Renault has reportedly contacted the UK Vehicle Inspectorate and is in talks with its engineering team in France amid fears that passengers could inadvertently apply the brakes on current right-hand-drive Méganes.

The Channel 4 television motoring website said that a newspaper recently told how a man accidentally applied the brakes of his family's Mégane while stretching and turning to attend to his children in the back seat while 4Car itself was easily able to repeat the incident on a Mégane - a video on the website shows the 'phantom' braking.

The website said the Megane brake linkage runs behind the dashboard between the left and right footwells because the booster is sited on the left. The link rotates and a cam on the left-hand end applies the booster. This cam, however, is accessible to a passenger's foot, at the top right of the footwell, just above the carpet, and isn't too difficult to find by accident.

According to 4Car, Renault said in a statement: "We have been made aware that there may be an issue relating to the bulkhead-mounted brake mechanism located behind the facia at the top of the passenger footwell of the Mégane. Safety is Renault's top priority at all times, and as part of this commitment we contacted the Vehicle Inspectorate (VOSA) immediately, and shall be working closely with them to clarify this situation. In the meantime, we have also reported this to our engineering team in France."

4Car said some 45,000 of the stylish new Méganes - which ironically have scored the full five stars in stringent EuroNCAP crash tests - have been sold in the UK.