Have a Hoopty Nissan? Park It!

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

In what is surely one of the oddest advisements from a major automaker in recent memory, Nissan has published a do-not-drive order for cars which have likely been recycled into tin cans some spell ago.

The models noted certain copies of the 2002 – 2006 Nissan Sentra, 2002 – 2004 Nissan Pathfinder, and 2002 – 2003 Infiniti QX4. At issue are the Takata airbags whose inflators are said to have killed over two dozen people in America, at least one of which was in a Sentra covered in this DND order. Apparently, about 84,000 of the 736,000 units originally recalled for this issue have not been fixed, prompting Nissan to tell owners of these rigs to keep them parked.

This airbag debacle with Takata began with recalls over a decade ago and have, at last estimate, ensnared approximately 67 million vehicles from just about all major automakers with rigs on sale in this country. With that in mind, Nissan is far from the only company to issue a DND of this type on machines this old – Toyota and Stellantis are but two other examples.

One has to wonder just how many of those 84,000 are actually still on the road. Nissan has apparently tried numerous times to contact owners, even offering free towing to a repair facility, but their efforts are only so good as the information on hand. If young Junior took grandma’s rusted 2004 Sentra and entered it in last year’s demolition derby at the county fair, it is unlikely Nissan was informed of this development. We wager more than a few of these machines are in a U-Pull yard somewhere.

Information flows more freely through official channels, of course, though it is worth noting not everything ends up being recorded correctly. According to an  official list of vehicles disposed of during the Cash for Clunkers era, not one single Sentra is on the list. We find that difficult to believe, though there were admittedly way more trucks and SUVs meeting their makers during that effort than compact cars thanks to a myriad of rules and reasons. Fun fact: there were 61,804 Explorers recorded as destroyed of the nearly 680,000 machines that found themselves on the pointy end of that program.

[Image: Nissan]

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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

More by Matthew Guy

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2 of 26 comments
  • Wolfwagen Wolfwagen on May 30, 2024

    Short of the example given (or similar circumstances) I would find it hard to believe that they would not be able to account for a majority of these cars. Does anyone else remember the stories of AMC/Chrysler sending parts guys out to junkyards to deposit new heater cores in old AMC Alliances?

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on May 30, 2024

    Every state auto registry has the data needed to find the owners of those models. Can't automakers us the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) system (set up under the anti-car-theft act of 1992)? I would think the DOJ would allow its use for safety purposes.

  • Bd2 Absolutely not - do not want to support a fascist, totalitarian regime.
  • SCE to AUX The original Capri was beautiful. The abomination from the 90s was no Capri, and neither is this.It looks good, but too similar to a Polestar. And what's with the whacked price?
  • Rover Sig Absolutely not. Ever.
  • EBFlex No. I buy as little Chinese products as possible.
  • John "...often in a state of complete disarray on the roads" What does that mean? Many examples in poor repair? Talk about awful writing.