14 Feb

Nissan recalls vehicles with defective brakes


Franklin, Tenn. – Feb. 14, 2018 – Nissan North America has recalled more than 400 vehicles potentially equipped with defective brake components, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

The campaign affects 2015-2017 Nissan Juke Nismo RS hatchbacks produced between July 6, 2015, and Jan. 30, 2017. The Japanese automaker suspects just 1 percent of the models referenced in the safety action actually contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected vehicles could contain “out-of-specification” master brake cylinders that may inhibit brake performance. Specifically, the problematic fixtures feature master cylinder housings that could potentially come unsealed as a result of increased negative brake booster pressure and drier internal conditions, which, together, lead to resistance between the cup seal and the master cylinder piston.

If unsealed, the master brake cylinder may leak fluid into the brake booster and extend stopping distances. However, the braking systems in affected vehicles should continue to function overall, as these assemblies feature two separate circuits so that when one fails, the other can power the brakes. That said, the defect still increases the likelihood of an accident and therefore poses a safety risk to occupants. Nissan has yet to receive reports linking the defective parts to any accidents or injuries, though.

Owners operating vehicles with the problematic master brake cylinders have reported seeing the brake system indicator light illuminate.

Timeline of Events

In December 2017, Nissan received a report from an overseas detailing an instance of master brake cylinder trouble. The car company immediately launched an investigation, reaching out to Tokico Automotive, its brake assembly supplier, to gain more insight into the potentially problematic component and determine the likelihood of the part affecting Juke models sold in the U.S. Nissan was able to confirm that vehicles sold in the U.S. market did indeed come equipped with the part. However, no American dealers had submitted reports outlining instances of master brake cylinder failure.

One month later, Nissan conducted a test to determine whether the defective master brake cylinder inhibited brake functionality to such an extent that the vehicles on which it was installed fell out of compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 135, which stipulates that vehicles must stop within 551 feet after accelerating to 62 miles per hour, according to the Government Publishing Office. Analysis showed that the affected vehicles did not violate FMVSS 135.

Nissan and Tokico then collaborated to identify the range of vehicles that could contain the defective parts, eventually landing on the models included in this recall.

The automaker launched a voluntary safety recall Jan. 29 and informed dealers Feb. 1.

The Solution

Nissan has directed dealers to replace the master brake cylinders in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The organization intends to notify owners March 19. Those in need of more immediate assistance can connect with Nissan customer service at (800) 646-7261. Concerned owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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