Volkswagen group premium brand Audi will recall over 6,000 A1 and A3 hatchbacks sold in Australia due to the same gearbox safety concerns that prompted its parent to announce a recall of almost 26,000 vehicles. Local media reckon some Skodas will be added to the list, too.

According to The Australian, the local Audi unit said the voluntary recall affected A1 and A3 hatchbacks with 1.4-litre and 1.8-litre engines, built between 2008 and 2011 all fitted with the direct-shift gearbox (DSG) transmission, which Audi brands as S-Tronic.

There are concerns an electronic malfunction in some cars fitted with the gearbox could cause them to lose power while driving.

“There's an issue with a mechatronic unit of the DSG gearbox, in some instances it can cause the gearbox unit effectively to open and disengage the gears,” a spokeswoman told the paper.

Problems with DSG mechatronic units were repeatedly cited on American consumer and VW owner forums several years ago and just-auto understands that, though affected cars were not recalled, VW made 'goodwill' repairs and offered extended warranties.

In March, the powerful General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China ordered VW's local joint ventures to recall 384,181 vehicles for similar power loss problems associated with mechatronic units and software. The recall began in April.

Meanwhile, the Herald-Sun speculated 1,746 Skoda vehicles made from 2009 to 2011 with DSG gearboxes sold in Australia "will likely be added to the recall".

The Volkswagen Australia recall of vehicles built between June 2008 and September 2011 includes the Golf hatchback, Jetta sedan, Polo hatchback, Passat sedan and wagon plus the Caddy van.

The automatic DSG gearbox will be inspected and, if needed, repaired on those vehicles.

The recall followed two weeks of unprecedented pressure from customers demanding their cars be fixed for wide-ranging mechanical faults. Complaints included engines that stalled unexpectedly, high oil use, and gearbox issues.

In addition to the official recall, Volkswagen Australia will also call 4,000 diesel cars back to dealerships for inspection, local media reports said.