Some of the hatchbacks may have left the factory without proper welds on the front structural member assembly, compromising the integrity of the vehicle.
The company suggests the defect may not be noticed unless the vehicle is involved in a crash. Engineers believe the missing welds run afoul of federal safety requirements related to occupant crash protection.
The problem appears to be limited to Leaf units that were manufactured at Nissan's Smyrna, Tennessee, plant between February 28 and March 12 of this year.
Owners will be asked to bring in their vehicles for inspection by Nissan service personnel. If any of six spot welds appear to be missing from the structural member, the entire vehicle will be replaced with a new Leaf.