Nissan Joins the Recall Club

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Toyota (TM) recalled nearly 8.5 vehicles worldwide for a variety of problems including brakes and accelerators. Then GM recalled 1.3 million cars sold in North America that have steering problems. There have also been several other small recalls by other car companies since the beginning of the year and Ford (F) had a non-recall recall of Fusion and Mercury hybrids to "update" brake software.Nissan now gets a turn in the recall penalty box. It has asked customers to bring in 539,864 cars for fuel gauge and brake-pin problems. Most of the cars were sold in North America and the models with brake problems include the Nissan Titan, Armada, Quest and Infiniti QX56 from model years 2008 to 2010. Those with fuel gauge trouble include the the 2005 to 2008 Nissan Titan, Armada, Quest and Infiniti QX56, as well as all Nissan Frontiers, Pathfinders and Xterras produced between January and March 2006 and between October 2007 and January 2008.

February figures for domestic car sales were announced on February 2 and some companies, especially Ford (F), made impressive gains over the same month last year. But the total vehicles sales figures for car buying activity remains very low. On an annualized basis using the February figures, there will only be 10.4 million cars sold in America this year. That's well below the target of 12 million vehicles set by the large car manufacturers at the beginning of the year.

The Nissan recall again raises the question of whether bad weather or high unemployment was the primary cause of February's slow sales. But the car industry's concerns extend beyond those stumbling blocks; The multiple recalls have undermined consumer faith in the safety and quality of all cars, which could cause many potential buyers to hold onto their old vehicles a little longer and see if the pace of recalls slows.

The Nissan news only increases consumer anxiety about whether any car company can make safe and sound vehicles.
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