Nissan pledges to update 2021 Rogue that fared poorly in NHTSA crash test

March 3, 2021

The 2021 Nissan Rogue has earned a four-star overall rating from the NHTSA for crash protection, but it fared considerably worse for its front-passenger score.

The Rogue earned just two stars for its front-impact protection for the passenger, a very low score that's unheard of for a new passenger vehicle sold in the U.S.

The NHTSA gave the 2021 Rogue a four-star score for driver-side protection, and five-star ratings for side-impact protection in its compiled score.

The safety agency notes that its scores apply to vehicles built before Jan. 28, 2021, in Nissan's Kyushu, Japan, assembly plant. Most Rogues sold in the U.S. have been assembled at Nissan's Smyrna, Tennessee, assembly plant.

In a statement, Nissan spokesperson Jeff Wandell told The Car Connection that Nissan is aware of the rating and has applied updates to the front passenger-restraint systems in all Rogues built in Kyushu after January 28, and in all Rogues assembled in Tennessee. A test of the updated Rogue is scheduled soon, with results expected in May.

Following this initial report, Nissan told The Car Connection it will update the negatively affected 2021 Rogue vehicles built in Kyushu through a service campaign at no cost to owners.

"The changes include updating the passenger air bag module, replacing the front passenger seat belt and updating related software," Wandell explained. The changes are expected to improve the two-star front-passenger rating and owners can expect notification as to when to bring their vehicle in for updates. 

The Rogue crossover isn't the only recent Nissan vehicle to suffer from a poor passenger-side crash-test rating. The NHTSA gives the latest Sentra a three-star score for front-passenger impact protection. The 2021 Titan pickup was downgraded by the IIHS for its front-passenger protection, in what it called a "rare step backward."

Yet the NHTSA and the IIHS are at odds in their crash-test assessments of the 2021 Nissan Rogue. The insurance-industry funded IIHS gave the Rogue top "Good" marks in all six of its crash tests, and awarded it highest honors with a Top Safety Pick+ designation due in part to its driver-assist features. The 2021 Rogue comes with standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts, and automatic rear braking.

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