Ford luxury car unit Jaguar is recalling 67,798 cars because of a defect that can inadvertently slip them into reverse gear.

Models covered by the global recall, which affects nearly 33,500 vehicles in North America and others mostly in Europe and Japan, are the 2003 S-Type and XK and the 2004 XJ, Jaguar's flagship sedan, a company spokesman told Reuters.

All are equipped with six-speed ZF automatic transmissions and the spokesman told the news agency the problem involved an electronic module that controls the gearbox.

"In a rare event of major loss of oil pressure in the transmission, it can result in the transmission selecting reverse gear," he told Reuters.

He reportedly said there had been no reports of accidents or injuries stemming from any incidents in which the cars have suddenly slammed into reverse.

Reuters said he global recall is the second affecting customers of the upscale British nameplate in as many months.