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 Nissan/Infiniti Issues Two Recalls Affecting Children
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   Nissan/Infiniti is recalling 3,177,645 cars in the U.S. due to continuing problems with the vehicles’ Occupant Protection Classification (OPC) software, which determines whether the front passenger air bag should deploy based on whether an occupant is present and that occupant’s size.

   In one recall affecting all 3,177,645 vehicles, defective OPC sensors might incorrectly think that an adult is a child or classify the seat as empty, thus turning off the air bag.  A second recall applies only to the 620,000 Nissan Sentras, in which there’s the possibility of the opposite problem: OPC sensors that don’t power off the air bag when they should.

CPSTs should warn caregivers that:

  • Children are always much safer in the rear, as recommended by Nissan.  Drivers should check the status of the indicator light on the dash to confirm its accuracy, especially when a passenger is seated in the front.
  • This recall expands on earlier recalls and also re-recalls models that were previously recalled; owners should contact Nissan for the fix even if they have done so before.
  • The second recall problem that affects the 2013-2016 Sentra sedan is directly related to CR use in the front passenger seat.  These vehicles must also have their front seat belt brackets reinforced because, when a CR is installed in the front (which Nissan discourages) and the seat belt is “significantly over-tensioned” during installation, the bracket can become deformed and cause the sensor to fail to turn off the air bag.

Models included in the first recall:
2016–2017 Nissan Maxima
2015–2016 Murano and Chevrolet City Express
2014–2017 Rogue
2013–2017 Pathfinder
2014–2016 Infiniti QX60 and Q50
2013–2016 Altima, Leaf, and Sentra
2013–2016 NV200 (including the taxi model starting in 2014
2013–2016 Altima, Leaf, and Sentra
2013 Infiniti JX35 
(Note: The Chevy City Express is a re-badged version of the Nissan NV.  Registered owners will be notified by Chevrolet.)

Model additionally affected by the second recall:
2013–2016 Altima, Leaf, and Sentra

Remedy:
   Owners should contact their Nissan dealer. At the time of the recall, Nissan had not yet developed the fix and it was not able to predict its availability. 
Until the problem can be corrected, refrain from installing a CR in that position and use caution when transporting occupants in the front passenger seat by checking the accuracy of the dashboard indicator.

Note: This information will be included in the May/June issue of Safe Ride News, but because the problem related to the Nissan Sentra poses extreme danger to children, we felt it was important to alert the public immediately.
© 2015  Safe Ride News 2016

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