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  #1  
Old 02-22-2004, 10:04 PM
Shamrock Shamrock is offline
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Question sedan clears - liability issue?

(I already read the other threads on clears)

Got a silver gray '04 330 SP sedan. I know that clears all around will make it "illegal." I'm not too worried about getting stopped. I am worried that if I get in an accident, I might run into liability/fault problems because I modded my car to be out of DOT spec. (no front corner amber reflectors.)

So, if I get in an accident, could the clears be used against me? (I live in PA, if that makes a difference.)

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 02-22-2004, 10:23 PM
BlackChrome BlackChrome is offline
 
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I highly doubt that.

I have been working in the automotive industry for the last 5 years and I have never heard anything like that (and lots of Honda owners have clear lens). IMHO, I think you'll be ok as long as you use amber/orange bulbs for turn signals. Plus, an average Joe probably thinks that BMWs come with clear lens.
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  #3  
Old 02-23-2004, 09:44 AM
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LmtdSlip LmtdSlip is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shamrock
(I already read the other threads on clears)

Got a silver gray '04 330 SP sedan. I know that clears all around will make it "illegal." I'm not too worried about getting stopped. I am worried that if I get in an accident, I might run into liability/fault problems because I modded my car to be out of DOT spec. (no front corner amber reflectors.)

So, if I get in an accident, could the clears be used against me? (I live in PA, if that makes a difference.)

Thanks in advance.
Do you work in Risk Management?
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  #4  
Old 02-23-2004, 03:18 PM
Mohegan29 Mohegan29 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shamrock
(I already read the other threads on clears)

Got a silver gray '04 330 SP sedan. I know that clears all around will make it "illegal." I'm not too worried about getting stopped. I am worried that if I get in an accident, I might run into liability/fault problems because I modded my car to be out of DOT spec. (no front corner amber reflectors.)

So, if I get in an accident, could the clears be used against me? (I live in PA, if that makes a difference.)

Thanks in advance.
I think you are talking about switching out the reflectors on the front bumpers with those prepainted inserts some advertise (with the "offroad use only" disclaimer - yeah right. The answer would probably be yes, to a degreee. Dependingon the situaiton, if they played a role potentially in your car not being visible according to the DOT, then there would be little doubt it would be used against you. How successfully, I don't know.
Walking through the Spartenburg plant at the Z4 produciton plant, the european models don't even have a space for the reflector on the bumpers (which looks better) while the US models do. Also, to my situation, I cannot open my convertible top conveniently with the remote (just the key in the door) while the european models can for liability reasons.
Also, if they ain't packing the car with the reflector triangle in the US cars (the same issue you are asking about...you can assure yourself they aren't taking this risk.
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  #5  
Old 02-24-2004, 06:00 PM
Shamrock Shamrock is offline
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On the sedan, the amber reflector is built into the stock amber corner. There is no separate amber reflector. I have a sedan. So when I install a clear corner, I will have no amber reflector on the front corner. Therefor, it will be out of DOT requirements. This has nothing to do with bulb color. So if I get into an accident, can an insurance company hold that against me in an accident?
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  #6  
Old 02-24-2004, 06:01 PM
Shamrock Shamrock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LmtdSlip
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Nope. I'm an advertising writer.
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  #7  
Old 02-24-2004, 06:24 PM
alpinewhite325i alpinewhite325i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shamrock
(I already read the other threads on clears)

Got a silver gray '04 330 SP sedan. I know that clears all around will make it "illegal." I'm not too worried about getting stopped. I am worried that if I get in an accident, I might run into liability/fault problems because I modded my car to be out of DOT spec. (no front corner amber reflectors.)

So, if I get in an accident, could the clears be used against me? (I live in PA, if that makes a difference.)

Thanks in advance.
I'm from PA as well and I think this is an excellent question; unfortunately I can't answer it. I also have a sedan that I put clears on all the way around.

