Over the decades, several attempts have been made to develop new fatigue analysis methods for welded joints since most of the incidents in automotive structures are joints related. Therefore, a reliable and effective fatigue damage parameter is needed to properly predict the failure location and fatigue life of these welded structures to reduce the hardware testing, time, and the associated cost. The nodal force-based structural stress approach is becoming widely used in fatigue life assessment of welded structures. In this paper, a new nodal force-based structural stress recovery procedure is proposed that uses the least squares method to linearly smooth the stresses in elements along the weld line. Weight function is introduced to give flexibility in choosing different weighting schemes between elements. Two typical weighting schemes are discussed and compared. Published fatigue data of Gas Metal Arc Welds (GMAW) are utilized to investigate the mesh-insensitivity by comparing the structural stress results obtained from various mesh densities and patterns. The fatigue life correlation for GMAW coupons between the new structural stress and the experimental fatigue life data are discussed.