Volkswagen Recalls a Million Vehicles in US, China for Axle Problems

Oct 17, 2014 03:00 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma

Volkswagen has announced a preventative recall that affects more than a million cars in the U.S., China and Germany.

The automaker is recalling more than 580,000 cars in China for potential axle problems, Reuters reported.

The country's quality watchdog started an investigation in August. Volkswagen's joint Chinese venture plans to make repairs to 563,605 New Sagitar models that were built between May 2011 and May 2014, according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

The recalled vehicles can have issues with the rear axle arm, a problem that additionally affects 17,485 imported Beetles.

In the U.S., Volkswagen is recalling 400,602 Jetta sedan models manufactured from 2011 to 2013 and 41,663 Beetle and Beetle convertible models manufactured from 2012 to 2013, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The recalls come after the investigation in China found that rear axles in some VW sedans could have broken suspension arms. After inspecting more than 40 vehicles, the automaker found that the suspension arm can break when the driver continues to operate the car after a rear collision.

"If you just keep driving with a bent axle the suspension arm can break," a spokesman told the Journal. "We are talking about a very severe rear-end collision after which a driver in Europe would take the car to the workshop, but in China they don't."

According to Volkswagen, the problem stems not from the axles and suspension arms themselves but from the failure to have the axles inspected and repaired after a collision.

"There is no technical reason for the recall. The axle is safe," the VW spokesman said.

Besides the recalls in China and the U.S., Volkswagen is looking to inspect 15,500 Beetle Coupe models in Germany.  

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