Safety regulators in the United States are launching an investigation into complaints against Nissan Motor Co., stating that a pair of recall orders issued by the automobile manufacturer was not able to fix an identified problem regarding the air bag sensors for the front seats of vehicles.
According to the Associated Press, the investigation will cover around 990,000 vehicles located within the United States that were the subject of recall orders in 2013 and 2014.
The recall order was issued by Nissan to fix computer software that may not be able to detect if there is an adult sitting on the front passenger seat, which would cause the airbags to be deactivated and not inflate if a crash occurs. The sensors are able to detect if there is a child sitting on the passenger seat, which turn off the air bags because they can harm the child when they are released.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there have been 124 complaints regarding the problem still happening after the fixes were supposedly made. As such, the NHTSA has launched a "recall query" to check if the fix associated with the recall order, which was an update to the software of the affected vehicles, is an effective one.
Nissan said that it believes in the effectiveness of the software update to fix the issue. In addition, the car company said that it took extra steps to assist dealers in addressing the concerns of customers that were not related to the issued recall orders.
According to the NHTSA, Nissan and Infiniti drivers complained that after receiving the repairs for the recall order, the status light of the passenger air bag remains on, which means that the air bag for the passenger seat is disabled even if there is an adult on the seat.
In one of the complaints that was filed back in May of last year, a Pathfinder owner stated that the SUV had been taken to the dealer a total of four times across two different recall orders. However, the passenger air bag status light still stays on, despite an adult passenger.
The recall order included the Altima sedan, the Leaf electric vehicle, the Pathfinder SUV and the Sentra compact vehicles with model years 2013 and 2014, along with the NV200 Taxi van and the Infiniti JX35 SUV with model year 2013. Lastly, the Infiniti QX60 and the Q50 SUV of model year 2014 was also affected.
Last year, Nissan issued a recall order covering 1,053,479 of its vehicles from around the world, though mostly within the United States, for fixing the airbag software.
Photo: Benjamin Goodger | Flickr