Faulty airbag deployment warrants Nissan recall of almost a million vehicles

Nissan Motor Co, Japan’s second largest automaker has announced that the company will be recalling 989,701 vehicles over a software glitch due to which airbags fail to deactivate. This recall also includes the new Altima sedan in North America.

As per inputs received from Nissan Motors and filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the software on board these vehicles could fail to detect a passenger in the seat and classify it as empty. This will in turn lead to failure of an airbag being deployed in the event of a crash which would result in risk of injury to the passenger. The recall will include 2014 Infiniti Q50 sedan and the QX60 crossover besides 2013-14 Pathfinder SUV, Leaf electric car and Sentra compact.

2013-Nissan-LEAFNissan has stated that the company has not received any reports of any accident or injury due to the software glitch and the recall will only affect vehicles sold across US, Canada and Mexico.

While filing papers with regard to this recall with NHTSA, Nissan stated that there were two field incidents where passenger bag did not deploy and the passenger airbag status light failed to illuminate. Nissan also said that this problem could have occurred due to various factors which include high engine vibration at idle when the seat was empty and then occupied or it could have taken place due to unusual occupant seating postures. These two instances could result in the system failing to recognize an occupied front passenger seat as being occupied.

Nissan dealers will be contacting owners asking them to bring in their vehicles for update of occupant classification system with the recall slated to commence in mid April.