In the fifth huge recall for automakers this year, Nissan Motor is recalling 1 million vehicles in the United States and Canada. The problem in the 2013-2014 model years stems from a federally mandated system intended to determine whether the front passenger seat is occupied. The sensors are supposed to tell if an adult or a child is sitting in the front seat. Because the risk of injury or death to a child is greater from an airbag than from an accident itself, if the system senses there is not enough weight in the front passenger seats, the airbag will not deploy. Abraham Watkins has experience in dealing with accidents involving faulty airbags.
The cars being recalled are some of the best-selling Nissan and luxury Infiniti models from the last two years, which include the popular 2013-2014 Nissan Altima, Pathfinder, and Sentra. Nissan told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that a software problem in the occupant classification system might not detect an occupant in that seat. The automaker blamed the sensitivity of the software calibration particularly when “combinations of factors such as high engine vibration at idle when the seat is initially empty and then becomes occupied” or “unusual” seating postures are both factors. In an event of a collision, the passenger’s airbag wouldn’t inflate.
Nissan is aware of three accidents in which the passenger airbag did not deploy in a crash even though the seat was occupied. Fortunately Nissan has not reported any fatalities involving this problem. The recall comes as the industry and safety regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are focused on a recall of 1.6 million vehicles worldwide by General Motors. That recall is now the subject of a series of investigations as to why it took more than a decade for GM to act on a problem it had been alerted to.
Benny Agosto, Jr. is a partner at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner in Houston, Texas. For over 65 years, Abraham Watkins has successfully represented injured people and families who fall victim to catastrophes. Our attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources necessary to obtain just compensation their clients. For more information, please contact the office of Benny Agosto, Jr. at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, by letter at 800 Commerce Street, Houston, Texas 77002, or by phone at 713-396-3964.