The auto industry is on pace for another banner year, for all the wrong reasons — recalls. After dubious yearly records of 50.99 recalls in 2014 and 51.22 million recalls in 2015, recent recalls by Nissan, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, among other automakers, are rapidly boosting this year’s totals.
Nissan recently announced the biggest of the latest recalls worldwide. It’s recalling 3.53 million vehicles equipped with passenger-side airbags may not work properly because vehicle sensors may malfunction.
The recall includes the 2013-2017 Nissan Altima, Leaf, Maxima, Murano, Pathfinder, Sentra, Rogue, NV200, NV Taxi, Infiniti JX35/QX60, and Q50. It also includes the 2013-2017 Chevrolet City Express built for General Motors by Nissan.
Nearly 3.2 million of the recalled vehicles are in the United States. Nissan reported the new recall is the fourth since 2013 for similar problems. The issue is the occupant classification system. It may fail to properly identify adult front seat passengers.
Nissan has reported three injuries linked to the issue but no fatalities.
Nissan said that 622,110 Sentra cars, part of the recall, are also the subject of a second recall, because the front passenger seat belt bracket may become deformed if it is used to secure a child restraint system.
Nissan has issued several earlier recalls for occupant classification system issues in the U.S. in recent years. In 2014, the automaker recalled 990,000 U.S. vehicles to address the issue, expanding on a 2013 callback. It also recalled 920 U.S. vehicles in October 2015.
Fiat Chrysler, meanwhile, is recalling 1.1 million vehicles worldwide because they might roll away after drivers exit.
The recall includes cars with electronic shift levers that return to the same position after each manipulation, including Dodge Chargers with model years 2012 to 2014, Chrysler 300 sedans, and model-year 2014 to 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.
And, finally, Ford is recalling more than 300,000 pickup trucks, SUVs and cars in North America because the automatic transmissions can suddenly downshift to first gear and to fix and rear suspension problem.
The transmission recall covers the 2011 and 2012 F-150 and the 2012 Expedition, Mustang and Lincoln Navigator. Ford says a software problem in a speed sensor can force the vehicles into a downshift. The problem has caused three crashes but no injuries.