Nissan Expands Airbag Recall

After recalling over one million vehicles in early 2014, Nissan has issued a new recall order for another 226,000 cars. While both batches were called in for malfunctioning airbags, the types of issues that have plagued Nissan differ between the recalls. Whereas the initial order targeted automobiles suffering from faulty sensors, Nissan’s latest announcement focuses on models which may carry misfiring Takata airbags.

Models and years affected include:

August 2014 Nissan Recall

Infinity I35

2002–2003

Infinity FX

2003

Maxima

2002–2003

Pathfinder

2002–2003

Sentra

2002–2004

 

During the first quarter of 2014, Nissan announced a recall of 1,050,000 vehicles worldwide, of which 989,700 were located in the United States. These were the 2013–2014 Nissan Altima, Leaf, Pathfinder, and Sentra, as well as the 2013 NV200s 2013 Infinity JX35, 2014 Infinity QX60s and the Q50. According to the automaker’s report filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defective seat sensors resulted in a failure to detect the presence of a passenger, meaning the airbag module would fail to activate and the airbag wouldn’t deploy in case of an accident. Nissan was able to quickly update the sensor algorithm and to date no deaths or injuries have been reported as a result of this specific airbag flaw.

The most recent recall order, scheduled to begin on August 11, is a continuation of the ongoing problems with Takata airbags. Takata is not only responsible for manufacturing the airbag modules, but also the propellant used to fill the bags with gas in the event of collision. Inadequately packaged in stacked wafers, the propellant is known to prematurely explode and to expand at a rate well above what was intended at the time of design, with the propensity to blow the metal components of the airbag inflator module at the passenger. In 2009, two drivers were killed after mild vehicular accidents involving their 2001 Honda Accords, which are also outfitted with Takata airbags — pieces of metal launched by the airbag sliced open the drivers’ carotid arteries, causing them to bleed to death.

Nissan will begin to reach out to owners of affected vehicles to start the repair process in early August. Cars brought into Nissan dealerships will be given comprehensive inspections and should any airbags be found to be faulty they will be replaced free-of-charge by the company. Brian Brockman, a representative for the Japanese automobile manufacturer, said that Nissan was unaware of any injuries related to the recall. The corporation is looking to help ensure that no Takata-airbag related injuries or deaths occur in the future, to the extent that Nissan vehicles are affected by the malfunctioning airbags.

Recalls for faulty Takata airbags have been extensive, with over 11 million automobiles, manufactured by at least ten automakers, targeted so far. Other recent additions to the airbag recall include Honda and BMW, both of which expanded their list of eligible makes and models during the month of July. The total number of Takata-airbag carrying vehicles is unknown, because the airbag producer failed to keep adequate records of the destinations of sold auto parts. This oversight has slowed the recall process down, which is why the total extent of the recall has been continuously updated throughout the year.

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Caroline G. McGlamry

After recalling over one million vehicles in early 2014, Nissan has issued a new recall order for another 226,000 cars. While both batches were called in for malfunctioning airbags, the types of issues that have plagued Nissan differ between the recalls. Whereas the initial order targeted automobiles suffering from faulty sensors, Nissan’s latest announcement focuses […] Full Bio

R. Timothy Morrison

After recalling over one million vehicles in early 2014, Nissan has issued a new recall order for another 226,000 cars. While both batches were called in for malfunctioning airbags, the types of issues that have plagued Nissan differ between the recalls. Whereas the initial order targeted automobiles suffering from faulty sensors, Nissan’s latest announcement focuses […] Full Bio