2012 Nissan Frontier, Pathfinder, Xterra: Recall Alert

October 2, 2012

Nissan is conducting a voluntary safety recall of certain 2012 model year Frontier, Pathfinder and Xterra two-wheel-drive vehicles for an issue with front-wheel hubs.

A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) site puts the number of vehicles potentially affected at 2,417. Affected vehicles were built at Nissan’s Smyrna, Tennessee, plant from June 19, 2012 through July 12, 2012.

2012 Nissan Xterra

2012 Nissan Xterra

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Documentation from Nissan (PDF) shows the breakdown of make, model and quantity of vehicles in this recall as follows:

  • 2012 Nissan Frontier pickup – approximately 1,781 vehicles
  • 2012 Nissan Pathfinder SUV – approximately 215 vehicles
  • 2012 Nissan Xterra SUV  – approximately 421 vehicles

2012 Nissan Pathfinder

2012 Nissan Pathfinder

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The problem

Nissan says the problem is due to a supplier process, which has since been corrected, in which certain 2012 two-wheel drive Frontier, Pathfinder and Xterra vehicles were built with front wheel hubs that may not meet the design hardness specifications.

Wheel hubs with this defect may wear prematurely and eventually crack.  While the automaker said it expects this issue would give the driver warning of the condition through noise and vibration, if the driver continues to drive with such a condition, the wheel hub may break and the driver would have difficulty controlling the vehicle. This may result in a vehicle crash.

The wheel hub supplier discovered the problem during an in-house inspection in late June and an investigation was initiated to determine the cause and source of the defect. Nissan conducted its own investigation in July and August and additional analysis in August through September.

Nissan said that no customer complaints, injuries or accidents have been reported as a result of this issue.

What Nissan will do

Nissan will notify owners and dealers will replace the left and right side hub bearings at no cost. The Nissan safety recall is expected to begin on or about October 8, 2012.

In the meantime, owners of 2012 Nissan Frontier, Pathfinder and Xterra two-wheel drive vehicles with any questions or concerns may contact Nissan at 1-800-647-7261.

Alternatively, owners of vehicles involved in the campaign may contact NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to http://www.safercar.gov.  Reference the NHTSA campaign ID No. 12V462000.

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