Wolfsburg, Germany - Volkswagen says it may be forced to recall 124 000 electric and hybrid cars due to the presence of cadmium, a carcinogenic metal, in the vehicles.

A spokesman for the group, confirming a report in weekly Wirtschaftswoche, said: "Clarification is under way for a recall order by Germany's Federal Motor Transport Authority."

The use of cadmium, a metal used in electric appliances such as televisions, is been banned in most types of car parts, but an unidentified supplier has delivered a batch of battery chargers containing cadmium, which has been installed in some electric and hybrid cars of the Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche brands between 2013 and June 2018. VW had detected the problem and on 20 July informed the authorities about the battery chargers, each of which contains 0.008 grams of the metal.

It said 124 000 vehicles could be affected by the recall, but that the affected cars do not pose any immediate danger to drivers, explaining that the metal is well-insulated from any possible contact with the atmosphere.

Production and delivery of the concerned models, which had been halted immediately, has since resumed after the affected components were replaced by cadmium-free parts provided by another supplier.

Agence France-Presse