SEOUL (Reuters) - Audi (NSUG.DE) is recalling 1,534 A8 cars in South Korea due to a stalling problem, the transport ministry said on Wednesday, adding it was the first country where the German carmaker was recalling the model for such a defect.
The Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) division will expand the recall to the United States and other countries, South Korea said, in what would be a further blow to the German company reeling from its emissions-test cheating scandal.
An Audi Volkswagen Korea spokeswoman confirmed it was the first recall for such a defect but said she was not aware of any plans to expand the recall to other countries.
South Korea, a major market for the A8, has sought to punish Volkswagen aggressively following the scandal, suspending sales of some Volkswagen, Audi and Bentley cars for allegedly forging documents on emissions or noise-level tests.
The ministry said it had found a design problem in a coolant control valve, which was causing the affected models to stall. This is a "serious defect which hampers safe driving," the ministry said in a statement.
An Audi spokesman in Germany said a magnetic valve near the car's gearbox needed to be replaced and that there had been no other recalls in other countries so far.
The model in question is the A8 4.2 FSI Quattro produced between July 2010 and April 2012.
Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; additional reporting by Irene Preisinger in Munich; editing by David Clarke