Several German car makers are going to recall a total of 630,000 cars following an investigation into emissions levels, according to the dpa news agency.
Citing unidentified government sources, dpa reported that the manufacturers would need to change technology used to switch off the vehicles' emissions treatment systems at certain temperatures.
Public broadcaster ARD reported that the recall was voluntary.
German auto giant Volkswagen has already acknowledged using special software to cheat on US diesel emissions tests and offered to pay substantial fines and compensation to American owners.
The Federal Transport Ministry said its top official will hold a news conference later.