Nissan has issued a recall of about 1.2 million cars and SUVs after discovering a backup camera defect including in its two top-selling vehicles, the Rogue SUV and Altima sedan. According to a USA Today news report, the Japanese automaker, which sells the Nissan and Infiniti brands, is recalling about 1.2 million vehicles in the United States.
Details of the Recall
The company acknowledged in a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that the affected vehicles are not in compliance with federal regulations because of the defect. According to NHTSA documents, the backup camera and display settings can be adjusted such that the rearview image is no longer visible.
The system will then retain that setting the next time the vehicle is placed in reverse, increasing the risk of a crash. The recall is expected to start Oct. 21. Nissan will notify vehicle owners and dealers will fix the vehicles at no cost by installing a software upgrade.
The Tragedy of Backover Accidents
Every year, thousands of children are killed or seriously injured because a driver backing up didn’t see them. A backover incident typically takes place when a car is backing out of a driveway or parking space. Backover accidents change the lives of parents, families and communities forever, and they often occur because the driver could not see the victims, often young children, behind the vehicle or in a blind zone.
According to the advocacy website, KidsandCars.org, in the United States, at least 50 children are being backed over by vehicles every week. The predominant age of victims in these cases is 1 year. Most victims are between 12 and 23 months old. Over 60 percent of backover accidents involve a larger size vehicle such as a truck, van or SUV. Tragically, in more than 70 percent of these incidents, a parent, neighbor or close relative is behind the wheel of the vehicle that struck and killed the child.
When a backover accident occurs as the result of defective backup cameras, the automaker can be held liable for the injuries, damages and losses caused. Victims and their families can seek compensation by filing an auto product liability lawsuit against the automaker and other applicable parties. On March 31, 2014, NHTSA announced that it would require all automobiles sold in the United States built beginning in May 2018 to include backup cameras. This law was passed for a reason – to stop preventable child deaths.