I figured this out myself and I'll post the solution here in case anyone else runs into the same problem.
Up till recently iPods could recharge from both USB (5 Volts) and Firewire (12 Volts). Some time back Apple told third party vendors not to use the 12 volt charging feature since it was not going to be supported in the future, but many of those vendors ignored that advice. Nissan was one of those.
The current generation iPod touch does not have the old 12 volt charging capability so any accessories that only offer 12 volt charging will no longer work. This device fixes that by converting the 12 volts to 5 volts. You just stick it between your iPod and the device.
Amazon.com: Scosche Charging Adapter for iPod touch 2G, iPod nano 4G, iPhone 3G (Black): Electronics
I have one on order.