In September 2014, Nissan recalled more than 220,000 Altima vehicles from model-year 2013 to replace faulty hood latches. In March 2015, the recall widened to include 625,000 Altimas from 2013, 2014, and 2015. (In-between, more than 170,000 other Nissan and Infiniti models were recalled for similar problems.)
Unfortunately, neither of the Altima's first two fixes worked especially well. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 2013-2015 Altimas are now being recalled a third time to replace the pesky parts entirely.
As NHTSA explains, the recall stems from poorly manufactured hood latch assemblies provided by Intier Automotive, an Ontario-based supplier. Agency documents state that the parts weren't properly coated with paint, exposing them to corrosion:
"Over time, corrosion may create mechanical binding that could cause the secondary hood latch to remain in the open position after the hood is opened and then closed. If the primary hood latch is released and the vehicle is driven while the secondary hood latch is in the open position, the secondary hood latch may not hold the hood closed as designed while the vehicle is in motion."
The first two fixes involved applying lubricant to the Altima's hood latch assembly, in the hopes that it would keep the secondary latch functioning properly. While that seemed to work in some cases, if the lubricant wasn't applied correctly, the trouble persisted. And so, Nissan has issued this third recall to replace the latch assembly entirely.
The recall affects 2013-2015 Nissan Altima vehicles built between March 6, 2012, and December 31, 2014. Roughly 846,000 vehicles are included in the recall.
Nissan says that it will send recall notices to owners by mail in mid-February. At that time, owners will be able to take their vehicles to a Nissan dealer for service.
If you own one of these vehicles and have questions in the meantime, you're encouraged to contact Nissan customer service at 800-647-7261, or call NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #16V029000.