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2021 ID.4 Pro S Red
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in the Seattle region, on Whidbey Island, and car ferries are a routine part of my driving. It’s expected that drivers enter and exit ferries with their lights off, even at night. I cannot figure out how to turn off my headlights at night and keep them off. I’ve tried switching my headlights out of Auto mode and then turning the lights off, but that doesn’t seem to work for very long. The car simply reverts to its normal Auto headlight settings after a short time. From my quick look at the owners manual, this seems to be by design.

I’ve had the car for a bit more than a week, and today was my first day venturing out on the ferries, so maybe there’s something obvious I’m missing. I hope so!
 

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I live in the Seattle region, on Whidbey Island, and car ferries are a routine part of my driving. It’s expected that drivers enter and exit ferries with their lights off, even at night. I cannot figure out how to turn off my headlights at night and keep them off. I’ve tried switching my headlights out of Auto mode and then turning the lights off, but that doesn’t seem to work for very long. The car simply reverts to its normal Auto headlight settings after a short time. From my quick look at the owners manual, this seems to be by design.

I’ve had the car for a bit more than a week, and today was my first day venturing out on the ferries, so maybe there’s something obvious I’m missing. I hope so!
I have a similar situation where I work (security checks). I'll have to look for it but someone else on the forum posted showing the manual states the lights will come on automatically at 4 mph, no way around it unfortunately. I wish that if VW isn't going to give us control that they'd bump that up to like 15 mph.
 

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I live in the Seattle region, on Whidbey Island, and car ferries are a routine part of my driving. It’s expected that drivers enter and exit ferries with their lights off, even at night. I cannot figure out how to turn off my headlights at night and keep them off. I’ve tried switching my headlights out of Auto mode and then turning the lights off, but that doesn’t seem to work for very long. The car simply reverts to its normal Auto headlight settings after a short time. From my quick look at the owners manual, this seems to be by design.

I’ve had the car for a bit more than a week, and today was my first day venturing out on the ferries, so maybe there’s something obvious I’m missing. I hope so!
Page 103(?) of the owner's manual covers vehicle lighting and indicates that tapping the "Mode" button on the headlight control until no indicators are lit - "-" in the manual - will turn off the headlights. The AUTO feature only automatically turns on the lights if the vehicle is moving above a set speed.
 

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2021 ID.4 Pro S Red
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did a test drive at dusk on a private road, so I could experiment with different techniques to turn off the headlights at night. I used the MODE light switch to turn the lights off and drove no faster than 4 MPH. After driving a short distance, AUTO switches itself on and the low beams come on. You cannot turn the low beams back off at that point without stopping the car, putting it in PARK and switching off the "ignition"--so it won't work to repeatedly turn the low beams off after they turn themselves on.

I tried this experiment again, only this time I turned on just the parking lights. Same result, the low beams will switch on after a short distance no matter how slowly you drive. And while this is the result you'd probably expect, the Owner's Manual kind of hints that the car might allow itself to be driven slowly at night over a long distance so long as you don't exceed 5 MPH.

I thought I might be able to fool the ID.4 into keeping the low beams off if I tried this same experiment while shining a bright light at the back of the rear view mirror (where I THINK the car's sensor is located that determines whether it's dark outside). But the car is smarter than I am, I guess, because it still switched on the low beams no matter where I aimed the light at the rear view mirror back.

I have a complaint into VW customer care, and we'll see where that goes. If they can't help, the only solution I can imagine is to put switches on the two fuses that control the headlights. I don't much like that idea, but I also don't look forward to three years of driving onto local ferries at night with my lights on.
 

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Islander, another option is just to drive with the low beams on. We had to do that when we lived in Kingston. We had a car where the daytime running lights or low beam (night) were always on if the car was running. We apologized to the ferry workers for the first week or so but they’d said that that happens a lot.

next time your able to talk to the deck crew ask them for suggestions or if there is anything you can do to make it less of an impact to their night vision. At the point at least you did what you could without having to physically alter your can.
David
 

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2021 ID.4 Pro S Red
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Islander, another option is just to drive with the low beams on. We had to do that when we lived in Kingston. We had a car where the daytime running lights or low beam (night) were always on if the car was running. We apologized to the ferry workers for the first week or so but they’d said that that happens a lot.
Thanks for this. I had no idea there were cars on the road that forced use of low beams at night. If you lived in Kingston, you know that Washingtonians are pretty easy-going except when it comes to ferry courtesy. Jump a ferry line, and you'll earn (literally) a boatload of wrath. We experienced ferry-goers pride ourselves on keeping our engines off as long as we can, and dimming our lights. Driving on a ferry with headlights blazing ... oh, the humanity! I might as well still be driving here with California license plates!

I guess there will be things about the ID.4 that bug some of us more than others. I'm fine with just two switches controlling the windows, and always-on lane assist troubles me very little. But the thought that some engineers in Germany think they know better than I do when my lights should be on? That infuriates me!
 

