Nissan Motor Co. said Thursday it will recall 2.56 million vehicles worldwide, including some 1.03 million units in Japan, due to defective engine sensors.

It will recall 1,025,702 vehicles in Japan, making it the second-largest domestic recall by an automaker since the government introduced the current recall system in 1969, according to officials of the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry.

Nissan spokeswoman Keiko Hoshino said the carmaker will also recall 1.53 million vehicles sold in the United States and other countries.

Nissan will book 15 billion yen to 16 billion yen in recall-related expenses for the year to March 31, she said.

In a report presented to the ministry, Nissan said the engines could fail to start or could come to a halt while running because ineffective soldering in crank-angle and cam-angle sensors could be deformed by heat from the engines and cause short circuits.

The sensors are made by Hitachi Unisia Automotive Ltd., a unit of Hitachi Ltd., Nissan’s Hoshino said.

A ministry official said the huge size of the recall could be due to the use of common parts in many car models.

The recall will affect 25 models in Japan, including Mazda Motor Corp.’s Familia and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.’s Subaru Leone, produced by Nissan on an original equipment manufacturing basis, according to Nissan.

The vehicles subject to the recall in Japan were manufactured between April 1998 and May 2003, Nissan said.

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