Nissan North America Inc. is asking owners of 127,000 Altimas from the 2002 model year to return their vehicles to dealers to replace a crash sensor for front airbag deployment.
The action is not a safety recall under federal law. Instead, the company said on Wednesday, May 1, that the sensor's performance did not meet Nissan's expectations in offset crash testing.
A Nissan spokesman said the redesigned Altima passed an initial crash test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety but did not score as well as the company had hoped.
In the offset test, a vehicle runs 40 mph into a barrier so that part of the front strikes the corner of the obstacle, simulating a violent highway collision.