Nissan Recalls Sentra Because Brake Lights Might Not Illuminate

More than 800,000 vehicles to get new brake light switch and protective component

2017 Nissan Sentra Nissan

Nissan Sentra models from the 2016 to 2019 model years are being recalled because the car’s rear brake lights may become inoperative because of contamination from grease used in other nearby components.

There is a risk of a rear-end crash if the brake lights don’t illuminate.

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The company warns that the brake lights might not illuminate, the customer may notice a malfunction indicator light on, and/or the engine might not start.

The problem comes from a silicone-based grease that is used on other components. This grease can release chemicals into the air (called off-gassing), which may result in a residue buildup on the surface of the switch. This residue will prevent the electrical circuit from closing, rendering the brake lights inoperative.

This recall affects 807,376 Sentras. Owners will be notified by mail in early April, with new parts expected to be available by fall 2021.

A Nissan spokesperson told CR that the automaker is not aware of any accidents attributable to this problem.

The Details

Vehicles recalled: 2016 to 2019 Nissan Sentra vehicles.

The problem: The brake lights might not illuminate.

The fix: Dealerships will replace the brake light switch and install a protective grommet (an eyelet), free of charge.

How to contact the manufacturer: Nissan customer service can be reached at 800-867-7769.

NHTSA campaign number: 21V-135. Nissan’s reference number for this recall is PM971.

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: NHTSA’s website will tell you whether your vehicle has any recalls that need to be addressed.

If you plug your car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) into NHTSA’s website and a recall doesn’t appear, it means your vehicle doesn’t currently have one. Because automakers issue recalls often, and for many older vehicles, we recommend checking back regularly.

Stay informed about recalls that might affect your vehicle by using our Car Recall Tracker. Create a free account now to become a CR member.


Jon Linkov

I owe my career to two fateful events: my father buying a 1965 Corvette and my purchase of an Audi A4 rather than a Chevy Tahoe. The Corvette jump-started my love of cars, and the Audi led me to automotive journalism, track days, and amateur car repair. In my free time I cycle as much as possible, no matter the season.