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Nissan issues ‘do not drive’ alert for nearly 84,000 older models with recalled airbags

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A Nissan Sentra sits on the lot at a dealership in Evanston, Illinois, on Nov. 12, 2010.
Scott Olson | Getty Images

Nissan has warned owners of older vehicles to drop driving cars equipped with recalled, unrepaired Takata airbags the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Wednesday.

The NHTSA said the Japanese carmaker’s “Do Not Drive” alert applies to 83,920 cars. The affected cars include 2002-2006 Nissan Sentra, 2002-2004 Nissan Pathfinder and 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4 vehicles that may have Takata airbags that were recalled in 2020.

Nissan’s stock was down nearly 3% during Wednesday’s session following the warning.

“NHTSA is urging all vehicle owners to immediately check to see if their vehicle has an open Takata airbag recall,” the NHTSA said in a statement. “If you have one of these vehicles, do not drive it until the repair is completed and the defective airbag is replaced.”

Nissan and Infiniti will offer affected owners free towing and mobile repair, as well as loaner cars in select locations. Infiniti is a division of Nissan.

“Due to the age of the vehicles equipped with defective Takata airbag inflators, there is an increased risk the inflator could explode during an airbag deployment, propelling sharp metal fragments which can cause serious injury or death,” a Nissan spokesperson told CNBC in a statement.

According to the NHTSA, 27 people in the United States were confirmed to have been killed by a defective Takata airbag that exploded. At least 400 others have allegedly sustained injuries, according to the NHTSA.

At least 67 million Takata airbag inflators have been recalled in the country, and more than 100 million have been recalled worldwide, making it one of the largest auto safety callbacks in history.

In 2017, Takata filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan and the U.S. after agreeing to pay $1 billion in criminal penalties tied to its allegedly fraudulent conduct in the sales of its defective airbag inflators.

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