After a two-month investigation by NHTSA into its Pathfinder and Infiniti QX4 SUVs, Nissan has issued a recall of about 195,000 vehicles used in cold-weather areas. The automaker reports that Pathfinders and QX4s in 20 states that see the heavy use of salt on the roads may have corrosion problems that may result in grinding noises or a broken steering column. The recall includes model year 1997-2003 Infiniti QX4s and model year 1996-2004 Nissan Pathfinders.
NHTSA began investigating Nissan in January 2011, after 35 reports of corrosion-related steering column problems. In fact, Nissan had already been looking into this problem on its own. “NHTSA has been aggressively investigating corrosion issues on older vehicles over the last year, and several automakers have issued large recalls to address the concerns that high mileage vehicles may face rust problems in salt-belt states,” according to the Detroit News. Neither Nissan, the Detroit News, nor NHTSA has reported any injuries or deaths related steering column failure in a Nissan or Infiniti.
According to NHTSA, Nissan will begin notifying owners of affected vehicles beginning on May 16, 2011. If your SUV is included in the recall, Nissan will inspect and repair it for free. To find out whether your Nissan or Infiniti has been affected, you can call Nissan at 1-800-647-7261, contact NHTSA’s vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or visit NHTSA’s website.
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