In a March 5, 2012 letter to NHTSA, Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) submitted a Defect Information Report identifying a defect in the combination meter circuit board in approximately 8,120 model year 2003 through 2004 Infiniti M45 vehicles manufactured from March 7, 2002 through June 3, 2004 (Recall No. 12V-088). According to Nissan, heat generated by several components of the circuit board may cause solder cracks due to thermal shock. Open circuits created by the solder cracks may cause the fuel gauge to read higher than the actual amount of fuel remaining in the gas tank or always indicate full. Because of this condition, drivers may run out of fuel without notice, resulting in an engine stall without warning with no possibility of restart.
The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) analyzed complaint data provided by Nissan as well as complaints submitted to ODI from consumers. In total, there were 315 unique reports indicating an inaccurate fuel level reading while driving, including 61 that resulted in an engine stall incident (7.5 incidents per thousand vehicles). In addition, Nissan provided warranty data showing 2,525 claims for replacement of the subject component (31% claim rate).
Nissan will begin owner notification in mid-April 2012. Owners of the recalled vehicles will be notified to take their vehicle to an Infiniti dealer, who will install a sub-amplifier in the combination meter to bypass the electric circuit and ensure accurate fuel level indication.
This preliminary evaluation is closed.
The ODI reports cited above can be viewed at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification numbers (ODI Nos.): 10429412, 10427140, 10426741, 10424642, 10423199, 10418078, 10416519, 10414944, 10412053, 10408935, 10406834, 10406096, 10404206, 10404080, 10395207, 10392714, 10386134, 10380863, 10374719, 10373992, 10369584, 10365717, 10365428, 10356315, 10353972, 10351181, 10349252, 10348351, 10342961, 10342641, 10336272, 10329869, 10325399, 10324572, 10323996, 10323757, 10322403, 10320190, 10318987, 10317547, 10317273, 10317234, 10317030, 10308445.