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Volkswagen recalls almost 26,000 cars in Australia

A Volkswagen logo is seen on the front of a Volkswagen vehicle at a dealership in Carlsbad, California, April 29, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A Volkswagen logo is seen on the front of a Volkswagen vehicle at a dealership in Carlsbad, California, April 29, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Automobile maker Volkswagen AG will recall almost 26,000 cars in Australia in response to potential gearbox problems, the company said on Wednesday, mirroring recalls already ordered in China, Singapore and Japan.

Volkswagen Australia would recall Golf, Jetta, Polo, Passat and Caddy models manufactured between June 2008 and September 2011, the German company said in a statement.

The recall would affect 25,928 vehicles fitted the seven-speed DQ200 direct-shift gearbox (DSG) after car owners complained of transmission and engine failures causing loss of power.

"In isolated cases, an electronic malfunction in the control unit inside the gearbox mechatronics may result in a power interruption," the company statement said.

Volkswagen last month recalled about 91,000 cars in Japan, citing potential gearbox problems that have already caused a recall in China. The problems were due to the hot and wet climate, the extreme stop-and-go traffic as well as pollution typical of some Asian cities, the company said.

Australia's government is investigating reports of power loss problems with Volkswagen cars amid a coronial inquiry into the death of a woman killed when a truck hit her manual transmission Golf in 2011. The Victoria state coroner is due to report in July.

Volkswagen Australia said the mechanical problems did not affect cars currently being produced and sold. The recall notice did not mention separate engine power loss issues.

In recalled cars, Volkswagen said it would replace the gearbox mechatronic unit on potentially affected vehicles at no cost to owners. Vehicle software would also be updated.

Australian newspapers have reported being contacted by hundreds of car owners who have experienced problems with their Volkswagens.

The company has previously said high-tech DSG automatic transmissions used in Australian cars are manufactured in Europe and do not require a vehicle recall.

In 2012, Volkswagen sold 3.17 million vehicles in the Asia-Pacific region, of which 2.81 million were in China.

(Reporting by Rob Taylor; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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