VW emissions scandal impact in Australia unknown, clarification sought

The Australian government is seeking urgent clarification on the local impact of the Volkswagen emissions scandal, with one report suggesting as many as 50,000 locally sold vehicles might be included.

The Australian government is seeking urgent clarification on the local impact of the Volkswagen emissions scandal, with one report suggesting as many as 50,000 locally sold vehicles might be included.

Yesterday Volkswagen admitted that 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide, each containing the Type EA 189 diesel engine, could be concerned.

The Australian Financial Review reports that the federal department of infrastructure and regional development has sought clarification on what this means for locally-sold VW cars, and whether these came with similar software used to cheat tests.

"We are still seeking clarification on this topic from our head office in Germany, and we will be providing further information once we have more details," a Volkswagen Australia spokesperson told the newspaper.

According to News Corp, the number of vehicles affected is likely to number more than 50,000, not including VW's Audi and Skoda brands.

On Friday the news of the German car maker using a “defeat device” to cheat US emissions tests in labs emerged. It faces fines of up to $US 18 billion over this.

Since then, the company has set aside 6.5 billion Euro (approximately $10 billion) in the third quarter to deal with the issue, hired the same law firm – Kirkland & Ellis – used by BP after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster, and has seen CEO Martin Winterkorn resign.

Winterkorn had been leading the company for eight years, and said in a statement that a fresh start was needed.

"I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation," said the CEO.