US investigates Nissan vehicles after air bag deployments

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – U.S. auto safety regulators said on Monday they have opened an investigation into nearly 75,000 Nissan vehicles – the 2015 model year Rogue Select – over reports of unintended deployments of side airbags in some of them.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration probe was launched in response to reports of inadvertent deployments after the vehicle door is shut or slammed. The agency said such deployments could cause vehicle occupants to be injured or result in the loss of air bag protection.

Nissan said it is “working closely with NHTSA in response to this preliminary evaluation. Nissan values its relationship with NHTSA and will continue to engage in transparent and collaborative dialogue on all matters of product safety.”

Nissan and NHTSA last week told owners of nearly 84,000 older vehicles in the United States equipped with recalled, unrepaired Takata air bags to immediately stop driving them due to a safety hazard.

Nissan told 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.

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.

Reporting by David Shepardson and Utkarsh Shetti in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri, Will Dunham and Louise Heavens