Vehicles Affected: Nearly half a million Volkswagen cars, including more than 400,000 model-year 2011-13 Volkswagen Jetta sedans and nearly 42,000 model-year 2012-13 Beetle hatchbacks and convertibles.
The Problem: A rear or side-rear collision could damage the rear suspension trailing arms; if this damage is not repaired, the trailing arm could fracture suddenly, resulting in a loss of vehicle stability and increasing the risk of a crash, Volkswagen said in a statement about the voluntary recall. No accidents or injuries related to the issue have been reported, the automaker said.
The Fix: Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the rear suspension of vehicles that have been involved in rear or side-rear collisions to determine whether the trailing arms have been damaged. On cars that do not have damaged trailing arms, the dealer will fit a sheet-metal inlay on the rear trailing arms, which will emit a distinctive sound if the car is later involved in a rear-end collision and will be a signal for the owner to take the car back to a dealer for inspection. Work will be done for free. The automaker has not announced a notification schedule, but said it will contact all owners of affected vehicles and instruct them to arrange an appointment.
What Owners Should Do: Owners can call VW at 800-893-5298 for more info.