Nissan Motor Co. (NSANY) has begun recalling more than 130,000 vehicles globally — including 80,000 in North America — because of an ignition key defect, a company official said Thursday.

There have been no reports of injuries related to the defect, the Transport Ministry said.

Nissan is recalling in Japan of 50,962 X-Trail and Murano sport utility vehicles produced from August 2004 to July 2006, Nissan spokeswoman Madoka Soma said.

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Overseas, the Tokyo-based manufacturer is recalling about 70,000 Muranos in North America, 300 in Taiwan and 800 in Singapore, she said. No X-Trails have been sold overseas.

Also being recalled for the same defect are 10,000 Maxima sedans in North America, Nissan said.

Some of the rods connecting the ignition part with parts that start the engine are too long, so the cars sometimes don't start properly, Nissan said. Occasionally, the engines start even when the ignition is turned off and the driver moves the steering wheel, it said.

The recalls involve only models using Nissan's "intelligent keys" with integrated circuit chips inside, which allows drivers to open their car doors with their keys still inside their pockets by just pressing on the handle. Drivers don't need to insert the intelligent key to get the car to start, and can keep the key anywhere nearby.

The defect involved in Thursday's recall is not related to the integrated circuit chip features but to the regular ignition part of the key.

Nissan shares fell 21 yen, or 1.54 percent, to 1,346 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

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