Why Are My Nissan Altima Headlights Dim?

According to a class action lawsuit, the low-beam headlights on Nissan Altima models from 2013 to 2018 are too dim for drivers to safely operate at night.

The Nissan Altimas’ halogen headlights feature reflecting parts that are supposedly flawed. Headlights lose their brightness when the reflective surface ages. When this occurs, police may stop moving vehicles to check the headlights.

Nissan is accused of being aware of the headlight issues since at least 2013, but failed to alert customers. Nissan doesn’t provide free replacement parts; instead, customers must pay up to $1,200 for costs associated with the headlamp assemblies.

The reflector cup inside the assembly supposedly cannot survive the heat produced by the halogen light bulbs and loses its capacity to reflect, which is why customers claim that changing the headlight bulbs does not solve the issue.

The projector cup’s reflecting coating burns off, leaving behind burned material that eventually covers the headlights’ lens and weakens the beam.

The reflector cup cannot be changed or the haze removed since the headlight assembly is sealed. The seals do not adequately guard against moisture, which can harm the cups.

Defective Ground Wire

One of the primary causes of dim headlights in a Nissan Altima is a corroded or damaged ground wire. Ground wires link the bulb circuit to the chassis of your car.

If the connector is dirty or damaged, or if there are corrosion forms on the wire, the passage of electricity will be disrupted. This occurs frequently enough to limit the light bulbs’ power.

Models of Nissan Altima covered by this lawsuit

The contention in the lawsuit is that the heat from the bulbs is corroding the seal surrounding the housing for the reflector bowls or cups. The reflecting coating vaporizes, resulting in an early dimming, because halogen bulbs produce far more heat than conventional bulbs, including LED or Xenon kinds. According to the plaintiffs, Nissan is now responsible for fixing the problem because of this knowledge, which places the blame for the failed headlights on the design.


Is it bright as you would anticipate if you took the bulb out of the headlight assembly and turned it on with the car controls, or is it feeble and dim?

Yes, new assemblies will solve the issue if the headlamp assembly has some sort of melt, warp, burn, or contamination going on inside it, but whether or not it will happen again is uncertain. Fix it now rather than waiting until you have a bigger issue.

Nissan Altima owners claim that dim headlights make them nervous to drive at night in a class action lawsuit.

Nissan Altima owners assert that the popular car’s 2013 through 2018 versions have low-beam headlights that are so faint they cannot safely drive at night due to a malfunction.

For those who purchased or leased a Nissan Altima with a model year from 2013 to 2018, the class action complaint was filed in Tennessee federal court by lead plaintiffs Rafeal Suarez, Daisy Gonzalez, and Richard Byrd. They claim that the cars have a headlamp problem that makes them dull and limits light production, resulting in dim headlights.

The plaintiffs each claim that they have reduced their nighttime driving as a result of the alleged car safety fault and that, had they known about the issue, they would not have acquired or paid as much for their Nissan Altimas.

The class action lawsuit also makes reference to complaints from other Nissan Altima owners who claim that they have been stopped by police throughout the night because of their insufficiently bright headlights.

The plaintiffs assert that Nissan has known about the dim headlight issue with Altima vehicles since 2013 but has done nothing to address the situation.

The class action lawsuit claims that Nissan “has refused to supply Class Members with Free Replacement Headlamps.” Because fixing the defect necessitates replacing the complete headlight assembly, owners and lessees of Class Vehicles who bring their Altimas to Nissan dealerships are sometimes charged for expensive replacements.

The plaintiffs claim that the Nissan Altima’s headlights dim shortly after purchase. Haze removal or reflector cup replacement won’t solve the issue. The class action complaint asserts that the entire headlight assembly must be changed instead.

The plaintiffs assert that the cost of fixing the defectively dim headlights can reach $1,200 for a single pair of lights. Furthermore, even after repair, the headlights may continue dim.

The class action claims that thousands of more Nissan Altima owners and lessees have voiced complaints about the faultyly dim headlights, citing many reports to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Nissan is being sued in a class action lawsuit for neglecting to fix the defectively dim headlights in its Altima models from 2013 to 2018. The plaintiffs aim to hold Nissan accountable for damages, legal costs, and court costs on behalf of a class that includes all owners and lessees of Altimas nationwide as well as subclasses in California, Florida, and Ohio.

Have you ever driven a Nissan Altima with poor headlights? We want your feedback. Please share your story in the comments area below.

John Spragens of Spragens Law PLC and Timothy N. Mathews, Alex M. Kashurba, Samantha E. Holbrook, and Zachary P. Beatty of Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP are the attorneys for the primary plaintiff.

How come my headlights just went out?

Headlights are most frequently plagued by dull, failing, or burned-out bulbs. Thankfully, the most straightforward fix for this is to simply change the bulb. Headlight bulbs must occasionally be changed, just like the lightbulbs in your home.

If you frequently drive at night or leave your headlights on throughout the day, headlight bulbs may need to be changed more frequently. For instance, if you drive at night for Uber, Lyft, or delivery jobs, your bulbs may need to be replaced more frequently. Additionally, burned-out headlights are a ticking time bomb for older automobiles that have never had bulbs changed.

How can you know when your headlights need to be replaced? You may check for a burnt-out bulb with a few easy steps in addition to detecting that your headlights are weaker than usual. Just park your car somewhere secure, and switch on your headlights. After that, get out of your car and make sure both of the headlights are on and bright. Bring your car in for a bulb replacement service when you notice that one or both lights are starting to dim.

