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From Products Liability Law Daily, April 29, 2016

Nissan recalls nearly 3.8 million vehicles due to air bag, seat belt concerns

By Colleen Kave, J.D.

Nissan North America, Incorporated has issued two separate recall notices related to air bag and seat belt defects that affect more than 3,790,000 vehicles. Both recalls involve issues with the front seat passenger Occupant Classification System (OSC).

Passenger frontal air bag issue. Nissan has recalled approximately 3,177,645 model year 2016-2017 Nissan Maxima, 2013-2016 Nissan Altima, NV200, LEAF and Sentra, 2013-2017 Nissan Pathfinder, 2014-2016 Nissan NV200 Taxi, Infiniti QX60 and Q50, 2014-2017 Nissan Rogue, 2015-2016 Nissan Murano, Chevrolet City Express and 2013 Infiniti JX35 vehicles because in these vehicles, the front seat passenger Occupant Classification System (OCS) may incorrectly classify an adult passenger as a child or classify the seat as empty despite it being occupied. As a result, the passenger frontal air bag may be turned off and not deploy in the event of a crash. According to the company, if the passenger frontal air bag does not deploy as intended in the event of a crash, the passenger is at an increased risk of injury.

Nissan will notify their owners. Chevrolet City Express owners will be notified by General Motors. Dealers will reprogram the Air Bag Control Unit (ACU) and OCS Electronic Control Unit (ECU) in Altima, Maxima, Murano, Rogue, and Sentra vehicles, and replace the OCS ECU in LEAF, NV200, NV200 Taxi, Pathfinder, Infiniti Q50, JX35, and QX60 and Chevrolet City Express vehicles, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. (NHTSA Recall Notice, No. 16V244, Report receipt date: April 26, 2016).

Seatbelt anchor issue. Nissan has also recalled around 622,110 model year 2013-2016 Sentra vehicles manufactured from June 13, 2012, to April 14, 2016, because the front passenger seat belt bracket may become deformed if it is used to secure a Child Restraint System (CRS). The deformed seat bracket may cause the Occupant Classification System (OCS) to incorrectly classify the installed CRS, resulting in the front passenger air bag to not be turned off as designed when a CRS is in the seat. The company warns that if the frontal passenger air bag deploys in the event of a crash when a child seat is installed in the front passenger seat, there will be an increased risk of injury to the child in the CRS.

Nissan will notify owners, and dealers will reinforce the seat belt bracket as well as reprogram the Air Bag Control Unit (ACU) and OCS Electronic Control Unit (ECU), free of charge. The remedy is not yet available. Owners will be mailed an interim notification by the end of June 2016 and will be sent a second letter when the remedy is available. Owners are warned not to install a CRS in the front seat. (NHTSA Recall Notice, No. 16V242, Report receipt date: April 26, 2016).

Contact information. Owners may contact Nissan customer service at 1-800-867-7669, Infiniti customer service at 1-888-833-3216 or Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Companies: Nissan North America, Inc.

MainStory: TopStory RecallNewsStory MotorVehiclesNews

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