SAIC Volkswagen has filed a recall for a small number of its New Passat sedans in China due to a gearbox problem. While the numbers are low, the history of VW in China and gearbox issues ensures the recall will resonate and cause concern for SAIC managers.

Beginning on June 9, the company will recall 146 New Passat cars manufactured between August and November 2016, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said in a statement.

Possible malfunction of the electronic control unit in the gearbox may lead to sudden loss of engine power. The company will replace the defective units free of charge, the statement said.

The Xinhua news agency noted that while the recall affects a small number of cars, the company has had serious issues with defective gearboxes in China before.

In March 2013, Volkswagen announced a massive recall of over 384,000 vehicles in China, after a Chinese TV programme highlighted a malfunction in the company's direct shift gearbox transmissions that could cause a sudden loss or gain in engine power.