A dangerous airbag-related defect has been identified in several Nissan vehicles that puts drivers and passengers at grave risk.
At the law offices of GWC Injury Lawyers, our team of Chicago personal injury lawyers are currently accepting inquiries from Nissan motor vehicle owners who may have experienced problems related to this defect.
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Airbag Sensor Defect
Airbag sensors in some Nissan vehicles have a dangerous defect. Malfunctioning airbag sensors in the front seat of certain models can’t identify when someone is sitting in the seat.
This is dangerous because the airbags may not deploy if the sensors think that the seat is empty. Nissan technicians have pinpointed the software in the vehicles as the primary problem.
The vehicle occupant classification software (OCS) used in some Nissan vehicles does not correctly respond to the presence of passengers in the seats on a reliable basis, which increases the risk of injury in an accident. Multiple accidents have been reported where the airbag failed to deploy because the sensors and software did not identify that a passenger was actually in the vehicle.
Nissan recalled 990,000 vehicles in 2013 and 2014 when the large auto manufacturer discovered that the front-seat airbag sensors were faulty. Nissan has provided a Recall Website where vehicle owners can use their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to quickly identify if there are any outstanding recalls on their vehicles. The website provides information as far back as recalls initiated in 1994.
Affected Nissan vehicles include:
- Pathfinder SUV (2013-14)
- Sentra (2013-14)
- Leaf (2013-14)
- Altima (2013-14)
- Infinity JX35 SUV (2013)
- Infinity QX60 SUV (2014)
- Infiniti Q50 SUV (2014)
All Nissan owners are encouraged to bring their recalled vehicles to the nearest Nissan dealership for repairs as soon as possible. Repairs that are necessary because of a recall will be completed free of charge.
For consumers who are interested in speaking directly with Nissan representatives, a phone number has been made available. Consumers may call 1-800-Nissan-1.
Nissan Under Investigation
According to Reuters, Nissan’s recalls from 2013 and 2014 for defects in the front-seat airbag sensors may have been faulty.
Reuters reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating because even after repairs on the airbag sensors were completed, the federal agency has received 124 complaints that the recall fixes did not work.
Despite the complaints, Nissan is arguing that the steps they took during the 2013 and 2014 recalls were sufficient to fix the problem.
One Nissan owner complained that despite four repairs on his Pathfinder, the airbag sensor failed to identify when an adult was sitting in the seat.
In many Nissan vehicles, a light turns on to show that the airbag is off when the seat is empty. However, in defective vehicles, the light remains on and the airbag is off even when an adult person is sitting in the seat. In light of the numerous complaints, the NHTSA has opened a Recall Query to determine whether Nissan actually fixed the problems that were identified in the earlier recalls.