Due to a potential safety problem with front struts, Nissan North America is recalling 26,398 Altimas and Maximas from the 2009 and 2010 model years. Some of these models were Altimas that were never intended for sale.
Nissan notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the issue more than a week before the first 2010 Altima rolled off the assembly line in Canton, Miss. last Friday.
Since the 2010 Altima had been debuted very recently, it's actually more of a marketing issue. The defective parts were used on fewer than a dozen 2010 Altimas.
All of them were preproduction cars built in Canton during production trials last July. Clearly, none of those production-trial cars will be sold to the public.
Nissan spokesman John Schilling said that since the preproduction models were 2010 models, that new model year had to be included in the NHTSA recall notice.
On the other hand, the 2010 Nissan Maxima, which was built in Smyrna, Tenn., went on sale in August. According to NHTSA, some metal upper strut insulators were manufactured out of specification at a plant in China for supplier Trelleborg Automotive Americas.
The NHTSA document explained that the danger is that the insulator could crack and in extreme driving conditions allow the strut rod to come out of its housing. Nissan said that it will start to notify its dealers of the problem beginning on Oct. 2 and the owners starting Oct. 5.