See also: Video — Jaguar Landrover CIO Jeremy Vincent

Jaguar has recalled nearly 18,000 X-type cars after it discovered a major software fault, which meant drivers might not be able to turn off cruise control.

The problem lies with engine management control software developed in-house by Jaguar. The problematic software is only installed on diesel engine X-Types, which were all produced between 2006 and 2010.

Some 17,678 vehicles have been recalled, as a result of the potentially dangerous problem. If the fault occurs, cruise control can only be disabled by turning of the ignition while driving - which would mean a loss of some control and in many cars also disables power steering. Braking or pressing the cancel button will not work.

"Jaguar has identified that should an error with certain interfacing systems be detected the cruise control system will be disabled and an error message displayed to the driver on the instrument cluster," the company said in a statement.

Jaguar said drivers who returned their cars would need a software upgrade to their vehicle. No hardware needed to be replaced, it said.

The company wrote to all owners of X-types, warning them that they might not be able to switch off cruise control when they are driving. However, it insisted no customers have reported the problem, adding that one employee identified the issue on his own car.

"No customer has been affected and there had been no accidents or injuries," Jaguar said. The company did not immediately provide further detail on the software causing the problem.