does any one work in the media industry? By the way, I would like to find out more about the theft problem because the car I'm interested in buying, the Toyota Sienna XLE LTD, has HID headlights. I may need to reconsider purchasing that trim line and go for another one.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    If the ignition can only be turned on with the computer coded key, why can't Nissan make HIDs that can only work with specific coded keys. I don't mind paying more for the key-coded HIDs, but I hate to see them stolen, and would have to spend thousands replacing them and fixing the damage to the car. This technology should not be too expensive, as replacing a coded key costs about a hundred bucks or so. When you own HIDs burn out, replace them with factory-made and key-coded HIDs. This way, Nissan can make money on replacement HIDs and protect them from being stolen to be used on other cars. It makes both Nissan and their customers happy
  • cpolocpolo Posts: 9
    Do you know if the technology for key-coded HID's presently exists? If so where can one purchase these HID headlights? Do they exist for all manufacturers? If not, well, you do have a great idea. I bet someone else may be thinking of this already. If so, I only hope it will be available in my lifetime.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    I do not believe there is current key coding technology for HIDs, but it should not be difficult. If we walked on the moon 35 years ago, this is nothing. One reason why the technology has not been developed is that HIDs were not stolen as frequently as they are now (especially those on the Maxima due to the poor design). If Nissan is listening, it should develop the technology promptly. Once the word is out that HIDs are key specific, there is hardly any reason to steal them.
  • ocuihsocuihs Posts: 138
    Quoted Message:
    ------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------
    Originally posted by CaNNoNCreaTioNs
    The headlights are no fun to get to I have done it.I guess they learned there lesson from the 03's.You have to remove the plastic tray from underneath the front bumper then there are I think 2or3 10mm bolts on the bottom of the headlamp assmbly then there are 2 10mm bolts on top.Then you can pull the whole assembly out
    ------------------------------------------------------------------ -----------------
  • alexg4alexg4 Posts: 14
    I had the HIDs on my '03 GLE stolen in December. I replaced them with assemblies from the '01 model year. The looks haven't suffered much, but now I have a peace of mind. In the past month alone I saw two Maximas with stolen lights in my neighborhood in Brooklyn.

    The lights work fine, brights and all.

    I think since we're stuck with this problem, this might be the best way to avoid it. For those with HIDs still intact, you might want to consider swapping them for the '01 lights. You can either sell the HIDs or keep them for better times when this craze dies down and you can install them again.
  • kidevo1kidevo1 Posts: 31
    This doesn't surprise me. 1..thats right, just 1 HID headlight housing for my current car (EVO) is priced at $1200 retail.

    That is absolutely ridiculous.

    Anything can be stolen in a vehicle these days.

    Its the manufacturers who are to blame for price gouging these HID units. Once they become widely available on most cars...I'm sure this will go away.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    Apparently Nissan is well aware of the poor design of its HIDs in the 02 and 03 Maximas, since the 04 Max has a different design. It is a shame that Nissan is doing nothing to fix this faulty design, which can also be a safety problem if you need to drive the car at night (but without the HIDs).

    I have always liked the Maxima because I own 3 of them (3rd, 4th and 5th generations). But seeing how Nissan is treating its customers, it gives me a great pause if I will ever buy a Nissan or Infiniti product in the future. If Nissan wants customers' loyalty, it must address their concerns promptly and in good faith.
  • My brother has a co-worker that had called Nissan and asked them about the design on the 04 Maxima HID Lights and they responded by saying that the bulbs burn out but are still able to be stolen. Not sure if this information was correct but know I hear the 3.5SE rims are getting stolen.
  • I too am shameful owner of Nissan Maxima 03' GLE. Don't ask the same kinda' research I did on buying a car and I regret it to the core that I went with Maxima.
    I bought the car in April 03' and since then my headlights were stolen twice during this period to June 03'. Since then the car is just standing without lights and I am afraid to put the lights on again and drive it out anywhere. I approached a lot of dealers to put 2001 Maxima Headlights but they all refused it saying the design does not match and hence can't be done. But alexg4, you already got it done. Can you tell me from where you got it done and how much did it cost and phone number of the shop etc. I want to use the car. Please.... help me!! I am one of you guys and already paid up $2000 from my pocket to set it right but not ready to take another chance with same HID lights again. Nissan isn't helping at all. Hoping to hear from you and anyone else who has got this done. You can email me at [email protected] . I went to sell the car and no-one is offering anymore than $19000 for this car which is a unbelievable loss for a car driven 1200 miles.
  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    What is it that the thieves do with the "hot" HIDs? Surely they don't all drive 2003 Maximas w/o the HID option.

