Nissan is recalling another 226,326 cars released in 2002 to 2004 over a defective airbag that has affected the entire auto industry.
Following the company's recall of more than 400,000 models earlier in March, Nissan has again alerted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Saturday that it is expanding its recall to include another 226,326 vehicles. The latest recall involves Nissan's Infiniti I35, Maxima and Pathfinder models released from 2002 to 2003, Nissan Sentra vehicles with model year 2002 to 2004, and the 2003 Infiniti FX mid-size luxury crossover SUV.
In a statement posted on the company website, Nissan says the recall involves a defective airbag that may cause too much internal pressure on the inflator, making it rupture as the airbag is deployed and send pieces of metal flying all over the place.
"In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the passenger's frontal air bag, the inflator could rupture with metal fragments striking and potentially seriously injuring the passenger seat occupant or other occupants," says Nissan. "This recall addresses both the passenger side frontal air bags that were originally installed in the vehicles, as well as replacement air bags that may have been installed as replacement service parts."
The company will begin its second recall on Aug. 11, 2014 and will notify owners with affected vehicles. Owners will be able to have their cars inspected at dealerships and, if their vehicles are found to have the faulty airbag, will be given replacements free of charge.
Nissan spokesperson Brian Brockman says the company is not aware of cases of injuries or casualties resulting from the defective airbag and that the recall is a measure to prevent unwanted accidents in the future.
This is the next in a series of recalls due to faulty airbags made by Japan's Takata Corporation. Automakers such as Ford, BMW, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda and Mazda are also in the process of recalling more than 10 million vehicles equipped with Takata's defective airbags. In March, Nissan sent a report to the NHTSA saying it is recalling 438,302 cars because of airbags that failed to deploy properly in "certain rare instances."
"A combination of factors such as high engine vibration at idle when the seat is initially empty and then becomes occupied, or unusual occupant seating postures immediately upon being seated may cause the OCS (Occupant Classification System) to classify an occupied front passenger seat as empty," says [pdf] Donald Neff, Nissan manager of technical compliance, in the company's report.
The earlier recall involved 2013-2014 models of Nissan Altima, Pathfinder, Sentra, LEAF, Infiniti and NV200 Taxi.