HID Headlights on a 2017 Hyundai Limited

Asked by Harvey Jul 16, 2017 at 10:04 PM about the 2017 Hyundai Sonata Limited FWD

Question type: General

While driving at night in a dark road the HID healights seem to have a line
across the road and does not seem to reach as far as normal headlights.
Also, there seems to be two tab like extensions in the headlights presumably
because the housing covers up part of the headlight instead of going around
it. Have you heard if this is a normal feature of the HID head lights on this
model or is it a engineering design flaw? I took it to the dealer service center
where I bought it and said if they replaced it 5 times I would get the same
result. I am attaching a photo of the tabs hanging down which I talked about
above

82 Answers

140

Just came from the dealer - they could not fix my 2017 Sonata headlight -black line problem I tried a 2018 in the showroom and it was the same. These people who designed this headlight problem are stupid. Next step is the National Highway safety board. Monday morning for sure. How could anyone actually do this if they are in the business of producing cars and how di it pass the United States safety tests? More people being stupid. 9-15-17

14 people found this helpful.
1,050

Can you provide a follow-up? I’m seeing the same issue with a brand new 2018 Hyundai Sonota! Do ALL the Sonota’s have this problem?

2 people found this helpful.
1,050

I'm having the same issue with a 2018 Sonata Limited, without the tech package. What model do you have that has the headlight black line with notches issue?

460

I agree. We just bought the 2017 Sonata Limited for our daughter and the light issue is not only terrible, but I feel extremely dangerous. We brought in the car this week for this issue and with the service team, determined that it is a problem with the Limited's only. The non-limited version, if you look at the light assembly, although it looks the same, the entire bulb is encased in the metal/aluminum. When looking at the Sonata limited one, you will notice that the top edge of that same housing is cut off. The dealer ordered another light assembly as they didn't have a Limited in their lot, and he just called to tell me it looks identical. I will happily join any movement to get this rectified. It is dangerous as you can see in the attached photo. You can see that while driving on the freeway (I was the passenger), there is a big blacked out area that is directly in front of the driver against the left hand road line. Completely unsafe.

17 people found this helpful.
1,050

Just a few advenues I plan to pursue..... -Contact the BBB Auto Line -file a vehicle safety complaint with NHTSA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration -call the local news station, consumer advocate, and have them drive and video the dark line/shadow and notches safety issue! It's time to warn other consumers. -In my opinion the consumer is being mislead by omission - Consumer Laws and Regulations - Unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices - Hyundai is by omission, misleading the consumer. A reasonable consumer could not anticipate driving home a new 2018 Hyundai Sonata Limited car, and finding out there's a dark line/shadow and notches obstructing their view.

15 people found this helpful.
460

I have placed a complaint to the Hyundai Consumer affairs line and flagged it as a safety issue, which it evidently is. I have also just created a case with the NHTSA and forwarded along both pictures as well as a link to this website. I sure hope that this gets attention as it's so difficult to drive in the dark and I fear that we're going to miss seeing something in that dark spot until it's too late.

13 people found this helpful.
1,050

There are plenty of safety Complaints regarding the safety issue of obstructed windshield view due to the dark lines, and in my case 'flying' notches......omg! I'll add a complaint for the 2018 Hyundai Sonata Limited, I just bought. I'm just starting to get the word out..........why wasn't this something Car Guru's noted in their review????? NHTSA — EXTERIOR LIGHTING PROBLEMS 2016 HYUNDAI SONATA On a dark or dimly lit road the low beam headlights create a sharp boundary looking through the windshield with headlight illumination on the lower area and darkness on two thirds down from the top of the viewing area. It is as if the windshield has a line horizontally across it two thirds down in the field of view. The line bounces when the car bounces and dark upper portion can not be properly viewed through to see the road ahead. It is a safety issue due to poor visibility. The dealer has said a few times there is no issue and no reported issue. This is a continuous flaw in the car from when we first purchased in Nov 2015. - Hopkinton, MA, USA

10 people found this helpful.
1,050

The view driving at night with the dark line and notches across the windshield!

5 people found this helpful.
160

Same issue here... on a brand new, 2017 Tucson Limited. So it appears this shadow/notch problem isn't just on the Sonatas. I've already contacted Customer Affairs.

5 people found this helpful.
1,050

it's hard to imagine, a dark line and notches in your line of view, across the windshield. I have to send the picture for people to understand it. Hey SURPRISE, here's a new vehicle with a dark line and notches across your windshield!!! It's kinda like 'hey open an account at Wells Fargo, and get several other 'hidden' accounts opened'...........definitely a Hyundai scam of the consumer! Nothing at all in their advertising of the headlights!

