Owners of 2013 and 2014 Nissan models in New Mexico may have a reason to refrain from driving with passengers. According to the auto manufacturer, a defect in its computer-controlled airbag deployment system increases the risk of serious injury in the event of a car accident. In certain affected models the passenger-side airbag may fail to deploy.
Nissan claims that the problem stems from a computer glitch in the systems designed to detect if a front-seat passenger is present. In certain Nissan models, the computer may fail to detect the presence of a passenger and subsequently disarm the passenger-side airbag, even in the event that a passenger is actually present. If a motor vehicle accident occurs, and the airbag does not deploy, this will increase the risk of serious injury and even death.
Models affected by the recall are the Sentra, Infiniti, Leaf and Altima. In order to determine if one's car is affected, Nissan drivers can contact their local dealership. In the meantime, the manufacturer has issued a notice stating that a computer update should be available to fix the problem before the end of April.
Automobile manufacturers do their best to create safe cars that drivers can depend upon. However, even at the most respected manufacturing facilities, negligence and unintended defects can occur. If a New Mexico driver or passenger suffers serious injury because of an auto defect, he or she may be entitled to financial restitution under the law. This could include money to pay for medical care needed to recover from injuries, to pay for rehabilitation services, for time spent unable to work and compensation for other financial damages arising from the event.
Source: The Christian Science Monitor, Nissan recall: 990,000 vehicles for airbag software defect, Richard Read, March 27, 2014