Nissan is recalling more than 322,000 Nissan Pathfinders because the backup hood latch may fail. If the primary latch gave way, the hood could fly open while the vehicle is in motion, blocking the view of the driver and increasing the possibility of a collision.
The filing says “dust and dirt contamination may accumulate on and around the bell crank lever pivot joint” which where the backup hood latch secures itself into place and release.
If the pivot joint collects too much stuff, it “can create mechanical binding that could cause the lever to remain in the open position” at all times, as well as deteriorate the anti-corrosion coating on the lever itself. If the primary hood latch isn’t secured or is released accidentally while driving, the secondary latch won’t secure the hood,” the filing states.
The action affects 322,671 Pathfinders from the 2013 to 2016 model years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Dealing with the problem
The automaker says it is working on a solution to the problem and will send notifications to a “selected sample of 40,000 (Pathfinder) owners” starting June 30. That group will be asked to go to nearby dealers to have bell crank and secondary lock replaced, if deemed necessary, reported Autoblog.com.
Nissan plans to examine the replaced parts to make sure it’s pursuing the appropriate resolution to the problem. If they determine that’s the correct repair, then they’ll prep dealers for the additional vehicles that would be coming in for the fix.
The rest of the owners will be sent letters with instructions on how to inspect the bell crank assembly and hood lock starting Aug. 3. If everything functions as it should, owners will be advised to clean and condition the parts as recommended in the owner’s manual.
However, if they’d rather not, Nissan will pay for a free replacement at a nearby dealer.
Once the correct repair has been approved, Nissan will send an additional set of letters that “include a statement concerning reimbursement for the cost of obtaining a pre-notification remedy for a subject vehicle that was no longer under warranty at the time of a repair.”
Nissan’s dealt with this issue before on its Altima in 2020, recalling 1.83 million Altima coupes and sedans built between 2013 and 2018 due to a faulty secondary hood latch.
The fifth-generation Altima had repeated problems with the latch, which can fail due to corrosion. The campaign included the two- and four-door models. In short, it’s basically the entire production run of the vehicles in the U.S.
According to Nissan, the problem was that rust could develop on the secondary hood latch, which is the little arm or lever that is somewhat hidden from view under the hood or in the grille and you pull it up to release the hood.
The rust could cause it stick or freeze in the open position and closing the hood might cause it to bend. If that happened, the latch wouldn’t work properly, allowing the hood to possibly open. The primary latch, the lever on the inside of the car, still worked, but the secondary latch is the one that it ensures it remains closed while driving.
It’s not the first time Nissan’s attempted to resolve the problem. The company repaired 220,000 Altimas built between March 2012 and February 2013 to fix a similar issue to the current problem. In 2015, Nissan expanded the recall to cover 625,000 vehicles from model years 2013 to 2015. In 2016, it announced the final tally stood at 846,000 cars built from March 2012 to December 2014.