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Auto Industry

VW recalls a million cars worldwide

Volkswagen has recalled more than a million vehicles in China, Germany and North America. The company said it needed to fix a problem with the rear axles.

Europe's largest carmaker, Volkswagen, announced Friday it was recalling more than 1.1 million vehicles in some of the world's largest auto markets due to defective rear axles in several of the companies' popular models.

In China, VW recalled 563,605 Sagitar models plus another 17,485 imported Beetles. In the US, 442,265 Jettas and Beetles would have to be brought in for repairs.

In VW's native Germany, the company said 15,500 units were affected, and in Canada that number was 126,000.

VW, which runs a joint venture with China FAW Group, offered to "place a metal plate in the trailing arm of the rear axles to ensure proper operation of the vehicles in case of a rupture," the carmaker said in a statement.

A company spokesperson did not want to comment on how many vehicles may have to be further recalled in Europe, South America and Mexico.

China matters

The recall announcement came after China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine reported it had launched an investigation into the cars in August, citing "months of work on customer feedback and expert analysis."

The Asian nation is the world's largest auto market and hence crucial for big foreign carmakers as sales elsewhere have slowed tangibly. By contrast, sales in China rose by 13.9 percent to almost 22 million units in 2013.

Volkswagen, too, is heavily dependent on the Chinese market, with a third of its cars going to the Asian giant.

hg/cjc (dpa, AFP)

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