Nissan has launched a recall for over 54,000 vehicles due to an airbag issue, following an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The problem with the airbags of the recalled vehicles, however, is different from the issue of the exploding airbags by Japanese supplier Takata.
Nissan Recalls 2012 Versa Cars On Airbag Issues
The vehicle recall initiated by Nissan covers over 54,000 units of the 2012 model of the Nissan Versa. The issue with the airbags of the said vehicle is that they may unexpectedly deploy when the doors are slammed.
The NHTSA launched the investigation into the matter in October 2016 after owners of the 2012 Nissan Versa filed a complaint that curtain and seat-mounted side airbags on both the driver and front passenger side deployed when the doors were closed.
Several 2012 Nissan Versa customers have reported such incidents, prompting the NHTSA to look into the matter. After five months into the investigation, Nissan is now launching a recall for the affected vehicles.
The Cause Of The Suddenly Deploying Airbags
According to the findings of Nissan, the side airbag connector harnesses of the 2012 Nissan Versa used a wrong combination of metals, which result in oxidation affecting the pins that connect the control units of the harnesses. When oxidation sets in on the connector pins, there is a short communication loss between the airbag control unit and the satellite sensor.
Once signal loss happens, the systems of the curtain and seat-mounted side airbags go into a backup mode that enables deployment in the event of a crash. However, because the requirements for airbag deployment under backup mode changes, a simple slam of the 2012 Nissan Versa's doors could be enough to activate the system and deploy the airbags.
Nissan noted that usually, the force that would be needed to deploy the airbags from the faulty state could only be generated from passengers slamming the door of the 2012 Nissan Versa from the outside. However, there is the risk of the airbags suddenly deploying while the driver or passenger is still inside the car, which can cause injury to customers.
Another Airbag Fix For Nissan
Owners of 2012 Nissan Versa vehicles who send in their units to dealers under the recall program will receive new jumper harness kits that will replace the connection terminals with the wrong combination of metals with tin-plated ones. Additionally, dealers will replace the satellite sensors of the recalled vehicles with new ones.
Nissan, which has not yet revealed when the recall program will begin, is urging owners of the 2012 Nissan Versa to contact their dealers, the company's customer service hotline, or the NHTSA.
The recall for the faulty airbag system of the 2012 Nissan Versa will come in addition to the industry-wide Takata airbag problem, which has caused Nissan to drop the supplier along with other automobile manufactures.
The new recall, however, is much smaller than the recall that Nissan launched in April of last year. Also separate from the Takata airbags problem, Nissan recalled 3.5 million vehicles due to risk of their airbags not properly deploying.