After reports of sporadically stalling engines in many of its trucks and sport utility vehicles, Nissan North America has issued a recall of over 700,000 vehicles in the United States. The company cites the risk of failure to the vehicles' electrical systems and the potential for injuries due to the defective product as the motivation for the voluntary recall.
The recalled vehicles include Nissan Frontiers, Xterras and Pathfinders manufactured between August 2003 and June 2006, Nissan Titans and Armadas manufactured during the years 2004 to 2006, and Infiniti QX56s manufactured during 2005 and 2006. According to Nissan North America, there are currently 747,000 of these vehicles in the United States, as well as 23,000 in Canada.
According to the Japanese automaker, the recall concerns the vehicles' electrical systems. Vehicle owners will need to replace the electrical relays in their vehicles' engine control modules, which control engine performance and similar essential engine and vehicle parts. An electrical relay malfunction may cause the engine to stall, and in extreme cases, it may not restart. This increases the potential for auto accidents and injuries, although Nissan has not received reports of any such incidents.
"Silicon vapor may form inside the electrical relay that supplies voltage to the engine control module," said Nissan North America. "Over time, this vapor could create oxidation on the electrical contacts in the relay that may lead to engine performance issues, including the possibility of stalling at low engine speeds."
Worldwide, a total of 2.2 million vehicles have been recalled because of similar problems, including Japan models Cube, March, Serena, Tiida, Wingroad, Lafesta, Note, and Sylphy.
Source: CNN, "Nissan recalling 747,000 vehicles in U.S.", Aaron Smith, 28 October 2010