Air Bag Defect Found in Nissan Vehicles, 1 Million Cars Recalled

Nearly 1 million Nissan cars were recalled due to a software issue that might prevent the passenger-side air bag from deploying in the event of a collision. USA Today reports that 989,701 Nissan and Infiniti brand vehicles were affected by the recall, some of them best-sellers. The models affected by the recall include:

  • 2013-2014 Nissan Altima (544,139)
  • 2013-2014 Leaf electric (29,165)
  • 2013-2014 Nissan Pathfinder (124,202)
  • 2013-2014 Nissan Sentra (182,569)
  • 2013 NV200/Taxi (6,696)
  • 2013 Infiniti JX35/ 2014 QX60 (63,698)
  • 2014 Infiniti Q50 (unspecified)

The defect involves the occupant classification system, which determines whether or not to deploy a passenger-side air bag based on if anyone is sitting in the front passenger seat. This system may fail, however, if there is “high engine vibration at idle when the seat is initially empty and then becomes occupied, or unusual occupant seating postures immediately upon being seated.”

For some of the affected models, it is the second time an air bag recall has been issued. Last April, 82,038 cars were recalled because of a defective sensor that might prevent the passenger-side air bag from deploying during a crash.

In documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Nissan said that there have been accidents related to the defect. The company initially began investigating the issue last spring, and issued a recall for a different problem at that time. A renewed investigation began last August, and since then the company has been aware of at least two incidents.

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