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Nissan Expands Hood Latch Recall of Altima Sedans

March 9, 2015
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Nissan Motor Co. has expanded its recall of Altima sedans in North America by 625,000 units because the secondary hood latch may remain unattached even when the hood is closed.

In October, Nissan recalled more than 220,000 Altimas. This callback specifically covered 2013 models built from March 6, 2012 to February 28, 2013. According to the recall bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), debris and corrosion, as well as interference between the hood’s inner panel and secondary latch lever, could result in the secondary hood latch staying unlatched when the hood is closed.

This issue itself will not cause the hood to fly open, as there is still a primary latch that will prevent the hood from suddenly opening. However, in the event the primary latch is unexpectedly released and the secondary one is unlatched, the hood could fly open while the vehicle is in motion, increasing the risk of a crash.

This time around, Nissan has included Altimas from the 2014 and 2015 model years, particularly those made from March 1, 2013 to December 31, 2014. This latest recall brings the total number of Altima sedans recalled over the hood latch problem to more than 845,000 units.

Nissan said it is unaware of crashes or injuries related to the door latch issue, but knows of incidents when the hoods flew and caused damage to vehicles.

A Nissan spokesman told Reuters via email on Friday that owners of the affected Altima vehicles need not worry about their hood flying up when the vehicle is in motion as long as they do not release the primary hood latch while driving or leave the primary hood release undone before driving.

In the original recall, Nissan’s remedy for the hood door latch issue involved changing the bend angle of the hood actuation lever to address the interference with the hood inner panel. Dealers were also instructed to clean and lubricate the latch, or replace the latch assembly, if necessary.

In this recall, Nissan has yet to offer a remedy. In fact, the automaker has yet to determine the root cause of the problem. Nissan also cannot say whether this North American callback will be expanded again in the future.

However, the company informed federal regulators that it will start an interim procedure to check and lubricate the secondary hood latch assembly on all subject units built before December 31, 2014 in dealer inventory before these are sent to showrooms.

Photo credit: nissanusa.com

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