General Motors Corp., which has touted its new line of mid-sized coupes as the highest quality cars it has ever built, is recalling nearly 26,000 of its Pontiac Grand Prix and Buick Regal models for a lengthy list of problems.

The giant carmaker acknowledged that the two all-new 1988-model coupes, part of a $5 billion program to put an all-new front-drive intermediate car on the road, may have defects that could lead to loss of steering control, hoods unexpectedly opening, malfunctioning cruise control systems and wheels falling off, among other items.However GM said it was not aware of any accidents or injuries related to any of the recall conditions, and would make all repairs free of charge.

About 17,500 Regals and 8,400 Grand Prix cars are affected.

GM said both cars could have a transmission shift cable that could disconnect because of interference with another part, or cause the transmission to be in a different gear than the one displayed by the shift indicator.

Cars with manual transaxles are not affected, a GM spokesman said.

Both the Regal and Grand Prix may also have a defective secondary hood latch that could cause the hood to unexpectedly open if the primary latch were to disengage, GM said.

Regals only are being recalled for defective cruise control systems, which could unexpectedly resume a previously set speed at above 12 mph. Owners are advised not to use the systems until they are checked.

The cars are also being checked for faulty stoplamp switches that could overheat and melt, and loose front suspension parts that could separate, causing a loss in steering control.

Grand Prix cars only are being recalled back to inspect and possibly replace wheel lug nuts that may not have been properly tightened during assembly. Those cars are also being recalled to replace a seat belt guide loop that could cut the shoulder belt in the event of an accident.