Speaking of Fleet Sales… There's Another Nissan Altima Hood Recall

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
speaking of fleet sales 8230 theres another nissan altima hood recall

The previous-generation Nissan Altima gained an unfavorable reputation as a rental lot darling (ask Corey about his Midwest comfort cruise), but another issue plagued the model: Hoods not staying shut when they’re supposed to.

Nissan issued recalls in 2014, 2015, and 2016 in an attempt to remedy a hood latch corrosion issue that caused some hoods to fly open unexpectedly while underway. Now, the automaker has decided to expand that recall to the entire generation, calling back 1.8 million vehicles for a fix it hasn’t yet devised.

Some 1,831,818 Altimas are included in the recall, covering model years 2013 to 2018. A new Altima bowed for 2019 that doesn’t seem to have the issue.

In documents provided to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Nissan describes the issue as being “due to a combination of the model front end design, anti corrosion limitations and location of the hood latch release in close proximity to the fuel door release.”

“Over time, build-up caused by driving with the primary hood latch disengaged allows excessive, corrosive contaminants to contact the hood latch assembly. This build-up, combined with a lack of proper inspection and maintenance of the secondary hood latch, can create mechanical binding that could cause the secondary hood latch to remain in the open position after it has been disengaged.”

The potential consequences of such a problem — in the event that the primary latch is inadvertently released — are obvious. For the record, a hood that flew open due to latch corrosion once earned this writer a serious amount of embarrassment from a carload of female friends, though that particular incident was Chrysler’s fault.

Besides Nissan’s admission that 100 percent of the recalled vehicles contains the potential fault, another problem arises in the fact that the automaker isn’t quite sure what a permanent fix looks like.

“The interim notification will instruct owners how to properly maintain the latch per the Owner’s Manual general maintenance requirements and include a reminder to fully close and engage the primary hood latch each time before driving,” Nissan stated.

The recall is expected to commence on June 22nd.

[Image: Corey Lewis/TTAC]

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  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Jun 08, 2020

    While I am 100% safe from ever having an Altima issue, as someone who keeps cars too long, and lives in a salt zone: I am always amazed at the quality of metal used and the choices made. I had an older BMW that at 150k still had easy to break bolts...and other cars where most of the bolt were frozen and rusted by 80k. The cheaping out though is made clear by the fact that a few bolts, mostly suspension, were spec-d as a higher quality steel, and shiny while the other fasteners were returning to the natural oxide state. This is a choice...years of playing with jetskis and boats have shown that you can use salt resistant metals...ok, they cost more, and in the car business half pennies count...but my 15 year old BMW that died of body rust still had bolts you could work with, meanwhile, my 3 year old Acura product had bolts holding on some heat shields that rusted out promptly causing a nasty vibration and noise....just out of warranty. That half cent of material savings backfired here. The planned obsolence target was missed.

  • Don1967 Don1967 on Jun 08, 2020

    BMWs, Volvos and VWs are built with steel capable of lasting a long time even in the salt belt. But the opposite is true of their window regulators, water pumps and other plastic parts which are more disposable in nature. By contrast, post-2000 Nissan is remarkably consistent in applying wafer-thin quality to every area of vehicle construction. It seems that everything from hood latches to floor panels to CV transmissions fails with just enough regularity to assure shareholders that no part is overbuilt.

