The company said the vehicles may be equipped with the device that cheated emissions tests in the US.
The move will involve vehicles across the VW group including the VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat brands.
VW said it was a temporary measure and that it intended to return the vehicles for sale once a fix is identified for the cars.
Despite the scandal that began almost two weeks ago, VW customers could still buy vehicles that had the rogue software.
The cars taken off the market represent 3% of VW’s stock in the UK.
The company will continue to sell new vehicles, with the latest, cleanest engine technology.
From last month all new diesel cars sold in Europe must be fitted with the latest Euro 6 engines, designed to significantly reduce the levels of pollutants emitted.
EU rules also allow manufacturers such as VW to continue to sell cars with the older, more polluting, Euro 5 engines to clear stock. These models will continue to be on the market well into next year.
But VW has confirmed that 11 million of its vehicles have Euro 5 engines with the so-called “defeat device”.
On Wednesday the company confirmed that almost 1.2 million vehicles sold in the UK were affected by the scandal.
Owners – who will be contacted in coming weeks – will be asked to take their cars in for a service procedure that some experts have warned could affect fuel economy and performance.
Earlier this week sales of some Seat, Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and VW vans with Euro 5 engines were suspended in Spain. The move affected 3,320 vehicles.
Switzerland has also ordered a temporary halt to sales of vehicles with the engine in question.
In the United States, VW has also stopped the sale of all new diesel cars.