Nissan recalls 990,000 cars for airbag sensor software defect

Nissan is recalling thousands of vehicles for a defect involving airbag sensor software, including the 2013-2014 Leaf, Altima, Sentra and Pathfinder crossover; the 2013 NV200 van; as well as the 2013 Infinity JX35 and the 2014 Infinity Q50 and QX60.

Gary Cameron/Reuters/File
The 2013-2014 Leaf is among the vehicles Nissan is recalling due to a defect in the vehicles' airbag senor software.

Nissan is recalling 2013 and 2014 model-year Leaf electric cars to fix an airbag sensor software issue.

The recall will correct faulty software in approximately 29,165 Leafs that controls the front-passenger seat Occupant Classification System (OCS), which senses weight to determine if a person is sitting in the seat.

The OCS is used in the Leaf and most other production cars to prevent airbag deployment when the passenger seat is unoccupied, or when an underweight individual is sitting in it.

In the affected vehicles, the system may read the seat as empty even if it is occupied as an adult. If this happens, the passenger front airbag will be deactivated and will not deploy in a crash.

Nissan dealers will reprogram the OCS software free of charge. This is expected to begin in mid-April, but owners will be notified of the exact date.

In addition to 2013 and 2014 Leaf plug-in models manufactured from Nov 21, 2012, through February 6, 2014, the recall affects other Nissan and Infiniti models, for a total of 990,000 vehicles altogether.

The other Nissan vehicles are model year 2013-2014 Altima and Sentra sedans, Pathfinder crossovers and 2013 NV200 vans.

Certain models from Infiniti--Nissan's luxury division--are also part of the recall. These are the 2014 Q50 sedan and QX60 crossover, and the 2013 JX35. The QX60 and JX35 are the same model; the name was changed as part of a new scheme implemented for the 2014 model year.

Owners can contact Nissan at 1-800-647-7261. The recall notice can be found at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website under ID number 14V138000.


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