Nissan: Micra steering wheel may come off

The affected models were built between late 2002 and 2006. Picture: PA
The affected models were built between late 2002 and 2006. Picture: PA
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NISSAN is recalling of one of its most popular models over a fault that could result in the the steering wheel coming off in the driver’s hands.

The Japanese carmaker said 133,869 of the Micras sold in the UK were affected.

The move is part of a worldwide recall covering some 841,000 vehicles constructed in Britain and Japan.

The versions of the supermini involved were built between December 2002 and May 2006.

A Nissan Motor GB spokesman said: “Over time, the nut that holds on the steering wheel can become loose.

“Drivers could start notice some wobbling of the wheel and if this is ignored there is the possibility that it could come completely off.

“There have been a few incidents of steering wheels becoming loose, but there have been no accidents.”

The firm said it was writing to owners of affected Micra models asking them to take their car to a Nissan dealer for a free check to ensure the steering wheel securing bolt is tightened sufficiently.

The spokesman said: “Dealers will tighten the steering wheel fixing bolt to the correct torque at no cost to the customer.

“The check will take less than 15 minutes.”

He added: “Nissan is committed to a high level of customer safety, service and satisfaction and is working with its dealers to promptly address this issue.”

The recall affects cars sold in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

Nissan has declined to say how much the recall will cost.

The recall is Nissan’s second to involve steering wheel faults in eight months.

Last September, some 7,000 Qashqai five-door hatchbacks in the UK, which were made last year, were recalled along with some Qashqai+2 multi-purpose vehicles.

And last month, Japan’s second largest car maker recalled 500,000 models over a defective part that could cause an airbag to inflate.

Among previous recalls, more than 345,000 cars needed checks in 2009 because of faulty brakes and fuel gauges.

However, fellow Japanese car maker Toyota, the world’s largest, has suffered recalls on a far greater scale.

It recalled more than eight million vehicles in 2010 over brake problems.

The global move covered nearly 200,000 cars across eight models in the UK alone. They included 8,500 Prius cars and a total of 180,000 iQ, Yaris, Auris, Corolla, Verso, Avensis and Aygo models.

The Prius fault cropped up while braking on bumpy or slippery roads. It threatened to overshadow other problems because of the petrol-electric model’s high-profile green image.

The UK government’s Vehicle and Operator Services Agency oversees recalls of more than 500,000 cars a year.

Experts believe that because recalls are common among most manufacturers, the key is for them to act swiftly when a fault is discovered so as to retain customer confidence.

Skoda tops satisfaction survey

TWO Skoda models have triumphed in the latest owner satisfaction survey, but Jaguar retained its crown as best make.

The poll of more than 16,000 drivers found they were most pleased with Skoda’s Superb and Yeti – and least impressed by the Chevrolet Spark and Alfa Romeo Mito.

The annual study by What Car? magazine and JD Power and Associates put Jaguar on top among car makers for the second year in a row, with its XF number three among all models. Runners-up were Lexus and Honda, with Chevrolet, Alfa Romeo and Mitsubishi bringing up the rear.

What Car? editor-in-chief Chas Hallett said: “Skoda’s knock-out performance comes on the back of a

20 per cent sales increase in 2012.

“Not only does the Superb score a stonking victory after a three-place climb up the chart, the Yeti takes second place. Winning attributes included practicality that didn’t compromise driving appeal, and prices made more affordable by Skoda’s no VAT and 0 per cent finance offers.”

Of the car makers category, he said: “This is another great achievement for everyone at Jaguar. Owners gave the cars and slick customer service a big thumbs-up.”