Nissan recalls 8,120 Infinitis for fuel gauge

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2003 Infiniti M45

The 2003 Infiniti M45. Image: User.Jagvar/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA

According to a posting from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Tuesday, Nissan will be recalling more than 8,000 2003 and 2004 Infinity M45 luxury sedans. The recall comes over concerns about a possibly defective fuel gauge that could leave drivers stranded.

Faulty circuit board to blame

The affected 8,120 cars were all assembled between March 7, 2002, and June 3, 2004. The defect stems from a faulty circuit board that might skew the fuel reading falsely high.

Dangers of running out of gas

The defect could lead drivers to stall for want of fuel, even though the gauge says there is gas to spare. TorqueNews speculated dramatically on how the problem could lead to a very dangerous situation:

“Imagine driving in thick traffic, moving at 70 mph … when your car just randomly stalls. The engine stops running and with that comes a decline in power steering and power brake control. … Now you don’t have any power so you are slowing down dramatically while traffic is running up on you. … One of the cars in traffic clips your car as it essentially floats along dead in the water and sets off a massive chain reaction pile up.”

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Investigation started in December

The NHTSA began its investigation in December following 43 owner complaints that the fuel gauge was reading inaccurately.
Twenty-six of the complaints came from owners who stalled while driving from lack of fuel.

Recall to begin in April

Affected owners will be notified by Nissan in mid-April. At that time, they will be able to take their Infiniti to an
authorized Nissan dealer and get the circuit board “modified” by the dealer’s technicians. The service, of course, will be
provided at no expense to the owner.

Since the recall involves modifying, rather than replacing, an existing component, this should be a relatively cheap fix for the automaker.

What to do in the meantime

In the meantime, owners may be wise to carry a gas can with them. Some owners of the luxury car, however, may be reluctant
to do so. Alternatively, AutoGuide suggested:

“Keep a reasonable count of how many gallons go in and how far you drive. If it takes a week’s commute to eat a tank, fill up on Wednesday.”

Other recent Nissan recalls

Nissan has faced its share of recalls in recent months. Less than two weeks ago an unspecified number of Infiniti Q45 models
were recalled over a wiring issue that could cause the airbags to fail. At the same time, more than 23,000 Quest vans were
recalled for a software glitch that could cause fuel pump errors.

Owners seeking more information before the recall begins can contact Nissan at 1-800-647-7261.



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