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The head lights on my 2017 Ford Escape have started to have a spidery cracking look on one side. It look likes some that is just happening to the top plastic. I haven’t hit anything or done anything to the head lights other than having my car sit outside in Iowa’s weather. You can see that the same thing is starting to happen on the second head light.

I had to get some body work done after my father swiped my car on the side (nowhere near the head lights) and I asked the men at the body shop (non ford place because they were quoting me too high to fix it). The men at the body shop said it looked like a manufacturing error on Ford’s part. So I brought my Escape into the Ford dealership I got it from. They looked at it and basically said they have never heard of this happening and because my car is just now out of my warranty 42,000 miles it’s now on my dollar to fix it. (They quoted me 1,500 to change them)

TBH I would have gotten the car in before the warranty expired to get things looked at but I have unexpectedly had to become a caregiver for my mom with a terminal brain cancer, and COVID has caused cancellations in appointments.

So I’m now seeing this IS AN ISSUE in these headlights? If I’m not mistaken? I even called customer service and they said they have never heard of this issue and haven’t received any recall notices. What can I do here??
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Over the course of my life I've procrastinated many times before finally taking my vehicle in for repairs. If I could've forced myself to take the vehicles in shortly after discovering the faults I'd of saved thousands of dollars as many times the work would have been warrantied. It's our own faults though when we could've gotten the vehicle in while it was under warranty, but didn't, and it is certainly on our dime when the warranty has expired.

The only plastic I've seen like that is where I've used a plastic container to pour some kind of chemical in to, and then the container would end up looking exactly like your headlight container appears now, at least as far as I can tell from the picture. If it isn't something that's been in contact with them that caused it then I would guess something didn't go right during the manufacturing process.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Over the course of my life I've procrastinated many times before finally taking my vehicle in for repairs. If I could've forced myself to take the vehicles in shortly after discovering the faults I'd of saved thousands of dollars as many times the work would have been warrantied. It's our own faults though when we could've gotten the vehicle in while it was under warranty, but didn't, and it is certainly on our dime when the warranty has expired.

The only plastic I've seen like that is where I've used a plastic container to pour some kind of chemical in to, and then the container would end up looking exactly like your headlight container appears now, at least as far as I can tell from the picture. If it isn't something that's been in contact with them that caused it then I would guess something didn't go right during the manufacturing process.
Yes I didn’t pour anything on my headlights like that. You are correct. So if it’s an actual manufacturing problem why is Ford fighting me on fixing it?
 

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2017 Ford Escape Trend 2L, Ruby red,Technology pack, SatNav, dashcam etc.
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Yes I didn’t pour anything on my headlights like that. You are correct. So if it’s an actual manufacturing problem why is Ford fighting me on fixing it?
It may be worthwhile trying car or wheel polish on them in case the damage is just on the surface. This often works with clouded headlights.
It may not be the solution but will not make it worse. ;)
 
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Yes I didn’t pour anything on my headlights like that. You are correct. So if it’s an actual manufacturing problem why is Ford fighting me on fixing it?
You brought it to their attention after the warranty expired, based on what you shared here. The manufacturer isn't responsible for issues in perpetuity.
 

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If it's bothering you the only option (from your pictures) would be a replacement headlight. Try somewhere like Rock Auto as they often have good prices. The labour to fit it might be high as apparently there's a bolt underneath (that's hidden and hard to access) that secures the lights.

(You can buy headlight repair kits for weathered plastic headlights that have lost the gloss surface, but your headlights appear to have cracks.)
 
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Engineer working with plastics for years... and that looks like chemical exposure. Keep in mind some glass cleaners should not be used on plastic.
 

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Your headlights have “crazed”. All headlights have an applied coating to protect the polycarbonate plastic from turning yellow by exposure to UV light from the sun. It looks like your coating has crazed, probably from chemical exposure. Lacquer thinner will do this as well as many other chemicals.

First, you need to make sure this crazing is in the coating and not the plastic. If it’s the coating, you can have them professionally restored. If it’s in the actual plastic, nothing you can do but replace them.
 
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