Volkswagen’s Golf, Jetta, Polo, Passat and Caddy vehicles sold in the Australian market between June 2008 and September 2011 will be recalled due to problems with the DQ200 direct-shift gearbox (DSG).
The company has announced taking the action after multiple car owners reported transmission and engine failures causing loss of power. Similar recalls had been ordered in China, Singapore and Japan.
"In isolated cases, an electronic malfunction in the control unit inside the gearbox mechatronics may result in a power interruption," Volkswagen said in a statement.
Power loss problems are suspected to be responsible for a fatal incident of an Australian Volkswagen Golf driver whose manual transmission vehicle was hit by a truck in 2011. The incident is currently being investigated by Australia’s government.
Australian newspapers have reported being contacted by hundreds of car owners who have experienced problems with their Volkswagens.
According to the car-manufacturer’s statement, the mechanical problems did not affect currently produced and sold cars. Volkswagen said it would replace the gearbox mechatronic unit on potentially affected vehicles at no cost to owners. Vehicle software would also be updated.
Last month, Volkswagen recalled about 91,000 cars in Japan, citing similar potential gearbox problems that had previously caused a recall in China. The problems were said to be due to the hot and wet climate, the extreme stop-and-go traffic as well as pollution typical of some Asian cities.
The company has previously said high-tech DSG automatic transmissions used in Australian cars are manufactured in Europe and do not require a vehicle recall.