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US Tells Owners to Stop Driving Older Nissan Vehicles Over Air Bag Concerns (Reuters)



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The article below is sourced from Reuters Wire Service. The views and opinions expressed in this story are those of the Reuters Wire Service and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of NADA.

Owners of nearly 84,000 older Nissan vehicles in the United States equipped with recalled, unrepaired Takata air bags should immediately stop driving them due to a safety hazard, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Wednesday.

The agency made its announcement after the Japanese automaker issued a warning on Wednesday telling vehicle owners not to drive certain vehicles - the 2002-2006 model year Nissan Sentra, 2002-2004 Nissan Pathfinder and 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4 - that were recalled in 2020 but have not been fixed.

"If you have one of these vehicles, do not drive it until the repair is completed and the defective air bag is replaced," NHTSA said in a statement, noting that Nissan dealers are offering free towing, mobile repair and in some places loaner vehicles.

Over the past decade, more than 100 million Takata air bag inflators have been recalled worldwide - including 7 million in the United States - in the biggest auto safety callback on record.

More than 30 deaths worldwide - including 27 in the United States - and more than 400 injuries have been reported since 2009 in vehicles sold by various automakers due to Takata air bag inflators that can explode, unleashing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks. The air bag problems have been blamed on propellant that can break down after long-term exposure to high-temperature fluctuations and humidity.

NHTSA said that even "minor crashes can result in exploding Takata air bags that can kill or produce life-altering, gruesome injuries."

Chrysler parent company Stellantis last year issued warnings to owners of 29,000 2003 Dodge Ram pickups to immediately stop driving the vehicles, pending repairs, after one person was killed when a Takata air-bag inflator exploded.

Toyota in January urged owners of 50,000 of its older vehicles - the 2003-2004 model year Corolla, 2003-2004 Corolla Matrix and 2004-2005 RAV4 - in the United States to get immediate recall repairs because a Takata air bag inflator could explode and potentially kill motorists. 

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