Nissan recalls Pathfinders whose brake lights won’t turn off

Franklin, TN – February 2, 2021 – Nissan (OTCMKTS:NSANY) has recalled 267,276 Pathfinder SUVs with a faulty brake relay –  also known as the brake light switch – that causes the brake lights to stay lit, even when the brake is not pressed. The defect can also have other effects on how the car starts, shifts gears and drives. The affected part number is 25230 79917.

The recall includes:

  • 2013 Nissan Pathfinders
  • 2014 Nissan Pathfinders
  • 2015 Nissan Pathfinders

Recall summary 

The brake light switch is a sensor that tells other parts of the car  – the brake lights, the gear shift and sometimes the ignition – that a driver is pressing the brake. 

This Nissan Pathfinder recall expands and supersedes a prior recall initiated in May 2016. The original recall was conducted because of a defect which caused the switch to turn on and off in rapid succession due to the movement and vibration of the car, eventually damaging the switch until it was stuck in the “on” position. This made the Pathfinders “think” the brake was being pressed when it was not, causing a whole host of driving issues. 

The new recall includes certain 2013-2015 Pathfinders manufactured at Nissan’s Smyrna plant in Tennessee from 2012 to 2017. The first recall only covered 2013 and 2014 Pathfinders manufactured from 2012 to 2013.

Nissan has not disclosed why the previous recall has failed.

Switching gears when it “wants to”

Leading up to this recall, Pathfinder owners filed a litany of complaints with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), describing their harrowing experiences with the brake light switch and related issues. Some drivers said that their brake lights were constantly lit, sometimes draining the battery.  Owners described the car switching “from reverse to drive… when it wants to.” The cars would also stall after stopping or randomly, while out on a highway, “becoming a life hazard” for the driver and his family.


Functioning brake lights warn drivers when someone is slowing down. If the brake lights are constantly on, other drivers will not know when a car is actually braking, increasing the risk of a crash.

The defect also allows drivers to start the car and shift out of park without pressing on the brake. This may cause the car to roll away, putting people who are in the way at risk.

Some vehicles may also stall, which can be dangerous, particularly on the freeway. Read more about what to do if your car stalls while you’re driving.

The repair

Nissan dealers will check to see if the car’s brake light relay has already been fixed. If it has not, Nissan will replace the switch and change its placement on the brake to prevent the problem from recurring. Recall notifications will be sent to owners starting March 1. 

As of January 1, Nissan reported that repair parts were expected to be in short supply until “February”; they did not specify when in February parts were expected to  become available. 

Owners who had this repair performed on their own dime before the recall was announced may be eligible for reimbursement through Nissan Consumer Affairs.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 260,000 Pathfinder SUVs are included in this recall. To perform a Nissan recall check, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandNissan recalls Pathfinders whose brake lights won’t turn off

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