Volkswagen of America has announced two recalls affecting some 2006 and 2007 model year Passat sedans, and some 2007 model year wagons. The defects have also led to 'dealer inspection' programmes in other markets, with a total of 344,000 vehicles affected world-wide.

Some of the affected 2006 model year Passat vehicles have a wiper motor that may fail during heavy rain due to excessive moisture entering the wiper motor. If this happens, reduced visibility could result.

Also, some 2.0T engine-equipped 2006 and 2007 Passat sedans and some 2007 Passat wagons may have a power brake vacuum line that may fracture and become disconnected at low ambient temperatures.  If this happens, the brake power assist can become inoperative, and the driver will experience increased effort to apply the brake and therefore possible increased vehicle stopping distance.

This latter defect is surprising as VW has previously had to deal with a similar problem affecting some earlier Golf and Bora/Jetta models built in the late 1990s.

Approximately 62,000 vehicles in the United States and Canada could be potentially affected, VW said.

Customer notification is expected to begin in January.

A Volkswagen UK spokesman told just-auto that the defects have led to a 'dealer inspection' programme in the UK affecting around 43,000 cars in the UK. He added that 344,000 are affected globally.

Owners will receive a letter inviting them to take their cars in for free rectification, taking 30 minutes to an hour, while cars booked in for routine maintenance will also be checked.