SHANGHAI: Germany’s Volkswagen on Monday announced a recall of nearly 2,000 vehicles in China—the world’s biggest auto market, where it is the top foreign brand—in a global scandal over emissions cheating.
The auto giant is facing accusations that it installed software on millions of diesel cars worldwide to cheat emissions tests and evade limits on nitrogen oxide and other pollutants.
The Chinese government took aim at the firm, with the quality watchdog urging the company to address the problem as soon as possible.
The quality supervision agency said it was “highly concerned” about the matter and warned it could take further measures, according to a statement posted on its website on Monday, which gave no details.
China’s environmental protection agency is also investigating whether VW’s imported and locally produced vehicles violate emissions standards, Bloomberg News reported.
VW delivered 3.67 million vehicles in China last year but the recall affects only diesel vehicles imported into the country: 1,946 Tiguan compact SUVs and four Passat B6 cars, the company said in a statement.
It also repeated earlier statements by its two main joint ventures in China that none of the vehicles they manufacture are affected.
Foreign carmakers must enter into ventures with Chinese companies to sell domestically manufactured vehicles in the local market.
VW will first notify the affected owners of the need to fix the software and present detailed measures to deal with the issue to Chinese authorities, the statement said.
“Volkswagen would like to sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers,” it added.
VW must recall around 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide to remove a “defeat device” aimed at cheating emissions tests, and bring them into compliance with anti-pollution rules in affected countries.