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Nissan recalls Infiniti hybrid sedans for software, transmission issues

Cars are reflected in a Nissan Motor logo at the company's dealership in Tokyo July 28, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

DETROIT (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co <7201.T> said on Tuesday it is recalling more than 14,000 hybrid Infiniti Q50 and Q70 luxury sedans globally due to possible software and transmission issues.

Nissan is recalling 14,438 Q50 and Q70 hybrid sedans from model year 2014 because the electric motor may stop running due to a communications error between the motor inverter and transmission control module, according to the company and documents posted online with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Of the affected vehicles, 7,539 were sold in Japan, 5,412 in United States and territories, and the rest in other markets, Nissan said.

The stall-like condition can occur when the electric motor stops working and may increase the risk of a crash, according to the NHTSA documents. The issue does not occur when the car is operating at highway speeds while the internal combustion engine is in use, according to the NHTSA documents.

Nissan discovered the problem after a "field incident" in Japan in late August, according to the NHTSA documents. It found no incidents in the U.S. market, according to the NHTSA.

Nissan will reprogram the motor inverter software at no cost, according to the NHTSA. The recall is expected to begin in mid-November.

In a separate action, Nissan also is recalling 1,641 Q50, Q70 and Q70L hybrid sedans from the same model year because a small number have automatic transmission housings that may have cracks caused during manufacturing by the supplier, according to the NHTSA.

The recall affects 817 cars sold in the United States and its territories, 520 in Japan and the rest in other markets, Nissan said.

Over time, a crack could lead to a larger fracture, producing on-road debris and increasing the risk of a crash, according to the NHTSA. Nissan is not aware of any complaints, injuries or accidents related to this issue.

A new transmission assembly will be installed if any cracks are found by the dealers, according to the NHTSA. The recall is expected to begin in mid-November.

A Nissan spokesman said there may be overlap between the two recalls.

In Japan, the cars in both recalls are marketed as the Nissan Skyline, Fuga and Cima, the Japanese automaker said.


(Reporting by Ben Klayman; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)