The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Defect Investigations (NHTSA-ODI) has launched a “preliminary evaluation” of 2003 and 2004 Infiniti M45 sedans, following 43 customer reports of fuel gauge error.

In 26 of the reported incidents, engine stalling occurred when the car ran out of fuel, despite the gauge indicating the presence of gasoline in the tank. While no crashes or injuries have yet been documented relating to this alleged defect, loss of engine power can increase the risk of a crash.

Based on consumer reports to the NHTSA-ODI, the number of complaints show an increasing trend over the previous year, prompting the agency to assess whether or not a recall is warranted. Should a recall be issued, some 8,100 vehicles could potentially be affected.

It would also mark the second recall campaign for the Infiniti M series in a matter of months, as the 2012 Infiniti M sedan was recently recalled to address a potentially leaking oil cooler and oil filter.

Until the NHTSA decides on a plan of action, we’d recommend that owners of 2003 and 2004 Infiniti M45s confirm fuel usage via a secondary means, such as the vehicle’s trip odometer. Call us paranoid (or simply experienced), but we do this for our own cars as standard practice.