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More than 300,000 Nissan SUVs recalled for defective hoods that could flip up and obstruct drivers

The automaker's affected vehicles are Pathfinder models from 2013 to 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
A 2013 Nissan Pathfinder
A 2013 Nissan Pathfinder at Star Nissan in Niles, Ill., in December 2012. Scott Olson / Getty Images file

Nissan is recalling more than 300,000 Pathfinder SUVs in the U.S. because defective hoods can cause them to flip open and obstruct drivers.

The recall could affect about 322,671 Pathfinder models from 2013 to 2016, according to documents U.S. safety agencies released Tuesday.

According to a safety recall report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, built up dust and dirt contamination could prompt the hoods to unexpectedly spring open.

"If this condition occurs, the hood may open without warning and obstruct the driver’s forward view, increasing the risk of crash,” the report said.

Only about 1 % of affected Pathfinder models are defective, according to the report.

Nissan said in a statement that it is “committed to the safety and security of our customers and their passengers.”

A remedy plan is currently under development and a parts collection activity will be conducted for a limited group of customers to further study the issue,” it said.  

Owners are expected to be notified by letter starting July 18, federal officials said.  

In addition to the 322,671 affected vehicles in the U.S., 37,115 more affected Pathfinder models are in Canada, a Nissan spokesperson said Tuesday.