The recall affects about 581,000 cars in China, 442,000 in the US and 126,000 in Canada, as well as a small number in other markets, including Australia and Germany.
Volkswagen says the rear trailing arm of affected vehicles could crack if they are involved in a rear or side collision, which, if undetected, could lead to a crash.
Dealers will inspect the recalled vehicles and either install a metal support to protect the suspension arm or replace it if it is broken.
Volkswagen Australia public relations manager Kurt McGuiness told CarAdvice the recall would affect a small number of current-generation Beetle hatchbacks in our market. He said the local division is still determining exactly how many vehicles are affected in Australia, and will make a further announcement when it has finalised the details.
Volkswagen China is recalling 2011-2014 Sagitar and Beetle models, while Jetta, Beetle and Beetle Convertible models built between 2011 and 2013 are affected in North America.