The Nissan Motor Company, Ltd., which is better known simply as Nissan, is one of Japan's oldest automobile manufacturers. Based in Yokohama, Japan, the manufacturer manufactures and markets vehicles under its own brand name as well as under the Infiniti and Datsun brands.
While Nissan remains an independent company, it has been a member of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance since 1999. On its own, Nissan is one of the largest manufacturers of automobiles in the world and their market share is even larger when considered with the other members of their manufacturing alliance. While known for building everything from commercial trucks to luxury vehicles, Nissan has quickly become the world leader in manufacturing electric vehicles as well.
Unlike other brands like Ram or Chrysler that focus on a small number of successful models, Nissan has a wide array of popular models. The Japanese manufacturer also crosses over into multiple different body types, with popular selling sedans, SUVs, and pickup trucks.
Arguably the most popular Nissan model by sales volume is the Nissan Altima. A mid-size sedan, the Altima has been in production continuously since 1992. While it was originally marketed as a compact car, the Altima has been Nissan's most popular mid-size car since 2001.
Nissan is competitive in the full-size pickup truck market with the Nissan Titan. The Titan has been in production since 2003 and comes in a 2-door or 4-door variety.
First developed in 1981, the Nissan Maxima is a full-size sedan that was previously known as the Datsun Maxima. Much like the Altima, the Maxima started its life as a compact car before shifting to a mid-size sedan in 1988. Roughly a year after the Altima grew into a mid-size sedan, the Maxima shifted to become a full-size car.
Other popular Nissan models include the Pathfinder and the Rogue.
Nissan Safety Ratings
When it comes to safety ratings, Nissan is regularly at the top of the heap. The vast majority of their models receives top marks each year and rarely scores below a “Good” rating on any vehicle component according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The Altima, for example, has had a “Good” rating by the IIHS for every crashworthiness metric for years. The only “Marginal” rating the Altima has received since 2015 was based on the ease of use for the Latch; an issue that was corrected in 2019.
The Nissan Pathfinder has also scored well according to the IIHS, with every crashworthiness metric scoring “Acceptable” or “Good” for years. This trend continues across the entire brand, with strong safety ratings also available for the Nissan Rogue as well as the Nissan Titan.
Recalls, Defects, and Safety Issues
Unfortunately, the sterling safety record for Nissan vehicles doesn't mean that there are never safety issues or defects. The reality is that, like every auto manufacturer, vehicles built by Nissan have faulty parts and serious safety issues that result in collisions and injury. While many of these issues are addressed through the recall process, there are many Nissan defects and safety issues that have not been a part of any recall. You can stay up to date on Nissan recalls at their official site, and learn more about some of the most serious safety issues Nissan has experienced recently below.
Nearly 24,000 2019 Nissan Altima sedans could be at risk for an engine stall or even a fire, according to a recall report issued by the NHTSA. The issue stems from an incorrectly-installed fuel hose. The hose prevents proper fuel distribution, which is the cause of engine stalling while idling as well as driving. The larger safety issues, however, is due to the risk of the improperly installed hose leading to a fuel leak. If left unchecked, this leak could cause the Altima to catch fire. A common sign of this issue is the strong odor of fuel while operating the vehicle.
Antilock Brake Failure
The Altima isn't the only Nissan with a recent safety recall. According to the manufacturer, more than 86,000 Nissan Murano SUVs are at risk of a failure of the antilock brake system. The failure is due to a faulty part installed in the 2009 model year Murano. While the part won't prevent the brakes from engaging entirely, it will greatly reduce the effectiveness of the ABS system. This can make it much more difficult for a vehicle to come to a stop than intended. To date, more than 14 crashes have been attributed to similar brake failures in the Murano.
Door Failure While Driving
A troubling safety issue in the Nissan Altima that was confirmed in February of 2019 relates to a defective door latch. The defect can lead to doors swinging open while driving. The recall affects more than 340,000 Altima sedans for model years 2015 through 2017. According to Nissan, the defect involves an improperly-routed latch cable in the door of the vehicle. The concerning part is that the defect can cause the door of an Altima to spring open merely by lowering the window. This error actually stems from a previous recall that involved the door latch. Unfortunately, the repair for the previous issue has been pinpointed as the cause for the unintended door opening.
Battery Loss of Range
While the above-described safety issues were related to gas-powered Nissan models, the electric models are not immune to safety issues. The 2016 and 2017 models of the Nissan Leaf have been plagued with false indications that the vehicle's battery range and capacity were rapidly depleting. While Nissan has made a number of changes to address the issue, the issue persisted through a number of efforts to correct these indicators.
Nissan Problems? Discuss Your Options With an Attorney and Get the Help You Need.
If your Nissan has been experienced safety or reliability issues, your first call should be to The Lemon Lawyer. California residents have rights thanks to the California Lemon Law, and our experienced attorneys can help explain how those rights protect you when your vehicle is defective. To discuss your options, contact The Lemon Lawyer today for a free consultation.