It's not a major update, but some of the changes are meaningful enough to matter.
Nissan and Infiniti are the latest automakers to issue recalls involving faulty airbag inflators from Takata. The Japanese automakers have announced campaigns covering about 226,326 units from seven models built in the early 2000s because they contain the bad part in the passenger-side, front airbag. The affected vehicles include the 2002-2004 Nissan Sentra, 2002-2003 Pathfinder and 2002-2003 Maxima, and it also covers the 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4, 2002-2003 I35, 2003 FX45 and 2003 FX35.
Among automotive enthusiasts, no one seems to hold a neutral opinion when it comes to continuously variable transmissions. CVTs are either praised for their ability to boost fuel economy or chided for their occasionally poor driving dynamics. Nissan is among the masters of these un-shifting gearboxes in the US, and it uses them in many vehicles in its lineup. However, for the 2015 model year, several models are getting a software update to make their CVTs a bit more like a conventional automatic
Despite our tendency as enthusiasts to clamor for things like wagons and hot hatchbacks, it's hard to argue with the buying public's increasing demand for functional crossovers. In fact, the great SUV craze of the late-1990s has all but faded in favor of the easier-driving, better-packaged, more-efficient crossover. That's even true at the larger end of the market – just look at what happened when Ford redesigned its body-on-frame Explorer into a stylish and well-equipped CUV. And now look
Nissan is recalling 3,065 units of the 2013 Pathfinder equipped with the CVT, due to a potential transmission fluid leak. On crossovers built from April 18, 2012 to October 3,2012 "inadequate clamping force" on the hose connected to the internal oil cooler can cause the hose to come loose and let fluid escape. A severe loss of fluid can cause the transmission to stop working properly.
Nissan and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have issued a recall for 989,701 vehicles in the US due to an issue with their passenger-side airbag systems. Affected Nissan models include the Altima, Leaf, Pathfinder and Sentra from the 2013 and 2014 model years, and 2013 NV200 taxis. Affected Infiniti models include the 2013 JX35 and 2014 Q50 and QX60 utility vehicles.
There's something about a road trip that invariably gets me excited. Maybe it's the cultural remains of Manifest Destiny or my own sense of adventure, but each year I, like millions of other Americans, pack my vehicle to the brim with enough supplies to survive a mild nuclear winter and head off across the continent.
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