Volkswagen has issued a worldwide recall of 2.6 million vehicles --including more than 44,000 cars in Australia -- for possible fuel leaks, electrical faults and gearbox problems.
It is the second significant recall in Australia in five months for the German car maker, which is suspected by industry observers of taking shortcuts in its bid to overtake Toyota to become the world’s biggest car maker by 2018.
The recall comes as the Victorian Coroner today announced there was no evidence of a mechanical fault with a Volkswagen Golf involved in a fatal crash in Melbourne in 2011.
The car was struck from behind by a truck. The coroner investigated the incident after it was alleged the car lost power suddenly, following similar complaints from other Volkswagen owners.
The vehicles in the latest recall include more than 17,000 Tiguan SUVs because "a fuse may blow … thus resulting in failure of one of the two vehicle light circuits".
Approximately 16,000 Volkswagen Amarok pick-ups are being recalled because "some Amarok utes with a 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine may be affected by leaks to the fuel pipe within the engine compartment".
Furthermore, about 11,000 Volkswagens across various models equipped with the company’s controversial twin-clutch automatic "DSG" gearbox will be recalled because "electric malfunctions could occur in rare cases in the gearbox power supply if synthetic gearbox oil is used".
In June 2013 Volkswagen recalled more than 25,000 cars in Australia for gearbox problems after a fortnight of unprecedented pressure from disgruntled customers, following the announcement of the Victorian Corner's investigation.
The vehicles affected in the June 2013 recall were built between June 2008 and September 2011 and included the Golf hatchback, the Jetta sedan, the Polo hatchback, the Passat sedan and wagon and the Caddy van.
Complaints highlighted in the lead-up to that campaign included cars that conked out or lost power suddenly, high oil use, and gearbox reliability issues.
Several customers reported having their engines and/or gearboxes replaced while others complained about the $5000 to $10,000 expense of fixing these parts once the warranty had expired.
In addition to the previous recall announced in June, Volkswagen Australia also called about 2800 diesel cars back to dealerships for inspection.
The company says anyone experiencing faults with their Volkswagen to contact their local Volkswagen dealer.
Volkswagen Australia has set up a dedicated customer service line to answer customer queries -- 1800 504 076.