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Nissan X-Trail Takata inflator rupture causes fire in Japan [UPDATE]

UPDATE: Autoblog has received Nissan's official statement about the Takata inflator rupture in Japan. It confirms the details of the case, but contradicts one part of the original story. Nissan says that the vehicle's owner was notified about the recall, but the X-Trail wasn't repaired. We've updated the story to reflect this, and the full statement is embedded below.

Nissan is the latest automaker to be directly affected by faulty Takata airbags in its vehicles. In this case, a 2001 X-Trail crossover in Japan caught fire after an accident when its passenger side inflator ruptured, shot out hot shrapnel, and caused the dashboard to ignite. The driver suffered light burns to the cheek during the crash, according to Reuters.

Nissan has covered this model of X-Trail under its Takata recall in Japan since April 2013, but a company spokesperson told Reuters that the driver didn't receive the notice. The inflator in the crossover was made at Takata's factory in Moses Lake, WA. This was Nissan's first case in Japan of one of these parts rupturing.

While a root cause isn't known, the problem with these components is believed to come from moisture getting into the inflator and causing the propellant to ignite too quickly. The Takata airbag recall has affected millions of vehicles worldwide and has been linked to eight deaths worldwide. In May, Nissan added 1.56 million of its models globally to replace the parts. Subsequently, the company added thousands more for the passenger side in the US and Canada. According to Reuters, the company has called in 813,000 vehicles in Japan, and 85 percent of them have been repaired there.

The repair rate in the US has been far lower, though. Takata is producing around a million repair kits a month, but there are 34 million affected vehicles here from 11 automakers. According to a Congressional hearing in early June, it could be years before the whole problem is properly sorted out.

Show full PR text Nissan Statement

Nissan is aware of a June 25 2015 incident in Japan involving improper deployment of a passenger side air bag in a 2001 Nissan X-Trail. The driver of the vehicle reported minor injuries. This vehicle was already subject to a Takata recall and owner notification was made. However, for unknown reasons, the vehicle has not been remedied. Relevant authorities have been notified. This incident is subject to an ongoing investigation and no further information will be available at this time.

Nissan urges all owners who have received owner notifications but have not yet had recall remedy performed to urgently make an appointment at the Nissan dealer. Source

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