The 2014 Nissan Altima is included in recall of more than 1 million vehicles prompted by an ongoing airbag issue. A problem with airbag sensors in certain Nissan and Infinity models first addressed over a year ago still is not resolved and it’s prompted a recall of more than 1 million vehicles across North America and Canada. In affected units, the front passenger air bags may fail to inflate in an accident, leaving adult passengers at risk for serious injury.
The problem lies in faulty software. Front passenger seats of the recalled vehicles have sensors designed to determine the passenger’s weight, then turn airbags off if the sensors indicate that a child is on board. That’s because children’s still-developing bones are far more fragile than those of adults, which means they’re more vulnerable to injury from a deployed airbag. Keep in mind that airbags are not soft, billowy pillow-like buffers. Rather, they deploy from a vehicle’s dashboard at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour and the impact against a body or face can be severe enough to cause fatal injuries.
In at least three incidents reported to Nissan officials, the sensors malfunctioned, turning off front-seat passenger airbags despite those passengers being adults of sufficient weight to keep the airbags turned on. Though no deaths were reported and it’s unclear whether those passengers were injured, the risk is clear. Airbags are credited with saving the lives of thousands of adults involved in car crashes nationwide each year. Vehicles affected in the latest recall – nearly 990,000 in the United States and another 60,000 in Canada – include:
- 2013 and 2014 Nissan Altima;
- 2013 and 2014 Nissan Leaf electric car;
- 2013 and 2014 Nissan Pathfinder SUV
- 2014 and 2014 Nissan Sentra;
- 2013 NV200 Taxi Van
- 2013 Infiniti JX35 SUV
- 2014 Infiniti QX60 SUV
- 2014 Infiniti Q50 SUV
If you drive one of these vehicles and had yours repaired after the February 2013 recall, you may need to get a second repair. Dealers replaced seat sensors in those vehicles, but Nissan officials said the company continued to receive customer complaints and warranty claims in vehicles that had been repaired. Nissan and Infiniti will notify registered owners of affected units and will update the software free of charge. If you or your dependents are injured as a result of a failed airbag, whether in one of these recalled vehicles or a different one, get medical treatment and contact an experienced auto accident or product liability attorney. Jacksonville-based Harrell and Harrell, serving clients throughout North and Central Florida and Southeast Georgia, can help assure you receive fair compensation for your losses.