Major car makers have this year been forced to recall a record number of vehicles for repairs this year with Renault heading the list in Germany, according to figures released by the federal vehicle registration authority (KBA) in reaction to a request by the Green parliamentary party faction.

In the latest case, Renault-Nissan had to recall some 53,021 Koleos, X-Trail und Qashqai models because of a steering problem.

Some 372,000 vehicle owners were informed in Germany alone that their cars needed urgent repairs. Renault headed the list with 45 vehicles but Opel recalled most vehicles during the past five years - a total of 407,000.

Toyota had to recall 349,000 cars during the past five years, followed by Volkswagen with 240,000 and Fiat with 225,000.

Most of the recalls were necessary because of faulty brakes, electronics, steering, tyres and wheels.

On an international scale Toyota has particularly been hit over recalls in the United States and Japan. The Japanese car maker last week recalled more than 400,000 Avalon and Lexus LX 470 vehicles in the U.S. because of steering-shaft problems.

More In: Business | Industry