— A Nissan Altima headlight lawsuit alleges the low-beam headlights can become so dim that car owners are afraid to drive at night.
According to the Altima class action lawsuit, 2013-2018 Altimas are equipped with halogen headlights that use defective reflective assemblies.
The headlight lawsuit alleges the reflective surface becomes dull, causing the lights to become dull and dim to the point drivers may be pulled over by police.
Nissan has allegedly known about the dim Altima headlights since at least 2013 but has failed to warn customers about the dangers.
The Altima headlight lawsuit also alleges Nissan refuses to offer free replacement parts, sticking owners with expenses up to $1,200 for both headlight assemblies.
The three Nissan owners who sued claim replacing just the headlight bulbs won't help because the reflective surfaces of the headlight assemblies are the real problem.
According to the lawsuit, the headlight assembly is a sealed unit that houses the low-beam and high-beam headlights and the reflector cup and lens. The projector headlight bulb is housed within a highly reflective cup or bowl which reflects the light from the bulb forward through a semi-spherical focusing lens.
The Altima headlight lawsuit alleges "compact projector headlamps must be carefully manufactured and designed to ensure that the reflector cup is robust enough to withstand heat from the light bulb. Moreover, halogen bulbs generate significantly more heat than other kinds of bulbs, such as Xenon or LED bulbs."
Additionally, the seals must protect against moisture which can damage the reflector cups.
The Altima headlights are allegedly not strong enough to withstand heat and seal out humidity which causes the reflective surface of the projector cup to burn or “outgas,” meaning the reflective coating vaporizes. The coating cannot reflect the headlights which makes them too dim to safely drive.
The headlight lawsuit also alleges the headlights can become dim because the burned and vaporized reflector material can cover the lens of the headlights.
Altima drivers complain about making the choice to not drive at night or choosing to drive without being able to see the road. Further, the police allegedly may pull over a driver because the headlights are too dim, and the class action alleges the dull headlights have caused Altimas to crash.
The Altima headlight lawsuit alleges the problems can occur after only a few years of use, and it's not possible to remove the haze or replace the reflector cup because the headlight assembly is sealed.
The Nissan Altima headlight lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee: Suarez, et al., vs. Nissan North America, Inc.
The plaintiffs are represented by Spragens Law PLC, Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP.