Nissan Recalls 850,000+ Cars Over Crash Risk

Another day, another Nissan recall. Nissan is advising that if you own a Sentra sedan that you head on over to your nearest Nissan dealer. That’s because your rear brake lights may not be working. As you can imagine, if you come to a stop and your brake lights aren’t lighting up you could be involved in a crash from the car behind you. Over 850,000 Sentra sedans are involved. It’s a crash risk you want to avoid.

The models affected are 2016-2019 Nissan Sentras

A Nissan Sentra on display at an auto show
A Nissan Sentra display | Getty

The numbers breakdown are for 2016-2019 Sentras. In total there are 807,376 involved in the US and 46,737 in Canada. So far Nissan says there have been no accidents related to the issue. 

This is caused by the brake-light switch becoming contaminated from grease used in components adjacent to the switch. The grease off-gasses because it is silicone-based. The buildup of silicon dioxide can open the switch circuit which doesn’t allow the brake lights to illuminate. 

Drivers may notice a number of clues that this is an issue. A check engine light may come on, the engine won’t start, or the brake lights won’t come on. The issues can vary because every component is tied to the ECU computer with many handshakes per second. If the ECU receives the wrong or no handshake it can flash the check engine light or even defeat starting. 

“No other Nissan or Infiniti vehicles share these factors”

A Nissan Frontier grill shines on the front of the truck
A Nissan sits on the showroom floor at a dealership | Getty

RELATED: Nissan Issues Huge Recall on Several 2018-19 Nissan and Infiniti Models

Nissan says this is unique to these sedans because of  “the combination of clevis pin grease that uses a high concentration of silicon, and a bulb system that uses a high-current switch. Specifically, the layout of the clevis pin and brake lamp switch being in close proximity to one another is unique on the Sentra model,” Nissan said in a statement to the NHTSA. “No other Nissan or Infiniti vehicles share this specific combination of factors and are therefore unaffected by the issue,” Nissan says.

The fix by Nissan dealers is to replace the stop-lamp switch but also install a switch protective grommet. The grommet will stop the off-gassing from entering the switch. Notifications will start going to owners beginning on April 7, 2021. If you have questions or concerns you can go to Nissan’s website or contact your local Nissan dealership.