Franklin, Tenn. – Nov. 7, 2017 – Nissan North America has recalled more than 17,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective steering components, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2017-2018 Infiniti QX30 hatchback sedans assembled between Aug. 10, 2015 and June 16, 2017. Nissan estimates 1 percent of the models referenced in the recall actually contain the defective parts.
The vehicles named in this action could contain broken steering column module clock springs that are insufficiently grounded. These components may produce electromagnetic charges that ascend the steering column, enter air bag assemblies and prompt inadvertent air bag deployment. These fixtures pose a serious safety hazard to occupants – especially those traveling at high speeds, as the accidental activation of vehicle safety features could lead to a collision. However, Nissan has yet to receive reports connecting the defect to any accidents or injuries.
Timeline of Events
In October 2017, Mercedes-Benz USA recalled nearly 500,000 vehicles with defective steering columns prone to discharging electromagnetic currents and activating air bags, according to the NHTSA. This action came as the result of a two-year investigation in which Mercedes engineers had discovered that the steering columns in more than three dozen models contained broken clock springs and suffered from electromagnetic incompatibility.
One month before Mercedes publicized its recall, Daimler AG, the automotive conglomerate that controls Mercedes, contacted Nissan, with whom it shared suppliers, and made the Japanese company aware of the potential safety issue. Throughout October 2017, Nissan engineers met with DAG personnel to better understand the defect. Over this same span, Nissan confirmed that the defective steering column assemblies installed in the recalled Mercedes models had been used during the production of 2017-2018 Infiniti QX30 sedans. Following its meetings with DAG, Nissan chose to conduct its own voluntary safety recall Oct. 26. The car manufacturing company notified dealers Nov. 2.
Nissan has asked dealers to reinforce the grounding in the steering assemblies installed in the affected vehicles, according to a recall acknowledgment document from the NHTSA. This work, which involves the installation of a commutator ring designed to optimize grounding, will be performed free of charge. In the meantime, Nissan is developing a more effective long-term solution that will be released to dealers when ready. The automaker plans to notify owners Dec. 18. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact Nissan customer service at (800) 622-6200. Callers should choose option seven when prompted. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using its toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.