BEIJING: Ford and Mazda are recalling more than 230,000 vehicles made by their China joint venture to fix a software problem blamed for bouts of engine failure, China’s product-safety watchdog said.

The companies are recalling 236,643 Focus cars made between August 2008 and May 28 of this year, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said in a notice on its website late Monday.

The two carmakers operate a joint venture in China with Changan Automobile, a company based in the southwestern city of Chongqing.

The statement said the carmakers would provide customers with updated engine software free of charge.