From 2020 to 2022, more than 230,000 Nissan Sentra vehicles are being recalled due to a potential issue affecting steering control. If you notice your steering wheel vibrating or not aligned properly while driving, it's advisable to take your car in for servicing. This recall, announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), applies to Nissan Sentra owners from 2020 through 2023.
This isn't the first time tie rods have prompted a recall for Nissan Sentra. A previous recall, identified as 21V-461, targeted 2020 to 2021 Sentra models for the same concern. Initially, the manufacturer Bosch determined that only Sentras produced between November 25, 2019, and March 24, 2021, were affected due to certain manufacturing and assembly issues. However, it's now evident that this issue extended beyond that timeframe. The new recall, labeled 23V-581, broadens the recall to include vehicles built until March 31, 2022, encompassing a total of 236,238 impacted Sentras.
Nissan’s Decision to Recall
The decision to expand the recall was prompted by a discovery made during Nissan's investigation. The tie rods supplied by Bosch might have been constructed from weaker-than-expected metal. In January of this year, a 2022 Sentra was found to have a broken tie rod, leading to an analysis by Nissan. Although this model was produced after the earlier recall's cutoff, it displayed similar problems as the affected Sentras.
Laboratory testing conducted between April and May on intact tie rods showed sufficient strength. However, in-vehicle testing carried out between June and July revealed that the tie rods could bend under significant impact, such as hitting a large pothole or curb. Following these findings, Nissan decided to expand the recall to include all Sentras produced until March 31, 2022. There have been 91 field incidents reported where tie rods were bent or broken, along with five accidents involving Sentras with alleged tie rod issues, although a direct link hasn't been confirmed.
Is it only the Sentra?
The recall is specific to Nissan Sentras and does not affect other Nissan or Infiniti models, including the 2020 to 2023 Nissan Rogue, which shares the same platform but uses different inner tie rod ends.
For 2022 Sentra owners who had their tie rods replaced before the recall's expansion, many of these repairs likely fell under warranty coverage, as Nissan typically offers a 3-year, 36,000-mile warranty for new vehicles. If repairs were done out of warranty and paid for, Nissan will provide instructions on how to seek reimbursement for the cost. It's unclear whether repairs conducted at independent shops with non-Nissan parts will be covered.
Owners of 2020 to 2022 Nissan Sentras experiencing steering wheel alignment issues should contact their Nissan dealer for repairs. If a bent or broken tie rod is confirmed, a replacement will be done at no cost. Nissan anticipates providing additional tie rods between late 2023 and early 2024. Both the initial repair and eventual full replacement, which takes approximately 2.5 hours and includes alignment, will be covered by Nissan, at no expense to the owner.
Dealers will be informed of the recall, and official notifications will be sent to owners by mail by October 5th. Alternatively, Nissan's website and the NHTSA's platform allow vehicle owners to check if their Sentra or any Nissan model is subject to this recall using their VIN.