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Volkswagen Korea apologises, considers recall

A Volkswagen's logo is seen on a wheel of a car at a used car dealership in Seoul, South Korea, Oct 2, 2015.

[SEOUL] Volkswagen issued a public apology in South Korea on Thursday over its global pollution-cheating scam, vowing to consider a voluntary recall in the country.

The statement came as the German auto giant faces an avalanche of lawsuits from local customers who are following their US counterparts in seeking damages from the company over the emissions scandal.

"I sincerely apologise over betraying customers' trust", Volkswagen Korea President Thomas Kuehl said in a newspaper advertisement.

South Korean government officials said last week Volkswagen planned to recall as many as 120,000 diesel cars sold in the country as part of its worldwide response to the damaging scandal.

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The move is part of a global recall of millions of Volkswagen cars fitted with devices that can switch on pollution controls when they detect the car is undergoing testing.

South Korea's Environment Ministry last week kicked off emissions tests on a number of Volkswagen models sold domestically, including the Golf, Audi A3, Jetta and Beetle.

Mr Kuehl said Volkswagen Korea and its German headquarters are working closely with the government to tackle the issue.

"We will implement all possible measures including the consideration of a (voluntary) recall", he added.

Seoul-based Barun Law said that some 40 Volkswagen owners had filed complaints with the court over the past week, adding that hundreds expected to file complaints in coming weeks.