The issue occurs when the inner hood panel, along with debris and rust, get in the way of the secondary latch lever, causing it to jam, which puts it in the unlatched position when the hood is closed. No real collisions or injuries have been announced, but Nissan has made a statement suggesting that there have been some incidents.
“Nissan became aware of a small number of incidents in which the hood came open while the car was moving, causing damage to the car itself,” said Nissan spokesman Steve Yaeger. This could potentially be dangerous, which is likely why Nissan has issued the recall.
So far, only Altimas from the 2013 model year are affected, but Nissan is still investigating whether other models are influenced by this as well – according to documents from U.S. safety regulators. Yaeger also said that while the problem affects Altimas only, the automaker is examining latches with similar designs.
The solution to the problem will see dealers modify the latch lever as well as clean and lubricate the secondary latch joint. In some cases, dealers would also need to replace the latch assembly. For now, there is no schedule as to how all of this will proceed.
Since Nissan’s consumer base in Canada is relatively small, the number of recalls is also relatively small – in comparison to certain other countries. Over 219,000 Altimas are affected in the U.S., with 5,267 in Mexico, 2,042 in South Korea and smaller numbers in Latin America, Guam and Saipan.
It hasn’t been a kind year for Nissan since the automaker has also been affected by the Takata airbag recall this year, along with Toyota, Honda and many other automakers.
Altima owners can call Nissan at (800) 647-7261, if they have any questions.