The problems range from faulty lighting, leaky engine fuel lines and a possible malfunction when synthetic oil is used in its gear box, a spokesman said.
The recall is one of the biggest in the company's history.
It includes 800,000 of its compact Tiguan sports-utility vehicle which could be affected by faulty fuses that can trip lighting circuits.
Volkswagen also said it was recalling its 2-litre Amarok pickup truck because of leaky engine fuel lines, which affects around 239,000 vehicles.
VW issued a separate recall in China for around 640,000 vehicles that were locally produced or imported between January 2009 and June 2013.
The recall comes after the country's quality watchdog identified a problem with the DO200 gearbox, which may suffer electronic malfunction when synthetic oil is used.