Urgent Recall: Nissan Warns 84,000 Owners of Potentially Deadly Airbag Inflators


In the city of Detroit that thrums with the heartbeat of America’s automotive industry, Nissan has broadcast a dire message to some 84,000 owners of its older models: park your cars immediately. This pressing plea comes as an aftershock of a devastating tragedy. A Takata airbag inflator, packed with potential peril, detonated with dangerous force in a Nissan vehicle, discharging lethal metal fragments and claiming the life of the vehicle’s occupant. This lethal accident was not an isolated incident – with the number of injured individuals since 2015 rapidly rising to 58.

The unfortunate souls driving the models from 2002 to 2006 – specifically the Sentra small cars, particular 2002-2004 Pathfinder SUVs, and the 2002, 2003 Infiniti QX4 SUVs – bear the brunt of the danger. According to Nissan, these aged vehicles equipped with the defective Takata airbag inflators are at an elevated risk. Even the mildest collision could trigger the inflator to explode during deployment, transforming the airbags into deadly, shrapnel-spewing devices which can maim or fatally wound passengers.

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In the spirit of facilitating swift action, Nissan set up recall sites through its United States portals to enable anxious customers to check if their vehicles are in the danger-zone. Owners need only enter their 17-digit vehicle identification number to ascertain their level of risk. Nissan, in alliance with their dedicated dealers, is extending the olive branch of safety to worried car owners – setting appointments to replace the volatile inflators free of charge. For those frightened to even start their car’s engines, Nissan offers complimentary towing to dealerships. Generously, the company is also providing mobile service and loaner cars in select locations.

In the US, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration starkly warns of the potentially treacherous twist a mild crash could take due to an inflating Takata airbag. Already, millions of Takata inflators are under recall in the largest such action in US automotive history, warning vehicle owners that their cars may carry the same bomb-like inflators.

Marking a grave milestone, Nissan’s original recall in 2020 involved 736,422 vehicles to replace the Takata inflators, with approximately 84,000 unrepaired and believed to be still roaring along streets and highways. Despite relentless efforts to reach the owners of these ticking timebombs, a considerable number of vehicles remain unrepaired.

Nissan reported the fatal 2018 incident, the victim at the mercy of the flawed inflator’s unrestrained blast force in a 2006 Sentra, to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A total of 27 deaths in the US are blamed on the detonation of faulty Takata inflators, which use volatile ammonium nitrate – a chemical that can deteriorate over time and detonate with excessive force—blowing apart its metal canister and acting as shrapnel. Over 400 US citizens have been harmed and, globally, as many as 35 people have lost their lives in Malaysia, Australia, and the US.

Several other car manufacturers, including Honda, Ford, BMW, Toyota, and Stellantis and Mazda, have sent out similar warnings for select models equipped with the high-risk Takata inflators.