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Nissan recalls nearly half a million vehicles over potential fire hazard

Image credit: Dreamstime

Nissan has been forced to recall over 450,000 vehicles globally after it was found that a brake fluid leak could cause them to catch fire.

The leak could drip onto the internal circuit boards which could cause a short-circuit and lead to a fire, the Japanese carmaker said.

Such a leak should trigger a warning to drivers, Nissan added, saying that a fire would probably only occur in “rare instances” if the warnings are ignored.

Some 394,025 of the affected cars were located in the United States. Documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration didn’t say if there had been any fires or injuries in vehicles covered by the latest recall.

The recall, which was reported on Friday by US media, includes Maxima sedans from 2016 to 2018, Infiniti QX60 luxury crossovers from 2017 to 2019, Murano SUVs from 2015 to 2018 and Pathfinder SUVs from 2017 to 2019, the filing showed.

It’s Nissan’s third recall for the same problem, and the company keeps expanding the number of affected models. A fire in a 2016 Maxima triggered the first recall of about 120,000 US vehicles in 2016. A further 215,000 were recalled in 2018.

The automaker said it is working to fix the issue and that owners of the affected cars will be notified starting early next month.

“Once the remedy is available, owners will receive a final notification letter asking them to bring their vehicle to an authorised Nissan dealer or Infiniti retailer to have the remedy work completed at no cost for parts or labour,” it said in a statement to US radio service NPR.

The development comes less than two months after NHTSA opened a preliminary investigation into 553,000 Nissan Rogue sport utility vehicles after reports of their automatic emergency braking systems engaging without warning or an obstruction.

Improper inspections of brakes, steering wheels, speed measurements and vehicle stability had also caused the company to issue a recall of several thousand vehicles in Japan late last year.

In 2013, another of Japan’s 'Big Three' automakers Honda was forced to recall a quarter of a million vehicles after it was found that brakes in the vehicles could activate unexpectedly without driver input.

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