The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2002 Nissan Pathfinder, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: Frame/Body Structure Corrosion

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE11004

    Component(s): Steering
    Suspension:Front:Macpherson Strut
    Suspension:Front:Shock Absorber

    Summary: In their Defect Information Report (DIR) of April 20, 2011, Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) notified NHTSA that it would conduct a safety recall of certain 1996-2004 Nissan Pathfinder and 1997-2003 Infinity QX4 vehicles to repair corrosion damage to the driver's side front strut tower.The vehicles included in the recall are those that were originally sold, or are currently registered in salt belt states including Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.The DIR states in part, "...the strut housing may crack and pull away from the inner hood ledge assembly.This could lead to the strut housing panel separating and contacting the steering column lower shaft."Contact with the steering column lower shaft can cause steering difficulties and may require an increase in steering effort by the driver.If the steering column lower shaft completely fractured it would result in a total loss of steering control.In some cases, the strut housing panel can contact or affect adjacent brake system components.Complainants reported experiencing either steering or brake system issues, and in some cases, both.Nissan dealer's will inspect the strut housing and, based on the level of corrosion found, make an assessment as to how to remedy the vehicle (see defect information report for additional details). Brake system components adjacent to, and in the area of, the strut tower (i.e., brake master cylinder, left front brake line, ABS wire harness, etc.) will also be inspected.