TOKYO - Mitsubishi Motors (IW 1000/181) on Thursday recalled more than 650,000 small cars sold in Japan over a possible fire risk.

The recall covers three models, including the popular Minica brand, manufactured between September 1998 and May 2011, the automaker said.

Just 70 of the vehicles were sold overseas, mostly in Singapore, a company spokeswoman said.

Mitsubishi said an air intake could become detached and fall on the heated engine, starting a fire.

Two dozen cases -- including 11 incidents involving serious fires in which the car was destroyed -- have been reported but with no injuries, Japan's transport ministry said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013