While alchemy has famously spent the better part of recorded history trying to transmute lead into gold, the automotive industry has repeatedly managed to achieve the lesser-known act of sorcery where water is converted into fire. This usually occurs when humidity ends up corroding an essential electrical component, resulting in fire risk that becomes the deciding factor in a recall campaign.
This week’s corporate conjurer is Nissan, which has decided to call back 793,000 Rogue SUVs in the United States and Canada.
While the relevant documentation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains that fire risks are rare, it’s still advising caution while the manufacturer recalls impacted vehicles from the 2014-2016 model years.
The reported culprit is a wiring connector located in the driver’s footwell. Apparently, water and salt can enter the area and corrode the unit to a point that it can make a Rogue’s electrical systems go haywire. Drivers may notice diminished battery life, disabled controls on the driver-side (e.g. windows, seat adjustments, etc.), and even the occasional warning light for the all-wheel-drive system.
Nissan said that it’s even possible that the defect could cause a vehicle fire, with the manufacturer noting seven “thermal incidents” relating to the matter. As much as we’d like to single them out for criticism, it seems that most major automakers have been forced to issue some kind of fire-related recall within the last couple of years — though some have worse incendiary track records than others.
The Japanese automaker is asking any owners who notice the above issues to exercise the maximum amount of caution and park vehicles outside until the necessary repairs have been made. Though anybody who notices a burning smell or notice smoke inside the vehicle is being encouraged to immediately contact Nissan Roadside Assistance to have it towed to the nearest dealership.
However, the official recall won’t kick off until the spring, as Nissan doesn’t yet have a comprehensive solution for the defect. Impacted customers will begin being notified in March to schedule times to bring in their Rogue. But they might have to wait a little longer before the company actually starts issuing repairs if a regulator-approved solution hasn’t been settled upon.
[Image: Nissan Motor Co.]
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