Losing control of your vehicle would be an extremely scary endeavor. For owners of some Nissan GT-R models as well as Infinity EX and FX models this could very well be a reality. Due to a design flaw in the outer tube of the steering column of these vehicles a driver could lose temporary or permanent control of their vehicle, causing a collision. A statement released by Nissan North America quotes representatives as stating:
“Due to a supplier manufacturing issue, the steering column outer tube on some of the potentially affected vehicles may have been manufactured out of specification (out-of-round). This may cause stress to occur at the upper bearing. In rare instances, this stress may cause the bearing retainer to fracture and lead to excessive play in the steering wheel.”
That really isn’t the worst case scenario. At least in this first scenario the vehicle will regain control and only an excess of play will be experienced by the driver. A more dramatic and hazardous scenario is:
“In some extreme cases where excessive force is applied axially to pull the steering wheel towards the driver, the column may separate and lead to loss of steering, potentially causing loss of vehicle control….”
Because of this problem, Nissan has reported this design flaw will affect the following specific models:
- 2008 Infiniti EX35 models built between June 29,2007 and April 25, 2008
- 2009 Infiniti FX35 and FX 45 models built between October 31, 2007 and April 16,2008
- 2009 Nissan GT-R models built between March 14, 2007 and April 25, 2008
So far Nissan has not issues recalls to vehicle owners. This recall will affect 16,973 vehicles in the U. S. While we wait for Nissan to have the recall notices issued to vehicle owners to be able to take appropriate action at their local dealer, these vehicles offer a danger to all on the road, not just the owners of the vehicles affected.
Having these faulty parts on the number of vehicles could cause several fatalities throughout the country when the owner loses the ability to steer while driving, even if it’s a little added play in the wheel. Worse yet would be when the steering column completely separates, not allowing any chance of regaining control of the vehicle which could easily wind up colliding with another vehicle, especially when this happens on a highway.
When the recalls are issues, the Infiniti models will need to have the steering shaft replaced, but the Nissan GT-R models will actually need the entire steering column assembly replaced. For those who own these cars you are being encouraged to call Infiniti at 800-662-6200 or Nissan at 866-668-1487 to find out what you should do in the meantime. Even though this recall only affects a small number of vehicles on the road, the potential safety risk is present for all of us driving where these vehicles are as well which makes me very hopeful Nissan will handle this recall quickly and aggressively.