General Motors is recalling a small number of 2013 Buick Encores - the GM Korea-built US version of the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka - because the optional heated steering wheel could come loose or separate from the steering column, federal safety officials said.

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

Buick launched the Encore in January. It has a more lavish specification and different powertrain options to the GM Europe versions.

GM in its filing a steering wheel fastener may not have been properly installed.

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

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

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