The Nissan Altima, once the Japanese manufacturer’s best-selling vehicle, is increasingly doomed.
Nissan recently announced the recall of nearly two million midsize cars in the U.S. and Canada to fix a nagging latch problem that may allow the hood to fly open while cars are moving.
The latest recall covers nearly 1.9 million Altimas and includes cars from the 2013 through 2015 model years that were recalled earlier. It’s also been expanded to 2016 through 2018 model years.
Nissan’s latest recall covers nearly 1.9 million Altimas and includes cars from 2013 through 2015 model years, previously recalled.
Nissan Altima recalled times 4
It’s the fourth recall involving the Altima. In recent years, the Nissan Rogue small SUV has overtaken the Altima as the carmaker’s top-selling vehicle.
Nissan previously announced a coating can flake off the secondary hood latch, exposing bare metal. Over time, the metal can rust and cause the secondary latch to stay open. If the main latch isn’t closed and the cars are driven, the secondary latch may not hold the hood down as designed.
Some of the cars were recalled in 2014, with another recall in 2015, both of which involved fixing a lever and adjusting and lubricating the secondary latches. In a 2016 recall, Nissan replaced the latches with new ones.
The company says it has 16 reports of minor crashes and-or injuries due to the problem, all in cars that did not get the replacement latches. There are no reports of crashes or injuries in cars with new latches, Nissan said.
Now, the company has decided to do another recall including all Altimas from 2013 through 2018 after getting a small number of reports about hoods opening unexpectedly. Nissan found that if the primary latches aren’t closed, contaminants can build up on the new secondary latches without regular maintenance, causing them to fail.
Nissan doesn’t have a fix yet, so owners will get a letter this month with instructions for proper latch inspection and maintenance. When a remedy is developed, owners should receive detailing location free repair of their vehicles.
All the cars affected were made at Nissan factories in Smyrna, Tenn., and Canton, Miss.
Article Last Updated: June 10, 2020.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.