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Tail lights - USDM vs. ROW

2889 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  CMK
Was just wondering if anyone had noticed, and then considered subsequently correcting, the difference between the U.S. market Regal and the Insignia (Opel and Vauxhall) in Europe and elsewhere with regards to the tail lights.

The design of the tail light is the same, as pictured below. The difference is which "sections" of the assembly are used for which function. For the purposes of this explanation, I'll divide the lamp into four separate areas: The rectangle-shaped outline in the center and the "7"-looking section at top right comprise the top section. On the bottom is the reversing lamp on the left, then the turn signal on the right.

On both cars, the rectangle and the 7 are illuminated when the lights are on - these are our "position lamps." Obviously the reversing lamps are the same, but the turn signal is where there's a difference.

On the Insignia, the turn signal bulb is amber and functions solely as a turn signal. On the Regal, the turn signal bulb is red and also functions as the brake light. On the Insignia, the 7 from the top section brightens as a brake light, leaving the turn signal able to flash independently while braking.

The following Youtube links show this disparity, the first showing a Regal with its left signal on and braking. The second and third are of the Insignia braking, showing the "7" brightening instead of the turn signal.

2012 Buick Regal GS Turbo 6 Speed Manual, On The Road - YouTube
Opel Insignia OPC movie - Pro-Street.dk - YouTube
Opel Insignia OPC roadtest (english subtitled) - YouTube

So, two questions pop up: Has anyone decided to try getting the tail lights to act as they should? To remove the dual-function of the turn signal and let it do its job independently? It's been done on other cars, and typically involves some simple wiring (I say simple even though I could never do it on my own).

The second question is more off-topic: Why do manufacturers do this for U.S.-market cars? Is it because cars from the early 20th century started it, and Americans are just that terrified of change? I know it's not mandated, because plenty of cars from Europe, Japan and elsewhere maintain this function. Why bother changing it? Why re-engineer something that worked perfectly fine, especially when it makes the tail lights look so ugly?
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