Nissan Motor Co., Japan's third-largest carmaker, said on Tuesday (12/12/00) that it is recalling 12,712 vehicles to fix possibly defective brakes.

The recall involves four passenger car models built between August 1998 and March 1999, Nissan said.

A company spokesman estimated the cost of the recall at less than 200 million yen ($US1.81 million). He also said Nissan had exported another 545 vehicles to the Middle East which it will also fix.

Nissan said it is taking action after receiving reports of two incidents involving an antilock braking system. The problem has caused no accidents, it added.

A company spokesman said the antilock braking system sometimes improperly engages when a driver steps on the brake, preventing the vehicle from stopping normally.

The news comes at a time when consumers and companies in Japan are extremely sensitive to evidence of defective products. Helping to fuel that heightened sensitivity is a recent scandal at rival Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors, which recalled nearly one million cars and trucks following news that it had systematically suppressed evidence of vehicle defects for decades.