The 2013-2015 Nissan Pathfinder three-row SUV is being recalled due to relay switch issue that can leave the brake lights continually illuminated, even when drivers aren't braking, the NHTSA announced on Monday.
The recall encompasses 267,276 Pathfinders in the U.S. It is an expansion of a previous recall limited to 2013 models, but even those models repaired under recall 16V-380 should be brought into dealers and repaired again.
The relay on stop lamp switch that is located on the brake pedal can degrade over time, especially in vehicles with frequent stop-and-go driving where the brake pedal is continuously pressed. The degradation can cause the switch to stay in the "On" position, which may cause one of the following effects: lack of power or limited engine power due to the brake override; continuous illumination of the brake lights; the ability to shift the Pathfinder out of "Park" without depressing the brake pedal; or the engine can start without the brake pedal being depressed.
Continual illumination of the brake lights can confuse other drivers when the affected vehicle actually begins to brake, increasing the risk of a crash. The brake override preventing the driver from accelerating normally can also cause a crash as other drivers may expect the Pathfinder to move normally in traffic. Shifting the vehicle out of "Park" without pressing the brake can allow the vehicle to roll away, increasing the risk of injury.
Nissan said the issue does not affect any other Nissan or Infiniti vehicles.
Owners will be notified by mail as early as March 1. Any Nissan dealer will fix the issue free of charge, and owners who have paid for the repair may be eligible for reimbursement. Owners can visit Nissan's recall page for more info or call 1-800-867-7669 and provide recall number PC786. Customers can request complimentary transportation while the work is being completed.