German automaker Volkswagen will recall more than a million cars in China and the United States due to a defect in the rear axles, a company spokesman said.
The company's US unit informed the National Highway Transport Safety Administration that it would recall more than 400,000 Jetta sedan models and nearly 42,000 Beetle cars manufactured between 2011 and 2013, the spokesman told AFP.
"In case of an accident, the axle could be damaged. The axle is secure but we are recalling the vehicles because we cannot be absolutely sure that all our customers will go to a repair shop if an axle is damaged," he said.
Meanwhile the firm's Chinese joint venture will recall more than 500,000 cars in the country, state media said.
The German automaker, which has operated in China since the 1980s, will recall a total of 581,090 cars, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing a statement from China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
"The administration said it launched an investigation into the cars in August and the recall is the outcome of months of work on customer feedback and expert analysis," Xinhua reported.
Volkswagen -- which operates a joint venture with China FAW Group Corp -- has offered to "place a metal plate in the trailing arm of the rear axles to ensure the proper operation of the vehicles in case of a rupture", it added.
Last week, among agreements signed during a visit by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to Germany, Volkswagen extended its joint venture with FAW until 2041.
China is the world's largest car market and is crucial for foreign automakers as sales elsewhere have slowed due to sluggishness in the global economy.
The country's auto sales surged 13.9 percent to 21.98 million vehicles last year.