Nissan Motors is recalling 3.53 million vehicles, a majority in the United States, because of passenger-side airbags that may not work properly due to vehicle sensor malfunction. According to a CNBC news report, this is the Japanese automaker’s fourth recall since 2013 to address issues with occupant classification systems, which may fail to properly identify adult front seat passengers. This could lead to an airbag failing to deploy in the event of a crash.
So far, Nissan has reported three injuries related to this defect, but no fatalities. The new recall includes vehicles from the 2013-2017 model years, including some Nissan Altima, Leaf, Maxima, Murano, Pathfinder, Sentra, Rogue, NV200, NV Taxi, Infiniti JX35/QX60, and Q50. It also includes the 2013-2017 Chevrolet City Express built for General Motors by Nissan. The automaker has said it is in the process of developing its remedy plan and will begin notifying dealers in late May.
Continuing Airbag Problems
In August 2015, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) upgraded an investigation into the airbag deployment issue after reviewing more than 1,000 complaints and warranty claims to determine whether a prior Nissan recall adequately addressed the problem. In 2014, Nissan recalled 990,000 U.S. vehicles to address the issue, expanding on a 2013 callback. It also recalled 920 U.S. vehicles in October 2015.
What Car Owners Need to Know
It is important that you take your car in to the dealer as soon as you get the recall notice from the manufacturer. This recall is not connected to the massive Takata airbag recall, which involves faulty airbag inflators that can rupture and send sharp pieces of metal into the passenger compartment causing serious injuries. In the case of this recall, you can tell if there’s a problem from your car’s passenger-side airbag indicator light.
It’s a yellow dashboard light that typically comes on to indicate that the airbag is off because it senses some, but not enough, weight in the passenger seat. If the light continues to illuminate when an adult is in the passenger seat, that could be a sign of the problem. Nissan says there could also be a problem if you see a red airbag warning light on your dashboard.
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a defective auto, contact an experienced auto product liability lawyer who can provide you with more information about pursuing your legal options.