    Do they adapt them to fit their "fast and furious" street racer? Or maybe they sell them to someone who needs them... the Maxima owners who got ripped off. That would be like kidnapping, sorta.

    Inquiring minds want to know.
  • achadhaachadha Posts: 106
    What they do is take those HID lights and put them on 2000-2001 Maximas because they fit on them. Big market for that...
  • I went to two Nissan dealers on Long Island who both said that I couldn't replace the '03 lights with the '01 lights. Who was able to do this for you?
  • Does anyone know whether it is possible to drill and add screws (such as torx screws) to any of the parts that need to be removed to steal the HID lights? I would assume that most theives carry only the necessary tools they need to get the HID lights out. Maybe adding a few torx screws (or some other "differnt" screws) would be somewhat of a deterent. However, I am unfamiliar with the assembly so I am not sure whether this is possible.

    I suppose this could irritate them and inspire them to do damage to the vehicle, but at least I would have the satisfaction of knowing that they did not achieve their goal.
  • Alex, you said you put 01 headlights in your car. But like Erkia, I can't find anyone who would do that for me. How did you get it done. I've had my headlights stolen once and I do not want to experience this again.
  • Does anyone know how we could band together and jointly complain to the nissian corperate office about these headlights? Maybe we they hear all of our voices they might do something.
  • I think we can create another forum and whosoever wishes to join us will put his/her details including name & emails addresses there if not more. And putting details down there would specifically mean that the person has joined hands to complain against nissan, who sold us haunting nights for around $30,000 of our hard earned money. We trusted them, paid for it & we don't deserve this in return !!!
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    Tape razor blades under the theif will get too far with their hands all cut up. Not sure how well it would work for headlights, works well for aftermarket stereo head units.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    First it was cats and now razor blades? What about the poor mechanic who drops a socket while messing with the <air filter> and gets cut up good fishing it out? I really don't think trying to main others is going to solve the headlights problem. Not to mention the questionable legality of boobie-trapping your car.

    And posting names and emails on the board is likely to just generate a bunch of spam in your in box.

    I suggest checking your insurance coverage and then talking to your local Nissan service manager and Nissan customer service as something constructive you can do.

    Steve, Host
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    All i was saying is i have heard of people doing that with radios. Plus usually if you drop a socket it goes straight thru to the floor which is more annoying (former auto body technican). Just wondering if putting fear into a few of these theifs about getting injured might make them think twice about stealing headlights.
  • I feel everyone who has had this problem needs to come together and make Nissan do something about it. Nissan is making alot of money off our headlights being stolen. Nissan has claimed they are very well aware of the problem, but have no solution. For $30,000 they should have a better answer.
  • steve, host, writes:
    First it was cats and now razor blades? What about the poor mechanic who drops a socket while messing with the <air filter> and gets cut up good fishing it out? I really don't think trying to main others is going to solve the headlights problem. Not to mention the questionable legality of boobie-trapping your car.

    Gee... and I was going to suggest rigging up some shotgun shells.... ;-)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Yeah, but you guys do that live free or I'm gonna blow you away stuff up in NH. Aunti Maim indeed, LOL.

    Steve, Host
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    Some people have no sense of humor lol. I agree with most everyone here that nissian NEEDS to do something about this problem. It is also very obvious that they are not doing anything about it, so why not try alternative theft deterants that are less humor and more serious?
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    Yeah, Nissan should give at least one free set of HIDs to all 02-03 Max owners when the HIDs are stolen. At a minimum, Nissan should give one free set of 01 headlights to those who want to put away their HIDs in order to "ride out" this theft wave.

    If Nissan wants future business from current Max owners, it better do something NOW or we will shop another brand when it comes time to replace our cars next time.

    Well, come to think about it, Nissan is like SONY and MicroSoft with their game consoles. They make the purchase price for the consoles very attractive, but they get you on the expensive games if you want to play. Nissan put the badly designed HIDs on the Max, but is making heaps of money on the replacement HIDs. What a SCAM!
  • alexg4alexg4 Posts: 14
    Apologies to those who have been trying to contact me.

    There are really not many details... After my lights were stolen, I went to the dealership and told them to replace them with 01 model lights. They had no problems with that.

    They charged around 1,500 including the 01 lights, but I hear of people getting that done for about 1,200.

    If your dealer tells it can't be done, he is either a liar or doesn't know his job. My lights were installed without any damages to the car's wiring.

    The fit is slightly off, the 01 lights are about one inch shorter in height, but that was fixed by putting a rubber beneath it.

