Volkswagen of America Inc. has recalled around 442,000 Jetta, Beetle and Beetle Convertible vehicles because of an issue with the trailing arms of the cars’ rear suspension that could cause the part to suddenly fracture, resulting in a loss of vehicle stability in the event of a rear or side-rear collision. The automaker is recalling 400,602 2011-2013 model year Jetta cars, as well as 41,663 2012-2013 model year Beetle and Beetle Convertible vehicles. The cars come equipped with trailing arms on the torsion beam rear suspension that can become damaged during a rear or side-rear collision, the statement said. If the damage is not detected or repaired, the trailing arm could potentially fracture suddenly, which could affect the stability of the vehicle and possibly lead to a crash.
Volkswagen said no injuries or accidents relating to the defect have been reported as of yet, and that it will notify all owners of the affected vehicles and instruct them to arrange for an appointment with an authorized dealer. The dealers have been instructed to inspect the rear suspension of vehicles that have been involved in rear or side-rear collisions to determine if the trailing arms have been damaged, the automaker said. Inspected cars that do not have damaged trailing arms will be fitted with a sheetmetal inlay on the rear trailing arms, according to the statement. “This will emit a distinctive sound if the car is later involved in a rear-end collision, which will be a signal for the owner to take the car to an authorized Volkswagen dealership for inspection. These actions will be performed free of charge to the customer,” Volkswagen said.
In August, the automaker recalled more than 18,500 Routan minivans for an ignition defect similar to the one that affected General Motors Co. this year, where the ignition key may inadvertently slip into the “off” or “accessory” position in bumpy road conditions, turning off the vehicle and disabling air bags and other safety systems.
In April, Volkswagen stopped the sale of approximately 25,000 Jetta, Beetle, Beetle Convertible and Passat vehicles due to a possible transmission oil cooler leak, just a day after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) acknowledged a recall of 150,201 model year Passats. In those Passats, the low beam headlight bulb may become loose and lose electrical contact, the NHTSA said in April.
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