The Infiniti Q50's signature party piece is its electronic steering system, which can adjust things like steering ratio and feel on the fly. There’s a redundant mechanical system backing it up in case it all falls apart, but what would really suck is if there was some sort of software flaw which could make the whole thing stop working properly, and the mechanical system didn’t engage. Which is exactly what Infiniti just admitted could happen in a recall.
Here’s the explanation of what could happen, according to an Infiniti spokesman:
In certain rare circumstances, just after starting the vehicle, a software issue the Direct Adaptive Steering system’s ECU can lead to a lack of steering responsiveness and a change in turning radius. If this happens, the Direct Adaptive Steering system does not lose the ability to steer the vehicle, therefore the redundant, backup mechanical steering system does not activate.
And all of that sounds very bad, and yet it’s also very vague! A lack of steering responsiveness? Does the steering not respond? A change in turning radius? Does that mean the car only goes mostly straight? And isn’t this exactly what the mechanical steering system is for????
We’ve reached out to an Infiniti spokesperson for further clarification, and will update this post if necessary.
Anyways, Infiniti plans on informing its Q50-driving customers at some point over the next month or so. Have fun driving your Q50 until then.