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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Picked up my Ascent Limited the other day and my sister followed me home. She said the taillights were 1) not very bright; and 2) the section on the tailgate is not a light at all, just 2 plastic reflective strips. Is this correct? Please see attached pic. Anyone have a different experience?
 

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Picked up my Ascent Limited the other day and my sister followed me home. She said the taillights were 1) not very bright; and 2) the section on the tailgate is not a light at all, just 2 plastic reflective strips. Is this correct? Please see attached pic. Anyone have a different experience?
Are you 100% sure your headlights were actually on, not just daytime running lights?
 
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Picked up my Ascent Limited the other day and my sister followed me home. She said the taillights were 1) not very bright; and 2) the section on the tailgate is not a light at all, just 2 plastic reflective strips. Is this correct? Please see attached pic. Anyone have a different experience?
To answer your question, my Ascent is the same as yours. The area on the liftgate has no bulbs in the red section. This is the same as my 2017 Impreza. I just went for a run and decided to pay attention to other makes/models which have the "lights separated" by the trunk or liftgate. I saw an Outback with the same behavior. I saw a ford Focus with the same behavior. When it came to Chevy, the Traverse and Malibu i think had lights in that area. I saw a Toyota highlander with lights in the area as well, but saw a Camry perhaps that was reflective without lights. So there is no standard when it comes to the setup.
 

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Picked up my Ascent Limited the other day and my sister followed me home. She said the taillights were 1) not very bright; and 2) the section on the tailgate is not a light at all, just 2 plastic reflective strips. Is this correct? Please see attached pic. Anyone have a different experience?
I was following behind my wife yesterday (2017 Outback) and there are only lights on the outer side. The area on the tailgate does not illuminate. I do believe that the backup lights are in the tailgate, but that is it. My daughter's 2009 Forester only has lights on the outside, nothing on the tailgate.
 

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I wish we could have the lighting on the tailgate, but due to US regulations, it has to be on a fixed body part so that if the truck were raised people could still see the lights; which is why they are reflectors.

I recall them being dang bright so IDK
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I followed a new Outback today and noticed it has the same configuration. Oh well. Have to cut corners somewhere to make price points.
 

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I wish we could have the lighting on the tailgate, but due to US regulations, it has to be on a fixed body part so that if the truck were raised people could still see the lights; which is why they are reflectors.

I recall them being dang bright so IDK

Is that a new law or something? I have a new-ish Scion tC hatchback and part of the trunk lid that lifts up has an active LED strip on it for the brake light.
 

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Is that a new law or something? I have a new-ish Scion tC hatchback and part of the trunk lid that lifts up has an active LED strip on it for the brake light.
49 CFR 571.108 - Standard No. 108; Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment.

S6.1.3.2 When multiple lamp arrangements for rear turn signal lamps, stop lamps, or taillamps are used, with only a portion of the lamps installed on a fixed part of the vehicle, the lamp or lamps that are installed to the non-fixed part of the vehicle will be considered auxiliary lamps.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/49/571.108
 

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It's just all personal preference of the designers who design the cars we drive. Of course they take popular opinion into consideration and they follow all laws and regulations. Once they meet the government requirements, then its all fair game.

I mean, look at Jeep Wrangler tail lights. It just a single bulb in a relatively small red square. Our Ascent tail lights are night and day better (safer and brighter) than those, in my opinion.

I don't think it saved Subaru much money by not putting in a few more LEDs in the other half of the tail light design. I think they were probably trying to keep their models and aesthetics somewhat consistant throughout their brand.

I think it's perfectly fine and looks good the way it is. However, there are companies out there that would probably help you out in retrofitting LEDs into those areas with just the reflectors, if that's what you want... what you really really want. ?
 
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