Embattled German car giant Volkswagen said on Thursday that it was recalling more than 800,000 vehicles worldwide over a potential footpedal problem.

The VW group, which is battling to resolve its deepest-ever crisis after an emissions-cheating scandal, said the recall was a precautionary measure to fix a potentially faulty component on the pedal mechanism.

It said 391,000 vehicles of its Toureg model and 409,477 of its Porsche Cayenne brand built between 2011 and 2016 would be recalled because "a circlip could be loose on the bearing bracket for pedals".

Emissions scandal

The news came as a US federal judge gave Volkswagen and regulators a month to come up with a plan to fix some 600,000 cars spewing illegal levels of pollutants due to emissions-cheating software.

VW acknowledged in September that it intentionally defeated emissions tests and put dirty vehicles on the road.

The cheating allowed cars to pass laboratory emissions tests while spewing harmful nitrogen oxide at up to 40 times the level allowed when operating on real roads.

Senior US District Court Judge Charles Breyer said he wanted to know the timing of the fix and any planned payments to owners, among other details, by April 21.

"I would hope by the 21st that as many astounding issues as possible will be wrapped up," he said.

READ MORE: VW emission woes deepen as 800,000 more cars affected

Breyer said former FBI Director Robert Mueller told him VW, government regulators and lawyers for car owners had made substantial progress towards a resolution that would get the polluting cars off the road. He did not provide any details. Breyer appointed Mueller to oversee settlement talks.

The Department of Justice has sued Volkswagen on behalf of the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The company is also facing lawsuits from angry car owners, who are demanding VW buy the vehicles back. Both of these cases are before Breyer.

The federal judge said that he would seriously consider holding a trial this summer if a concrete proposal to resolve the ongoing pollution did not emerge by April 21.

Volkswagen said in a statement after the hearing that it is committed to coming to a fair and prompt resolution of the diesel emissions lawsuits and was fully cooperating with Breyer.

Source: Agencies