In a bid to avoid a massive auto defect recall, Nissan is issuing a “service campaign” for about 200,000 Altima models to fix a potential suspension issue. According to a CNET.com news report, the service campaign covers 2013 Altimas as the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) continues its probe into more than 2 million vehicles.
The potential defect here is the risk that corrosion could cause a suspension part to detach from the frame in states that use salt on icy roads. Nissan says the corrosion issue has not been reported in any states outside of the so-called “Salt Belt.” The federal investigation covers the Nissan Altima model years 2013 to 2018. So far, 139 complaints have been filed with NHTSA in connection with this issue. Ninety-one of those complaints came via the Office of Defects Investigations and the other 48 from the automaker.
Service Campaign Details
So far, there are no known auto accidents or injuries connected to the service campaign and the federal investigation. NHTSA documents state Nissan admits that a crack may develop in the lower control arm because of stress and loading from normal vehicle use, and that road salts commonly used on icy roads result in corrosion that makes the crack worse. When this cracking happens, continued use of the vehicle causes the control arm to separate at one of four attachment points that connect it to the vehicle chassis.
So why has Nissan not issued a safety recall? The automaker maintains that the separation is readily detectable and that the separated component doesn’t make contact with the roadway or braking components. The automaker says even when this happens, drivers can bring the vehicle safely to a stop. Vehicle owners will be notified about the service campaign this fall. NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigations says it will continue to investigate the models, complaints, and field data to assess the full scope of this problem. NHTSA’s investigation is ongoing.
Auto Product Liability Issues
Based on news reports, it is apparent that Nissan is making an attempt to avoid a recall and resolve this problem with a service campaign. However, it is well-known fact that service campaigns are even more low-profile than recalls and don’t reach vehicle owners because they are not as well-publicized as recalls. The effectiveness of this service campaign remains to be seen.
If you have been injured as a result of these defective autos, you may be able to receive compensation for your losses, even if these vehicles have not been recalled. Contact an experienced auto defect lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.