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Nissan Recalls 215,000 Cars for ABS Component Leaks and Fires

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 9/21/2018 Clifford Atiyeh

Nissan is recalling more than 215,000 sedans and crossovers in the United States to fix an anti-lock-braking-system part that can catch fire under the hood, according to filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Nissan Recalls More Than 200,000 Vehicles over Underhood Fire Risk: Nissan is recalling more than 215,000 sedans and crossovers in the U.S. to fix an anti-lock-braking system part that can catch fire under the hood.© Provided by Car and Driver Nissan is recalling more than 215,000 sedans and crossovers in the U.S. to fix an anti-lock-braking system part that can catch fire under the hood.

This is the second time Nissan has tried to repair vehicles with faulty ABS actuators—the component that pulses the brake lines to prevent wheel lockup during heavy braking—since an initial recall in August 2016. That recall affected only the 2015–2017 Murano and 2016–2017 Maxima. The new recall adds 94,795 more cars, including additional Murano and Maxima models from the same years plus two more models, including 16,269 Infiniti QX60 models from 2017 and 46,232 Pathfinder models from 2017–2018. A total of 215,124 cars are affected. 

Research

Nissan has investigated multiple incidents of ABS actuators that either smoldered or caught fire since June 2016. Then as now, the root cause is a leaky actuator in which brake fluid can drip onto an adjacent circuit board, cause an electrical short, and potentially melt the board or catch fire. Temperature variances during manufacturing of the actuator’s oil seal and “insufficient lubrication” can cause it to “wear prematurely,” Nissan said. If a failure occurs, the ABS warning light will illuminate on the instrument panel. Nissan did not say if ABS performance would be affected.

Starting in mid-October, dealers will replace the ABS actuators, including those they already replaced in the previous recall, with redesigned actuators. Nissan recommends owners stop driving their cars and park them outside if their ABS warning light comes on, although the company did not specify coverage for loaner cars.

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