A software glitch could prevent the passenger airbag from deploying.
The recall affects Nissan models from the past two years, including the Altima, Leaf, Pathfinder and Sentra.
Some luxury Infiniti models are also impacted.
Nissan says it's not aware of any deaths caused by the problem, but it can't give details about injuries.
Nissan plans to contact owners starting in mid-April.