VW Passat and Audi vehicles made in China will not be recalled, according to Shanghai Volkswagen and FAW Volkswagen.

Volkswagen of Germany recently announced a worldwide recall of 300,000 1999 Passats and 260,000 Audi A4, A6 and A8 models because inspections revealed that the sleeves over the tie rod ends may slip off, allowing dirt to enter the joints.

FAW Volkswagen, the company set up jointly with Changchun-based China First Automobile Works (FAW), said the local plant, which began making Audi A6s in June 1999, used improved parts which do not have the problem.

Shanghai Volkswagen, another VW joint venture which began Passat production in March 2000, said much the same thing.

Both firms clearly stated that their vehicles would not be included in the global recall.

However, there are about 70 imported A6 Audis in China which will be recalled.