Nissan Motor's flag outside the carmaker's headquarters in Yokohama, Japan. Picture: BLOOMBERG/AKIO KON
Nissan Motor's flag outside the carmaker's headquarters in Yokohama, Japan. Picture: BLOOMBERG/AKIO KON

New York — Japan’s Nissan Motor is recalling 394,025 cars in the US over a braking system defect, sparking concerns that a brake-fluid leak could potentially lead to a fire.

The leak into internal circuit boards will trigger a warning to drivers, which if ignored may lead to a fire in “rare instances”, Nissan said in a filing dated November 8 with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“If the warning is ignored and the vehicle continues to be operated in this condition, the brake-fluid leak may potentially create an electrical short in the actuator circuit, which in rare instances may lead to a fire,” the Japanese vehicle maker said.

The recall, reported on Friday by US media, includes Maxima sedans from 2016 to 2018, Infiniti QX60 luxury crossovers from 2017 to 2019, Murano SUVs from 2015 to 2018 and Pathfinder SUVs from 2017 to 2019, the filing showed.

The document does not mention whether the brake system defect actually caused any fires or injuries.

The company also reportedly said it was working to fix the issue and that owners of the affected cars will be notified starting early in December.

“Once the remedy is available, owners will receive a final notification letter asking them to bring their vehicle to an authorised Nissan dealer or INFINITI retailer to have the remedy work completed at no cost for parts or labour,” it told NPR in an e-mailed statement.

The development comes less than two months after NHTSA opened a preliminary investigation into 553,000 Nissan Rogue sport utility vehicles after reports of their automatic emergency braking systems engaging without warning or an obstruction.

Improper inspections of brakes, steering wheels, speed measurements and vehicle stability had also caused the company to issue a recall of several thousand vehicles in Japan late in 2018.

In September the company recalled 1.3-million vehicles to fix a problem with its back-up camera displays.

Reuters