November 1, 2021
It’s that time of the month again. We’re back with another edition of “The Recall Notice,” where we give you the scoop on the latest software-related recalls. This month we are discussing a software fault affecting the infotainment and rearview monitor of certain Nissan Infiniti models. This recall was submitted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on August 2, 2021, with an owner notification date of September 14, 2021.
The Infiniti recall has a lot in common with the Lamborghini Huracán recall we covered a couple of months ago. However, there are a few key differences that set them apart. For starters, this month’s issue is not related to temperature variations. More importantly, the Lamborghini Huracán was not undergoing multiple recalls in the same year. Read on to find out more.
NHTSA Campaign Number: 21V599000
OEM: Nissan North America, Inc.
Components: Back Over Prevention
Estimated Vehicles Affected: 3,569
Remedy: Free software update at dealership
Estimated Cost to OEM: $1M to $1.78M
NHTSA Recall 21V599 pertains to an issue with the multifunction control touchscreen in certain Infiniti vehicles. The screen in question is responsible for infotainment, navigation, and displaying a rear camera image. By failing to display and maintain the rearview image when the automobile is in reverse, affected units are in direct violation of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 111. This standard requires an image to appear within 2 seconds of shifting into reverse and remain until the vehicle is taken out of reverse.
The root of the issue is a fault in the In-Vehicle Connectivity (IVC) software. Nissan’s IVC gives drivers the option of disabling the transfer and collection of data related to connected services. Enabling privacy mode inadvertently triggers a power cut to the AV (audio/video) control unit. The impact is not, however, immediate. It only occurs when the driver neglects to start the vehicle in the fourteen days following the activation of privacy mode. When this happens, it causes the control screen to remain inoperative, even after an engine restart.
There are 3,569 Nissan Infiniti vehicles included in NHTSA Recall 21V599. Affected models include 2021 Infiniti Q50 and Q60 and the 2021 Infiniti QX80. In general, this recall is quite small by comparison. This is partially due to the very specific circumstances surrounding the affected units.
All Infiniti models with the fault originated in one of two production plants: the Nissan Shatai Kyushu plant in Southern Japan and the Nissan Tochigi plant near Tokyo. In addition, the software version with the fault was implemented for a relatively short period. For the Q50 and Q60, the time frame was a matter of weeks. Cars produced between January 20, 2021, and February 4, 2021, being the only ones affected. QX80 models had a bit longer run of bad luck, with vehicles produced between November 20, 2020, and February 11, 2021, falling under the umbrella of NHTSA 21V599.
Infiniti has a great interactive system called Infiniti InTouch which allows over-the-air (OTA) software updates via at-home Wi-Fi. The hitch is that InTouch is only responsible for navigation, security, infotainment, and in-vehicle comfort features. Software updates related to key features and functionality require a visit to a dealership, including the updates necessary to satisfy NHTSA recall 21V599.
An OTA solution like Sibros Deep Connected Platform (DCP) gives the manufacturer the ability to perform vehicle-wide updates, including those related to vital systems. Instead of sending the update to all model years, manufacturers can use the VINs of affected units to create a target group. Once the new software is ready, it gets uploaded to the secure cloud and sent exclusively to the affected units. The only thing the owner must do is press a button to download and install the update package, no dealer visit necessary.
As mentioned above, 3,569 units is a relatively small recall. With each vehicle costing the OEM between $300 and $500 to update, NHTSA 21V599 has a financial impact of between 1 and 1.78 million dollars. However, there are other factors to consider.
This is the second software-related recall for the 2021 Infiniti Q50 and Infiniti Q60 this year. The first, NHTSA Recall 21V234, was related to an issue in the Engine Control Module (ECM). Owners were notified of this recall in late May, well before the submission of NHTSA 21V599 on August 2nd. This puts many owners in the inconvenient position of having to return to the dealership not once, but twice within a matter of months.
Frequent trips to the dealer throw brand loyalty and trust into question. To make matters worse, 2021 Infiniti Q50 owners also had a non-software-related recall on their steering and suspension systems this year. But owners aren’t the only ones impacted. There is also the additional cost to the OEM to consider. Three unrelated recalls, each between three to five hundred per vehicle, significantly increases the manufacturer’s financial losses. A vehicle-wide OTA software system would have significantly mitigated these costs, saving the OEM anywhere from $300 to $1000 per vehicle (depending on the model and associated recalls).
Some recalls, like components that haven’t been correctly heat-treated, require a mandatory visit to the dealership. Software-related recalls, however, shouldn’t have to. Sibros DCP doesn’t simply ease the recall rollout process, it saves OEMs time, money, and resources while maintaining brand credibility. Prepare your fleet for the unexpected with Sibros. Contact us today to set up a demo and learn more about our products.