— Nissan is expanding a previous recall to fix cars that can leak gas in a crash and easily cause a fire. The previous recall was ordered in August when the automaker recalled 6,140 model year 2016 Maxima cars with fuel sending units not properly attached to the fuel tanks.
The expanded recall now includes over 28,000 model year 2013-2016 Nissan Altima cars and over 18,600 model year 2016 Nissan Maximas.
Nissan says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tested a 2016 Nissan Maxima and saw gas leaking after the crash test. The government informed Nissan and the automaker opened an investigation to determine the cause. After a visual inspection and pressure test, Nissan determined gas leaked at the seal between the gas tank and fuel sending unit.
Specifically, Nissan found a seal was displaced from its initial position, resulting in a loss of a good seal between the fuel tank and sending unit. After checking several gas tanks to find the cause of the leaking seal, Nissan believed the seals may move out of place because of a parts quality issue or assembly issue.
The automaker found the gas tank wall height wasn't exact at the point of the gas tank connection to the fuel sending unit. Nissan theorized the reduced wall height could make it difficult for the operator to correctly position the seal during assembly. This could cause the seal to move out of position during a crash.
Nissan created a fix consisting of a retainer ring that locks onto the gas tank and keeps the seal in the groove during a crash impact. With the fix in place, additional crash testing indicated no gas leaked from the seal.
The 2016 Maximas were built from February 10 to August 18, 2015. The 2013-2016 Nissan Altima 3.5L cars equipped with V6 engines were manufactured from March 30, 2012, to August 18, 2015.
Maxima and Altima owners should watch for mailed notification from Nissan. Dealers will install a retainer ring between the fuel sending unit and the gas tank.
With questions or comments, contact the automaker at 800-647-7261.