It said it took the action after a hapless car-shopper fell ill after drinking from one of the mugs and complained.
Nissan Motor said the cups, which it was giving to anyone who test-drove one of its cars in Japan during a sales initiative that started on August 16, had a lead content that was more than 30 percent above the permissible level.
Japan’s third-biggest carmaker said it would recall the mugs, which it said could have reached as many as 87,000 potential customers. It did not know the identity of the manufacturer in China.
Chinese products have come under intense scrutiny over safety concerns in recent months, prompting recalls of products from toys and toothpaste to seafood and tires.