South Korea's transport ministry has ordered Toyota to recall about 13,000 cars due to defective parts.

The recall affects three models, Lexus ES350, Camry and Camry Hybrid, because floor mats could hamper the safe operation of the accelerators, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said in a statement.

The affected vehicles will receive free repairs from Toyota's service centers in Korea, the statement added.

Hisao Nakabayashi, president of Toyota's Korean unit, made an apology over the recall. While the number of Toyota cars affected by the recall in South Korea is relatively small given the 8.5m vehicles recalled worldwide, local media and consumer groups have criticised the Japanese automaker's Korean unit for its slow response to the problem.