• Feb 1, 2011
2003 Infiniti QX4 – Click above for high-res image gallery

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation into certain late model Infiniti QX4 and Nissan Pathfinder SUVs over corrosion of the driver's side front strut tower. Affected Queue-By-Fours are from the 1997 to 2003 model years, while the Pathfinders are from 1996 to 2004.

According to NHTSA's summary, the government organization has received 35 reports of corrosion instances, with 18 citing that this problem caused the vehicle's steering to suffer. What's more, five of these reports stated that the steering "shaft" or "column" broke, resulting in a complete loss of steering.

This investigation was opened on January 28, and pending NHTSA's findings, an official recall should be announced in the near future. For the full summary, follow the jump for NHTSA's release.

[Source: NHTSA]
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NHTSA Action Number: PE11004

Vehicle Make/Model:


Model Year(s):






The Office of Defects Investigation has received 35 reports on the subject vehicles alleging a corrosion related failure of the driver's side front strut tower. In 18 of the reports there were allegations that the failures affected the vehicles steering, including five that reported the steering "shaft" or "column" broke resulting in a loss of steering. Severe corrosion of the frame/body structure in the area of the driver's side front strut tower can allow the strut tower to fail. If the failed strut tower contacts the steering column upper joint, or otherwise restricts the rotation of the steering column shaft, it can result in increased steering effort, steering impediment, or a complete loss of steering control.
Date Investigation Opened : January 28, 2011
Date Investigation Closed : Open

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wish they would launch an investigation on the ford f150 5.4 v8 spark plugs bewitch off in the head. That's rediculous... My tune up could cost as much as $1,000 on a TRUCK!!??!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Toyota replaced the frame of our painter's Tacoma last year at a greater cost than the value of the vehicle. They wouldn't buy it back. So now he has an old truck with a new frame, in the rust belt on the eastern shore of Lake Erie.
      • 3 Years Ago
      They are simply acting like the EPA and the other "empowered" agencies. The daily mantra is, "If you don't have a problem to solve, create one!!"
        • 3 Years Ago
        So you think complete loss of steering is an invented problem?
      • 3 Years Ago
      I actually liked the styling of these back in the day. I still don't find them offensive today either...
        • 3 Years Ago
        For what was essentially a rebadge job, these were pretty sweet SUVs.
        • 3 Years Ago
        So true, which is why I find it amazing when people think only the Detroit 3 does badge jobs.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This just in: NHTSA investigating ford for producing the Model T 1908 - 1927 due to rust issues. Expected recall of all model Ts on the road. Lawsuit against the element oxygen pending.
        • 3 Years Ago


        Hit the nail on the head, etc
        • 3 Years Ago
        Haha. I was also thinking along a similar line of thought. They are really going back in years for these recalls. Oh well, I guess it's good to know that people that own older cars are cared for in some way, but then again this isn't really something you want to have happening to your car.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I once got some action with a hot Korean girl on the backseat of this SUV. It'll remain for ever in my memory as a great vehicle.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is going grassroots, I am leading up the investigation in my driveway tonight.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Look for corrosion/rust along the seeam where the bottom of the strut tower is welded to the frame rail. If that weld lets go, the remaining spot welds on the strut tower are not strong enough to hold it in place. They tear; the strut tower pushes into the engine compartment and against the lower steering shaft, and if you're lucky like my son, it breaks the steering shaft completely and leaves you with no steering whatsoever.
      • 3 Years Ago
      From 1996 to 2011, that's 14 years. So... 3 complaints a year will get you an investigation. If NHTSA reads the problems / issues thread of any brand enthusiast forum, every car would be recalled.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I work for Nissan and I see 2-3 of these come in a year where the LF strut tower is totally rotted out... And plenty more that are rusted and look nasty... I'm surprised some investigation hasn't been done for the hardbody pickups, well known to have frame rot issues.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Totally agree. I didn't know about the strut issues but whenever I was underneath a pathfinder at work or shop I would always be aghast at the state of the frame...they were so badly rusted after just a few years it looked as if I could just put my finger straight through it. I would always tell myself 'is this really safe?' Guess it wasn't.
      • 3 Years Ago
      They should also investigate Nissan for putting rear drum brakes on a $40k luxury suv from the late 90's to early 2000's. Totally unacceptable!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      What an horrendus grill and side mirrors...

      Cases of corrosion opping up in US only, wonder if this has somethig with poor keep of the car??

      Dunno about US things, but Europe uses salt also and you don't see such problems there... odd...
        • 3 Years Ago
        too bad europeans don't use things such as: shaving razors, mouthwash, toothpaste, soap, deodarant, manners,...
        • 3 Years Ago
        This don't make sense. I am refering to cars in general way...
        • 3 Years Ago
        Be nice if Europeans also used deodorant and if women shaved their legs.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Probably because there are a lot more of them here...
        • 3 Years Ago
        As far as Canada is concerned, Nissan used a different undercoating and seam sealing process for the frame rail to help prevent corrosion (snow, salt, etc.). They didn't do this for any US version Pathfinders.
      • 3 Years Ago
      We have a 1999 QX4 that has been demoted to beater duty now that my dad's retirement gift is on the way( Range Rover or CL550, hasen't made up his mind.) and whenever you go through a right hand turn with any kind of speed the body and suspension feel as though they're moving in opposite sideways directions. We thought it was a problem in the rear suspension though, looks like I'm going to need to have this checked out.
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