I know there are plenty of lawyers on this board...come on guys!!
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  #8  
Old 02-24-2004, 07:21 PM
eelnoraa eelnoraa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shamrock
On the sedan, the amber reflector is built into the stock amber corner. There is no separate amber reflector. I have a sedan. So when I install a clear corner, I will have no amber reflector on the front corner. Therefor, it will be out of DOT requirements. This has nothing to do with bulb color. So if I get into an accident, can an insurance company hold that against me in an accident?
I have question about the DOT requirement. As you said, if swap the front corner with a clear one, assumming it is a 02+ sedan, it is will not be legal because of no amber reflector in front. Then what about the pre 02 sedan, going from oem amber to clear, you also lost the amber reflector, why is that legal??

I ask this because it seems clears for 02+ sedan clean is so much more expansive than pre 02 sedan. and I heard the reason is 02+ clear is illegal, so only importor sell them. I just wonder why they are illegal, how is the 02+ different than pre 02.

eel
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  #9  
Old 02-24-2004, 07:43 PM
eelnoraa eelnoraa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ___lk___
it's not legal on pre-02's either.
Then why bmw dealer, like circle bmw carries pre 02 clears for sedan and only bekker have 02+ clears for sedan?

I just checked, clear all around for pre 02 cost about $380 at circle, but 02+ at bekker cost $500. I just want to see what happen

eel
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  #10  
Old 02-24-2004, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eelnoraa
I have question about the DOT requirement. As you said, if swap the front corner with a clear one, assumming it is a 02+ sedan, it is will not be legal because of no amber reflector in front. Then what about the pre 02 sedan, going from oem amber to clear, you also lost the amber reflector, why is that legal??
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  #11  
Old 02-24-2004, 08:22 PM
___lk___ ___lk___ is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eelnoraa
Then why bmw dealer, like circle bmw carries pre 02 clears for sedan and only bekker have 02+ clears for sedan?

I just checked, clear all around for pre 02 cost about $380 at circle, but 02+ at bekker cost $500. I just want to see what happen

eel
legal kits include a stick-on reflector (yeah, i'm sure EVERYONE puts in on their car) to make it legal..it's not clear lenses that are illegal, it's the lack of a reflector.

cant comment on what parts a given dealer decides to stock
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  #12  
Old 02-24-2004, 08:34 PM
eelnoraa eelnoraa is offline
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oh, thanks alot

I am very clear now.

eel
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  #13  
Old 02-24-2004, 09:09 PM
___lk___ ___lk___ is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eelnoraa
oh, thanks alot

I am very clear now.

eel
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Kaffee: Yes, Sir.
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Kaffee: Crystal.

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  #14  
Old 02-24-2004, 09:28 PM
Shamrock Shamrock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eelnoraa
Then why bmw dealer, like circle bmw carries pre 02 clears for sedan and only bekker have 02+ clears for sedan?

I just checked, clear all around for pre 02 cost about $380 at circle, but 02+ at bekker cost $500. I just want to see what happen

eel
(Correct me if I'm wrong.) I think that pre-02 3-series cars, coupe and sedan, took the same clear corner. So you can buy a readily available clear that fits a coupe and stick it on a sedan (although that's "illegal.") Post-02 cars, coupe and sedan, take different corners, so you're paying a premium to import the european corners for the sedan (they only fit the sedan, so they have no "legal" purpose in the US.)
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  #15  
Old 02-24-2004, 09:31 PM
Thomas Andersen Thomas Andersen is offline
 
