Volkswagen recalls Jettas, Beetles due to suspension problem

This photo taken on Feb. 14, 2013 shows the Volkswagen logo on the grill of a 2013 Volkswagen on display at the 2013 Pittsburgh Auto Show in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Volkswagen is recalling 442,000 Jettas and Beetles due to a problem that could cause rear suspension failure after a crash.

The recall includes 2011-2013 Jettas manufactured March 1, 2010 to Nov. 30, 2012 and 2012-2013 Beetles manufactured from March 1, 2011 to July 31, 2013.

According to documents posted by U.S. safety regulators, Volkswagen said if the rear trailing arms are damaged in a crash and not repaired correctly, they can fracture suddenly. That can cause loss of control and possibly a crash. Trailing arms connect the axle to the frame.

Volkswagen says there are no reported crashes or injuries blamed on the defect.

The company said it will notify owners, and dealers will inspect trailing arms for damage and install sheet metal to help prevent a loss of vehicle control. The sheet metal will be installed for free, but customers will have to pay for repairs if their suspension was damaged, Volkswagen said.

Parts to fix the problem are not currently available, but Volkswagen said it will notify customers sometime in November to take their cars to dealers for a free inspection.

In a second, much smaller recall, Volkswagen is recalling 393 2015 Volkswagen Jettas and Passats manufactured from Sept. 23, 2014 to Oct. 9, 2014. It only covers vehicles equipped with manual front seatback recliners.

According to documents posted by U.S. safety regulators, Volkswagen said the seatback recliner retaining bracket in the affected cars may not engage correctly, which could result in unexpected movement of the driver's seat. This may distract the driver and cause a crash.

Volkswagen said it will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the reclining bracket and correct it if necessary for free.

Customers can call Volkswagen's customer service line with questions about either recall at (800)893-5298 or get more info by visiting www.vw.com/recall. They can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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