Nissan recalls 166,000 N.A. vehicles over potential ignition switch problem

Nissan Motor Co. is recalling about 166,000 vehicles in North America because a problem with the ignition switch could cause the vehicle’s engine to shut off while driving.

The automaker said 153,000 of the recalled vehicles are in the U.S. and 13,000 are in Canada.

The automaker is asking drivers to immediately remove all objects, such as additional keys and key chains, from the ignition key ring in an effort to lessen the chances of problems.

A Transport Canada website notice disclosing the problem echoes some of the language used by General Motors in describing the issue surrounding its ignition switch recall crisis. Transport Canada did not say whether the Nissan problem has led to any crashes, injuries or fatalities.

There was no recall notice found on the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website as of Thursday afternoon.

Nissan’s statement for the U.S. market said it is not aware of any incidents stemming from the problem.

On certain vehicles equipped with a mechanical key ignition system, a spring in the ignition switch could wear and break, allowing the ignition key to inadvertently move from the “on” position to the “accessory” (ACC) position while driving, says a post on Transport Canada’s website. If that happens, it could cause the engine to shut off and the airbag system to lose power. The loss of power, and change in steering and brake forces could increase the risk of a crash, causing injury and/or damage to property. Additionally, in the event of a crash, the airbags might not function.

In the U.S., Nissan said the recall covers certain 2017 and 2018 Juke, Frontier, Sentra, Versa, Versa Note, Micra, NV, NV200 and Taxi models. Drivers will be notified in September, Nissan said.

In Canada, Nissan said Frontier, Micra and Versa Note models from the 2017 and 2018 model years are affected. The Nissan Sentra and the NV200, NV1500, NV2500 and NV3500 commercial vehicles from the 2017 model year are affected as well.

Dealers will inspect the lot number of the ignition switches and replace it with a new one if it necessary.

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