Volkswagen recalls 91,000 cars in Japan

FRANKFURT Thu May 9, 2013 5:16am EDT

A Volkswagen logo is seen on the front of a Volkswagen vehicle at a dealership in Carlsbad, California, April 29, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake

A Volkswagen logo is seen on the front of a Volkswagen vehicle at a dealership in Carlsbad, California, April 29, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Blake

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) is recalling about 91,000 cars in Japan, a spokesman for the company said, citing potential gearbox problems that have already caused a recall in China.

The spokesman said that the problems were due to the hot and wet climate, the extreme stop-and-go traffic as well as pollution typical of some Asian cities.

Volkswagen said in March it would recall 384,181 vehicles in China due to similar problems, after it was named in state-run China Central Television's annual investigative special on corporate malpractice.

The TV show, one of the most widely watched in China, then said the direct shift gearbox (DSG) transmission, a long-standing issue for Volkswagen, was causing cars to speed up or slow down during driving.

Shares in Volkswagen were 0.2 percent lower in thin trade on Thursday, which is a public holiday in most of Germany.

In 2012, Volkswagen sold 3.17 million vehicles in the Asia-Pacific region, of which 2.81 million were in China.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Martin Zwiebelberg; Editing by Mark Potter and Patrick Graham)

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