7 people found this helpful.
70

i just purchased a 2017 Hyundai Tucson Limited with ultimate Pkg and brought the car into the dealer the next day due to a very large shadow emitting from headlights on both sides and they replaced one headlight component only because it has a defect in it anyway and have never seen or heard of a dark shadow .. This is definitely a safety issue and not sure how they are going to handle this or if they even will. I will be contacting the NHTSA as well. they have to redesign this light component and recall all these cars. My next plan of action will be to return the car..I am not secure and safe driving at night and no car should be allowed to be on the road with this issue.

7 people found this helpful.
80

This is how projector lenses work, that notch or dip you see is there to cut the lighting down on the view of oncoming drivers. Right hand drive cars have it on the other side because they drive on the opposite side of the road. Is the cutoff line on these cars the prettiest? Maybe not. But it is there on all HID projector lenses.

8 people found this helpful.
460

Zachery, I completely understand how lighting works and the importance of not shining the light onto oncoming traffic. I also understand HID lighting. There is the continuation of the line that proliferates on the other side of the notch that is diffused as it should be. The depth of the darkness in the notch IS a design flaw. I have driven it with others, including a service manager at night that also agreed with me. This is NOT a normal HID situation. You would understand it if you had this specific vehicle or the vehicle of many of the others on this board that are complaining about the same issue. I own multiple other cars and in addition, rent a number of vehicles while travelling this country for business. This is NOT like any other car. I welcome you coming out to LA for a nighttime test drive with me. I'll even buy you a coffee. I am further disappointed in hyundai as while they took all the information and promised investigation and follow up on the matter, I havent heard from them in over 6 weeks on the matter.

7 people found this helpful.
1,050

Andrew, it's definitely a safety issue! I reported the issue to Hyundai Motor American Consumer Affairs division, and their response was 'it was your responsibility to drive the car at night'. I filed a claim with BBB Auto Line and was told they can do nothing about it because Hyundai Motor America considers it a design, rather than a defect! So, I usually keep my cars about 10 years, and I'll get the word out to Consumers for all 10 years!! The next step is to send my video to the local news channel addressing Consumer issues. Hyundai Motor America has nothing in their advertising to let the consumer know about this unfortunate design(safety issue), and no reasonable consumer can imagine the concept of a dark line and notches across the windshield on a new car. I've received complaints from people riding with me, that the 'bouncing notches' actually make them car sick and the dark line across the windshield...my passengers have been very alarmed at the safety issue it poses!

7 people found this helpful.
460

How could they even insinuate that we should have tested the lights that way. I bought the car in August. Am I supposed to start my test drive as the dealership is closing? Wait, what about testing the defroster. Should I have been there at the dealership in February at 4AM to test that? That's just an asinine response. If you havent, add it to the NHTSA complaint database too. Let me know if you'd like to join together on this. We can create a kik group to communicate offline.

6 people found this helpful.
160

So I figured you guys who find this interesting. I just got off the phone with the regional manager for Hyundai claims...finally after two months of investigating the issue. She said she spoke with Hyundai engineers and executives yesterday and simply said there is nothing they can do, because that's the way the vehicle was designed. Very unfortunate. I would suggest ramping up efforts with the NHTSA or other avenues.

5 people found this helpful.
40

I have the same issue and I think mine is even worse! I have a big black spot on left side and is moving when wheels are turning. first time I push the break because I thought it was a a shadow of a person Passing my car! it is that bad. I will try led lights to see if problem will get resolved

5 people found this helpful.
250

Same problem with a 2018 Tucson limited with the HID lights. I took it to the dealer who checked the calibration on the lights and came up with no issues and said there was nothing he could do. I had the dealer raise the aim of the left headlight and that has helped quite a bit. With the headlight pointed higher the shadow is diffused more and there isn't such a contrast between the lighted areas and the dark spot. The dark spot is still there but it doesnt catch your eye so much. I'll have to drive it more to determine if the higher aim disturbs other drivers.

4 people found this helpful.
250

Update on my earlier post where I said that raising the aim of the left headlight helped the issue a lot. I no longer have a dark spot in my field of vision. I drove an hour last night and only got flashed by an oncoming car hi-beams once. So with the left headlight aimed higher than the right, the dark spot problem was solved. It looks like as originally setup, the shadows created by the two HID lights converge about 100 feet in front of the vehicle and result in a totally black spot. By raising the left headlight, they no longer converge. I think other combinations of one being slightly up and one being slightly down could also work but as of now the problem is solved and I don't plan to experiment.

4 people found this helpful.
1,050

So Hyundai Motor America should be recalling the cars and readjusting the headlights! It’s a safety issue ! Instead Hyundai Motor America is saying it’s by design and nothing they can do! Their consumer service response - CONSUMERS IT’s YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO DRIVE THE VEHICLE AT NIGHT...so make sure to TEST drive at night before you buy! It’s a safety issue!

2 people found this helpful.
250

Yes! A pretty lame response from Hyundai. And test driving at night wouldn't necessarily help. Most test drives occur in city driving conditions where the dark spot isn't noticeable because of lights from other cars and street lighting. The dark spot only becomes noticeable on a dark country road. My dealer will use the solution whenever other customers complain but that is probably as far as it will go.

