Recall Alert: 2013-2014 Nissan and Infiniti Crossovers

2013-nissan-pathfinder

Vehicles Affected: Approximately 151,695 model-year 2013-2014 Nissan Pathfinders (manufactured between April 18, 2012, and Sept. 20, 2013) and two vehicles from the automaker's luxury arm: model-year 2013 Infiniti JX35 (manufactured between Sept. 15, 2011, and Jan. 16, 2013) and 2014 QX60 crossovers (manufactured between Jan. 17 through Sept. 20, 2013).

The Problem: An issue with the antilock braking system's software could lead to an increase in stopping distance. This could cause a crash.

The Fix: Dealers will reprogram the braking system for free.

What Owners Should Do: Nissan has not yet provided an owner notification schedule. Owners can call Nissan at 800-647-7261 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 for more information.

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By Jennifer Geiger | October 23, 2013 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder, Infiniti JX SUVs

2013NissanPathfinderRecall

Nissan is recalling more than 19,258 model-year 2013 Pathfinder and Infiniti JX SUVs due to a problem that could result in reduced braking, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The vehicles were manufactured between Dec. 3, 2012, and Jan. 29, 2013. In these impacted cars the front brake torque member was improperly cast, resulting in structural weakness; this can lead to premature failure and cracking. If the part fails, the brake caliper could move and contact the inside of the road wheel, resulting in reduced braking and increasing the risk of a crash.

Nissan will begin notifying owners in early May, and dealers will replace the parts for free. The investigation was prompted by a field report in March of a braking failure, the Detroit News reported.

Owners can contact Nissan at 800-647-7261 or NHTSA at 888-327-4236.

Related
Nissan recalls SUVs to fix brake problem
(Detroit News)
Recall Alert: 2013 Nissan Altima, Leaf, Pathfinder, Sentra and Infiniti JX35
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By Matt Schmitz | April 19, 2013 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2013 Nissan Altima, Leaf, Pathfinder, Sentra and Infiniti JX35

2013-nissan-leaf
Nissan is recalling a yet-to-be-determined number of model-year 2013 versions of the Altima sedan, Leaf electric car, Pathfinder crossover and Sentra sedan due to a problem with the front passenger air bag sensor, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The JX35 crossover from the automaker's premium Infiniti brand is also part of the recall.

A manufacturing defect could cause the occupant sensors in the front passenger seat to fail in the affected vehicles. If an accident occurs, the airbag may not deploy, increasing the risk of injury. Nissan is still working with its supplier to determine how many vehicles will be recalled but drivers of affected vehicles will notice "The (red) supplemental air bag warning light (SRS light) will illuminate to alert the vehicle operator and the (amber) front passenger air bag status light will illuminate to alert the front seat passenger," the automaker said in a statement. 

Nissan will notify owners starting in early April 2013, and dealers will inspect and replace the affected sensors for free. Owners can call Nissan at 800-647-7261 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

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By Jennifer Geiger | March 13, 2013 | Comments (51)

2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid at the 2013 New York Auto Show

2014-infiniti-QX60
  • Competes with: Acura MDX, Buick Enclave, Volvo XC90
  • Looks like: An Infiniti JX35
  • Drivetrain: Supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder and lithium-ion battery pack paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission
  • Hits dealerships: Summer 2013

The Infiniti QX60 name may not sound familiar, but the crossover that bears it should jog your memory. It's the new-for-2013 JX35. For 2014, not only does the seven-passenger vehicle get the QX name change, but a hybrid model is joining the roster.

At the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Nissan Executive Vice President Andy Palmer told Cars.com that every new Infiniti will offer a hybrid variant. The Q50 hybrid (formerly the G37) debuted at the show; up next is the QX60 — Infiniti's first hybrid crossover.

By Jennifer Geiger | March 8, 2013 | Comments (6)

Infiniti JX35's Sliding Seat Not Very Booster-Friendly

2013-infiniti-jx
Every year we're wowed by the new features automakers roll out at auto shows. Under the bright lights of the convention hall they seem perfect, but once we get them home they don't always stand up to scrutiny. One of those is Infiniti's new crossover, the 2013 JX35.

At last year's Los Angeles Auto Show, Infiniti showed off this new family hauler with a second row that could theoretically tilt and slide forward for access to the third row, even with a forward-facing child-safety seat installed in the second row.

I recently had the opportunity to put this feature to the test at home with my three daughters, ages 8, 10 and 12. While they're no longer in forward-facing five-point-harness safety seats, which were used at the auto show to demonstrate the JX's slide feature, my two younger daughters are both in booster seats, and there's a frequent need to get to the third row.

By Kristin Varela | December 26, 2012 | Comments (1)

2013 Honda Accord Sedan Joins NHTSA's Five-Star Club

2013HondaAccord

The redesigned 2013 Honda Accord sedan is the latest vehicle to be awarded the top rating of five stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The ninth generation of the popular family sedan earned top scores in three of four NHTSA crash tests, for an overall five-star rating. The Accord coupe has not yet been tested.

Test categories include: overall vehicle safety, frontal crashes, side crashes and rollover tests. The Accord earned a four in frontal-crash testing.

