A Brazilian judge ordered Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) to recall cars with its 1.0 liter engine in the 2009/2010 model year, in a decision that could affect 400,000 vehicles, state prosecutors said on Friday.
Premature wear of the engines could generate excessive noise and additional costs for oil changes, according to the judge in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, who granted an injunction filed by prosecutors.
Under the ruling, which Volkswagen may still appeal, the carmaker must publish ads in the largest newspapers of each Brazilian state, screen the Fox, Voyage and Novo Gol vehicles brought to its dealerships and replace any pieces necessary.
Volkswagen representatives in Brazil could not immediately be reached for comment.
The case highlights concerns about the quality of entry-level cars in Brazil's auto market, where protections for local factories have historically kept out low-cost competitors.
Volkswagen is the second-biggest car brand in Brazil, the world's No. 4 auto market, where it sold 773,358 cars and light trucks last year and captured 21 percent of the market.
(Reporting by Sergio Spagnuolo; Writing and additional reporting by Brad Haynes; Editing by Gary Hill)