SYDNEY, June 2013 – German auto giant Volkswagen (VW) on Wednesday recalled nearly 26,000 vehicles in Australia and Audi followed suit with 6,000 cars due to a gearbox problem that could cause a loss of power while driving.
The recalls follow growing safety worries sparked by the death in Australia of a woman while in a 2008 Golf.
The 32-year-old’s car slowed and was hit from behind by a truck on a Melbourne motorway in 2011, a coroner’s inquest heard last month.
The news sparked complaints from other VW owners whose cars had also cut out or stopped on busy roads.
“In isolated cases, an electronic malfunction in the control unit inside the gearbox mechatronics may result in a power interruption,” VW’s Australian branch said in a statement.
The models affected include Golf, Jetta, Polo, Passat and Caddy cars produced between June 2008 and September 2011.
Last week, VW Australia managing director John White said the company “stands by the quality of our cars and integrity of our engineering excellence”.
On Wednesday, he said replacement of the gearbox unit would be free of charge and “owners can continue to drive their vehicles as usual until their appointment”.
“Please be assured that this recall does not affect any Volkswagen vehicles currently being produced or sold,” he added on Facebook.
The move follows similar recalls in other countries, including China where more than 380,000 vehicles were recalled in March over gearbox defects.
Audi, whose parent company is VW, followed suit and recalled more than 6,000 hatchbacks in Australia due to the same gearbox concerns.
Spokeswoman Anna Burgdorf said A1 and A3 models built between 2008 and 2011 and powered by turbocharged, four-cylinder 1.4-litre and 1.8-litre engines were affected.
“It is a similar problem to Volkswagen,” she told AFP.