Beware of fake Philips HID Bulbs!

I decided to replace the 6300k HID bulbs on one of my cars, with more sensible 4300k OEM solution.

I came across reasonably priced Toyota Genuine Bulbs on (NZ ebay type of thing).

The particular bulbs I was after were D4R, or Toyota Genuine Part 90981-20015 (alternatively Philips 42406).

They were priced (~$80NZD) similar to Genuine Philips 42406 in USA (~$50USD), so seemed to be reasonable. The Toyota Genuine are after all Philips 42406 in TGP box.

When I tried to fit the bulbs I noticed they were extremely tight. Then I looked closely and did some googling.

I found this video from

The video convinced me that these bulbs were fakes.

I contacted Philips NZ the best way I could, through their lighting department. Unfortunately I got handled by an unsavoury character that pretty much told me to pound sand.
He told me that Philips NZ officially does not sell these bulbs in NZ thus I need to contact Hella. When I told him that it is a pretty much a non-reply, he told me to contact Repco or Supercheap. I avoid buying anything from Repco or Supercheap if there is a choice. Especially Repco.
Once I finish this post I will be sending the link to Philips NZ PR/Media department, because at this stage I feel Philips NZ does not give a shit about the brand.

Here is the conversation:
I basically asked (with photos attached) if the bulbs are real or not:

Reply was not what I was hoping for: I was flogged off to Hella (as far as I am concerned Hella is 2nd tier competitor):

I pressed further:

Instead of giving me a contact in Philips who can verify, he tells me to pound sand:

I point out that Philips does actually market these bulbs in New Zealand:

He does not get it (or care), and sends me off to a random 3rd party:

So, I tried again to get through to him, and plainly asked for contact in Philips:

In complete (but not surprising) utter disappointment he gives me a spiel about reputable source:

Since the Philips NZ was a no-go, I contacted Philips USA with actual success!

This is not a D4R bulb that we distribute, looking at the serial number on the bulb, it is not in the same order as the numbers on the bulbs that we distribute. That could make the bulb counterfeit. Unfortunately, we will not be able to assist with a bulb that was not distributed by our distribution center.

So, this was as good as anything I could get out of Philips. I take it as confirmation as the bulb being fake.

I got extremely curious and I decided to buy real genuine Philips 42406 from The difference is phenomenal! They are also richer and warmer in colour and brighter. So the fakes were not even true 4300k.

So lets go back to initial cause of suspicion – tight fit:

Real bulb measured 24.78mm in diameter at the base:

Fake bulb on other hand measured 25.12mm in diameter at the base:

Here is side by side comparison:

Note: very bad spot welds, missing dimple in the glass body, crooked and thin font. Also locating slot is cut too deep.

Note: bottoms are very different in colour and castings. Unlike other reports this fake had a number on the bottom (barely visible).

Note: another angle on the font.

Note: rough edges on fake, probably diamond cut and snapped. Real has a nice smooth laser cut.

6 thoughts on “Beware of fake Philips HID Bulbs!”

  1. Sounds less than ideal! Glad you got it sorted. I’m looking to buy some X-tremeVision d1s gen2 bulbs, but struggling to find a supplier. Any advice?

    1. I buy my HIDs from, shipping is a bit steep, but still much cheaper than sourcing them locally (OEM or rebranded from usual scumbags).
      You could risk it at but there is a chance of fakes there.

      1. Are they allowed to enter here in NZ? I just bought my one still on its way, hope there is no problem in costums.

        1. No one checks if they are fakes, so might as well be allowed.

          I just refuse to pay $300-500 locally for a $50 bulb and import them from USA. Good thing is that the bulbs last very long time.
          On other hand importing genuine product is not prohibited in NZ, so at least we have that going for us.

          1. Thank you kinda excited to install Xtreme vision gen2 on my mazda axela 2014. Because when i bought the car i look what hid bulb in there its osram xenarc not too bright.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *