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Older Nissan vehicles at risk for exploding Takata air bags, feds warn

Owners of about 84,000 older Nissan vehicles in the United States that are equipped with recalled and unrepaired Takata airbags should stop driving them immediately because of safety risks, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Wednesday.

The agency made the announcement after the Japanese automaker on Wednesday warned car owners not to drive certain vehicles that were recalled in 2020 but not repaired — the 2002-2006 Nissan Sentra, the 2002-2004 Nissan Pathfinder and the 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4.

“If you own one of these vehicles, you should not drive it until repairs are completed and the defective airbags are replaced,” NHTSA said in a statement, noting that Nissan dealers are offering free towing, on-site repairs and, in some areas, loaner cars.


Nissan has issued a warning to owners not to drive certain vehicles, including the 2002-2006 Nissan Sentra, the 2002-2004 Nissan Pathfinder and the 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4. AP

Over the past decade, more than 100 million Takata airbag inflators have been recalled worldwide, including seven million in the United States — the largest auto safety recall in history.

Since 2009, more than 30 people worldwide (27 in the United States) have been killed and more than 400 injured in vehicles sold by various automakers after Takata airbag inflators exploded and sent metal shrapnel into the interior of cars and trucks.

The airbag problems have been blamed on propellants that can break down when exposed to high temperature fluctuations and humidity for long periods of time.

“Even in minor crashes, Takata airbags can explode, causing death and serious, lifelong injuries,” NHTSA said.

Chrysler’s parent company, Stellantis, warned owners of 29,000 2003 Dodge Ram pickup trucks last year to immediately stop driving their vehicles until repairs were completed after one person was killed when a Takata airbag inflator exploded.


Deployed airbag
Since 2009, potentially explosive Takata airbag inflators have been reported to have caused more than 30 deaths worldwide (27 in the United States) and more than 400 injuries in vehicles sold by various automakers. Getty Images

In January, Toyota urged owners of 50,000 older vehicles in the United States (2003-2004 Corolla, 2003-2004 Corolla Matrix, and 2004-2005 RAV4) to have them recalled for repair immediately, as Takata airbag inflators could explode, resulting in the death of the driver.

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