Nissan is recalling about 400,000 vehicles in the U.S. to repair a braking system defect that could cause the affected Nissan and Infiniti vehicles to catch fire. It’s the third time the automaker has recalled vehicles for this safety hazard.

Owners of the recalled vehicles should park them outside, away from the house and other structures, if the anti-lock brake system (ABS) warning light comes on for more than 10 seconds.

The safety recall covers the 2016-2018 Nissan Maxima (82,374 vehicles), 2015-2018 Murano (115,518), 2017-2019 Pathfinder (126,579), and the 2017-2019 INFINITI QX60 (69,554). An additional 50,000 vehicles will be recalled outside the U.S.

In documents provided by Nissan to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the automaker says the vehicles may contain an oil seal that can wear down prematurely, allowing brake fluid to leak. In the event of a leak, the ABS warning will illuminate continuously. If the driver ignores the indicator and continues to drive the vehicle, the brake fluid may create an electrical short in the actuator circuit, which could trigger a fire.

If the recall sounds familiar to you, your vehicle might have been included in a past recall for the same issue.

The recall is the third Nissan has opened for the same problem, each time expanding to include more affected models. Nissan recalled 120,000 vehicles in the U.S. in 2016. Last year, the Japanese automaker recalled about 215,000 U.S. vehicles to repair the potential fire hazard. Nissan dealers inspected the vehicles for the defect in both the previous recalls, but it only replaced some of the pumps.

It’s not clear how many fires and injuries are linked to the defect. However, some of the complaints submitted to NHTSA indicate there have been multiple incidents.

“The vehicle caught on fire next to the ABD system resulting in total loss of vehicle,” wrote one 2018 Nissan Murano driver from Arkansas.

Another driver in Arizona wrote that their 2017 Nissan Maxima “ignited and exploded” in April. “My State Farm investigator said it ignited due to ABS actuator leaking brake fluid onto the circuit board,” the driver explained. “I called Nissan because there was a recall for this but they claim my car was not included in the recall.” The complaint states that the driver owned the vehicle for about 20 days when the fire occurred and resulted in a “total loss.”

If you drive a Nissan and have experienced a similar problem, but it is not included in the past or present recalls, it’s important that you report the incident to the automaker and to NHTSA. The agency generally will open an investigation into an alleged defect once it receives enough complaints.

Owners of the recalled vehicles will receive a recall notification sometime after Dec. 2, 2019, instructing them to contact Nissan on INFINITI. Vehicles with illuminated antilock brake lights will be serviced. Replacement parts for all other vehicles won’t be available for several months. Owners will get a second notice in the summer when those parts are ready.

Additional sources:
Associated Press
Consumer Reports

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