A woman had a lucky escape when the steering wheel came off in her hands – while she was driving.
Terrified Elizabeth Abdullah, 56, was taking her 84-year-old mum Janet Bibi Abdullah home from a hospital appointment when the wheel suddenly ripped off the steering column of her £5,000 Nissan Micra.
She managed to carry out an emergency stop on the busy dual carriageway before calling the AA who re-attached the steering wheel.
The drama unfolded last Friday while Elizabeth was driving her carat 30mph along Skipton Circus, Sneinton, Nottingham, shortly after leaving the M1 motorway.
She said: “I was doing about 25 or 30mph and just suddenly lost control. There was nothing coming from the wheel.
“The wheel was straight off [the steering column] and there was just nothing, it was like something out of a Laurel and Hardy sketch. I was steering but the wheel was in mid-air.
“I thought I was going to die or go into someone but luckily I just hit the brakes.
“I was in shock and started crying. I didn’t know what to do. Thank God no other people were hurt and no-one else was involved.”
Disabled Elizabeth, who has a curvature of her spine, suffered bruising to her side and her mum hit her head on the passenger window during the emergency stop but they were not seriously hurt.
She said: “It’s put me off driving. Mum is fine but we were both shaken up. There were children walking on the other side of the road at the time.
“I took the car to a Nissan dealership, but no-one has ever been able to explain to me how it came off and why.”
Elizabeth’s AA breakdown report states: “Steering wheel securing bolt loose, steering wheel adrift.”
She bought the 2005 Micra in December from car dealer Evans Halshaw.
A spokeswoman for Evans Halshaw said: “We sold an off-brand car to our approved standards, and obviously there has been a fault with it.
“Why this came to happen is unknown due to us not being able to contact that [Nissan] dealership.
“We have a rigourous approval process and safety checks done before any car goes on sale.”
A Nissan spokeswoman added that there were “known steering problems” with the 2005 model.