  • Dukeisduke I still think the name Bzzzzzzzzzzt! would have been better.
  • Dukeisduke I subscribed to both Road & Track and Car and Driver for over 25 years, but it's been close to 20 years since I dropped both. I tried their digital versions with their reader software (can't remember the name now), but it wasn't the same. I let it lapse after a year.From what I've seen of R&T's print version, it's turned into more of a lifestyle thing like The Robb Report. I haven't seen an issue of C/D in a while.I enjoyed both magazines a lot when I was subscribing. R&T for the road tests (especially the April Fools road tests), used car reviews, historical articles, and columns like Peter Egan's Side Glances and Dennis Simanitis's Technical Correspondence. And C/D for the road tests and pithy commentary, and columns like Gordon Baxter's, and Jean Shepherd's (that goes way back to the early '70s).
  • Steve Biro It takes very clever or amusing content for me to sit through a video vehicle review. And most do not include that.Tim, you wrote :"Niche titles aren't dying because of a lack of interest from enthusiasts, but because of broader changes in the economics of media, at least in this author's opinion."You're right about the broader changes in economics. But the truth is that there IS a lack of interest from enthusiasts. Part of it is demographics. Young people coming up are generally not car and truck fans. That doesn't mean there are no young enthusiasts but the numbers are much smaller. And even those who consider themselves enthusiasts seem to have mixed feelings. Just take a look at Jalopnik.And then we come to the real problem: The vast majority of new vehicles coming out today are not interesting to enthusiasts, are not fun to drive and/or are just not affordable.You can argue that EVs are technically interesting and should create enthusiasm. But the truth is they are not fun to drive, don't work well enough yet for most people and are very expensive.EVs on the race track? Have you ever been to a Formula E race? Please.And even if we set EVs aside, the electronic nannies that are being forced on us pretty much preclude a satisfying driving experience in any brand-new vehicle, regardless of propulsion system. Sure, many consumers who view cars as transportation appliances may welcome this technology. But they are not enthusiasts. I don't know about you, but I and most car fans I know don't want smart phones on wheels.There is simply not that much of interest to write about. Car and Driver and Road & Track are dipping deeper into nostalgia and their archives as a result. R&T is big on sponsoring road trips for enthusiasts - which is a great idea. But only people with money to burn need apply.And then there is the problem of quality in automotive writing. As more experienced people are let go and more money is cut from publications, the quality and length of pieces keeps going down, leading to the inevitable self-fulfilling prophecy.Even the output on this site is sharply reduced from its peak. And the number of responses to posts seems a small fraction of what it used to be. This is my first comment since the site was recently relaunched. I don't expect to be making many in the future.Frankly Tim - and it gives me no pleasure to write this - but your post makes me feel as though the people running this site have run out of ideas and TTAC's days may be numbered.Cutbacks in automotive journalism are upsetting. But, until there is something exciting and fun to write about, they are going to continue. Perhaps automotive enthusiasm really was a 20th century phenomenon..
  • THX1136 I think that the good ole interwebs is at least partially to blame. When folks can get content for free, what is the motivation to pay to read? I'm guilty of this big time. Gotta pay to read!? Forget it! I'll go somewhere else or do without. And since a majority of folks have that portable PC disguised as a phone in their pocket, no need for print. The amount of info easily available is the other factor the web brings to bear. It's perhaps harder now to stand out. Standing out is necessary to continued success.In an industry I've been interested (and participated) in, the one magazine (Mix) I subscribed to has become a shadow of it's former self (200 pgs now down to 75). I like print for the reasons mentioned by another earlier. I can 'access' it in a non-linear fashion and it's easily portable for me. (Don't own a smarty pants phone and don't plan to at the moment.)I would agree with others: useful comparison reviews, unique content not easily available other places, occasional ringers (Baruth, Sajeev, et al) - it would be attractive to me anyway. I enjoy Corey, Matt and Murilee and hope they continue to contribute here.
  • Daniel J I wish auto journos would do more comparisons. They do some but many are just from notes from a previous review compared to a new review. I see where journos go out to a location and test drive and review a vehicle on location but that does absolutely nothing for me without any comparison to similar cars. I also wish more journos spent more time on seat comfort. I guess that doesn't matter much when many journos seem to be smaller folks where comfort isn't as important. Ergonomics are usually just glossed over unless there is something very specific about the ergonomics that tick the journo off. I honestly get more from most youtube reviews than I ever do about reviews written on a page.