Photo of 2013 Beetle Convertible courtesy of Volkswagen.

Photo of 2013 Beetle Convertible courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen of America said it is recalling about 400,602 2011-2013 model-year Volkswagen Jetta cars, along with 41,663 2012-2013-MY Volkswagen Beetle and Beetle Convertible cars, to address an issue affecting the trailing arms on the torsion beam rear suspension.

The automaker said that in isolated cases, a rear or side-rear collision might damage the rear suspension trailing arms. If such damage goes undetected and isn’t repaired, the trailing arm might eventually fracture unexpectedly and cause a loss of vehicle stability. This poses a safety risk.

Volkswagen notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the recall plans.

To fix the problem, Volkswagen dealers will inspect the rear suspension of recalled vehicles previously involved in rear or side-rear collisions. If the trailing arms show damage, a sheet-metal inlay will be fitted on the rear trailing arms. This will emit a distinctive sound if the car is later involved in a rear-end collision. That sound will signal the need to take the car to an authorized Volkswagen dealership for inspection.

These services will be performed free of charge to the customer.

No accidents or injuries related to this issue have been reported, Volkswagen said.