May 11, 2018 / 5:33 PM / 16 days ago

Volkswagen to recall 411,000 cars over rear seatbelt problem

BERLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German carmaker Volkswagen AG will recall about 220,000 of its new Polo vehicles in the coming weeks due to a problem with the rear seatbelt lock, it said on Friday, adding 191,000 cars of its Spanish unit Seat were also affected.

FILE PHOTO: Herbert Diess, Volkswagen's new CEO, poses during the Volkswagen Group's annual general meeting in Berlin, Germany, May 3, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt/File Photo

The company said the global recall was limited to markets where Polo cars are sold and the Seat brand does business. At Seat, the 2017 and 2018 models of its Ibiza vehicle and the 2018 model of its Arona vehicle are affected, it said.

Volkswagen said the recall concerned a technical problem where the rear left seatbelt could be unintentionally released in some rare situations, for example during a fast lane change when the vehicle had five passengers on board.

“At Volkswagen safety remains a main priority and the brand has identified a technical solution: a redesigned belt lock fixture, which will prevent this from happening,” it said in a statement.

It added the check, as well as the implementation of the belt lock fixture, would be free of charge for the affected Polo as well as Seat’s Ibiza and Arona models.

Volkswagen shares closed up 0.4 percent.

Seat, which returned to profit in 2016 for the first time in about a decade, in a separate statement advised its customers not to use the middle seat of the affected models until the cars had been fixed.

Reporting by Caroline Copley and Christoph Steitz; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Mark Potter

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