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Volkswagen to recall cars after China TV criticism

BEIJING (Reuters) - Volkswagen AG will recall vehicles in China to fix a gearbox problem after coming under criticism from state-run China Central Television's (CCTV) annual corporate malpractice expose.

VW's direct shift gearbox transmission, a long-standing issue for the German automaker, was causing cars to speed up or slow down during driving, according to CCTV's "3.15" investigative special aired on Friday.

After the show Volkswagen promised action, and a spokesman said on Monday the firm will recall both locally made and imported cars. Details of the volume and models involved will be released either later on Monday or Tuesday, the spokesman said.

VW, which makes cars in China in partnership with SAIC Motor Corp <600104.SS> and FAW Group, plans to almost double production capacity in the country to 4 million in the next five years.

The TV show, one of the most widely watched in China, has previously accused a number of prominent Western companies of short-changing Chinese consumers.

Friday's edition also took aim at Apple Inc over post-sales service, while China's Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co Ltd <600418.SS> also said after the broadcast it would recall cars with rusty body plates.

(Reporting by Fang Yan in BEIJING and Kazunori Takada in SHANGHAI; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

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