S Korea says VW to recall 120,000 cars

SEOUL - Volkswagen plans to recall as many as 120,000 diesel cars sold in South Korea, officials said Thursday, as part of its global response to a damaging pollution-cheating scandal.

The South Korean Environment Ministry said it had received a formal letter from the German automaker on Wednesday, outlining its intentions.

"Its plan is to recall 120,000 cars," the ministry said in a statement.

The move is part of a global recall of millions of Volkswagen cars fitted with emissions-cheating software.

The Environment Ministry also announced the start of emissions tests on a number of Volkswagen models sold in the Korean market, including the Golf, Audi A3, Jetta and Beetle.

Initial lab tests will be followed by road tests starting on Sunday, it said.

The world's biggest carmaker by sales has admitted that up to 11 million diesel cars worldwide are fitted with devices that can switch on pollution controls when they detect the car is undergoing testing.

They then switch off the controls when the car is on the road, allowing it to spew out harmful levels of emissions.

Volkswagen owners in South Korea are following their US counterparts in suing the German automaker over the emissions scam, with hundreds expected to file complaints in the coming weeks.