Nissan is again recalling the last-generation Altima to replace a secondary hood latch that can fail due to corrosion. The campaign includes 1,831,818 cars made between the 2013 and the 2018 model years.
2013 to 2018 represents the fifth-generation Altima's entire career in the United States. The recall campaign affects two- and four-door models, so it covers a vast majority of the production run. Nissan explained the problem is that rust can develop on the secondary hood latch (the one up front you never seem to be able to find when you're opening the hood) and freeze it in the open position. Closing the hood could then bend it.
If it's damaged, the latch won't keep the hood closed. There's still a primary hood latch (the one you yank on from inside the car when you want to poke your head into the engine bay), but the secondary latch ensures the hood doesn't fly open as soon as the primary latch is released. That's what prompted Nissan's recall. It said the hood can fly open if motorists somehow release it while driving, which creates a dangerous situation.
The company explained it's still trying to find a way to fix the problem, so the recall won't start until June 22, 2020. In the meantime, it will give owners of affected cars instructions on how to make sure their hood stays shut.
This isn't the first time the Altima has experienced hood latch issues. In 2014, the company recalled 220,000 examples built between March 2012 and February 2013 to fix a problem very similar to the one being addressed in 2020. The following year, it expanded the recall to 625,000 cars from model years 2013 to 2015. Finally, in 2016, it announced the final tally stood at 846,000 cars built from March 2012 to December 2014.
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