1 people found this helpful.
60

2017 Tucson limited with auto bending headlights. I have the same issue. Huge dark spot on the left side that moves while turning. Not only extremely annoying and distracting, but also a safety concern. After 4 months of complaining with the dealerships and hyundai cunsumer affairs they said it’s by design. Get this.. The first dealership replaced the left headlight assembly and the 2nd dealership replaced the windshield, thinking it had something to do with the sensor behind the rear view mirror. A bunch of morons. Finally, I just resorted to adjusting my headlights upwards towards on coming traffic so I’m able to see to my left. Good job Hyundai.

6 people found this helpful.
160

Yeah I found that raising the headlights ever so slightly is the best solution. It will likely take a lawsuit or fatal accident in order for this to become a concern for Hyundai. Very disappointing.

6 people found this helpful.
10

Can someone please explain how much you raised the headlight on the left side? My 2018 Sonata has the same issue.

1 people found this helpful.
250

With the car about 10 feet from the garage door, raise the left headlight so that it shines about 4-5 inches higher than the right. Drive around on a dark road and see if that works and if oncoming cars are flashing their high beams at you. If they are, you may have to make some additional adjustments. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I think you could experiment with raising the left less and lowering the right a little. The main thing is to not have both headlights shining on the same plane. That is what causes the shadows to converge.

5 people found this helpful.
40

i SO appreciate finding this site. i am trying to buy a new vehicle and have test drove - overnight - two Hyundai's and can't see bc of the black line. of course the dealers told me its the LED headlights and its just the way it is. i started researching the black line this morning and found this and am so grateful. wanted to let you all know that if you ask, you can take the car for the night. i told them i need to know if i can see to drive at nite. i have done this at 3 different dealers so far. you don't know if you don't ask, right? i have a KONA in my driveway i took last night. i will take it back today and see if anyone can help me tonight to adjust the lights when it is dark before the dealer closes...

5 people found this helpful.
250

My solution to raise the left headlight were for HID headlights, not LED. The HID headlights produce a dark spot not a line. Let us know if adjusting the headlights helps with the line produced by the LED headlights.

1 people found this helpful.
1,050

Basically, keep posting so consumers are aware of this feature(defect) Hyundai Motor America is hiding! Consumers need to be aware of the Hyundai Motor America scam!

1 people found this helpful.
20

On my 2018 Hyundai Sonata that i just drove home fro the dealership the lights is terrible. I have shown in the attached picture what the lights look like up against my garage door. However this is about 6 feet away. When driving at night the distances from objects vary and the black dots get bigger and smaller and move as you turn a corner. You cannot tell if someone is on the sidewalk or trying to cross the street. this is very dangerous and someone needs to hols Hyundai responsible for this problem and fixing it before someone accidentally gets run over because the the river cannot see.

2 people found this helpful.
250

Yes. That is what the lights on my Tucson looked like. I believe you have a 3 day take back period. Do that and maybe Hyundai will take notice. I resolved the issue to my satisfaction by raising the left headlight slightly. The problem with mine was that as origially aimed the two black dots converged about 80-100 feet in front of the car and created a large black area in my field of vision. After adjusting the left headlight up, the two dots no longer converge and so the contrast isn't so bad. The light from one headlight blends into the dim spot on the other headlight.

2 people found this helpful.
40

At the end of 2017, I purchased a new 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate Limited and I'm experiencing the same problem. I guess there has to be a noticeable death-toll and significant number of law suits before Hyundai will give this very dangerous issue attention.

5 people found this helpful.
50

Bought a 2018 Sonata Limited a little over a week ago. Wish I had seen this site first and I would not have purchased it. Just got back from dealer service and they said the headlights are within Hyundai specifications and they could not do anything about it. Has anyone had any luck with the Hyundai organization to correct this defect? What about with the NHTSA?

1 people found this helpful.
460

Sadly no. Hyundai NEVER followed up to my ticket after the intiial call. A further reply call to then didn't get returned. A ticket I opened with the NHTSA hadn't been followed up on either. An earlier answer said it best. Someone has to die for it to be noticed. I recommend everyone file a claim with the NHTSA as I would imagine the more complaints about the issue, the higher the chance that someone from our government pays attention. Hyundai definately doesn't care. Sad state of affairs where no one seems to give a $%#!.

2 people found this helpful.
1,050

The best option is to get the word out to consumers! DON’T BUY a HYUNDAI SONATA unless you drive it at night! My experience is the night driving is DANGEROUS! The dark line across your view and the notches flying in your view make for dangerous driving at night!

1 people found this helpful.
250

Several weeks ago I shared that I was able to solve the problem on my Tucson Limited simply by raising the aim of the left headlight. Nobody has responded whether or not this works or not for the Sonata. Would someone who has tried this please respond.

