TEXT OF INTERVIEW
STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Japanese car maker Nissan today said its recalling more than 2 million vehicles for an ignition switch problem. More than a third of those automobiles were sold in the United States, mostly trucks and SUVs. The recall affects the Titan, Pathfinder, Xterra, Frontier and Armada, along with the Infiniti QX56, made between 2003 and 2006.
Hans Greimel is Asia Editor for Automotive News, and he’s with us from Tokyo. Thanks for being with us.
HANS GREIMEL: You’re welcome.
CHIOTAKIS: What prompted this recall?
GREIMEL: Well, there was a faulty ignition relay in these vehicles. And it can cause engine problems. Apparently in the worst case scenario it can cause the engine to not ignite at all.
CHIOTAKIS: Are people, Hans, becoming desensitized to all these recalls? It seems like we hear about these recalls all the time now. Are people, sort of, just blowing them off and it’s not such a big deal anymore?
GREIMEL: Well, you know 2010 has certainly been the year of the recall. We’ve seen recalls almost every other week here, it seems. But you’re right, I think in some sense people are becoming desensitized to recalls. That’s partly because automakers now are being more proactive about initiating recalls. They’re not waiting until the problem festers or waiting until an accident happens.
CHIOTAKIS: How will this affect Nissan? Haven’t they had some financial problems in the past?
GREIMEL: They have had some financial problems. They’re coming back now and hoping to make better earnings. So the impact of this will probably be more image related than financial related.
CHIOTAKIS: Hans Greimel is Asia Editor over at Automotive News. Hans, thank you.
GREIMEL: Thank you.
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