Hybrids & Electrics

Thousands of Nissan Leaf Models Recalled for Backup Camera Problems

Backup cameras are mandatory safety features nowadays, and every brand-new car will come with one. Compared to the more advanced smart safety features, such as adaptive cruise control, a backup camera is pretty simple. That said, despite being simple, backup cameras can still malfunction, and that’s exactly why Nissan is recalling thousands of Nissan Leaf models.

What’s happening with the 2020 Nissan Leaf’s backup camera

Like Car Complaints reported, Nissan is recalling about 8,000 different 2020 Leaf models due to a backup camera issue. Simply said, in certain situations, the backup camera stops working when the Leaf is reversing. Obviously, this is not ideal, but, with that said, Nissan’s engineers found out that this wasn’t happening too often. 

In fact, this issue was first noticed by a Nissan engineer, according to Car Complaints. This led to Nissan opening an investigation into the problem, but due to the pandemic, that investigation was put on hold. Now that Nissan has determined what’s wrong with the 2020 Leaf, the automaker has issued the recall as it has a fix for it already. 

Why this can be a problem

While this seems to be a rare issue that’s only affecting the 2020 Nissan Leaf, it can still become a major problem too. That is simply due to the fact that backup cameras are very useful for a lot of reasons, and many of them are safety-related. While backup cameras can be helpful in avoiding collisions with other cars, backup cameras exist mainly to protect others from the car. 

Before backup cameras, it wasn’t uncommon for a car to back up into someone or something important. In some cases, the car backed up and broke something valuable, while in the more tragic cases, the car backed up and injured or killed someone. While anyone could be a victim of this mishap, children were especially in danger of this. 

That’s because it was standard procedure to use the car’s rearview mirrors to check for anything behind the car. However, children are small, and that made it hard for drivers to see children who were behind the car with the car’s rearview mirrors. This led to, unfortunately, many children being injured or killed due to the driver not seeing them with the rearview mirrors. 

That’s where backup cameras came along, and that’s why backup cameras became a mandatory safety feature in cars. Backup cameras are a simple piece of technology as they’re usually just a camera that sends video to a screen. But, like any piece of technology, glitches can happen, and that’s exactly what seems to be happening with the 2020 Nissan Leaf’s backup camera. 

What Nissan is doing and what you can do too

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As Car Complaints reported, Nissan will simply be doing a software update on the Nissan Leaf models that were affected by this bug. This presumably means that Nissan dealerships won’t have to do much in order to fix it since it’s a software problem and not a hardware problem. Leaf owners will still need to bring their cars to the dealership, though, since that’s how Nissan plans to fix the bug.

In the meanwhile, this bug is relatively easy to avoid. Car Complaints said that this bug only happens in certain conditions, which means that drivers can avoid this bug by not meeting those conditions.

This bug only occurs when the Leaf is in reverse and when one of two things happen within 25 seconds of the head unit cold start: if the driver presses “OK” when they’re prompted by the sonar pop-up display, or if the driver reverses at over 7.5 MPH. By not doing either of those things within 25 seconds of starting up the head unit, the backup camera on the 2020 Nissan Leaf may not malfunction.