1 people found this helpful.
460

Ultimately, the reason lights are angled the way they are is so it doesn't hit the driver on the opposite side if the line to have it in their eyes and also to not be so relective in the rearview mirror of the car in front of you to distrupt their drive, causing an entirely different set of safety issues. Having said that, we did try it, the notch was still there and we we're not looking to cause a different safety issue. Why, when we pay tens of thousands of dollars for a vehicle, not expect a resolution to an obvious problem?

1 people found this helpful.
70

i have the same issue and i have gone through the entire process of working with the car dealer themselves. they will not take back my 24 hours old car for the exact amount i paid for it, says i have to sell it back to them as a used care! NOT.. i emailed the actual owner of the car dealer with no response, i reported this to the NHTSA no response, I spoke with Hyundai USA, they denied my claim and said the headlights so no have a design flaw and are not a safety issue and are working they way they are intended to. so they will no buy back my car or fix it in any way. And if i did not agree with them, i could do an appeal with the BBB auto line. so i did. that process is very good but after i spoke with the auto specialist who Hyundai hires to mediate i was told that i presented a very well articulated argument and the man understood my concern but again the headlights are working the way they are intended to work. So my choice was to turn my car back in as a used vehicle or live with it. Because that was the answer i got from everyone i dealt with. I do not know about you, but i cannot afford to take a loss on a brand new vehicle , one that i saved and saved for and purchased to replace my 17 year old toyota. so i kept the car. Hyundai will eventually make a recall when an accident occurs (god forbid) . If anyone has a different outcome, please do let me know at twohotnaz@aol.com. because once sign out of here, i won't find this thread again.... thank you all for listening and giving your support and thoughts.

250

Andrew wrote"Ultimately, the reason lights are angled the way they are is so it doesn't hit the driver on the opposite side if the line to have it in their eyes and also to not be so relective in the rearview mirror of the car in front of you to distrupt their drive, causing an entirely different set of safety issues. Having said that, we did try it, the notch was still there and we we're not looking to cause a different safety issue." This sounds like bs from the dealer to make an excuse for not being able to fix the problem. I think you should experiment some more with adjusting the height that the lights are aimed at. If you adjust too high, oncoming traffic will flash their brights at you and you will know to bring it down a little. I made the notches disappear on my Tucson by adjusting the left one up a little and nobody has flashed their brights at me. I don't know why the same thing wouldnt work on the Sonata. The notches don't really disappear they are just diffused better and don't merge with one another any more. It's the merging that creates the dark zone in front of the car. Another option would be to install a LED light bar down below the front bumper. My dealer offered to install one if I bought it. I was considering that however since raising the left light worked for me I never acted on it. The light bars themselves are pretty cheap. The dealer was going to mount it and wire it into the headlight system for free so it couldn't be too time consuming. I hope you all find a solution that works for you. I know how you feel having a car that is uncomfortable to drive at night. It will likely take years if ever for Hyundai to recognize and fix the issue. Raising the left one fixed the problem for me and now I am pleased with my purchase.

3 people found this helpful.
1,050

Well, I keep my cars for about 10 years, so I'll get the word out to consumers............don't buy a Hyundai Motor America car, due to the dark line and notches that obstruct the view at night!!! Hyundai Motor America is selling BRAND NEW CARS, that require the buyer to experiment with the headlights so you don't have a dark line and notches obstructing the view at night when driving!!! Seriously, just buy from a different manufacturer! My advice to consumers don't buy a Hyundai Motor America car, the headlights make driving at night dangerous. I wish I had went with a different manufacturer. Also google Hyundai Motor America whistle blower, for all you need to know! Bottom line, don't buy from Hyundai Motor America!

1 people found this helpful.
20

I just bought a 2019 Santa Fe Ultimate, and I have the same problem. I am very upset to just discover this now. I feel like I cannot drive at night without my high beams on. This is awful!

2 people found this helpful.
2,070

I rented a 2019 Hyundai Tucson to drive while my Honda is being repaired. The car seemed great until I found myself on a dark winding country road on a foggy, rainy night. My passenger and I immediately noticed the black line that seemed to be covering the top 2/3 to 3/4 of the windshield. I was actually scrunching down trying to see below the line. It was a terrifying drive and I would NEVER buy a Tucson because of this issue. My question is, if Hyundai is aware, why haven't they fixed the problem in the 2019 models. This is a very serious safely issue!

2 people found this helpful.
20

Just bought a 2019 Hyundai Elantra and can't drive it at night because of the horrible vision issues! I live in a rural county in Virginia and spend most of my time on back country roads scanning for deer this time of year. I wouldn't be able to see a herd of deer with this car's dim headlights if they were standing in the road waving white flags of surrender! I am now that inconsiderate person who blinds the driver in front of her with the bright lights on!