Three new or redesigned-for-2013 vehicles that didn’t make the cut include the Infiniti JX SUV, Nissan Pathfinder SUV, and the Lexus IS 250 and IS 350 sport sedans. They earned an overall rating of four stars.

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By Matt Schmitz | December 21, 2012 | Comments (3)

Infiniti to Rename Entire Lineup Q or QX

Infiniti_lineup

Infiniti, one of the last luxury holdouts to have model numbers that actually indicate engine size — as opposed to BMW, Mercedes and Lexus — will rename its entire lineup using Q or QX monikers starting with the 2014 model year.

Luxury brands like Volvo, Audi and Lincoln have similar conventions; Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen headed up Audi of America until last spring. Citing the need for "a new identity and direction to promote consumer familiarity with our model range as we expand the portfolio," he laid out plans to begin the shift "in logical stages" starting with the 2014 model year.

Among Infiniti's SUVs, the EX35 becomes the QX50, the JX35 will be the QX60, the FX35/50 will be the QX70 and the QX56 will be the QX80.

Among the brand's cars, the G25/37 sedan becomes the Q50, which debuts in redesigned form at next month's Detroit auto show. It’s essentially the next G with a new name. The G37 coupe and convertible become the Q60, and the M37/56 becomes the Q70.

By Kelsey Mays | December 17, 2012 | Comments (15)

Third-Row Access: Captain's Chairs Save the Day

13DurangoInterior

I recently test-drove a luxurious, comfortable car that got decent gas mileage and came standard with a roomy third row. However, there was a problem: My son had to vault over the second row to get to his car seat in the third row. Because I had my girls' child-safety seats installed in the second-row outboard positions, this car's slick one-touch flip-and-fold feature was rendered useless.

For better or worse, my son's vault training didn't start with this car. Many cars on the market require athletic skills to access the third row once you have car seats installed in the second row. This is definitely something to consider if you — like me — have more than a couple of children in car seats and need a three-row vehicle.

A minivan is an obvious solution, but there are other options. One of the best ways to avoid this third-row-access debacle is to opt for captain's chairs in the second row, creating a little pathway to the third row. Several savvy automakers offer this option. While this may knock your second-row seating capacity down a notch, it also increases your possibility of getting children and even adults into the third row without resorting to vaulting.

Consider the Dodge Durango (photo above): It's long been popular for families, but it lacked practicality for those of us with three or more children because of the crossover's bench-only second row. For the 2013 model year, the Durango will offer second-row captain's chairs for the first time.

By Courtney Messenbaugh | November 19, 2012 | Comments (6)

Is Nissan Planning an Infiniti JX Hybrid?

Jx-hybrid-prototype
Nissan has been late to the hybrid party, instead focusing on its all-electric Leaf. That could change soon, however, as the automaker explores new hybrid powertrains; first in line could be the new-for-2013 Infiniti JX crossover.

Nissan spokesman Brian Brockman wouldn't confirm that Infiniti will add a hybrid version to the JX's lineup, but he did say Nissan is currently demonstrating its new front-drive hybrid-electric vehicle system in the crossover at the Advanced Technology Briefing in Japan.

Called the FF Hybrid System for front engine and front-wheel drive, it uses a supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Nissan says it's smaller than a typical hybrid powertrain because it has a single-motor, dual-clutch setup and a compact lithium-ion battery.

The current JX has front- or all-wheel drive and uses a 3.5-liter V-6. Infiniti's only hybrid is a version of the M sedan, but it's a rear-wheel-drive setup paired with the car's 3.5-liter V-6.

Nissan's last hybrid was the Altima; it used a Toyota-derived system and was only available in limited markets. The Altima Hybrid was discontinued. Brockman confirmed that the current-generation Altima, which was redesigned for 2013, will eventually get a hybrid model. He would not comment on the timing, however.

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By Jennifer Geiger | October 22, 2012 | Comments (0)

10 Years Later, SUVs Remain Vital for Luxury Brands

2013-infiniti-jx
It has been over a decade since the BMW X5, Cadillac Escalade, Acura MDX and others took the luxury segment by storm. Over time, many may have forgotten what kind of impact this new group of vehicles made on their companies' bottom lines, but they — along with smaller crossovers — still play a major role in the market.

Like NFL fans who didn't fully realize what they were missing until replacement referees embarrassed the league, Infiniti dealers weren't completely aware of how successful a proper crossover could be until the JX arrived. Sales of the two-row, overtly sporty FX had fallen every year since 2004. The big QX, though surprisingly successful, competes in a lower-volume sector. In September, the JX made up 24% of all Infiniti sales. Although the JX, now the brand's best-selling utility vehicle, has been on sale only since March, Infiniti's four SUVs and crossovers have been responsible for 39% of the brand's 86,596 sales in 2012. In 2002, Infiniti sold one SUV; it accounted for 19% of the brand's total volume.

What kind of impact does that have on a brand? Total Infiniti car sales for 2012 are up just 2.5%; its "trucks" leapt up 63.6%. The brand overall for 2012 is up 20%.

By Timothy Cain | October 4, 2012 | Comments (0)

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