Nissan Motor Co. is expanding a U.S. recall of Sentra and Altima sedans to fix a faulty crankshaft sensor in 2002 and 2005-2006 models that may shut off the engine.

The recall covers about 653,910 vehicles with 2.5-liter engines, Tokyo-based Nissan told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a Nov. 8 letter posted today on the agency's Web site.

The sensor's location may expose it to temperature variations that would interrupt signals it sends to the engine control module, the automaker said. Without the signals, the control module may shut off the engine in low-speed driving, Nissan said.

Nissan is ``conducting a voluntary safety recall'' and will notify customers starting Dec. 10, spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan in Herndon, Virginia, said in an e-mail. Nissan told NHTSA that the move widened a recall begun in August 2006.

Nissan's American depositary receipts rose 5 cents to $20.44 at 3:59 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading.