More than 120,000 newer model Nissan vehicles are being recalled, after the manufacturer discovered a risk that the braking components may leak braking fluid onto an internal electrical circuit board, posing a fire and injury hazard.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the Nissan Maxima and Murano recall on September 8, after the automaker’s investigation found the Anti-Lock Brake (ABS) actuator pumps may have been manufactured out of specification and could allow brake fluid to leak onto the vehicles’ electrical circuit boards, creating a fire risk.
Nissan was first notified of the issue on June 7, when a warranty claim was submitted by the owner of a 2016 Nissan Maxima due to thermal damage originating around the actuator housing. Nissan North America, Inc. and its ABS actuator supplier, ADVICS, opened a joint investigation in July to determine the cause of the issue to determine whether it was an isolated or more widespread.
Nissan continued to monitor field information as the investigation pursued and by early August had determined that the thermal damage of the original warranty claim was caused by a brake fluid leak within the ABS actuator housing. ADVICS advised that the ABS actuator had leaked fluid onto the nearby electrified circuit board due to a seal leak. The investigation found the result of the seal leak was due to a manufacturing issue involving the oil seal harness.
By August 24, Nissans field monitoring team had discovered and confirmed several additional incidents of thermal damage to both the newer Maxima and Murano vehicles. Based on the conclusion of the investigation, Nissan North America determined a safety related defect exists, warranting the issuance of a safety recall.
The recall includes certain model year 2016 through 2017 Nissan Maxima vehicles manufactured February 10, 2015, to August 19, 2016 and equipped with Intelligent Cruise Control, 2015 through 2017 Murano vehicles manufactured August 22, 2014, to August 19, 2016 and equipped with Intelligent Cruise Control, and 2015-2016 Murano Hybrid vehicles manufactured August 22, 2014, to July 19, 2016. All of the recalled vehicles are equipped with the potentially defective ABS actuator pumps.
Nissan is warning owners that a brake fluid leak onto the circuit board may be occurring if the ABS warning lamp remains illuminated for more than 10 seconds after the engine is started. In this event, drivers are being asked to park the vehicle outdoors away from other vehicles and structures, have all occupants exit the vehicle immediately, turn off the ignition, and refrain from driving the vehicles.
Nissan has not yet released a recall repair notification schedule but plans to notify owners of the defect, and supply instructions on how to contact and schedule an appointment with heir local dealer. Dealers will be instructed to inspect the ABS actuator and replace them if necessary free of charge. Customers with further questions may contact Nissan Customer Service at 1-800-647-7261.