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Nissan Recalls Vehicles Due to Dangerous Passenger Side Airbag Defects

Nicoletti Walker Law Group May 26, 2015

Nissan recently announced that it is recalling approximately 3.5 million vehicles, most-all in the United States, due to the front-passenger airbags potentially being defective during crashes. Specifically, regulators have been putting forth efforts to get the company to fix widespread issues with the occupant sensing system for years. The system at issue detects whether the passenger seat has someone in it or not, or whether there is a child or adult in the seat—both of which affect whether the airbag deploys or not.

For example, in many, the malfunction could cause the airbag to deploy when there is a child in the passenger seat, potentially injuring the child. There have been several crashes in which the airbag system did not deploy properly, resulting in serious injuries. In addition, in other vehicles, the airbags sometimes fail to deploy at all, even with an adult passenger in the seat, because the system is not picking up on a passenger sitting there.

Models Included

The models included cover some of Nissan’s most popular, such as the:

  • 2013-2016 Sentra;

  • 2013-2016 Altima;

  • 2014-2017 Rogue;

  • 2016-2017 Maxima;

  • 2015-2016 Murano;

  • 2013-2017 Pathfinder;

  • 2013-2016 Leaf; and

  • 2014-2016 Infiniti Q50 and QX60.

Other models are included as well, including:

  • Chevrolet/City Express/2015-2016;

  • Infiniti/JX35/2013;

  • Nissan NV200 Taxi/2014-2016; and

  • Nissan/NV200/2013-2016.


The issue became so serious that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration previously opened an investigation last year, which arose out of numerous consumer-owner complaints.

According to the company’s own announcement, it will proceed with the recall in two separate initiatives:

  • Recall 3.2 million vehicles to fix the Occupant Classification System, which is responsible for identifying when there is someone in the passenger seat (and is currently failing to detect someone, thus causing passengers injuries in crashes when the airbags fail to deploy). This issue first surfaced in 2013, yet recalling close to 1,000,000 vehicles the following year (2014) did not suffice to correct the issue;

  • Recall more than 620,000 vehicles due to an issue with the Child Restraint System, whereby if the seat belt bracket is becoming deformed when it secures a child, it may cause the system to incorrectly classify the front passenger, causing an airbag to deploy when it should not.

However, although Nissan has indicated that it will notify owners of all the recalled vehicles, the company is also only able to make repairs when the parts become available, leaving many on the road especially vulnerable to injury or death.

Contact a Clearwater Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident, it is important to protect your legal rights. Not only can these injuries be caused by someone driving negligently, but also potentially due to defects with parts and products as well. If you’ve been hurt, you have rights. Contact Mike Walker in Clearwater for a free consultation to discuss your case.