• Approximately 13,919 vehicles included in Nissan recall.
  • Affects the all-new 2013 Altima as well as 2012 models.
  • Nissan to inspect and repair loose suspension and steering bolts.

Nissan announced a voluntary safety recall for nearly 14,000 model year 2012 and model year 2013 Nissan Altima sedans. The automaker reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the federal agency that handles vehicle recalls, that suspension and steering bolts on some vehicles may not have been tightened to the correct specification. As a result, the bolts may become loose or fall out completely.

Potentially affected vehicles were built in Nissan's Canton, Miss. assembly plant between May 10 and July 26 of this year. During that time, Nissan built both the previous-generation 2012 Altima and the all-new, fifth-generation 2013 model.

Nissan did not list any reported crashes or injuries resulting from loose bolts. Instead, the automaker discovered the problem in a routine driving test on a single vehicle. A rattle prompted a closer examination of the vehicle, which was determined to have an improperly torqued transverse link bolt. Because the same tool is used to install the power steering rack bolts, that hardware is also included in the recall.

This is the first safety recall for the new 2013 Altima. Nissan has twice before recalled the 2012 Altima, once in 2011 for a similar issue. That recall of 20,000 vehicles--which also affected 2011 models--addressed improperly torqued transverse link bolts but did not include power steering rack bolts. The other recall on the 2012 Altima addressed an airbag issue.

Of the 8,420 model year 2012 vehicles and 5,499 2013 vehicles included in this latest recall, Nissan has already begun inspecting and repairing ones on dealers' lots. Federal law requires that automakers remedy recalled vehicles before sale. Because the redesigned 2013 model was only recently launched, both 2012 and 2013 Altima models are currently sold new.

Nissan will begin notifying owners of affected vehicles later this month. Those drivers should visit a Nissan dealer for an inspection and any necessary repairs, at no cost.

For more information on this Nissan recall, call the automaker's customer service line at 1-800-647-7261. The NHTSA website safercar.gov also lists all automotive recalls. Search for this one using campaign number 12V-494.

What it means to you: Nissan will fix any 2012 or 2013 Altima under this recall before selling it new. Owners who have already purchased an affected vehicle should take it in for an inspection and repair at no charge.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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