NISSAN is recalling almost 50,000 Wearside-built cars amid fears of steering problems.
The Japanese giant is carrying out a voluntary recall of around 48,000 2012 Nissan Qashqai and Qashqai+2 across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and Oceania – including around 7,000 in the UK – in a bid to track down a maximum of just 600 defective parts.
A further 3,000 2012 NV200 vans, built in Spain, are also affected.
The vehicles are being recalled in order to inspect the casting date on the steering wheel armature, which may need to be replaced.
The part in question is produced by a supply company and the cause of the fault has been identified and rectified.
“Nissan has identified that the steering wheel boss, which attaches to the steering column, may not have the appropriate strength,” said a spokesman.
“In this condition, if a load is applied to the steering wheel which is higher than the load applied during normal steering operation, the boss may separate from the steering wheel resulting in a loss of steering.”
The problem has been caused by changes to the production process which can cause cracking and a reduction in the strength of the wheel boss.
Nissan has investigated the problem at its supplier’s factory and identified when the problem occurred.
“Nissan plans to begin notifying customers,” said the spokesman.
“Retailers will inspect the casting date of the steering wheel armature and, where necessary, replace the steering wheel at no cost to the customer.
“Nissan is committed to a high level of customer safety, service and satisfaction and is working with its dealers to promptly address this issue.”