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Nissan recalls vehicles over steering wheel fault

Nissan has recalled 51,000 vehicles for inspection after a steering wheel apparently became detached from an SUV while driving.

Nissan said it had identified a defect potentially affecting 600 vehicles after Finnish cameraman Kari Alentola reported that the steering wheel of his new Qashqai seven-seater had come off in his hands.

"We had a report of the steering wheel detaching from a customer who was driving at low speed," a Nissan spokesman said, adding that there were no reported injuries.

The recall, which includes around 7,000 models sold in the UK, affects five-door hatchback Nissan Qashqai models made in 2012 as well and some Qashqai+2 multi-purpose vehicles and 3,000 of the 2012-made NV200 light commercial vehicles.

Alentola's employer, Finnish public broadcaster Yle, showed video images of the loose steering wheel.

"Kari Alentola was headed to a regular assignment for Yle when the steering wheel of the new Nissan Qashqai+2, a car with only 500km on the clock, came off in his hands," the broadcaster said on its website.

Nissan said it had acted fast after the 27 August incident and discovered a potential defect resulting from an "altered manufacturing process" at an unnamed supplier.

The problem affects certain batches of steering wheels in Qashqai SUVs and NV200 vans assembled this year for sale in most major markets except North America.

The recall covers Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Australasia, the spokesman said.

Nissan said that where necessary steering wheels will be replaced and that the company thought around 600 vehicles might need attention.

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