It didn't take long for that investigation to result in a recall, as NHTSA has announced on its website that Nissan is recalling 195,991 vehicles for corrosion problems. According to the recall, the 1996-2004 Pathfinder and its 1997-2003 Infiniti QX4 twin contain a hole in the upper strut housing panel that can allow road salt to enter.
As a result, the corrosive ice-melter could cause corrosion of the strut tower housing, which can in some cases pull away from the inner hood ledge assembly. NHTSA says that the issue can result in "grinding noises, increased steering effort and possibly the steering column to break." If that happens, owners may lose steering control, possibly resulting in a crash.
To fix the issue, owners will need to take their vehicle to a Nissan or Infiniti dealer, where a technician will inspect the strut housing and make any necessary repairs. Hit the jump to read over the official NHTSA press release.
[Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration via The Detroit News]
INFINITI / QX4 1997-2003
NISSAN / PATHFINDER 1996-2004
Manufacturer: NISSAN NORTH AMERICA, INC. Mfr's Report Date: APR 20, 2011
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 11V244000 NHTSA Action Number: PE11004
Potential Number of Units Affected: 195,991
NISSAN IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 1996-2004 PATHFINDER AND MODEL YEAR 1997-2003 INFINITI QX4 VEHICLES ORIGINALLY SOLD, OR CURRENTLY REGISTERED IN, CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, IOWA, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, MASSACHUSETTS, MAINE, MARYLAND, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, MISSOURI, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, VERMONT, WASHINGTON D.C., WEST VIRGINIA AND WISCONSIN. IN AREAS OF THE COUNTRY IN WHICH HEAVY CONCENTRATIONS OF ROAD SALT ARE USED, A MIXTURE OF SNOW/WATER AND SALT MAY ENTER AN ASSEMBLY LOCATION HOLE IN THE UPPER STRUT HOUSING, CAUSING WATER TO COLLECT AT THE MATING SURFACE OF THE STRUT HOUSING PANEL AND THE INNER HOOD LEDGE ASSEMBLY. OVER TIME, THIS SNOW/WATER AND SALT INTRUSION MAY RESULT IN CORROSION OF THE STRUT TOWER HOUSING IN SOME SUBJECT VEHICLES.
THE STRUT HOUSING MAY CRACK AND PULL AWAY FROM THE INNER HOOD LEDGE ASSEMBLY. THIS MAY LEAD TO GRINDING NOISES, INCREASED STEERING EFFORT, AND POSSIBLY THE STEERING COLUMN TO BREAK, RESULTING IN THE LOSS OF STEERING CONTROL, WHICH COULD RESULT IN A CRASH.
NISSAN WILL INSPECT THE STRUT HOUSING AND REPAIR THE VEHICLES AS NECESSARY, FREE OF CHARGE. AN INTERIM NOTIFICATION LETTER TO OWNERS WILL BE MAILED ON OR BEFORE MAY 16, 2011. OWNERS MAY CONTACT NISSAN AT 1-800-647-7261.