WASHINGTON - Nissan North America is issuing two major safety recalls -- one affecting MY 2010-2011 Sentras, the other covering MY 2002-2004 Frontiers and Xterras. 

In the first, Nissan is recalling 13,737 MY 2010-2011 Sentras that were manufactured from May 22 through July 8 of this year. Because of a machining irregularity, the bolt/washer surface on the positive battery terminal cable end may allow for a gap to occur in the contact area of the terminal. This can result in a voltage drop that may cause difficulty starting the vehicle and may cause damage to the engine control module, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported.

This issue can cause the engine to stop running while the vehicle is in motion at low speed, posing a safety risk. 

Dealers will replace the positive battery terminal cable end with a new one free of charge. The recall is expected to begin around Nov. 29. 

Nissan's second recall covers 500,552 MY 2002-2004 Frontier vehicles manufactured from July 9, 2001 through Oct. 20, 2004, as well as MY 2002-2004 Xterra vehicles manufactured from July 9, 2001 through Jan. 6, 2005.

Over time, corrosion may form in the lower steering column joint and limit movement of the joint. This limited movement may create excessive load on the lower steering column shaft. If the vehicle continues to be driven in this condition, it may lead to cracking of the shaft during low-speed maneuvers that require large steering inputs, NHTSA reported. As a result, the shaft may break, which could result in loss of steering control during these low-speed maneuvers. 

To remedy this problem, the steering column shaft and joint will be replaced with a shaft of a different design. This service will be performed free of charge. This recall is expected to begin next month. 

Owners can reach Nissan at (800) 647-7261.