Nissan Recalls 3.53 Million Rides Over Faulty Airbag Sensor

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you no doubt know about the massive Takata airbag recall, prompted by a faulty chemical mix that causes affected airbags to rupture violently and unexpectedly even in minor crashes. But Takata airbags aren’t the only ones with issues, as evidenced by Nissan’s recent recall of 3.53 million vehicles around the world, including 3.2 million registered here in the US.

The issue is a faulty sensor in passenger-side airbags that can malfunction in one of two equally troublesome ways. In roughly 622,000 Nissan Sentra models built between 2013 and 2016 airbags may deploy in crashes when they shouldn't, such as when a child is in the seat. In the rest of the recalled cars, the front seat passenger Occupant Classification System may incorrectly classify an adult passenger as a child or classify the seat as empty when it’s not. In these cases, the passenger frontal air bag may be turned off and not deploy at all, even in a severe collision.

Models affected by this second issue include:

  • 2016-2017 Nissan Maxima,
  • 2013-2016 Nissan Altima, NV200, and LEAF
  • 2013-2017 Nissan Pathfinder
  • 2014-2016 Nissan NV200 Taxi, Infiniti QX60 and Q50
  • 2014-2017 Nissan Rogue
  • 2015-2016 Nissan Murano
  • 2013 Infiniti JX35

GM’s 2015-2016 Chevrolet City Express vehicles also are included in the recall, as many of them have the same defect.

Thus far, Nissan officials say they know of at least three crashes involving the faulty airbags. Fortunately, they involved only moderate injuries, but the potential for serious injuries or even death is clear. If you believe your ride may be affected by the recall, we here at E3 Spark Plugs urge you to head to your nearest Nissan or GM dealership, stat! They’ll reprogram or replace faulty components free of charge.