Nissan Recalls a Variety of Vehicles Due to Issue With Replacement Airbag

Laguna Hills, CA – Jan 9, 2020 – Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) is recalling certain 2001-2003 Maxima, 2002-2006 Sentra, 2002-2004 Pathfinder, 2007-2011 Versa Sedan and Versa Hatchback, 2001-2004 Infiniti I30 and I35, 2002-2003 Inifiniti QX4, 2003-2008 Infiniti FX35 and FX45 and 2006-2010 M35 and M45 vehicles. These vehicles may be equipped with non-desiccated frontal airbag inflators that were used as temporary remedy replacement parts for a previous recall of Takata airbags. The inflators are in danger of rupturing due to exposure to high levels of humidity or temperatures, as well as rapid temperature changes. 

The potential number of units affected is estimated at 307,962.

The Defect

Non-desiccated air bag inflators were equipped on various Nissan vehicles as temporary stopgap remedies in previous Takata airbag recalls. These inflators have a defect of their own; due to the presence of moisture in these parts, the inflator’s supply of stabilized ammonium nitrate is susceptible to changes in pressure. These pressure changes can occur due to high temperatures or high levels of humidity – in addition, rapid temperature cycling can also cause these pressure changes. At high enough temperatures or humidity, the inflators can explode, resulting in metal debris impacting the driver and passengers of the vehicle. This increases the risk of personal injury to occupants as well as collisions resulting from either distraction or incapacitating injuries.

Timeline of Events

In early January, Takata sent out Defect Report 20E-001, detailing a defect they discovered in some airbag inflators used as temporary replacement parts in a recall. Upon receipt of this report, Nissan collated a list of previously recalled vehicles equipped with this remedy. It was determined that 2001-2003 Maxima, 2002-2006 Sentra, 2002-2004 Pathfinder, 2007-2011 Versa Sedan and Versa Hatchback, 2001-2004 Infiniti I30 and I35, 2002-2003 Inifiniti QX4, 2003-2008 Infiniti FX35 and FX45 and 2006-2010 M35 / M45 vehicles were equipped with these replacement parts.

After the confirming the risk, Nissan drafted a safety recall January 2, 2020, brought upon by an “abundance of caution” according to the initial filing. On January 9, this recall notice became public, and owners of the affected vehicles were made aware of the risk. Preparations were made to replace the non-desiccated inflators with correct desiccated ones; the remedy process is projected to start in early February. 

The Solution

In accordance with the initial recall, Nissan will notify owners of the danger and replace the air bag inflators with non defective ones, free of charge. Owners will be periodically notified and reminded of the defective nature of the parts and the recall will be distinguished from the original to avoid confusion. Owners can bring their vehicles to authorized retailers in order to receive their free replacement parts. However, until then, owners are advised not to operate their vehicles due to the risk involved to both occupants and other motorists. This recall is expected to begin February 10, 2020. 

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesNissan Recalls a Variety of Vehicles Due to Issue With Replacement Airbag