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by Tim Beissmann

Australian customers of the new Volkswagen Passat and the upcoming second-generation Volkswagen Touareg could face longer waiting times on their vehicles if they were ordered with rear view cameras.

Volkswagen Australia’s Karl Gehling confirmed there was currently “bottle neck” in supply of rear camera units for the two new models that could potentially push back delivery dates. He said dealers might be forced not to offer the reversing camera option on some vehicles.

International reports have suggested the parts shortage is a flow on from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disaster in March, although Mr Gehling could not confirm this was the reason behind the Australian supply issues.

“The demand for models is very strong and there are some [rear view camera supply] limitations,” Mr Gehling said.

The 2011 Volkswagen Passat (launched in Australia in April) and the new 2011 Volkswagen Touareg (available from July) are the only models affected in Australia, although it is understood different vehicles – including the Passat CC – are affected overseas.

Mr Gehling said Volkswagen had multiple rear view camera suppliers and said the brand’s product people were currently looking for solutions.

“We’re working on it. At the moment it’s a matter of wait and see.”

He said there was no way of knowing exactly how long the wait would be for people who had placed orders for these vehicles, or when production would return to normal.

He said all Volkswagen Australia dealers were aware of the parts shortage and said customers would be notified if the vehicle they ordered would be affected.

Mr Gehling said Volkswagen Australia currently had some Passats in stock with rear view cameras for buyers who wanted the option in their car.