* Auto Bild says wrongly installed drainage tubes cause problem
* Magazine says 300,000 VW group cars could be affected
* VW cites only 46 cars in need of repair
BERLIN, Sept 5 (Reuters) - German carmaker Volkswagen is looking into the causes of water leakage into its flagship Golf model and played down a magazine report that described the problem as large-scale.
Germany’s weekly Auto Bild reported on Thursday that the best-selling model of Europe’s largest automaker is prone to leakage of water into the co-driver’s footwell because of wrongly installed drainage tubes linked to air conditioning technology.
“We have come to know this issue through individual cases,” a spokesman at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg-based headquarters told Reuters, saying the company was seeking to determine the cause.
The magazine report had said about 300,000 VW group cars could be affected, including its luxury division’s Audi A3 compact and Seat’s Leon model.
The spokesman declined to comment on the 300,000 figure in the report. However he said no more than 46 Golfs had needed repair for the water leakage problem and had since been functioning properly.
He said the company had no knowledge that Audi and Seat models were affected.
Volkswagen increasingly relies on modular platforms to lower production outlays, shorten assembly times and create more vehicles that are more tailored for specific markets at lower costs.
But the high levels of commonality - the proportion of parts that can be shared among its different brands and models - could expose the group to potential large-scale recalls such as those experienced in recent years by Japanese rival Toyota. (Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Pravin Char)