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NHTSA urges immediate halt in driving older Nissan vehicles due to Takata airbag risks

The widespread recall of Takata airbag inflators, the largest auto safety callback in history.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced yesterday that owners of nearly 84,000 older Nissan vehicles in the United States equipped with recalled, unrepaired Takata airbags should immediately stop driving them due to a significant safety hazard. This urgent warning follows a similar advisory from Nissan concerning specific models from 2002 to 2006.

In 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recalled the 2002-2006 Nissan Sentra, 2002-2004 Nissan Pathfinder, and 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4 models. These vehicles have not undergone the necessary repairs yet. NHTSA emphasized that owners should not drive these vehicles until they replace the defective airbag. To facilitate the necessary repairs, Nissan dealers are offering free towing, mobile repair services, and loaner vehicles at some locations.

The widespread recall of Takata airbag inflators, the largest auto safety callback in history, has affected over 100 million units globally, including 7 million in the U.S. alone. Since 2009, faulty Takata inflators have been linked to over 30 deaths worldwide, 27 occurring in the U.S., and more than 400 injuries. These inflators can explode, releasing metal shrapnel inside vehicles, a danger attributed to the breakdown of the propellant after prolonged exposure to high-temperature fluctuations and humidity.

NHTSA warned that even minor crashes could trigger the defective Takata airbags to explode, potentially causing fatal or severe, life-altering injuries. This advisory follows similar actions by other automakers: last year, Stellantis urged owners of 29,000 2003 Dodge Ram pickups to stop driving them after a fatal incident involving an exploding airbag inflator. In January, Toyota also advised owners of 50,000 older vehicles, including the 2003-2004 Corolla, 2003-2004 Corolla Matrix, and 2004-2005 RAV4, to get immediate recall repairs due to similar risks with Takata airbag inflators.

The ongoing Takata airbag issue underscores the importance of promptly addressing recalled components to ensure vehicle safety and prevent further tragedies.

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