It’s a known law of the universe, like gravity: Europe’s turn signals will always be better than America’s. Despite amber turn signals being perfectly legal here in the States, automakers usually stick with boring old red — a color that both looks and functions worse. Amber is simply better.
Land Rover, it seems, messed up — it accidentally put better, Euro-spec rear turn signals on five Range Rover Sports intended for American roads. But rather than letting those owners bask in their automotive beauty, the company is recalling all five cars.
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Jaguar Land Rover claims that the amber turn signals don’t meet NHTSA safety standards and need to be replaced with US-spec units. If that’s true, it’s not because of the color — the relevant statute, 49 CFR § 571.108, specifies that rear turn indicators can be either red or amber.
The more likely culprit in making European signals fail American standards is size. US turn signal regulations include requirements for the size of each light in a turn signal, which differ from European standards. If the Range Rover Sport’s amber lights are smaller than American needs, converting the entire brake light into an indicator is the classic workaround.
Whatever the reason, these five Range Rover Sport owners will soon have the graceful majesty of their turn signals destroyed, replaced with the sort of blocky banality that curses the tails of so many American vehicles. It’s a shame to see an objectively better — and safer — design ruined by regulations, but such is the world we’ve built for ourselves. It’s better to have briefly had a gorgeous Euro-spec taillight and lose it, than to never have it at all.
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