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Nissan Recalls 375 Airbags Over Inflator Rupture Concern

Nissan is recalling a grand total of 375 airbags installed by its U.S. dealerships as part of a theft event or collision repair. The driver- and passenger-side airbag inflators in question were produced by Takata, a name associated with one of the automotive industry’s worst suppliers.
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Propellant degradation, which occurs after prolonged exposure to high absolute humidity, high temperatures, and high temperature cycling, may result in the passenger-side airbag inflator rupturing in the event of deployment. The driver-side airbag inflator shows a pattern of propellant density reduction over time, which may also lead to an inflator rupture.

The inflator may rupture upon deployment, causing metal fragments to pass through the airbag into the vehicle’s cabin at high speed. The high risk of injury or death shouldn’t be taken lightly because the death toll from exploding airbag inflators produced by Takata has risen to 28 worldwide. Of those, 19 deaths occurred on U.S. soil. The most recent incident claimed the life of a 23-year-old driver of a 2006 Ford Ranger in Pensacola, FL.

In the first instance, Nissan identified 375 airbags that have to be replaced with safer units. 142 found their way into the 2006 to 2010 Infiniti M35 and M45, and the list of suspect vehicles further includes the 2002 - 2003 QX4, 2001 - 2003 Nissan Maxima, 2002 - 2006 Sentra, and 2007 - 2011 Versa.

Once the final population is identified, owners of the affected vehicles will be asked by first-class mail to bring their cars in for new airbags. The planned owner notification date, alas, is a mystery at the present moment.

As a brief refresher, Takata Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States in June 2017 because it owed too many dollars in compensation. The surviving assets were acquired by Chinese-owned Key Safety Systems, which is based in Auburn Hills, MI. Following this acquisition, both companies were merged into Joyson Safety Systems.

 Download: Nissan airbag recall (PDF)


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