Nissan Motor Corp. is recalling 1,848 sports utility vehicles due to airbags that could send metal shrapnel to passengers, according to a post on the Web site of the United States Transportation Department. The recall covered Nissan’s 2013 Infiniti QX56 and 2014 QX80 models.
The callback comes as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is determining whether the supplier of those airbags – Takata Corp. – is moving fast enough to make replacement parts to repair previously recalled cars. The recall of the Nissan SUVs highlights that regulators are still determining how far the issue has gone.
NHTSA said in a statement last week that Takata is recalling 30,867 SDI-X airbag inflators made from June 16, 2008, to June 20, 2014. NHTSA said that an incorrect outer baffle could make the inflator to rupture, which may cause serious injury on passengers. Carmakers will notify owners of affected vehicles with regards to the recall.
The recent recall involves a part different from the one involved in the previous callback. The previous recall has already involved 7.8 million vehicles in the US made by 10 carmakers like Nissan, Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. That defect has been linked to four deaths – all involving Honda models.
While the earlier Takata airbag recalls involve vehicles from the MY2000 to MY2008, the new Nissan callback covers recently built SUVs. The Japanese carmaker commenced probing the defect in the airbags in June and has determined potentially defective inflators in US models just last month.
NHTSA held a meeting with Takata on Oct. 30, with the agency urging the supplier to hasten production of replacement parts.
Officials from the Japanese suppliers told the agency that it is planning to add two production lines by the early 2015, although NHTSA said it remains unclear whether such actions would produce enough replacement parts to cover demand.