The recall affects the Altima midsize car, Leaf electric car, Pathfinder SUV and Sentra compact models from the 2013 and 2014 model years, as well as the NV200 Taxi van and Infiniti JX35 SUV from 2013. Also covered are the Infiniti QX60 and Q50 SUVs from 2014.
In documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Nissan says the vehicles' computer software may not detect an adult in the passenger seat. If that happens, the air bags won't inflate.
Nissan will notify owners and dealers will update the software for free. The recall is expected to start in mid-April.
Most of the vehicles were recalled in February of last year for a similar problem. Dealers replaced seat sensors, but Nissan said it continued to get consumer complaints and warranty claims in vehicles that had been repaired.
Front passenger seats have sensors that determine the passenger's weight and turn off air bags off if a child is on board. The malfunctioning sensors can turn the air bags off even if an adult is in the seat.
Nissan received three reports of air bags failing to inflate in a crash. Spokesman Steve Yeager said in an e-mail that he is not sure if anyone was hurt in those incidents. There have been no deaths due to the problem, he said.
The recall affects almost 990,000 vehicles in the U.S., another 60,000 in Canada and small numbers in other countries, Yeager said.