DETROIT (AP) _ American Motors Corp. today recalled about 2,850 French-made 1985 Renault Fuego and Sportwagon cars for repair of a steering wheel nut that could work loose and make the vehicles difficult to turn.

The nut attaches the steering wheel to the steering shaft, AMC said.

AMC found out about the problem from its engineering staff and from customers, and knew of no accidents or injuries related to it, company spokesman Ben Dunn said.

''You would notice more play in the wheel and the shaft would rock'' on cars with the problem, Dunn said.

Also, the Sportwagons with cruise control will be checked to see if a clip on the control cable could come loose, preventing the engine from returning to normal idling speed, AMC said.

Inspections and repairs will be performed free of charge at AMC dealers, the company said.