Nissan recalls 520,000 cars over fault in engine part

Nissan Motor Co. on Friday filed with the Japanese government a recall of over 520,000 cars, including Suzuki-badged vehicles, due to a fault in an electric engine part that can cause them to catch fire.

The Japanese automaker is recalling a combined 527,491 units of its X-Trail sports utility vehicle and Serena minivan, as well as "Landy" minivans supplied to Suzuki Motor Corp., the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism said.

Nissan received a total of 3,963 reports of problems caused by a faulty electric motor in the vehicles' "idling stop" system, a feature that can automatically switch off the engine when stationary.

There have been five incidents where cars have caught fire and six cases in which the vehicles were partially burnt, the ministry said.

Of the cars subject to the recall, 277,462 cars manufactured between September 2010 and June 2017 could potentially catch fire in a worst-case scenario, the ministry said.

In the affected vehicles, the bearings inside the electric motor were not properly sealed, exposing them to dirt and other substances, according to the ministry.

Although the remaining 250,029 vehicles produced from June 2012 to June 2016 are not at risk of catching fire, the engine may stall, it said.

© Kyodo News