Japanese automaker Nissan has announced that it will recall almost one million cars, minivans and SUVs in the US after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Defects Investigation found out that there may be a possible air bag system software failure in its vehicles.
According to a statement from the firm, the vehicles’ air bag software may not be able to detect if an adult is sitting in the front passenger seat and therefore, it may not inflate during an accident.
Providing a detailed chronology, Nissan said that investigations were being made by the company for problems that began to be reported last spring. The firm said that it had believed the warranty claims to be for another problem its vehicles had faced and for which recalls had also been made. However, when the warranty claims continued to be made, fresh investigations had commenced from August last year. The company had learnt of two incidents that led it to determine that the latest issue was a software problem and also required a recall.
The recall affects 2013 and 2014 models of Pathfinder, Leaf, Altima and Sentra, as well as the Infiniti JX35 SUV and NV200 Taxi van from 2013. The 2014 Infiniti QX50 SUV is also affected by the recall from the automaker.
The company said they will begin the recalls of some 2013 and 2014 models in mid-April. Nissan also said that they will notify all the buyers that may be affected and their dealers will reprogram the system free of cost for all the cars that have the system failure.
The company noted that according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, accidents have been reported but with no deaths or injuries specified.
Explaining the possible air bag failure problem that might be there with almost one million vehicles that Nissan has recalled, the company said the recent action involves what’s called the occupant classification system. This judges whether or not a person is occupying the passenger’s seat in order to decide if the system should inflate the air bag in case of an accident.
The occupant classification systems that are believed to have caused the problem were manufactured at just five of Nissan’s plants. Altimas and Sentras are made in the Nissan plants in Canton, Mississippi.
The company said the air bag system may not work if an empty passenger seat becomes occupied when there is “high engine vibration” when the car is at idle. The air bag system would also not work if a person sits in an unusual posture as soon as he or she enters into the car.
Interestingly, in the same month last year, Nissan had recalled 82,038 vehicles from the same group because of a sensor malfunction, which could have prevented the passenger air bag from inflating in an accident.
The latest action, in which Nissan is recalling almost one million — 989,701 to be exact — vehicles for possible air bag failure includes some of the company’s bestsellers. These are listed as follows:
2013-2014 Nissan Altima (544,139)
2013-2014 Nissan Sentra (182,569)
2013-2014 Nissan Pathfinder (124,202)
2013 Infiniti JX35/ 2014 QX60 (63,698)
2013-2014 Leaf electric (29,165)
2013 NV200/Taxi (6,696)
2014 Infiniti Q50 (unspecified)
By Faryal Najeeb