Nissan LEAF Affected By Massive Airbag Non Deployment Recall


2015 Nissan LEAF

2015 Nissan LEAF

A massive recall affecting some 3.5 million vehicles includes certain model year Nissan LEAFs.

The recall, related to passenger airbag non-deployment, includes 2013 through 2016 Model Year Nissan LEAFs, as well as a dozen or so other Nissan and Infiniti models.

The problem, as detailed by Nissan, is that “the front seat passenger Occupant Classification System (OCS) may incorrectly classify an adult passenger as a child or classify the seat as empty despite it being occupied. As a result, the passenger frontal air bag may be turned off and not deploy in the event of a crash.”

Additional information in the NHTSA release below:

RECALL Subject : Passenger Air Bag may not Deploy due to OCS Error , 1 INVESTIGATION(S)
Report Receipt Date: APR 26, 2016
NHTSA Campaign Number: 16V244000
Component(s): AIR BAGS
Manufacturer: Nissan North America, Inc.

Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) is recalling certain model year 2016-2017 Nissan Maxima, 2013-2016 Nissan Altima, NV200, LEAF and Sentra, 2013-2017 Nissan Pathfinder, 2014-2016 Nissan NV200 Taxi, Infiniti QX60 and Q50, 2014-2017 Nissan Rogue, 2015-2016 Nissan Murano, Chevrolet City Express and 2013 Infiniti JX35 vehicles. In these vehicles, the front seat passenger Occupant Classification System (OCS) may incorrectly classify an adult passenger as a child or classify the seat as empty despite it being occupied. As a result, the passenger frontal air bag may be turned off and not deploy in the event of a crash.

If the passenger frontal air bag does not deploy as intended in the event of a crash, the passenger is at an increased risk of injury.

Nissan will notify their owners. Chevrolet City Express owners will be notified by General Motors. Dealers will reprogram the Air Bag Control Unit (ACU) and OCS Electronic Control Unit (ECU) in Altima, Maxima, Murano, Rogue, and Sentra vehicles, and replace the OCS ECU in LEAF, NV200, NV200 Taxi, Pathfinder, Infiniti Q50, JX35, and QX60 and Chevrolet City Express vehicles, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Nissan customer service at 1-800-867-7669, Infiniti customer service at 1-888-833-3216 or Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to

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21 Comments on "Nissan LEAF Affected By Massive Airbag Non Deployment Recall"

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We had noticed that the passenger airbag at times would show that it was off when my wife was sitting in the seat. Nissan looked at it a couple times.

The other think we noticed is a stop lights when your stopping if you hit a bump or puddle of water the cars brakes seem to pause causing the car to shoot forward. Guess there is no recall on that problem yet.

Last problem- those two little nubs that hold the rear hatch tray with strings both snapped off in the cold.

Other than that love the car.


I wondered about those. They seem so flimsy.


I never use the strings. If you lift the shelf high enough, it stays up by itself. Not using the strings makes removing the shelf a little bit easier.


If it’s any consolation, two of our on our Chevy Volt broke too.


i’ve also experienced the braking issue. Run over a crack or small bump in the road while braking will cancel braking efforts for a split second. not good.


Overly-aggressive ABS.

I’m not doing the braking recall because I keep hearing reports about it ruining the regen on the car. No thank you.

I will do the airbag recall, though. And threaten them with death if they do the brake recall at the same time.


I had the brake recall done a while back and haven’t noticed any issues.


We had the brake recall done for a cold weather regen issue as well. This is a different problem.

This is not an ABS problem. The same thing happens in my Focus Electric, and probably happens on any EV that employes regenerative braking. The reason is as follows… When an EV “brakes”, it is usually only motor braking through the front wheels, with the rear wheels turning freely. This maximizes the amount of kinetic energy that can be recaptured back into the battery. But, when one of the front wheels goes over a bump, it can momentarily lose contact with the pavement. In this circumstance (one wheel on-pavement, one wheel off), the differential between the front wheels allows the on-pavement wheel to turn freely for a split second, defeating motor braking. This sudden “lack of braking” for a moment can feel like “shooting forward”. But, the car’s traction control system soon senses the situation and either applies the mechanical brakes on the other wheels (possibly including the rear wheels) and/or the two front wheels regain contact the pavement, re-engaging the differential and restoring motor braking. The whole process can sometimes feel a bit “rough” and jolty. It is hard for any EV trying to maximize motor-braking via one pair of wheels to *not* sometimes feel this way when going… Read more »
Sorry but you’re all wrong Foo! I’ve own a Leaf since 2012, and it is ABS related issue. As soon as a wheel stop turning or slow much more than another one because of a bump, hole or a slippery patch on the pavement, the ABS immediately cut the regeneration and release the braking force. Regeneration has to be as smooth as possible to avoid damaging the electrical system, inverter and battery. The ABS also do this to regain some traction, but the thing take too much time to reset especially with the regeneration and it might not even come back until you stop or release the brake for a lapse of time. So the ABS does cut abruptly the braking force applied, causing you to “feel” a push forward. It’s getting worse because of the poor blending braking mode between regeneration and friction and in the case of the Leaf even without the ABS coming to play in braking situation, the blending is so bad sometime that it just fluctuate the braking force like you would had with damage brake. Many other vehicle have this behavior without any regeneration. I know many owners, or driver remove the ABS fuse… Read more »

I don’t think I’m “all wrong”. 🙂

The effect I described is an inescapable mechanical artifact of any drive axel that has a differential. If you understand how a differential transfers force between two wheels, you will understand the effect I was explaining.

The effect is also not exclusive to EVs. The same thing would occur with an ICE car while going over bumps when using (only) motor braking via an axel with a differential.

The effects of ABS and other traction control would only be *secondary* to the sudden “rush forward” feeling of the differential allowing the non-contact wheel to spin freely.


Foo said:

“When an EV ‘brakes’, it is usually only motor braking through the front wheels, with the rear wheels turning freely.”

You are correctly describing regenerative braking (“regen”) for front-wheel-drive cars. But more generally, it’s the drive wheels which do regen, not necessarily the front wheels. For example, on the Tesla Roadster and older (rear wheel drive) Tesla Model S’s, it’s the rear wheels which do regen.


Most non-Tesla EVs are front-wheel drive


“…if you hit a bump or puddle of water the cars brakes seem to pause causing the car to shoot forward) I noticed that too on mine, so I looked at the dash when it happened and it appears the regenerative braking cut out causing the car to lunge forward.


The Prius had the same brake issue in 2010. The physical brakes didn’t actually pause, it was just that when you hit a bump and the ABS system activates while the brakes are switching between physical and regenerative brakes, there can be a time that the regenerative brakes have not activated yet, so it feels like you lost braking power.

An updated to the ABS software fixed the problem there.

Kacey Green

1st gen Volt does this too


US only?


Great – I just had the last recall work done on the brake firmware. Also got notice of the 2G to 3G upgrade service “coming soon”. Probably will wait and get both done in one visit.


I’m due for the annual in July so I’ll probably just wait until then. Hopefully the 3g will be ready by then and I can get it all done at the same time.

Hoping that a nice residual reduction from NMAC at the end of my lease makes all this hassle worth it. Planning to buy out the car and give it to the kids if the deal is right.


Air bag is a big scam for the money. Its rarely used and its pollutes


LOL! Is this troll bait?

I’d hate to ride with a driver who needs air bag use frequently! 😀