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If my spare tire was under-inflated I don't know that I'd hold the automaker responsible... or even consider that a problem. It's the nature of the beast. Tires need air from time to time.
Nonetheless, Nissan said it's recalling 123,308 Altimas because the spare tires may have been significantly over- or under-inflated. They said the problem was due to a production issue at its Canton, Mississippi plant that has since been corrected. No other Nissan or Infiniti models are affected because the manual assembly operation was unique to the model, Nissan said. The affected vehicles were built from March 21, 2012 through March 26, 2013.
"Tires that are significantly over- or under-inflated may fail without warning, increasing the risk of a crash" said NHTSA in its summary of the problem.
"In rare instances, the over-inflation could "compromise the structural integrity of the tire, unless it is adjusted," Nissan told the NHTSA folks.
Nissan became aware of the problem on March 8, when it received a report from a dealer of a spare tire rapid deflation while stored in the trunk.
Nissan dealers will adjust the spare tire pressure, as necessary. The recall has already begun and owners can contact Nissan at 1-800-647-7261.
Edmunds says: The 2013 Nissan Altima recall begins on Friday and is a relatively quick fix.
The recommended PSI in the spare tire differs from the standard tires on the vehicle, due to the size and weight, among other factors. In the cases where the spare tire was overinflated, the increased amount of air may compromise the structural integrity, which if equipped on the vehicle, may fail and increase the probability of the vehicle being involved in an accident.