Volkswagen to recall 6,000 cars in Singapore to fix gearbox flaw

Volkswagen, the third bestselling car brand here, is recalling more than 6,000 cars in Singapore - representing 35 per cent of the Volkswagen population here - to fix a gearbox problem that may lead to power loss.

The German marque told The Straits Times that it will recall 6,181 vehicles fitted with its popular seven-speed double-clutch gearbox from tomorrow.

The exercise - its largest here - follows a recall of more than 384,000 vehicles in China last month to fix the same problem.

A Volkswagen Group Singapore spokesman said the recall is a "voluntary recall and not a safety issue".

On its website, the company said the flaw "may result in a power interruption". "If, in rare cases, the car loses power while driving, the driver can remain in control to safely manoeuvre the car to a stop," it added.

The recall affects a range of models fitted with the gearbox. Rectification work involves replacing the transmission's mechatronic unit - which operates the gearbox and clutch hydraulically - and will take about three hours per vehicle. This will be done at no charge to the customer. The entire exercise will take a few months to complete, said the spokesman.

This is not the first time that Volkswagen (VW) is facing problems with its dual-clutch transmission.

Last April, about 8,000 VW owners here were asked to bring their cars in for a software change that the company said was intended to improve their performance. The move affected models with the seven-speed direct shift gearbox, including the Polo, Golf and Passat.

In 2010, VW Singapore replaced the mechatronic units of more than 1,000 vehicles here after parts were found to be not up to standard.

christan@sph.com.sg