The Volkswagen “defeat device” scandal has widened, with the company admitting 11 million diesel vehicles built from 2009 – 2015 were affected.
The German automotive giant, which is the top-selling car maker by units in the year’s first six months, has announced it has set aside 6.5 billion euro in its third quarter accounts to deal with the problem.
The news broke on Friday that Volkswagen had cheated US emission standards through a “defeat device” in Type EA 189 diesel engines, which engage pollution controls only during lab tests.
Fines per vehicle could be $US 37,500 for the 482,000 cars sold in the US, totalling $US 18 billion. Sales in the US have ceased and an investigation has been launched.
The car maker has admitted the number of vehicles worldwide with software to cheat emissions tests is much higher.
"Further internal investigations have shown that the software concerned is also installed in other diesel vehicles," VW said in a statement.
"Anomalies have shown up in around 11 million cars worldwide that are equipped with a specific engine type.”
News Corp reports that it’s unclear if vehicles in Australia – including Audi, VW and Skoda – would be in breach of local emissions standards, which are less stringent than those in the US and Europe.
Germany’s Tagesspiegel daily newspaper quotes unnamed sources stating Volkswagen’s board will replace current CEO Martin Winterkorn when it meets on Friday.