Increased risk of exploding air bag inflators in older Nissans sparks warning

Nissan is urging owners of nearly 84,000 older model cars to not drive their vehicles due to the risk of exploding air bag inflators.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Wednesday that the warning affects certain Nissan vehicles that have “recalled, unrepaired Takata airbags.”

“Due to the age of the vehicles equipped with defective Takata airbag inflators, there is an increased risk the inflator could explode during an airbag deployment, propelling sharp metal fragments which can cause serious injury or death,” Nissan said on the recall page on its website.

The NHTSA said that to date, at least 27 people have been killed in the United States by a defective Takata air bag that exploded and another 400 have allegedly been injured by the inflators.

“Even minor crashes can result in exploding Takata air bags that can kill or produce life-altering, gruesome injuries. Older model year vehicles put their occupants at higher risk, as the age of the air bag is one of the contributing factors,” the NHTSA said.

The “do not drive” warning impacts certain 2002-06 Nissan Sentra cars, 2002-04 Pathfinder SUVs and 2002-03 Infiniti QX4 SUVs. The NHTSA said owners should immediately check if their vehicle has an open Takata air bag recall and schedule a free repair for it as soon as possible if it does.

“Nissan is committed to the safety of its customers and is issuing this DO NOT DRIVE warning to urge them to complete the free recall repair. Nissan Group strongly advises drivers not to drive affected vehicles until the repair has been completed,” Nissan said in a statement.

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