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Nissan Issues Recall Due to Airbag Deployment Problems

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In the wake of General Motors recalling 1.6 million vehicles due to a faulty ignition switch that disables airbag deployment, another automaker has issued a recall amid similar concerns.

Nissan announced it is recalling more than 1 million vehicles to fix faulty airbag sensors that may not deploy the front passenger airbag in the event a crash, MSN reported.

According to a filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 989,701 of the 1,053,479 cars recalled worldwide are in the U.S. The recalled models include the 2013-2014 Nissan Altima, Pathfinder and Sentra; the 2013 NC200 and Infiniti JX35; and the 2014 Infiniti QX60 and Q50.

Nissan said it believes that high engine vibration that occurs during idling combined with the unusual seating posture could trick the sensor and disable the front passenger airbag, according to MSN.  The occupant-detection sensor in the front passenger seat is designed to measure pressure and switches off the airbag in the event the seat is empty or a child is up front. The recall is an extension of and readdresses the February 2103 airbag sensor recall for 82,038 Nissan models.

Several months after the February 2013 recall, Nissan said it was still receiving warranty claims for faulty airbag sensors and believed the problems were happening because of people sitting in unusual positions. The NHTSA later informed Nissan of airbag complaints. Further investigation by the automaker revealed that at least seven cases existed where the passenger airbag did not deploy because the sensor identified the seat as empty, MSN reported. Nissan bought back four of the seven cars from owners and by February created a software update to the airbag sensor for all cars it produces.

Nissan said beginning in mid-April the company will reprogram the airbag sensor to better detect idle vibrations and various additional seating positions, MSN reported.

Airbag sensors have been a hot-button issue over the last month. On Feb. 13, G.M. announced it was recalling about 778,000 vehicles due to an ignition issue. The recall notice reported that if the vehicle was jarred or the keys jostled, the engine could be inadvertently turned off, keeping the air bags from deploying. The recall included the Chevrolet Cobalt from the 2005-7 model years and 2007 Pontiac G5 cars, which comprised 619,000 vehicles in the United States alone.

During its initial recall, G.M. acknowledged that it was aware of the deaths of 13 front-seat passengers in crashes where the front air bags failed to deploy.

G.M. then expanded its recall a few days later, saying it was recalling about 748,000 additional vehicles, the New York Times reported. The expanded recall covered the 2003-7 Saturn Ions, 2006-7 Chevrolet HHRs and 2006-7 Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky. Since the recall, several class action lawsuits have been filed against G.M. alleging that the company knew about the defect for a decade but failed fix the problem. Lawsuits have already been filed in Alabama, California and Michigan, with more expected to follow in the coming weeks. disclaimer: This article: Nissan Issues Recall Due to Airbag Deployment Problems was posted on Thursday, March 27th, 2014 at 5:56 pm at and is filed under Accident Lawsuits, Product Liability Lawsuits, Uncategorized.

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