Nissan Issues Do Not Drive Order for Older Pathfinder, Sentra and QX4 Models with Recalled Air Bags

Warning comes after more than 100 million vehicles were recalled due to a risk of Takata air bag explosions, which have already killed dozens of people.

More than 80,000 older Nissan vehicles continue to be on on the road with recalled Takata air bag inflators, which pose an increasing risk of exploding as the device ages, according to a recent warning that urges owners to stop driving certain Nissan Pathfinder, Nissan Sentra and Infiniti QX4 vehicles from the 2002 to 2006 model years, until they have been repaired.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued the do not drive warning yesterday, noting that at least 27 people in the U.S have been killed by Takata airbag explosions, with another 400 people injured when the inflators ruptured, sending sharp metal debris into the passenger compartment.

Nissan and Infiniti are offering free towing, mobile repairs and loaner vehicles in many locations, yet many owners have failed to replace the airbag inflators, which pose an increasing risk the older the vehicles get, potentially causing even minor car accidents to turn deadly. Therefore, NHTSA is asking owners of 2002-2006 Nissan Sentra vehicles, 2002-2004 Nissan Pathfinder vehicles and 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4 vehicles to immediately check to see if they have an open airbag recall.

Takata Airbag Problems

The warning stems from problems with defective Takata airbags, which have resulted in the recalls of more than 100 million vehicles worldwide since 2014, due to a risk that faulty and unreliable inflators may over inflate and explode. In the U.S., the recall impacted around 67 million vehicles sold by more than 20 automobile manufacturers, marking one of the largest and most intricate series of recalls ever recorded in the country.

Officials suggest that the problem with the Takata airbag inflators originates from the manufacturer’s use of the chemical ammonium nitrate to inflate the airbags during an auto accident. This chemical can react to heat or humidity upon exposure, leading to its breakdown within the metal enclosure, which ultimately can result in an explosion of metal debris.

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Takata Airbag Lawsuits

Millions of Vehicles Were Recalled in 2014 Due to Exploding Airbags That Caused Injuries and Deaths.

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“Even minor crashes can result in exploding Takata air bags that can kill or produce life-altering, gruesome injuries,” according the NHTSA statement. “Older model year vehicles put their occupants at higher risk, as the age of the air bag is one of the contributing factors.”

To help owners determine whether their vehicle has a defective Takata air bag, the NHTSA provides a free lookup tool, which can search based on the license plate number or vehicle identification number. Owners have been told to immediately stop driving their Nissan or Infiniti vehicles if the free repairs have not been completed.

Nissan customers with questions or concerns can contact the automaker at 800-647-7261 or visit Nissan’s recall website. Infiniti customers can contact the automaker at 800-662-6200 or visit its website.

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