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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All

I'm sure this is what they call in the trade as "designed behaviour" but I'm just wanting to check that my car is behaving as (in my view not very well) designed.

Obviously the front and rear fog lights are controlled by the rotary dial on the dash beside the steering wheel. On my vehicle if you pull the knob out one position, the front fogs come on, and if you pull it out again, the rear fog lights come on. Clearly this means there is no way of having the rear fog light on without the front ones which I've never experienced on a car before, but that isn't the main issue I'm seeing.

The front fog light "on" warning light is a green light on the side of the lighting control knob, with no light on the main instrument panel to show the front fog lights are on. There is both a front and rear fog light symbol beside the lighting control knob, but when you switch the rear fog lights on (and obviously by definition the front ones are still on), the rear fog light symbol on the lighting control knob does not illuminate. However there IS a warning light for the rear fog lights in the main speedo instrument cluster.

I don't understand why the warning lights for two linked systems are in two entirely different places, one of which is impossible to see when driving normally. Is this normal or is the front fog light "on" warning light on my speedo cluster not working ? From a logical perspective it would seem sensible for the front and rear fog light warning lights to be in the main instrument cluster, or if they're not there, then both of them on the lighting control - but to have one in one place and one in the other is simply baffling.

Any thoughts ? Is this normal ?
 

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No it's not broken, this is how VW designed it with front/rear light symbols separated, you can find this in other VAG models. Also, not being able to turn just the rear fogs on without front fogs exists on other cars/manufacturers also.
 

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This is normal, and the main reason for only the rears having a warning on the dash is law. The rears are very bright, and in normal night could be confused with brake lights (i know the brakes have a third light, this law predates the third light existence) The law requires a visible signal that the rear fog lights are on, this is not a requirement for front fog lights.

This situation didn't used to be the case. Up until as late as 2015 on my tiguan you could only pull out the switch if it was in the headlight position. As soon as you rotated it back to park or auto the switch dropped back in. I think it was changed as this sort of defeated auto headlights, having to manually select them to get rear fogs. Certainly i found it a pain. As most cars now have auto lights, they've changed it to allow pulling out the switch whilst leaving it in the auto position.
 

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GeoBog said:
No it's not broken, this is how VW designed it with front/rear light symbols separated, you can find this in other VAG models. Also, not being able to turn just the rear fogs on without front fogs exists on other cars/manufacturers also.
True, but my brand new Volvo has separate switches for front and rear fogs. So it's just a VW implementation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the clarification - I thought it was behaving as "designed". Like Tricky2, my last few cars have had separate front & rear fog light switches, and corresponding warning lights on the main cluster. It's not a major issue but just wanted to check one (and perhaps others I hadn't yet experienced) warning lights wasn't displaying.

The issue about having to have a warning light just for the rear doesn't make sense as the law applies equally to both front & rear fog lights, both of which can only be used in poor visibility (<100m) and have to be switched off when visibility improves - indeed the wording for front & rear fog lights is identical save for blue light services being allowed to display rear (but not front) fog lights when parked (Road Vehicle Lighting Regs 1989 Part 3 Reg 27)
 

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Placement of any warning or information lamp is determined by its importance. Issues of serious concern are given prominence by placement in the centre binnacle warning panel, issues with a lower level of severity are given a less prominent placement. Hence, "information" rather than "warning" lamps may not be on the centre binnacle at all. This design philosophy is informed by "human factors" and is similar to the design philosophy used in aircraft cockpits. Rear fog lights when left on unnecessarily ( when fog has cleared) are a dangerous distraction due to their brightness (outshining brake lights) . Front fog lamps however do not dazzle or blind oncoming drivers as they are angled down to illuminate the road. Front fog lamps do not therefore present the same level of hazard as rear fog lamps - their "indicator on" lamps are therefore relegated to a position off the centre warning binnacle . They just didn't make the cut :)
 
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