Originally Posted by amc49
Every car on the planet with plastic headlight lenses now has that issue and any lawsuit will likely go nowhere as the consumer is the one that drove it there, by wanting new and different styling and the reason the OEMs dropped glass headlights. They will simply blame it on customer desires and the ensuing market for sporty styling. Weight as well, the cars must lose weight to hit the later CAFE federal standards for gas mileage, and plastic lights are an instant 5-10 pound reduction in weight compared to glass. Any lawsuit is dead in the water there.
The lenses get cloudy or opaque due to the plastic reacting to sunlight and some of them have gotten worse as the OEMs figured out people were restoring them to like new light output, then they began to change the plastics again (ABS to polycarbonate) to use one that also spiderweb cracks internally in the plastic to be unrestorable. It's to get the average $150+ per headlight assembly they have gone up to and some are as high as $1000 each. EVERY brand now does it, not just Nissan.
I have been refinishing headlights to work like new for some 20+ years now but the later plastics make that harder now. The earlier ones could be made to put out as much light as brand new and with a couple other tricks even more than brand new.
Most cars will run 3-5 years (note-just past the end of warranty!) before the lens gets to be an issue, depending on things like heat and environment. Trying to run them past that is the same thing as trying to run too long on a bald tire and becomes an owner maintenance issue. There has never been a guarantee on any vehicle on earth to have safe lighting past a normal warranty period until the car enters the auto graveyard, if it were so the manufacturer would be responsible for things as basic as bulbs burning out and they aren't, the legal precedent for it has already been in existence for 75 years there. Any lawsuit there will be rendered as frivolous in a minute.
Completely agree with all you said, except that nothing you mentioned apply to these headlights, and if the lawsuit gets filed, it will go somewhere.
The light output was inadequate to begin. At some point, after 20, 30 in my case, 40, 50K miles, the problem gets way worse. There's no cloudy or opaque issue in the plastics, nothing visually wrong with it. As an example, which I'll show you with a pic of my own headlights, you can't see anything wrong with my headligh housing, and yet I can't see at night for more than 15 feet away.
This is a defective product. There's some theories out there. Some mechanics are saying that the projector burns inside. My own theory, is that there's an invisible chemical layer covering the plastic of the headlight housing, preventing the light to go though. I think the heat from the light bulb, plus the wrong choice in materials causes that. And I say this because at night, looking straight at the lights from 2 feet away, I don't get blinded at all, but as I move up, then I can see the light going out with no problems. All of this, again, with a completely new looking headlight housing. The weirdest thing ever.
I will mention, that I am very fortunate to have perfect vision, and I drive a lot at night. Well, I already ended up on top of a median while I was turning right into a mall. These lights are terrible, defective, and need to be redesigned. A simple replacement will not work, unless Nissan is willing to replace them as many times we need it for the whole lifetime of our car ownership.
This problem has to do with milleage, not with time. Now with more and more people reaching the 50K mile mark, the issue is getting mentioned more and more on the web.
The most disgusting part is to see how Nissan is addressing this issue; completely ignoring us. Nothing new from Nissan. My last Nissan definitely. This company, now owned by Renault etc, is not Nissan anymore. Quality is going down to hell.