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Presumably another "litigation risk aversion" item in switching back to Auto so also presumably VW will not alter. USDOT may now demand same? 🤷‍♂️

The DOT is like the NEC in that they're continuously imposing new requirements, both agencies in an effort to save us from ourselves. :(
 

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Presumably another "litigation risk aversion" item in switching back to Auto so also presumably VW will not alter. USDOT may now demand same? 🤷‍♂️

The DOT is like the NEC in that they're continuously imposing new requirements, both agencies in an effort to save us from ourselves. :(
In MD, when it's raining and your wipers are sweeping, by law, you're supposed to also have lights on. Some people don't or let their DRLs do the job but no rear light warning.
Today, I tried to use just the parking lights front and rear as rain warning. Nope, as soon as I sped up then everything was lighted. I'd like all the fronts but not headlights and all the rears especially the red bar light on. Nope, I've also tried just the "fog" lights, also nope.
Maybe a US or EU DOT safety requirement.
I wish we, the drivers, had a little more control of "normal " car functions 😖. All windows up from key fob, headlights off, hatch down from inside the cabin...
 

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2021 VW ID.4 1st Edition, Dusk Blue <3
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In MD, when it's raining and your wipers are sweeping, by law, you're supposed to also have lights on. Some people don't or let their DRLs do the job but no rear light warning.
Today, I tried to use just the parking lights front and rear as rain warning. Nope, as soon as I sped up then everything was lighted. I'd like all the fronts but not headlights and all the rears especially the red bar light on. Nope, I've also tried just the "fog" lights, also nope.
Maybe a US or EU DOT safety requirement.
I wish we, the drivers, had a little more control of "normal " car functions . All windows up from key fob, headlights off, hatch down from inside the cabin...
You can close the trunk hatch with the driver door switch, you just have to hold it, and the car has to be on.
 

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2021 ID.4 Pro S Red
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Presumably another "litigation risk aversion" item in switching back to Auto so also presumably VW will not alter. USDOT may now demand same? 🤷‍♂️

The DOT is like the NEC in that they're continuously imposing new requirements, both agencies in an effort to save us from ourselves. :(
Well ... because I'm like this ... I called the U.S. National Transportation Highway Safety Administration yesterday, to see if they require carmakers to force low beams to turn on at night. The NTHSA referred me to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The USCPSC rep laughed when I asked about headlights. "We don't regulate cars! That's the NTHSA."

In any event, I can't find any U.S. legal requirement that forces use of low beams at night. I don't think there is any such requirement. The complaint I see online is that the NTHSA has been too slow to approve use of new headlight technology, not that they're forcing new tech on an unwilling public.
 

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2021 VW ID.4 1st Edition, Dusk Blue <3
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Well ... because I'm like this ... I called the U.S. National Transportation Highway Safety Administration yesterday, to see if they require carmakers to force low beams to turn on at night. The NTHSA referred me to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The USCPSC rep laughed when I asked about headlights. "We don't regulate cars! That's the NTHSA."

In any event, I can't find any U.S. legal requirement that forces use of low beams at night. I don't think there is any such requirement. The complaint I see online is that the NTHSA has been too slow to approve use of new headlight technology, not that they're forcing new tech on an unwilling public.
Hate to be that person but, it's NHTSA, not NTHSA
 

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2021 ID.4 Pro S Red
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I wish we, the drivers, had a little more control of "normal " car functions 😖. All windows up from key fob, headlights off, hatch down from inside the cabin...
Yes.

There's surprisingly little info out there on how the ID.4 headlights work. I can't find a YouTube addressing this, and (as with just about any ID.4 topic of interest) the owner's manual is not helpful. (Who WROTE that thing? That's the worst owner's manual I've ever seen.) I am now trying to take video of just about every scenario I can think of for the lights. Maybe I'll have something soon for my YouTube channel ...

I've also got a case opened with VW. I'll ask about lights off at night, and I'd be happy to raise any other thing we'd like to be able to switch on (such as running lights instead of full lights on a rainy day).
 

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Wow, that's so like our Federal agencies, one hand not knowing what the other does and so pointing at the other. Or in this case not even knowing what they themselves do!
😕

They're slow to test/approve but a bit quicker to update regulations forced upon manufacturers. Wish lists are easy but compliance is difficult.
Well ... because I'm like this ... I called the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration yesterday, to see if they require carmakers to force low beams to turn on at night. The NHTSA referred me to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The USCPSC rep laughed when I asked about headlights. "We don't regulate cars! That's the NHTSA."

In any event, I can't find any U.S. legal requirement that forces use of low beams at night. I don't think there is any such requirement. The complaint I see online is that the NHTSA has been too slow to approve use of new headlight technology, not that they're forcing new tech on an unwilling public.
 

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I blame all the capacitive controls. My Golf has basically the same features (auto headlights on the headlight switch on the dash, auto high beams on the indicator stalk) but the headlight switch is a rotary knob, so yeah, I’m always in control.
 
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