Nissans Made Between 2004 and 2006 Added to List
Nissan upped the ante in the Takata airbag investigation by adding another 45,000 vehicles to a recall list that now exceeds 17 million U.S. cars and trucks. The reason: An injury to a female driver in a 2006 Sentra, whose airbag malfunctioned and sent shrapnel flying into her face and neck. The woman reportedly was burned and cut and also suffered hearing loss after the accident.
Not only has the 2006 Sentra been recalled, so has the 2004 and 2005 models – specifically those bought and / or sold in areas with high humidity, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan and the U.S. Virgin Islands are affected, as well.
Nissan spokesman Steve Yaeger said the Sentras in question were not part of the automaker’s initial recall in November of 2014, when more than 52,000 Infinitys, Sentras and other makes were on the list to have their faulty devices fixed.
High humidity worsens the Takata airbag problem in that the steamy and sticky weather can cause the inflatable’s propellant to burn too hot and too quickly, essentially melting the canister in which it’s contained. The defect has been linked to at least six fatalities and more than 100 incidents.
“Certainly it was a concern to us, and we’ve moved pretty quickly to expand it,” Yaeger told the Associated Press.
Florida, a top-ranking state when it comes to high humidity, is in a precarious position because the Takata airbag problem is exacerbated. My client, a Palm Beach County resident, is testimony to that. While he didn’t lose his life, he lost his right eye as a result of an accident in his 2003 Honda Civic. His airbag exploded after he hit a curb and small pole at a low rate of speed, and pieces of metal tore through the fabric.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is overseeing airbag tests by Japan-based Takata. A consortium of automakers also is conducting tests. But with more than 15,000 airbags down and still more to go, the cause of the defect remains elusive.
The recall involves 2002 through 2008 BMWs, Chevrolets, Chryslers, Fords, General Motors, Hondas, Mazdas, Mitsubishis, Nissans and Toyotas. To find out whether your vehicle has a potentially deadly Takata airbag, check out the VIN-lookup tool. If it does, take it to the dealership immediately; the work will be done at no cost.