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New York (AFP) – Japanese automaker Nissan is recalling nearly a million of its vehicles in North America over a defect that could cause the front passenger airbag not to deploy in an accident.

The company did not indicate whether the defect was involved in any reported accidents in the letter it sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In the affected vehicles, the software that activates the airbags may misclassify “an occupied front passenger seat as empty,” Nissan said.

In those cases, “there may be no warning that the air bag may not deploy in a crash where it is designed to deploy, potentially increasing the risk of injury to the front passenger seat occupant,” it warned.

The recall includes 989,701 vehicles from 2013 and 2014 in several of Nissan’s lines of cars and SUVs, including the latest generation of its Altima sedan and its all electric Leaf.

The massive recall comes as U.S. auto giant GM finds itself in the crosshairs of a growing scandal over its failure to react to an ignition switch defect linked to 12 deaths.

GM is now facing multiple investigations by U.S. authorities over the issue, which was detected at the pre-production stage as early as 2001. GM waited until last month to recall 1.6 million vehicles in North America.

AFP Photo/Toshifumi Kitamura

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President Joe Biden

Photo by The White House

Two tiresome realities about being president of the United States: first, everybody blames you for things over which you have little or no control: such as the worldwide price of oil, and international shipping schedules. Should there be too few electronic gee-gaws on store shelves to pacify American teenagers this Christmas, it will be Joe Biden’s fault.

Second, everybody gives you advice, whether you ask for it or not. Everywhere you look, Democrats and Democratically-inclined pundits are tempted to panic. “The cold reality for Biden,” writes New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait “is that his presidency is on the brink of failure.” A return to Trumpism, and essentially the end of American democracy, strikes Chait as altogether likely.

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