Nissan Recalls 540,000 Cars for Brake Defects

Nissan is recalling 540,000 cars, mostly in the US, for braking and fuel gauge problems. The brake pedals may come loose and limit braking force on Armada SUVs, Titan pickups, and Quest minivans made in 2008-2010. Armadas and Titans from 2005-09, as well as Frontiers, Xterras, and Pathfinders from from 2006 and 2008 may have gas gauges that show a quarter of a tank of gas when in fact the tank is empty.

What gives with all these recalls? Ironically, companies want to prove that they’re producing quality vehicles, according to a Toledo Blade source:

The action follows global recalls of more than 8 million vehicles by Toyota Motor Corp. for issues including unintended acceleration, which have prompted lawsuits and congressional hearings. The cases have triggered a review of the safety agency by the U.S. Transportation Department’s inspector general to examine the way government investigators monitor automobile defects.

“A lot of car makers are coming out with recalls as they want to show that they are being strict about quality,” said Jeong Min-pak, a senior director at Fitch Ratings in Seoul. “They want to avoid the negative press that Toyota has received.”

By recalling their cars, these companies are also sending a message that “you can’t trust us anymore.” I understand that these recalls are preventative, but I don’t think they’re helping perception of the automakers, especially Japanese automakers.

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