German carmaker Volkswagen has said it will have to recall close to 400,000 vehicles in China. The company cited gearbox defects which had also been reported on Chinese television in a special program.
Europe's largest auto maker announced Wednesday the move would affect 384,181 vehicles in China, marking VW's most comprehensive ever recall in the world's biggest car market.
The announcement came after China Central television last Friday alleged in a corporate malpractice program that Volkswagen had used sub-standard gearboxes in some models, with the potential of causing acceleration problems and accidents.
VW said its recall was not initiated by the television report, but claimed it had had the problem on the radar much earlier. "We monitored it, and so it was obvious that we wanted to decide the recall," Volkswagen China Investment's Christoph Ludwig said in a statement.
VW admitted that in isolated cases an electronic malfunction in the control unit or a lack of oil pressure inside the gearbox mechatronics might result in power interruption, but hastened to add that steering and braking systems were not impacted.