2 people found this helpful.
20

Interesting to see so many people having the same complaint in different parts of the world! This is obviously a problem Hyundai needs to take seriously. I am in Scandinavia and I took a brand new (2019), fully loaded Tucson for a week-long test drive. Both the normal headlights (LED) and the high beams are borderline useless. Especially on a hilly, winding road it feels almost dangerous to drive in the dark. There are HUGE gaps in visibility in the front corners when you drive up or down a curving hill. There really could be a herd of deer standing 10 meters in front of the car on either side and you wouldn't spot them. I don'f feel that the problem is brightness - the headlights seem bright enough, but they should be pointed higher or something else needs to be done about the light pattern. This problem might be alleviated if the high beams were better, but they only light up a very narrow area right in front of the car and they don't follow corners. Hands down, the Tucson has the poorest headlights in any new car I have driven. I had the vehicle checked at the dealer and apparently it is just designed this way.

2 people found this helpful.
40

Everything I'm about to go over has been a combination of experience both first hand and through extensive research over years (headlight lighting has been a hobby of mine over the past 5 years). Hyundai lights are trash. They have poor output both I. Halogen and HID form. The high beams are marginally better than the low beams (by that I mean it's basically two dots above the low beam cutoff). Unfortunately your only option for better lighting is 1) bake open/pay someone to open your headlight housings and properly replace the projectors (or install HID projectors) with GOOD HID projectors. Unfortunately most Hyundais use permaseal, which means you'll want to burn the car down trying to open the lights. Paying someone will set you back $600+ due to parts and labor. Unfortunately Hyundai just has crappy headlights. As for this "line," yes, projector headlights have a sharp cutoff. However, the weird U shape is a pretty terrible design. USDM HID projectors are supposed to have a step/slope cutoff where the side shining into the oncoming lane is lower than the right side. This DOESNT mean one headlight is aimed lower than the other. They are both aimed at the same height, the cutoff is a shield INSIDE the projector that produces this result. See attached picture for correct cutoff examples. Basic aiming is measure against a flat wall, 25 feet from your car. The cutoff should be about 2" lower than the source of light from your headlight. Obviously every car is slightly different but that is the general rule of thumb. I can go on and on and bore everyone, but what it all comes down to is basic physics and poor design by whoever Hyundai uses for their headlights. This is a shame since this is a safety feature, not a convenience feature. I can't get over how terrible my dad's 2011 Sonata headlights are. After having an Acura TL and Acura TSX (which happen to have very good projectors and used to be some of the standards for retrofitting projectors into other cars), I cant believe that Hyundai is still producing cars with these awful lights.

2 people found this helpful.
30

In 1984, when I was 18 my sister died in a violent car crash at age 20. Now I have three teen drivers in the house. On Monday I bought a brand new 2019 Hyundai Tuscon, thinking it to be one of the safest choices we could afford. I loved the car in every regard, until....driving it home in the dark was terrifying. The brights are okay, but the low beams had a massive dark line, above which I could see nothing. One might not notice it in town or on a level highway, but on hilly, twisty Vermont roads, it was horrible. Sure you have brights, but in real world situations with other cars around, it was undriveable at night. You cannot see obstacles, such as telephone poles, along the sides of the road very well. On valley curves, visibility drops to like 15 feet! A person dressed in all white could be standing in the middle of the lane, and you would never even see them. I also found the bouncing black wall very distracting, and it began to make my wife car sick. I tried every light setting, but eventually realized that the design is the problem. No light can get past the shrouding of the hood. I really want to buy a nice compact Utility vehicle, but apparently many of them have these projector style lenses. The one I had was particularly bad. Some designs attempt to direct some ambient light above the shrouding, via faceted lenses or fog lights, but it is very inadequate in many cases. The fact is that these lights don't actually produce as much light as they may seem to, they just focus it more intensely via a thick lens. It seems bright, but it is actually quite limited. Buyer beware. I took my Hyundai back the next morning and demanded a full refund. They tried to give me the run around until I told them I was going straight to the local tv station with my story otherwise. They took it right back! I might still go the TV station anyway. I predict this will become a thing. Apparently DOT missed this one. Based on my experience, and what I have subsequently read about these lights, I predict massive recalls across several brands. Unfortunately, people will likely have to die first. Pedestrians could likely become the worst casualty of this war. The IIHS is leading the call for better headlights on these CUV's at the moment. But be careful buying one, especially if you live in a rural area. Ridiculous that we can have these amazing, highly evolved cars with such defective lights!

3 people found this helpful.
40

Unfortunately, many car companies do not put much time into designing the headlights beyond making sure they look cool. It says something when mid 2000s Acuras and Lexus' STILL have some of the best performing headlights out there, even better than the "fancy" new LED headlights. This is just poor design and cost cutting on the car companies' end. Hyundai and American car companies are some of the WORST offenders of this issue.

