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Nissan recall: Steps to take if your car is on the list

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Henny Ray Abrams/AFP/Newscom/File

(Read caption) The Nissan Titan (shown here at the 2003 New York International Auto Show) was recalled March 3 by the Japanese automaker for potential brake-pin problems (2008-10 models) and faulty fuel gauges (2005-08 models). The recall involves nearly 540,000 vehicles worldwide, most of them in the US.

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Nissan is recalling nearly 540,000 vehicles because of brake pin and/or fuel gauge problems, the Japanese automaker announced Wednesday.

The recall affects six Nissan models (Titan, Armada, Frontier, Pathfinder, Quest, and Xterra) and one Infiniti model (the QX56). (Click on the chart for specific model years.) The lion's share of the vehicles were sold in the United States.

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The brake problem involves a pin in the pedal that can become dislodged, causing a loss of braking. Nissan knows of three instances where it happened (two in the Middle East, one in the US), according to company spokesman Fred Standish.

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After getting the first report of the problem in December, Nissan inspected more than 6,000 vehicles and found no defect, Mr. Standish says.

The defect has caused no injuries or accidents, according to a release from the automaker. Still, Nissan decided to issue the recall (involving 2008-10 models of the Titan, Armada, Quest and Infiniti QX56).

"We tend to err on the side of caution," Standish says.

The second problem is more of a nuisance: Nissan cars with higher mileage may run out of gas even though the fuel gauge indicates there is still an adequate supply. The problem affects 2005-08 models of the Titan, Armada, and Infiniti QX56 as well as Nissan Frontiers, Pathfinders, and Xterras produced between January and March 2006 and between October 2007 and January 2008.

Nissan is sending out notices to owners of the recalled vehicles. But if you have particular worries or questions about the recall, Nissan recommends contacting a dealer or calling the company's hotline (800-647-7261 for Nissan; 800-662-6200 for Infiniti).

The fix for the brake pin involves a 10-minute inspection to see if a vehicle has one of the problem pins. (The supplier has already fixed the problem for cars on the assembly line.) If it is, the fix takes about 30 minutes, Standish says.

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If your vehicle is being recalled for a faulty fuel gauge, Nissan recommends you fill up with gas more often until the system can be repaired.

"Keep at least half a tank showing on the fuel guage and you won't have to worry about running out of fuel," Standish says.