Volkswagen will recall more than 207,000 SUVs sold in China over a possible defect in the lights, China's quality watchdog said.

The Chinese government had ordered the recall of 189,770 Tiguan SUVs produced locally and another 18,008 imported units, according to a statement cited by news agency AFP.

A defect in the fuses of exterior lights could cause them to fail, it said, adding the recall was for safety concerns.

In March this year, Volkswagen said it would recall 384,181 vehicles in China over gearbox defects, marking its biggest ever recall in the country.

That move came after Chinese state television alleged in an annual corporate malpractice programme that Volkswagen had used substandard gearboxes in some models, causing acceleration problems and accidents.