Officials at Downing Street have indicated that David Cameron - a friend of Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson's - believed that the BBC needed to investigate what happened.
"Any usage of that word would be quite wrong," the Prime Minister's official spokesman said.
"If there are these reports and allegations, I am sure that is something the BBC would look at."
Clarkson has denied claims he used racist language while filming an episode of the hit motoring show.
More top news
Frequent snowfall expected across much of the north this evening and strong northeasterly winds will make it feel noticeably cooler.
Tesco recalls own-brand squash after customers complain of "disgusting taste" and parents worry it may have caused children's stomach upset.
Bradford City co-chairman Mark Lawn has blasted TV broadcasters over their FA Cup fifth round match choices