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Liability for clear lights

From a legal standpoint the fact you have clear lights must have a causal affect on the accident occurring. Thus the plaintiff would have to prove that your clear lights somehow contributed to the accident. Anything is possible in this world, I suppose someone could argue that your lights were not as visible. However the mere fact that you have clear lights or that you are in violation of the vehicle code is not enough. You still need the causation factor.
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  #16  
Old 02-25-2004, 05:30 AM
cronimi cronimi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Andersen
From a legal standpoint the fact you have clear lights must have a causal affect on the accident occurring. Thus the plaintiff would have to prove that your clear lights somehow contributed to the accident. Anything is possible in this world, I suppose someone could argue that your lights were not as visible. However the mere fact that you have clear lights or that you are in violation of the vehicle code is not enough. You still need the causation factor.
True, causation would need to be proved in PI or property damage cases, but I think most of the "legality" comments have gone to (1) criminality or (2) insurer liability. As for #1, it appears that, unless you've really pissed off a cop, you're not going to get ticketed. As for #2, though, there is a question as to whether an insurer can deny coverage (for the insured's damage or any other party involved) if the car is not DOT-compliant. I do not have my policy in front of me, but I would not be surprised if compliance with DOT rules and regs, especially ones that are safety-based, is a condition to coverage.
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  #17  
Old 02-25-2004, 05:32 AM
cronimi cronimi is offline
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Originally Posted by ___lk___
Col. Jessup: We follow orders son. We follow orders, or people die. It's that simple. Are we clear?
Kaffee: Yes, Sir.
Col. Jessup: Are we CLEAR?
Kaffee: Crystal.

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  #18  
Old 02-25-2004, 09:04 AM
Thomas Andersen Thomas Andersen is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cronimi
True, causation would need to be proved in PI or property damage cases, but I think most of the "legality" comments have gone to (1) criminality or (2) insurer liability. As for #1, it appears that, unless you've really pissed off a cop, you're not going to get ticketed. As for #2, though, there is a question as to whether an insurer can deny coverage (for the insured's damage or any other party involved) if the car is not DOT-compliant. I do not have my policy in front of me, but I would not be surprised if compliance with DOT rules and regs, especially ones that are safety-based, is a condition to coverage.
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  #19  
Old 02-25-2004, 09:33 AM
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LmtdSlip LmtdSlip is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shamrock
Nope. I'm an advertising writer.
You might have missed your calling....
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  #20  
Old 02-25-2004, 03:43 PM
Shamrock Shamrock is offline
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Nah, I'm just paranoid.
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  #21  
Old 02-25-2004, 06:03 PM
alpinewhite325i alpinewhite325i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Andersen
From a legal standpoint the fact you have clear lights must have a causal affect on the accident occurring. Thus the plaintiff would have to prove that your clear lights somehow contributed to the accident. Anything is possible in this world, I suppose someone could argue that your lights were not as visible. However the mere fact that you have clear lights or that you are in violation of the vehicle code is not enough. You still need the causation factor.
I don't think it's anything to worry about....thanks for the reply!!
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  #22  
Old 02-25-2004, 11:04 PM
MysticBlue MysticBlue is offline
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Who would even know this? I can't imagine Joe Sixpack Police Officer paying attention to little DOT details like that. I think you would have to get into an accident with the head of the the Dept of Transportation or Joan Claybrook before it would become an issue... plus the causation issue mentioned earlier. Don't sweat the small stuff.
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  #23  
Old 02-26-2004, 11:31 AM
nzDave nzDave is offline
 
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Clears...

The dealer gave me little amber reflectors with adhesive backs to stick on my car when I purchased clears for my '00. I think I paid $135 total for corners, sides, reflectors, and a (mandatory) instruction sheet.

I don't have the reflectors on yet, but I was thinking I would either put them on magnets or get some smaller reflective tape or something to pass inspection.
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  #24  
Old 09-03-2004, 10:53 PM
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drkeng drkeng is offline
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I doubt that 99% of the people would know the difference between clear and amber lenses. Saw an SL 55 the other day and the rear turn signal looked like a "smoke" color-grey, not clear. Looked very cool. Is this the next "look"? May be worth waiting for.
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  #25  
Old 09-03-2004, 11:22 PM
kurichan kurichan is offline
 
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Not complying to DOT or state regs on any mod could put you in a weak position if you caused an accident that could be linked to the mod.

Are the chances slim? Probably.

In a worst case scenario though, you are creating significant liability by proactively taking your car out of spec.
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