Washington, D.C. – October 25, 2016 – A brake fluid leak in some Nissan vehicles may cause an electrical short which carries with it the risk of a fire breaking out, according to a recall memo from the National Traffic Safety Administration. The Nissan vehicles mentioned in the report included the 2016-2017 Maxima, 2015-2017 Murano and 2015-2016 Murano hybrid. Additionally, the report mentioned that as many as 120,329 vehicles were affected by the issue. Nissan informed dealers on September 2, 2016, and began preparing notifications for the owners to go out via first class mail some time in the following 60 days.
The vehicles that are at risk for having the defect mentioned in the recall are equipped with actuators that were manufactured outside of specified dimensions. In fact, the wrong die temperatures may have resulted in the formation of seal hardness in the vehicles with Nissan’s Intelligent Cruise Control. If this occurs, the seal will likely leak brake fluid onto a circuit board. Although an ABS warning lamp, should be triggered in response to the leak, the an electrical short can occur and a fire could break out at that location in your vehicle.
Timeline Of Nissan’s Response
Nissan recommended that if the ABS light inside your Nissan vehicle stays illuminated for more than 10 seconds, you should pull over and park your car as soon as you can. Although it took a little time to investigate the issue, Nissan has done a good job of putting together a game plan to handle the recalls. Here are a few distinct actions that Nissan took over the course of first finding out about the problem to the issue of a recall:
- June 7, 2016: Nissan was first notified of an incident involving thermal damage to a 2016 Nissan maxima. There was an inspection of the vehicle scheduled immediately to determine the cause and origin of the problem.
- June 2016: After the inspection, Nissan determined that a fire did occur and likely originated in the area around the ABS actuator. Upon further investigation, it was made clear that the ABS warning lamp was on prior to the issue. Nissan proceeded to notify the ABS actuator unit supplier (ADVICS) and continued the investigation with the supplier.
- June 2016 – August 2016: In collaboration with ADVICS, Nissan attempted to determine whether or not this is an isolated incident or one that affects a collection of vehicles. Nissan also monitored other incidents that sound similar to this one more closely.
- August 24, 2016: Based on evidence from the investigation, Nissan determined that the defect was real and a risk to driver safety. As such, the company conducted a safety recall campaign to remedy the issue as much as possible.
Every individual who responds to Nissan’s recall can have their vehicle examined at a dealership. Your Nissan professional should inspect the serial number of your ABS actuator to see if it was manufactured during an affected time. If it was, the dealer will replace your ABS actuator at no cost to you, the owner.