Nissan is recalling 40,400 (out of as many as 90,000 4x4 models it sold in the time period) of its Navara D40 series, manufactured in Spain between July 2005 and January 2010, for an inspection.
A redesigned Nissan replacement towbar (with additional mounting points) and welded repairs to any chassis cracks - some as wide as 2.5mm according to owners - will be completed for those with faulty genuine Nissan towbars.
But Navara owners who opted for an aftermarket set-up with cracks in the chassis rails could face repair bills of $1000 or more.
The company said the problem relates to faulty towbar designs specific to the Spanish-built D40 ST-X and RX model Navara and while 40,400 vehicles were being recalled for inspection under this campaign, around 9800 were fitted with the affected Nissan genuine towbars.
The D40 Navara starts from around $35,000 and was launched here in late 2005 - all bar one 4x2 model is listed with a towing capacity of 3000kg when towing a trailer fitted with its own brakes, which has made the vehicle popular with tradesman and drivers towing heavy recreational vehicles.
The Pathfinder SUV - also built on a ladder-frame chassis and rated to a braked towing capacity of three tonnes - was not impacted by the recall, according to Nissan.
Spokesman Peter Fadeyev said the attachment points on the Navara's genuine towbars could cause excessive stress upon the chassis frame rails over time.
``As a result, cracks can occur at the ends of the chassis rails,'' he said.
``In extreme cases, sections of the chassis rails around the towbar may bend when a heavy tow load is applied,'' he said.
Mr Fadeyev said the vehicle's towing capacity was not being altered.
``The vehicle can still tow exactly what was identified in the owner's manual - that's the specification of the repair, the vehicle can still tow exactly what is identified as its capability in its manual from the start,'' he said.
The company has agreed to inspect customer vehicles fitted with a non-genuine towbar at no charge to the customer, but any chassis repair or replacement to a new revised-design genuine Nissan towbar will be at cost to the customer, Mr Fadeyev said.
The company said the inspection takes under 20 minutes to complete or the worst-case-scenario of inspection, repair and towbar replacement would be completed in under two hours.
Navara owners looking for more information are being asked to contact their local Nissan dealer or call the Nissan Customer Assistance Centre on 1800 035 035.
Nissan said it began recall proceedings following legislated procedures earlier this month, but the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) product recalls website as yet has no mention of the safety campaign.
Nissan Navara 4WD utility annual sales:
2005 - 9,627
2006 - 14,362
2007 - 18,245
2008 - 16,192
2009 - 16,455
2010 - 19,424
Total - 94,305