"The cars in question are all our models for 2010 and 2011 that have a six-speed manual gear box," company spokesman Per-Åke Frösberg told AFP.
"We have identified that the ball-joints hand cylinder pin on the gear shift lever may be mounted (incorrectly), which may lead to the ball-joint coming loose, which would imply that the driver will not be able to change gears," he explained.
The recall affected markets around the world, he said, adding that Britain was most affected, with 6,708 cars recalled there, followed by Sweden and Germany.
No accidents had so far occurred due to the problem, Frösberg insisted, adding that the faulty gear box was "very easy to fix."
Owners of the models in question could take their cars to a local retailer where the ball joints would be adjusted properly in less than an hour, he said.
Swedish-made Volvo spent a just over a decade as a Ford brand before being sold in March to China's Geely.