1 people found this helpful.
40

Also, that is the nature of projector headlights. Sharp cutoff, which results in minimal light above the cutoff. Some cars have squirrel finders which emit some light above to illuminate signs, but all this really does is cause unnecessary glare to oncoming drivers. As lights keep getting brighter, glare has become an increasing issue. That's why Mercedes, Audi, and BMW have all developed advanced adaptive lighting which keeps the high beams on all the time but "bends" the light around other cars. It wasn't until recently that the US updated laws to allow these technologies to be used in the US. The issues where above the cutoff is very dark is just the nature of projectors. 90% of the time, a GOOD projector will outperform any reflector based headlight that many people are used to. Unfortunately this means on dips in the road that your distance vision can be compromised. One thing to remember, the more light that is allowed above the cutoff, the more blinding it will be for oncoming drivers.

1,050

In response to ..... On Monday I bought a brand new 2019 Hyundai Tuscon, thinking it to be one of the safest choices we could afford. I loved the car in every regard, until....driving it home in the dark was terrifying. YES, same experience I had, you need to drive any Hyundai car at NIGHT outside the city, BEFORE YOU BUY! The 2018 Hyundai Sonata Limited I bought is DANGEROUS at night. I thought a dog was running out of the median, and it was just the notches bouncing on the drivers side of the car! Hyundai Motor America told me I should have driven the car at night BEFORE i bought it, so that word needs to get out to ALL CONSUMERS......don't BUY a HYUNDAI Sonata until you drive it at night outside the city! See if you want your new car to have a dark line and notches that obstruct your view at night!

2 people found this helpful.
20

UGH - found this discussion when trying to figure out the dark spots in my 2019 Sonata Limited headlights. I have a 2018 Sonata SEL that my daughter drives and I have not noticed this issue until I got the 2019 Sonata Limited. I wanted it specifically for the bending headlights that the IIHS rated highly and now I see the defect. So disappointed.

2 people found this helpful.
1,050

I had the same disappointment....and Hyundai Motor America said ‘It was my responsibility to test drive the car at night’! Get the word out...it’s a safety defect disguised as a design! CONSUMER ALERT!!!!!!!!

1 people found this helpful.

I am always replacing bulbs on my 2008 Sonata. I do not feel safe driving at night. The bulbs seem so ineffective and dim. I now understand why.

My 2017 Santa Fe Sport Ultimate has the straight line low beam. My wife and I did a rough measurement last night and the beam only reaches 38 ft down the road. We live in a rural, hilly winding road Louisiana Parish with little, to no, ambient lighting and LOTS of deer. We have to constantly switch from dim to high beams just to see where the road turns and risk blinding oncoming drivers. HUGELY DANGEROUS! On the other hand, my wife's 2018 Kia Sorento has great headlights, just like they're supposed to be. Both companies are owned by Hyundai.......

10

I have a 2018 Santa Fe Sport Ultimate and have major issues with how low the headlights aim and the very distinct cutoff line. It’s extremely dangerous and we now have a baby and I’m afraid to drive it at night. I’ve been trying to figure out how to raise the light beams. Can anyone on here tell me how to adjust them? I found a video how to adjust a 2017 and below but it seems that they changed the setup for 2018.

1 people found this helpful.
1,050

Well, according to Hyundai Motor America you should have driven the car at night to see that 'feature'! According to the dealership, there is nothing the dealership can do as Hyundai Motor America says the headlights are working as designed! Report it to the NHTS, there are same complaints on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding the headlights and you can read other peoples complaints also. Bottom line, don't buy a Hyundai again, and get the word out to consumers!!

1 people found this helpful.
180

Can someone point out where the adjustment bolt is located on the 2018 Sonata Limited?

20

Just drove my 2019 Sonata for the first time after dark, since purchasing two weeks ago - scary situation. Was looking for answers to the problem & found this discussion. Who would think to drive a car at night to see if headlights actually gave you light? WOW! So sad. As technology outsmarts itself, we are being placed in more dangerous situations instead of safer ones. My Sonata's camera caught the corner of a car after it had turned off the road in front of me today, slammed on the brakes, locking one of the front wheels, making a horrible noise as it slid about two feet and almost caused me to have a heart attack. I thought I had turned all the "assist" items off as they are a problem. Fortunately there was not a car behind me or I would have gotten hit.

1 people found this helpful.
180

GuruS1D91....I hope you file a complaint with Hyundai.com and NHTSA as many of us have done. The more complaints they get the better chance we have of getting Hyundai to admit they have a problem.

1 people found this helpful.
20

Yes, I have filed complaints with Hyundai and with NHTSA. According to the NHTSA there has only been ONE other complaint filed regarding headlight issue. How can that be??? I also find it odd that not a single consumer reporting agency drove this car after dark and mentioned this problem. It has nothing but high praises and this is a dangerous situation.

1 people found this helpful.
180

I know I have filed with NHTSA and have an assigned complaint number. I don't understand why they say only one, unless some on here that say they filed didn't actually do it.

