The last thing you want to worry about after coming home from a long day at work is whether or not parking your car in the garage will start a fire. For some Nissan vehicles, that’s apparently a possibility, with the carmaker warning owners of 120,000 recently recalled SUVs and sedans to keep their vehicles outdoors until they are repaired.
Nissan issued the warning to owners this week as part of the recall for 120,329 model year 2015 to 2017 Murano, model year 2015-2017 Murano Hybrid, and model year 2016-2017 Maxima vehicles that may leak brake fluid.
According to a notice [PDF] posted with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the antilock brake (ABS) pumps may contain a seal that could leak fluid onto an internal electrical circuit board.
If this issue occurs, an ABS warning lamp will continuously illuminate on the instrument panel to warn the driver, Nissan says.
However, if the warning is ignored and the vehicle continues to be operated in this condition, the brake fluid leak may create an electrical short, which increases the risk of fire.
Vehicle owners who see the ABS warning lamp illuminated for more than 10 seconds after starting the engine should not drive the car, and should park their vehicles outdoors away from other vehicles or structures.
Owners of affected vehicles and dealers will replace the ABS actuator, if necessary.
Nissan says it became aware of the issue in June after receiving an incident report involving thermal damage to a 2016 Nissan Maxima. An inspection of the vehicle found that the fire likely originated in the area of the ABS actuator housing.
The carmaker then began working with the ABS unit supplier to further investigate the cause of the issue and whether it was an isolated incident.
The two companies determined the fire was the result of a brake fluid leak. By this time, the carmaker was notified of several other incidents of fire damage to related vehicles.