With the many high-tech safety and driver-assist features available in vehicles today, the details of a car’s headlights may not be the first safety feature drivers think about. Good headlights are very important, though, and that includes having them aligned properly to light up the road. Nissan recently discovered that there is a problem with the alignment of the headlights on the 2020 Nissan Sentra, leading the company to issue a recall.
Headlight recall for the 2020 Nissan Sentra
Nissan has just announced a recall of LED headlights on 6,000 of its 2020 Sentra models, according to Car Complaints. These cars have headlights that might not have been properly aligned during manufacturing. The issue affects the right-side LED headlight, which may not be aimed to correctly light up the road.
The problem was discovered during a manufacturing process review at the supplier company. The supplier then notified Nissan in May, and an investigation was started. According to Nissan, the investigation found that “the correct aiming logic was not applied when setting the right-hand LED head lamp aim parameters.”
With the misaligned headlight, the cars do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, “Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment.” An audit of the supplier’s documentation also showed that reviews were only performed every six months, so the issue took a while to be noticed.
As a part of the recall, Nissan will notify Sentra owners, and dealers will replace the right-hand LED headlight for free. Of the 6,000 affected cars, 5,520 units are in the U.S., and 479 units are in Canada. The recall begins on October 5, 2020, and any questions can be called in to Nissan customer service at 800-867-7669.
How headlights should be aimed
According to the NHTSA, when headlights are not aimed properly, drivers end up driving on insufficiently lit roads at night. This can increase the risk of a crash. If your car’s headlights are aimed too high, you’ll likely have other drivers flashing their lights at you. If they’re aimed too low, the road may be lit up for only about 20 feet, according to Cars.com.
It is possible to check if your headlights are properly aimed. One method is to park on level ground about 25 feet from a garage door or wall. With the headlights on low beam, the top of the light beam should be at the same height or a little below the height of the center of the headlight lens (at least for most vehicles).
The passenger-side light should aim a little higher to make it easier to see road signs. The driver-side light should aim a little lower so that oncoming drivers aren’t blinded. Some cars also have bubble levels built into the headlights to make checking the alignment easier.
The 2020 Nissan Sentra
Nissan completely redesigned the Sentra for the 2020 model year, earning it a positive review from Car and Driver. Its new design includes a new platform, new engine, and more technology. The new engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, generating 149 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a CVT. Car and Driver felt the engine’s performance is “tepid.”
The interior has more high-quality materials now. The touchscreen is 7.0 inches or 8.0 inches, depending on the trim level. The base trim doesn’t have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, but the higher two trim levels do. The Sentra now comes with Nissan Safety Shield 360, providing driver-assist features like blind-spot monitoring and automated braking assistance. The base trim has a starting price of $19,310.
The 2020 Nissan Sentra is a solid choice for a compact car, and it offers a fresh and improved design over older models. However, a new Sentra may also have a problem with its headlights, so buyers and owners should be sure to have their headlights checked by a dealer.