Last week, Nissan announced that it was adding 1.56 million vehicles to the long list of cars, trucks, and SUVs that have been recalled worldwide to replace potentially deadly airbags manufactured by Takata.
At the time, the automaker didn't offer details about which makes and models were affected by the update, but we now know that the 2004 Nissan Pathfinder and the 2004-2006 Nissan Sentra are among them, and that 263,692 of those vehicles are registered in the U.S.
Takata's airbags have been responsible for numerous injuries and at least six deaths. Though the issue is still under investigation, it appears that the ammonium nitrate that Takata used as a propellant becomes highly unstable when exposed to moisture, including atmospheric humidity. As a result, the airbags can explode upon deployment, spraying hot shrapnel from the devices throughout the vehicle.
According to a bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, today's Sentra and Pathfinder recall is actually an expansion of a previous recall that was limited to specific areas of the U.S. The recall now affects Sentra and Pathfinder vehicles from coast to coast.
That's a little unusual, because the recall is focused on passenger-side airbags. While recalls of Takata's driver-side airbags have been conducted nationwide, recalls of passenger-side vehicles have typically been limited to high-humidity areas of the country, like states along the Gulf Coast. The expansion makes the recall process much simpler for owners.
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However, while it has no geographic parameters, the recall is limited by dates of manufacture. Specifically, it includes:
- 2004 Pathfinder vehicles built between January 6, 2004 and July 19, 2004
- 2004-2006 Sentra vehicles built between January 7, 2004 and August 26, 2006
Nissan says that it will begin mailing recall notices on or before June 15. After receiving those notices, owners can take their vehicles to a Nissan dealer, who will replace the passenger-side airbag inflator at no charge.
If you own one of the vehicles listed above and have questions, you're encouraged to call Nissan customer service at 800-647-7261 and ask about recalls 14V-701 and 15V-226. If you like, you can also call NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and ask about campaign #15V287000.