An independent crash test conducted for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that Nissan Cube models do not comply with a Federal motor vehicle safety standard that limits the amount of fuel that can leak in a rear crash.
Leaking gasoline during an accident can cause a fire if something ignites it.
It was not immediately clear if NHTSA has stepped upped its scrutiny of Japanese safety and compliance claims in a post Toyota era. And the safety agency will not comment on investigations in process.
As a result of the failed crash test, Nissan is recalling model year 2009-2010 Cube vehicles manufactured from January 30, 2009 through July 30, 2010. About 46,000 Cube models are affected.
Nissan said in a memo to NHTSA that its internal testing had not revealed the failure, but it could find no problems with the test that the Cube failed.
Nissan is the second maker to fail an independently conducted rear crash test. Last month after NHTSA informed a beleaguered Toyota that a Lexus hybrid model leaked dangerous amounts of fuel during a rear crash test, Toyota recalled 17,000 2010 model year Lexus HS 250h vehicles because they violate Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 301.