1,050

Another place to get the word out to consumers,,,,,,, Clark Howard’s website Hyundai is listed on his website, so go out to his website and make a comment giving your opinion!

10

I have a 2018 elantra gt sport with the LED headlamps. There are distinct notch patterns that is completely driving me crazy. Took it to dealers several times, only to have them aim the headlights down ridiculously low(making notches larger and more distinct). The dealers also deny there is any problem with these lights.

1 people found this helpful.
180

Someone earlier said they RAISED the lights a little and it helped. Dealer won't touch them and I can't figure out how to do it myself. I wish someone would share how to adjust them.

4 people found this helpful.
250

There is one bolt at the back of the headlight enclosure. Turn it with a socket wrench. With the low beams on and the car 6 ‘ from a wall. Adjust the left headlight so it is about 4” higher than the right.

3 people found this helpful.
40

The correct height is to aim them on a flat surface 25' away from a wall. The top of the highest point of the cutoff line should be the same height as the center of your headlight. Any higher and your lights will constantly be shining directly into oncoming traffic. Unfortunately most headlights are aiming too low or too high from the dealership which is why you are either blinded by new cars or they seem to shine only 2' in front of your car

1 people found this helpful.
250

Lightingguru is technically correct however my solution of raising the left headlight slightly is necessary to correct an unacceptable situation with the Hyundai HED headlights. That is the shadow “notches” that both lamps create converge about 80’ in front of the car creating a completely dark zone big enough to hide a pedestrian in. Raising the left headlight eliminates that problem. I have run my car for 17k miles that way and nobody has flashed their hi-beams at me so apparently they are not too bright.

1 people found this helpful.

This light situation is terribly dangerous. You should not buy a brand new car and not be able to see at night. I live rural, and have 15 miles of dangerous road that follows a major river cliff. My husband actually hit a porcupine due to this issue - in any other car it would have been easy to see it soon enough. Thousands of dollars damage and the potential he could have went off a cliff - all due to the crappiest light design I have ever seen. I’m so disappointed. I love my car, but that “light bending technology” that’s supposed to be such a benefit is going to get me killed.

180

Can someone post a picture showing location of adjustment bolt to raise the left headlight on 2018 sonata limited. PLEASE.

2 people found this helpful.
20

All of you that are having trouble seeing far ahead in your hyundais there should be an adjustment screw on your headlight housings to raise and lower them. And projectors have a metal tab in them that blocks the light from shinning up and blinding other drivers, but if you wanted to you can remove your bulbs and stick a screwdriver inside your low beam housings and bend each tab out of the way and then your headlights will shine like a non projector and you will see better, but might blind other drivers. Also if you have halogen or LED try switching to either 4300K or 5000K 55watt HID lights are the brightest!

2 people found this helpful.
40

Okay, this seems to be only happening on the standard higher trim models of sonatas? My 17 Sonata Hybrid (which has different body lines and different headlamps) doesn't have the notch issue. Yes, the OE halogen light bulbs are little dim, still better than my OE halogen bulbs on F150 and escapes, or even the brand new nissan sentra that I recently rented. I did swap out the bulbs for a set of LEDs, same pattern, 0 adjustment. You just need to make sure that the LED bulbs you replaced are having the same depth of LED unit as the coils in the halogen, otherwise it won't lit up the right area, creating flares and uneven pattern. Not all LEDs you see on Amazon are equal quality made. After swaping out the LED, I still don't see any of the notch issue, again mine is the 17 sonata hybrid SE. Don't know about the Limited hybrid which has HID, but it might be having no issue as well due to the different headlamp design against the regular model. From 2018 they align the look of hybrid with other models, same headlamps so same issue i guess. It is really interesting and awkward to see that hyundai design a much better look and totally different parts, panels for the 2016 and 2017 hybrids, to just making them for 2 years. Luckily I got one. The only issue I had after 1.5 years and 15k miles is the trunk latch went bad once. It seems to be the only design defect of using cheap plastic latches I noticed. Well, I only use it for commuting to work and I have other vehicles to drive, so that latch thing don't really bother me much.

If anyone was wondering, the 2020 with led lights is the same way. Took the car to the dealer who said it's made that way, and they get a lot of complaints.

