Malfunctioning Airbag Sensors Prompt Recall of Over 3 Million Nissan Vehicles

The passenger airbag may be turned off and not deploy in the event of a crash

Malfunctioning Airbag Sensors Prompt Recall of Over 3 Million Nissan Vehicles
Image: Nissan
April 29, 2016

Nissan has announced a recall for about 3.2 million vehicles due to an airbag defect.

The automaker is recalling the following vehicles:

  • 2016-2017 Nissan Maxima
  • 2013-2016 Nissan Altima
  • 2013-2016 Nissan NV200
  • 2013-2016 Nissan LEAF
  • 2013-2016 Nissan Sentra
  • 2013-2017 Nissan Pathfinder
  • 2014-2016 Nissan NV200 Tax
  • 2014-2016 Infiniti QX60
  • 2014-2016 Infiniti Q50
  • 2014-2017 Nissan Rogue
  • 2015-2016 Nissan Murano
  • 2015-2016 Chevrolet City Express
  • 2013 Infiniti JX35 vehicles

In these vehicles, the front seat passenger Occupant Classification System (OCS) may incorrectly classify an adult passenger as a child or classify the seat as empty despite it being occupied. As a result, the passenger frontal airbag may be turned off and not deploy in the event of a crash. This condition exposes the passenger to an increased risk of injury.

Nissan will notify owners. Dealers will reprogram the Air Bag Control Unit (ACU) and OCS Electronic Control Unit (ECU) in Altima, Maxima, Murano, Rogue, and Sentra vehicles, and replace the OCS ECU in LEAF, NV200, NV200 Taxi, Pathfinder, Infiniti Q50, JX35, and QX60 and Chevrolet City Express vehicles, free of charge.

The notification schedule has not yet been determined.

The affected Sentra models, included in the above recall, are subject to an additional recall as well, according to CNBC. In about 622,000 of the sedans, the front passenger seatbelt bracket may become deformed if it is used to secure a Child Restraint System (CRS). The deformed seat bracket may cause the Occupant Classification System (OCS) to incorrectly classify the installed CRS, resulting in the front passenger air bag remaining activated.

If the airbag deploys when a child seat is installed in the front passenger seat, there will be an increased risk of injury to the child.

Dealers will reinforce the seat belt bracket in addition to the ACU and ECU reprogramming. However, the remedy is not yet available. Owners will be mailed an interim notification by the end of June 2016 and will be sent a second letter when the remedy is available. Owners should not install a CRS in the front seat until the issue is addressed.

Owners with questions about these recalls can contact Nissan customer service at (800) 867-7669, Infiniti customer service at (888) 833-3216, and Chevrolet customer service at (800) 222-1020.