Nissan is recalling certain 2010-2011 model year Sentra compact sedans equipped with MR20 engines over a potential battery terminal issue that may cause the engine to stall and not restart.
A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) site lists the number of potential affected units at 33,803. The affected vehicles were manufactured from May 11, 2010 through May 20, 2010 and from July 8, 2010 through October 25, 2010.
At issue is the thicker-than-specification zinc coating applied to the terminal stud bolt. This condition could result in a voltage drop that may cause difficulty in starting the vehicle and damage the electronic control module (ECM).
The NHTSA notice further says that this issue could cause engine stall while the Sentra is in motion, that it may not be possible to restart the engine after it has stopped, increasing crash risk.
Documentation from Nissan indicates that vehicles built between May 22, 2010 and July 8, 2010 are not affected because the component subjected to this recall was replaced during a previous recall campaign. Sentra vehicles manufactured before May 11, 2010 and after October 25, 2010 are not affected because they have a different battery terminal design. The automaker says that no other Nissan vehicles are affected because they use a different battery terminal.
Nissan will notify owners of affected Sentra sedans and dealers will replace the positive battery terminal and cover, free of charge. The Nissan safety recall is expected to begin on or before January 23, 2012.
In the meantime, owners of 2010-2011 Nissan Sentra vehicles may contact Nissan at 1-800-647-7261.
Alternatively, owners of vehicles involved in the campaign may contact the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to http://www.safercar.gov. Reference the NHTSA campaign ID No. 11V579000.