Nissan has announced that over 1.2 million cars it made during the 2018 and 2019 model year need to return to the dealership so that their rear-view camera can receive a software update. The component has a problem, but it’s not linked to wear and tear, or to faulty parts. Owners seem to be the main problem in this recall campaign.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) posted a bulletin explaining the rear-view camera’s display settings can be adjusted in a way that the image it shows is no longer visible. This doesn’t happen automatically; someone needs to manually change the settings. It’s a little bit like turning the brightness way down on your phone, and going out in bright sunlight. It’s difficult to tell whether the screen is on or off, let alone what it’s showing.
While your phone will likely adjust its brightness automatically, Nissan’s rear-view camera system will stay dark until the settings are changed again. That’s a problem, according to the automaker, and according to regulators. The cars affected by the recall do not comply with the federal government’s standards for rear visibility.
Nissan wrote that precisely 1,228,830 cars registered in the United States are affected by this issue. The long list of models includes the Altima, the Frontier, the GT-R, the Kicks, the Leaf, the Maxima, the Murano, the NV, the NV200, the Pathfinder, the Rogue, the Rogue Sport, the Sentra, the Titan, the Versa Note, and the Versa. You’re right if you’re thinking that’s essentially the entire Nissan range; the 370Z is the most notable absentee. There’s more, though. Nissan owns Infiniti, and the two automakers often share components, so the QX50, the QX60, and the Q70 are also included in the campaign.
Luckily, the fix is simple. Nissan will update the rear-view camera settings software free of charge. The screen and the actual camera do not need to be replaced, so this is an operation that shouldn’t take long.
There are so many cars included in this recall that Nissan will notify owners in phases. The campaign will begin on October 21, 2019, and it will end by November 11. Get in touch with your nearest Nissan (or Infiniti) dealer or visit the NHTSA’s website if you’re not sure whether your car is included in the recall.