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GM recalls some 2013 Buick Encores for loose steering wheel

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co is recalling a small number of 2013 Buick Encores because the steering wheel could come loose or separate from the steering column, federal safety officials said Tuesday.

The recall affects 144 Encores equipped with heated steering wheels and built between December 9 and December 28, GM said in a filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Encore, a new compact crossover vehicle introduced in January by Buick, is built by GM Korea. A companion model is sold by GM in Europe as the Opel Mokka.

GM in its filing said a steering wheel fastener on the Encore may not have been properly installed.

In a statement Tuesday, GM said "there are no known injuries or crashes related to the issue."

The company said it had contacted 59 customers who had taken delivery of Encores with heated steering wheels "and their vehicles are being inspected."

GM said the other 85 unsold vehicles were being inspected at Buick dealerships "and none have been found to have the issue."

(Reporting By Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)