Nissan North America has issued a massive recall for their Nissan and Infiniti vehicles due to a software glitch. The recall affects nearly 1 million vehicles and is the fifth largest this year, with the recent recall of 1.3 million vehicles by General Motors (GM).
Why have Nissan issued a recall?
The recall comes following reports of a glitch that could prevent certain airbags from deploying during collisions. This stems from a flaw in Nissan’s occupant classification system software which determines whether the passenger seat is occupied. When the software detects a passenger, it activates the airbags around the passenger seat, conversely if it believes the seat is empty it deactivates those airbags.
Unfortunately the software installed on the recalled vehicles may incorrectly determine that the passenger seat is empty when it is occupied. If this was to happen, the passenger seat airbags would fail to deploy if the vehicle was in an accident, possibly resulting in injury or death.
In their letter to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), the company have not indicated whether the defect was involved in any reported accidents. The report said the automaker was aware of three accidents in which the passenger air bag did not deploy in a crash even though the seat was said to be occupied. Nissan is not aware of any fatalities involving the problem and did not know if any injuries were associated with the defect.
What vehicles are affected by the recall?
According to a bulletin from the NHTSA, the recall affects 989,701 vehicles registered in the United States (US). A range of vehicles spanning Nissan and Infiniti’s line ups from the 2013 and 2014 model years are affected by the recall. These are the 2013 Infinit JX35, 2014 Infiniti Q50, 2014 Infiniti QX60, 2013-2014 Nissan Altima, 2013-2014 Nissan leaf, 2013 Nissan NV200, 2013-2014 Nissan Pathfinder and 2013-2014 Nissan Sentra.
What will Nissan do during the recall?
The Japanese manufacturer is already working on a software upgrade and the company will notify owners when the patch is ready which will likely be in mid April. At that time, owners of vehicles affected by the recall will be able to take their vehicle to Nissan and Infiniti dealers who will update the software free of charge.