Nissan is recalling more than 900,000 late-model Altimas due to problems with the secondary hood latch, which in some instances, is being repaired for the third time.
The Japanese maker said it’s recalling nearly 850,000 model year 2013-2015 Altimas because the hoods on the vehicles may open suddenly while driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, if the primary latch fails or is released for some reason.
For some of the vehicles, this is the third go-round with this problem, which stemmed from a problem due to the improper application of rust coating. The coating can “bind” and not allow the hood to latch securely.
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Nissan says paint can flake off the latch, exposing bare metal. Over time, the latches can rust and cause the secondary hood latch to remain open. If the main latch isn’t closed and the car is driven, the secondary latch may not hold the hood down, Nissan said in documents posted on NHTSA’s website.
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Since the previous attempts are modifying the protective coating have failed, Nissan is simply going to replace the entire latch mechanism. The recall will cover more than 900,000 vehicles globally. The Altima accounts fro 25% of Nissan’s sales in the U.S.
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Dealers will replace the hood latch with a new one starting next month. The Altimas involved were made at factories in Smyrna, Tennessee, and Canton, Mississippi. Nissan officials said they are unaware of any crashes or injuries related to the problem. The automaker will notify owners and replace the latches for free starting in mid-February.