It's been a bad week for automobile recalls.
Nissan announced this week it's recalling three models. According to MSN Autos, some Nissan Pathfinder, Xterra and Frontier models are being recalled for faulty front wheel hubs which have the potential to crack. This could potentially lead to a loss of steering control.
What is it with the steering wheel defects this week? Earlier, we reported that Honda was recalling some of its Accords for issues involving leaky steering wheel fluid.
The current Nissan recall is much less expansive than the Honda recall. Nissan is only recalling 2,417 cars, namely the ones built between June 19 and July 12 of this year.
It's also smaller than Nissan's recall from December 2011, when 15,000 Infinitis were recalled for weak bolts.
Most of the Nissan recalls affect Frontier pickup trucks.
While the Nissan problem isn't too large-scale, the automaker is doing the right thing in ordering a recall. As we've seen in recent years, car makers can be held liable and forced to pay if their products have fatal defects.
The theory of product liability basically states that if there is a defect in the design or manufacture of a product, the maker of the product faces liability for any injury caused by the defect.
In cases involving injuries, the car makers can deal with paying for damages, which could include physical and emotional distress, along with loss of earnings and medical bills. In the case of wrongful death lawsuits, the car companies could face stiffer damages, including for loss of consortium.
So it's always wise for automakers to recall their products upon the slightest sign of a defect. Failure to do so can result in injury or even death. And once that happens, it's just a huge legal and PR mess for the company.