Randomly Deploying Airbags Prompt Recall of Infiniti QX30s
The issue stems from a part supplied by Mercedes-Benz.
For the engineers in the crowd, apparently "the combination of an electrostatic discharge to a broken steering column module clock spring and an insufficient grounding of the steering column might lead to an inadvertent deployment of the driver airbag." For the rest of us, a broken part in the QX30's steering column may or may not cause the airbag to randomly deploy.
Those well-versed in automotive recall lore, however, will note that Mercedes-Benz recalled 400,000 cars last month over the same issue. Since the QX30 is based on the Mercedes GLA and shares many parts (including the steering column module clock spring, evidently), this latest recall isn't all that surprising.
In order to fix this, Infiniti will install something called a commutator ring that electrically grounds the steering column. The work will, of course, be done free of charge at Infiniti's dealers.
Starting Dec. 18, owners whose vehicles could experience this particular problem will be officially notified that their cars need to be fixed. Until then, owners can check NHTSA website to see whether their vehicles are subject to a recall. They can reach Infiniti customer service at 1-800-361-4792 or NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236 if they have any concerns before then as well.