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1990 VW Vanagon reverse light problem

I have a 1990 VW Vanagon manual trans. 180,000 miles with a reverse light problem. The lights work intermittently when the transmission is shifted into reverse. When the shift lever is pushed fully into reverse the lights don’t work. Pull back on the shifter slightly towards neutral (while still keeping it in reverse) the lights work fine. I have removed the reverse light switch and bench tested it with a multimeter. The switch tests fine.

Does the linkage need to be adjusted or is there a more sinister problem inside the transmission?

Please help