— The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is taking a close look at a huge Nissan recall from March 2014. The government has opened a "recall query" to determine if Nissan's recall of about one million vehicles actually worked.
What's bad for the automaker is the March 2014 recall occurred partly because a 2013 recall failed.
The problem is the occupant classification system (OCS) in the following Nissan vehicles:
- 2013-2014 Nissan Altima
- 2013-2014 Nissan LEAF
- 2013-2014 Nissan Pathfinder
- 2013-2014 Nissan Sentra
- 2013 Nissan NV200
- 2013 Infiniti JX35
- 2014 Infiniti Q50 and QX60
The OCS is used to tell the airbags when to deploy based on an occupant being an adult or child. If the OCS determines an adult is sitting in the seat during a crash, the airbag will deploy with too much force if the occupant is really a child. Turn that around and the airbag could fail to deploy with enough force to protect an adult if the system mistakenly determines a child is in the seat.
Failures of the OCS could also cause the airbag to deactivate even though an adult is sitting in the seat.
Since the 2014 Nissan recall, the government has received 124 complaints after the vehicles were repaired. Owners report the passenger airbag light stays on indicating the airbag is deactivated. Some owners allege dealers have tried numerous repairs to fix the problem but nothing has helped.
NHTSA says the investigation will focus on the software update remedy used by Nissan to allegedly repair the airbag problems.
CarComplaints.com will update you when the government investigation is complete.