    Good luck.
  • hrvathrvat Posts: 18
    It's nice to have a forum like this to vent and find out that others are sharing the same frustration I am.

    It happened to me at Giants Stadium 2 weeks ago. Another Maxima was parked 4 spots away and the same thing happened to him. Ironically, the guy had just picked up his car from the shop the same day for the same reason.

    I am picking my car up today after 2 weeks in the shop. Considering the aggravation and $500 deductible, saying that purchasing my 2002 SE was a huge mistake would be an understatement.

    In my case, they dented the hood and popped open the grill, to disconect the alarm and to swipe the headlights. The first time they stole the other guy's headlights they were able to do it with no other damage to the vehicle. Total cost to repair my vehicle is $3,500.

    I understand there is pending legislation to make it illegal to have HID lights if the original model did not have one to combat this problem. However, I don't know how much this will help.

    Although it's a quality car and fun to drive, I believe anyone who would still purchase it is insane. Nissan has made a remarkable comeback, but I think it has also written it's own obituary with this problem.
  • Happened to me too for the second time. Well this is the toll we all have to pay. Anyway, I think we should all form a group and appeal to Nissan to
    a. Cover our losses -
    b. Design new metal case for lights (Plastic casing is broken as they steal the lights) and recall the model.
    This time I am researching as to where to get the lights fixed with 2001 model. Once done I will share the method adopted and the place where I got it done
    I am in NJ
  • I had my 2003 HID's replaced with 2001 Anniversary Edition lights. Email me if you want contacts. I know of one place in Newark, and two in Queens that can do it.
    They look fine, only a quarter inch gap on the bottom. Cost was less than mentioned above.

    Where is the class action suit against Nissan?
  • timadamstimadams Posts: 294
    I own a 2002 Nissan Maxima with HID lights. And I really do empathize with those of you who've had your lights stolen. But your rage should be directed at the thieves, not at Nissan! I know it's a pain to have to protect property that you paid for with hard-earned money, but why blame the manufacturer rather than the crooks? I can even understand being ticked off at people who buy the HIDs on ebay, as they should know that there is a good chance they are stolen property.

    Convince me why Nissan shoulders the blame for some scuzzball (polite family board) stealing your headlights. Yes, they could step forward and do something for its PR value and to please customers, but I don't see that they have the duty to do so, or that there is merit to a lawsuit.
  • tmarttmart Spring, TXPosts: 1,663
    First, I don't have a Nissan, so I'm not directly involved with the "problem". What I do know is most new cars are a PITA to work on to fix most anything. Changing the bulbs in my car involve opening the hood, and figuring out how to get my hand between the battery or other wires or plumbing to get to a coller and unscrew it to then get to the clip holding the bulb. In Nissan's case, they made changing the headlights a simple task, and are now being raked over the coals for simplifying the process. I just can't buy into the posts saying they did it to make more money selling replacements. Get real folks. My $.02 worth.
  • mjc8mjc8 Posts: 1
    I am looking at the 2004 Maxima. Can anyone tell me if the HIDs are stolen out of the 2004 too?
  • I just had my headlights stolen last night. Nissan should give a free set of headlights or pay the insurance deductible for the first time it happens. By the way tmart the people caused me over 3,000 in damages for the simple task of unscrewing of a light bulb. Nissan is making the new headlights with vin#'s to track them, Everyone will be getting a letter in the mail. Class Action anyone?
  • tmarttmart Spring, TXPosts: 1,663
    While I'm sorry for your lost, I still don't see how it is Nissan's fault your lights were stolen. If your alloy rims and tires are stolen, is it also Nissan's fault?
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    Has anyone thought about changing out the factory screws to a security type screws. These screws have a torx or hex type with a pin in the middle so you will need a special driver to tighten/loosen the screws. All you need to do is measure the screw for the size and thread pitch.

    Check here and see if they can help, maybe you can remove one of the screws and mail it to them and see if they have a screw that will replace the originals.

    This might not keep them from doing body damage to the car but it will probably make it so they can't get the lights out. Who know they might just smash them out to spite you making it so they can't steal them. It's strange how a thief gets mad when you take steps to keep what you paid for.
  • gg2k2segg2k2se Posts: 109
    I just got my letter. Nissan will install "new securing devices" and new "identification technology" for free on HID's in NY, NJ, CT, MA, RI. Check your mail. Sounds like they listened (or feared lawsuits).
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Now that laws have been passed making installation of HIDs by anyone other than the factory illegal, perhaps this problem will slowly go away?
  • tmarttmart Spring, TXPosts: 1,663
This discussion has been closed.