How are dim headlights fixed?

To rapidly fix the issue, just clean the ground connection or change the bulb. Simply cleaning the ground connection will make dim headlights brighter. Apply some dielectric grease after that. If you observe a gray or brown film on the inside of the glass, you could also change the bulb.

How do I brighten my headlights?

The brightest headlight bulbs are those made of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). They last five to ten times longer, use half the energy, and are 500% brighter than halogen bulbs. LED bulbs emit a clean white light, which vastly increases vision at night, in contrast to halogens, which produce a dim, yellowish light. For these reasons, switching to LED bulbs is the best method to drastically enhance the lighting systems in your car.

New luxury vehicles like Bentleys, Rolls Royces, BMWs, and Audis now outfit some high-end versions with LED headlights due to their exceptional performance. You’ve probably seen their blazing lights, which provide a strong white glare. The good news is that the headlights on your vehicle may be just as bright.

Using an LED headlight conversion kit, stock halogen headlights can be changed over to LED. Since the LED bulbs fit perfectly into your halogen housing and connect directly to your headlight power harness, the conversion process is actually fairly easy. Even your grandma can do this; it’s no different from simply changing a halogen bulb!

Does aging make automobile headlights dimmer?

A new study suggests that as your automobile ages, its headlights may provide you with much less visibility than you realize. According to a AAA study, headlight plastic coating can eventually get so discolored or yellowed that it only emits 20% of the light it did when you first acquired the automobile.

Are the headlights on the 2014 Nissan Altima being recalled?

A judge has given preliminary permission to a settlement for the hypothetical class action described on this page, and the official settlement website is now operational at the following URL:

On July 26, 2021, United States District Judge William L. Campbell, Jr. approved the agreement, stating that it is “fair, reasonable, and adequate” for Altima drivers. The settlement only applies to Nissan Altimas with halogen headlamps from the 2013 to 2018 model years. Xenon or LED headlamps are not included by the settlement. You can read more about the exact models covered and uncovered by the agreement here.

For eligible Altima drivers, the following relief is offered:

  • reimbursement for headlamps that need to be changed because of fading before October 25, 2021;
  • an addition of three years to the guarantee covering headlamp dimming brought on by delamination, raising the total warranty time to six years;
  • For owners whose vehicles are still covered by the six-year extended warranty, Nissan will pay for an immediate headlight replacement from an authorized dealer, and
  • For Altimas that are or will be outside the extended warranty period as of January 2022, a single headlight replacement from an authorized dealer.

Owners and lessees of Nissan Altimas who meet the requirements can submit a claim for out-of-pocket costs associated with headlamp replacements here. (Note: According to the settlement website, the online form will be available on or around August 12.) The application for reimbursement must be submitted no later than April 25, 2022.

Drivers of Altima vehicles who are past the six-year extended warranty period will receive a postcard notice from the administrator once the settlement goes into effect informing them that they have 65 days to complete a form asking for free headlight replacements. After that, a six-month window will open up for customers to get free headlamp replacements from a licensed Nissan dealer.

Even if you don’t take any action, you will still be covered and receive a three-year extension of the warranty on your Altima’s headlamps.

On the settlement website, you can find answers to frequently asked issues.

Can dim headlights be a result of a damaged alternator?

Your car’s electrical output is impacted when the alternator begins to fail. Due to their dependence on the vehicle’s battery for power, this could cause the headlights to flicker, fade, or stop working altogether. The electrical system of the car will quickly drain the battery if the alternator is unable to charge it. If you find yourself in this situation, make sure to have a skilled technician examine your alternator to see whether it needs to be repaired or replaced.

Remember that when the battery light on your automobile comes on, it typically means that the alternator is failing or that there is a problem with charging the battery.

Can your headlights get dim due to a bad battery?

Keep in mind that your battery powers all of your car’s electrical systems, including the dashboard and interior lights. Check your batteries if you see any flashing to avoid becoming stranded. These flickering lights, much like dimming headlights, are unmistakable signs of a dying car battery.

How can I restore the clarity of my headlights?

The main job may start when you have cleaned the headlights and taped off the area. To complete the task, you will need a variety of grades of sandpaper and some elbow grease. Keep in mind that sandpaper gets finer the higher the grit. Choose the most coarse option first, then progress gradually to the finest.

After that, follow these sanding instructions for this do-it-yourself headlight repair project:

  • Dry sand your headlights with 600 grit sandpaper because it is the coarsest; sand in straight horizontal lines until the entire surface is covered; and make sure to keep up this pattern until you are happy the fog layer is gone. Use 400-grit sandpaper if your headlights are very rusted and foggy.
  • Use 1,000 grit wet or wet-dry sandpaper to lightly wet sand the surface of your headlights after applying water (which acts as a lubricant) with the help of your water spray bottle. As indicated, use regular sanding strokes to make the process of restoring headlights simpler. Continue using water to lubricate the surface as well.
  • Your headlights should now be more clear, and this final round of sanding is to add that extra kick and smooth up the headlamp lens surface. Wet sand with 2,000 grain sandpaper. As with the previous stage, moisten the surface with water before lightly smoothing it out with 2,000 grit wet-dry sandpaper using steady motions.