Another Manufacturer Recall: Nissan’s Airbag Issues

In what seems to be becoming an all-too-frequent occurrence across the auto industry, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported this week that Nissan Motor Co. had filed for a recall involving a wide range of some of its newest vehicles due to an airbag issue. Nissan explained it was recalling nearly one million vehicles because occupant classification software installed on some of its latest model year cars and SUVs has a bug that can cause the car to assess the front passenger seat as empty even when occupied by an adult. This causes the car to deactivate the airbag for that seat, significantly increasing the risk of injury in the event of a collision.

While the company notes that Nissan has not received reports of accidents or injuries related to this software issue, the company is recalling a total of 989,701 vehicles because of the risk the software issue presents. According to Nissan, the affected models are the 2013 Infiniti JX35, the 2014 Infiniti Q50, the 2014 Infiniti QX60, the 2013 and 2014 Nissan Altima, the 2013 and 2014 Nissan Leaf, the 2013 Nissan NV200, the 2013 and 2014 Nissan Pathfinder, and the 2013 and 2014 Nissan Sentra.

According to Nissan, this recall will affect only vehicles sold in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. To remedy the recall, Nissan will be notifying all owners of affected vehicles and will update the occupant classification software to fix the problem free of charge. The recall action is expected to be initiated in the middle of April.

This recall comes on the heels of a GM recall of 2.6 million vehicles involving a faulty ignition switch in cars sold across the globe. The occupant classification software recall is not the only recall Nissan has made within the past year. It recalled 910,000 vehicles in September due to an accelerator problem that affected models such as the X-Trail and Serena. That recall significantly reduced Nissan’s profit forecast for the year, and this larger recall may have a similar effect.

More information on the Nissan software recall can be found at the NHTSA website using reference number 14V-138. Owners of affected vehicles may also call Nissan for information at 1-800-647-7261.

SOURCES:

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/UCM452824/RCAK-14V138-8963.pdf
http://www.autonews.com/article/20140326/OEM11/140329913/nissan-recalls-989701-vehicles-in-n-a-because-airbag-might-fail-to