TOKYO — Japan's third-largest automaker Nissan Motor said on Thursday it was recalling more than 2.1 million cars globally due to a faulty engine control system, in one of its biggest ever single recalls.
Nissan will exchange for free defective parts on certain models, as the fault may "cause the engine to stall while running", the company said in a report to the Japanese transport ministry.
In Japan alone, Nissan will recall a total of 834,759 vehicles ranging across nine models, including the Cube, March and Tiida, produced domestically between 2003 and 2006, the spokesman said.
A spokesman for Japan's transport ministry, Yoshiaki Imaizumi, said it was Nissan's fourth-biggest recall in the country.
Nissan will also recall 761,528 vehicles in North America, 354,170 in Europe and 194,409 in the China and Taiwan markets due to the same system trouble, the company said.
No accident has been reported in connection with the problem, another spokesman said, adding: "We will replace the parts in other countries as well, following the regulations of each country."
Nissan, which is part-owned by Renault of France, separately said it would recall another 1,399 cars in Japan because of insufficient welding of rear cushion springs, "which may come out in the worst case".
The two sets of recalls, announced shortly before Thursday's close of trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, did not immediately affect shares in Nissan, which rose 0.27 percent as the Nikkei index fell 0.22 percent.
Japan's top carmakers have been bedevilled by recall woes in recent months, with Nissan already having recalled hundreds of thousands of vehicles for issues including faulty accelerators and airbags that do not deploy in a crash.
Thursday's massive single recall of 2.1 million cars compares with some of the biggest by Toyota, the world's largest automaker, which has been battered by a recall crisis affecting more than 10 million units worldwide.
Among its largest, in late 2009 Toyota announced it would carry out voluntary repairs on the accelerator pedals of around four million vehicles in the United States.
In January it recalled a further 2.3 million vehicles in the United States to fix a problem with sticking gas pedals.
Toyota said last week it would voluntarily recall another 1.5 million cars globally due to a brake fluid leak, while Honda announced the recall of nearly 528,000 vehicles due to a cylinder defect.
Nissan earlier this year said it plans to introduce 10 new products globally, including the Japanese and US release of its all-electric Leaf, which has become the fulcrum of its green ambitions.