Massive Nissan recall issued over hoods that can fly open while driving

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Nissan is recalling nearly 323,000 vehicles in the United States because the hoods can unexpectedly open and block the driver's view.

The recall includes Pathfinder SUVs from the 2013 through 2016 model years.

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The automaker says dust and dirt may accumulate around the secondary hood latch, which could cause it to malfunction and remain in the unlatched, unsecured position when the hood is closed. An unsecured hood could unexpectedly open while the vehicle is moving and block the driver's view, increasing the risk of a crash.

Approximately 322,671 vehicles are covered by the recall, though Nissan only expects about 1% of the vehicles to actually have the defect. The recall includes:
• 2013 Nissan Pathfinder -- 79,910 vehicles
• 2014 Nissan Pathfinder -- 95,520 vehicles
• 2015 Nissan Pathfinder -- 91,823 vehicles
• 2016 Nissan Pathfinder -- 54,418 vehicles

Nissan doesn't yet have a remedy for the problem, according to documents posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The automaker plans to mail letters to a selected sample of 40,000 owners, instructing them to have their SUV inspected at a dealership. Dealers will replace the hood assembly parts at no cost, and then ship the old parts to Nissan for further review.

Meantime, all other affected owners will receive letters by August 3 that include instructions on how to self-inspect and clean the hood assembly parts. Those customers also have the option to bring their SUV to a dealer to perform the maintenance free of charge.

When Nissan finally has a plan to fix the problem, it will mail a final notification letter to owners with further instructions.

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