Nissan stops sales of some Altimas, Sentras

DETROIT -- Nissan Motor Co. Ltd said on Friday it had asked its U.S. dealers to stop selling certain 2006 model-year Altimas and Nissan Sentra SE-Rs cars due to reports of excessive oil consumption that could damage the engine or cause a fire.

About 100,000 Altimas and Sentra SE-Rs built between January and May 2006 may have the problem, according to the company.

There have been about 215 reports of excessive oil consumption, mostly from rental-car fleets, and 17 reports of engine fires, resulting in one minor injury, Nissan said.

This is the latest setback for the Japanese automaker, which has cut U.S. production this year because of sales declines in the region. Nissan's U.S. sales are down 3 percent so far this year.

Nissan said it had extended the engine portion of the vehicles' warranty on Altimas and Sentra SE-Rs built during January to May 2006 to 84 months or 100,000 miles.

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