WASHINGTON – Nissan North America Inc. (search) said Monday it will recall more than 140,000 Murano sport utility vehicles amid concerns that a broken wire in the alternator could deplete power to the engine and lead to a crash.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (search) said in a posting on its Web site that a wire could break inside the alternator and prevent the battery from charging. The charger warning and brake warning lamps would come on and the battery would start to discharge. After a short time, the engine would go into a condition that limits the vehicle's speed and stop running, creating the potential for a crash.
The recall involves more than 125,000 vehicles from the 2003-2005 model years and more than 15,000 vehicles in Canada, Nissan spokesman Dean Case said. No injuries or crashes linked to the problem have been reported, he said.
Nissan said in a statement it was "committed to a high level of customer safety, service and satisfaction and is working with its dealers to promptly address this condition."
The recall is expected to begin on August 3. Dealers will be instructed to inspect and replace the alternator with a new version that has been upgraded to prevent the problem. Owners can contact Nissan at 800-647-7261.
The government, meanwhile, opened defect investigations into two SUVs: the 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee (search) and the 2001 Acura MDX (search).
NHTSA said it was reviewing alleged problems with the fan in the Grand Cherokee's cooling system. Four owners reported that pieces of the broken fan blade cut through a plastic casing around the instrument.
The investigation involves about 132,000 Grand Cherokees with 4.0 liter engines, said DaimlerChrysler AG spokesman Max Gates. He said the company was cooperating with the agency and beginning its own investigation.
In the case of the MDX, NHTSA said it was looking into complaints of the coil spring breaking in the front suspension and coming into contact with a tire. A spokesman for American Honda Motor Co. could not immediately comment on the case.
There have been no injuries or crashes from the alleged defects.