Volkswagen has said it will stop selling off-wheel vehicles with the engine it says is “unacceptable” and “unfortunate”.
The automaker has issued a voluntary recall of around 5.3 million vehicles and has urged owners to take action.
The company said on Tuesday that it was issuing a recall of the 2017-20 Volkswagen Touareg, 2016-20 Audi A3, 2017-19 Audi A4, 2017 Touaregs, 2017 Volkswagen Golf, and 2018-19 Volkswagen Passats to fix an issue that can cause an engine failure when it is driven on off-roads.
The issue has been identified in at least five different VW vehicles, Volkswagen said.
The recall covers the diesel-powered Touareger and Touaregger E-tron models, as well as the Golf and Passats.
It also covers the 2017 Touarence, Touaregg, Touarencias, Tourer and Tourer Wipro models.
The German automaker said owners should immediately stop using the affected vehicles and contact Volkswagen’s customer care service.
Volkswagen said the recall would take place for at least six months.
Volkswagen said it was working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to identify the root cause of the problem.
In a statement, the NHTSA said the issue could occur when the engine is driven for long periods of time, such as when the vehicle is parked or when it has a mechanical problem.
“Volkswagens vehicle owners should ensure that their vehicle is being driven in accordance with all applicable local, state, and federal laws, including emission regulations,” the statement said.
It added that if an owner is unsure about the status of the issue, the owner should contact the manufacturer to determine the severity of the defect.
Volvo said the company was working to develop a solution that would allow owners to continue to drive their vehicles.
The automaking giant has come under scrutiny after a series of recalls and recalls of its vehicles over the past year, with its global operations suspended by regulators and the U.S. government.