DETROIT - Volkswagen of America is voluntarily recalling 8,500 New Beetles in the United States and 1,600 in Canada to replace a battery tray and reroute some electrical wires.
The recall affects all New Beetles sold since the car went on sale in March.
Wires in the engine compartment could be damaged by rubbing against the edge of the battery tray, Volkswagen said. The chafing could cause failures of the fuel pump and air-conditioning compressor.
If the fuel pump fails, the car would stall without warning. The chafing also could start an engine compartment fire.
There have been no reports of fuel pump failures or stalled vehicles, Volkswagen said. But there have been three air-conditioning compressor malfunctions caused by the chafing, the company said. It said no accidents or injuries had resulted from the problem.
Dealers will replace the battery tray with a redesigned tray and reroute the affected wires free of charge.
The parts began arriving at dealerships late last week, said Tony Fouladpour, a Volkswagen spokesman in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Volkswagen hopes to fix all of the cars in about a month, he said.
Volkswagen does not expect the buyer frenzy in the United States over the New Beetle to diminish because of the recall, Fouladpour said.
'Our quick action will show buyers that we definitely stand behind our product,' he said. 'We felt it was important to act quickly with a voluntary recall. We view this as a matter of customer service.'