10

First and foremost, the notches you see in the beams of the noted Hyundai vehicles in this thread are *NOT DUE TO MANUFACTURER DEFECT OR POOR DESIGN*. Again, these are not mistakes. This is an intentional design aspect of the optical system in order to be in compliance with the U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards No. 108 which specifies lighting requirements for all external lamps. Within Standard No. 108, there are photometric requirements for low and high beams which specify minimum and/or maximum intensity values at various defined angles (referred to as test points). One of those test points occupies the area surrounding the notches found in these Hyundai headlamps. This particular test point (location 0.86°D, 3.5°L) has both a minimum intensity requirement as well as a maximum. **The notch within the beam was implemented to avoid being out of Federal compliance with the maximum intensity requirement.** This particular test point was originally added to the Federal Register to “...contribute to better performance of the lower beam headlamp” while also it “...contributes to current worldwide harmonization for lower beam headlamps”. While the move to harmonize lighting requirements with other countries seemed like a good idea, perhaps the regulators paid more attention to the benefits of the minimum seeing light and neglected to address how a maximum cap on the light could adversely affect overall vision. A research paper cited that an area slightly below this test point can contribute to “wet pavement glare” towards oncoming drivers, concluding that this was a consequence of more seeing light at this angle. Was this factor considered when the regulators allowed for a maximum value to be mandated for this test point? It's unclear. We can speculate also that perhaps the philosophy of the lighting design for this notch also serves other purposes for glare control in normal weather conditions. The pitch of a vehicle is constantly changing depending on the quality of the road surface, so when the headlight beams spike upward for a nano second, the notch prevents or minimizes the dazzle or “flash” effect that occurs. The angle of this test point is aligned downward directly from where the majority of eyes of oncoming drivers rest from 50 meters and beyond. The next question that may be asked here is — why is this notch only present on Hyundai cars and not others? This notch or shading IS in fact found on other vehicle makes and models with halogen, HID and LED light sources. The manner in which it is implemented can be different depending on the car and headlamp type. Some have small to large notches - some use a shading effect which can be slightly noticeable to largely noticeable to not noticeable. The point is, ALL headlamps are designed to control this test point. Unfortunately the execution of the control isn’t always uniform across all brands and models. The sad reality of this is that it's unlikely anything will be done by submitting complaints to NHTSA. They will quickly conclude (if they haven’t already) that these headlamps are in compliance with the Federal requirements. There isn’t anything wrong with them (legally speaking). And you will most certainly not find any changes to the Standard No. 108 intensity requirements for this test point anytime in the near future! The complaints (if there is enough of them) may compel Hyundai to re-evaluate their beam design. It gets tricky though because in order to reorganize the beam so that the control of this test point is LESS noticeable, it may mean that the beam performance on the left side is compromised with LESS visibility.

1 people found this helpful.
1,050

The bottom line...……….DON'T BUY A HYUNDAI ! The headlight issue I have and the unacceptable response from Hyundai Motor America just means I'll never buy another HYUNDAI. From my experience, I won't give return business to a Corporation like Hyundai Motor America!

1 people found this helpful.
10

Bought a 2020 Tucson in March and just drove at night for the first time. Pretty dang scary on back roads when you can only see a little ways in front of you. Also, on the highway it does not illuminate the road signs until the last minute.

1 people found this helpful.

Same thing here but mine is so bad... I switched to Led bulbs and it’s still there. I’m about to buy custom headlights for my 2016 sonata sport. It’s so dangerous!

I have the same problem with my 2020 Kia Optima with dynamic adaptive adjustment. Three trips to the dealer who supposedly replaced the lights with no effect. My wife will not drive the car at night. The notch is so large and the lights aimed so low, oddly as soon as I put the car in drive, that I cannot see a pedestrian walking to my left until they are in the middle of my lane.

This is not a problem, this is how the headlights function when you have the "upgraded" tech package with "bendable" headlights. It's a safety feature in that it diesn't blind oncoming drives when you turn your steering wheel in their direction. For those of you who seem so severely bothered by it, I don't understand. I live three miles off the freeway up a curving country hill, and my 2017 Sonata headlight work exactly as they should. Yes, there is a shadow that starts at the center line, just like it is supposed to. If you turn the steering wheel to the right, that shadow moves across your lane, because presumably you need to see farther to the right since you are turning the steering wheel. That's the way the system works. It's not dangerous, it is not debilitating, and it is normal. Jeeeezzzzz...

60

Trooplewis.. kill yourself!! Its obvious what the design intent was, unfortunately it’s presents more of a safety hazard than blinding oncoming traffic. I sold my limited Tuscan a couple of years ago and I’d encourage the same for others. Much happier with my F-150.

20

I posted here about my Santa Fe about two years ago. I’d like to share my solution to the problem. I did try going to the dealer, but they were willing to only minimally adjust the headlights. I learned that if I have the high beams set to automatic, I can drive anywhere without an obstructed view. On the dark roads where I am afraid of hitting a deer, the high beams light up the road. On lighted streets or on highways, they are off, and there is no problem seeing the road or blinding another driver.

Trooplewis, my 2017 Sonata worked fine too, until they didn't last night. I'm praying they can adjust it. But after reading all these horror stories I'm very concerned.

my 2017 Sonata was ok until this summer. I had noticed the dark area before but overnight it got much worse. Will not drive it at night except very short distance. Dealer adjusted lights as high as the could about an inch and played dumb about the problem. Why does NHTSA show only one complaint??? Obviously a mistake. Thank you! Your complaint regarding 2017 HYUNDAI SONATA has been received. We appreciate you taking the time to contact us about your safety concern.

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