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Dieselgate: VW admits CO2 'irregularities'

Petrol problems: New revelations about false fuel economy and CO2 readings from within Volkswagen Group now involve petrol-powered cars, including the 1.4-litre Polo with cylinder deactivation.

Internal audit reveals 800,000 cars with false CO2 and economy readings in Europe

Volkswagen logo4 Nov 2015

By TIM ROBSON

VOLKSWAGEN'S global emissions scandal has deepened, with the company admitting overnight that its internal audit into the cheat device issue has uncovered evidence of carbon dioxide emissions reporting breaches in at least 800,000 cars across the group.

The German company says that CO2 emission – and hence fuel consumption – figures have been set too low on a range of models sold in Europe.

“During the course of internal investigations, irregularities were found when determining type approval CO2 levels,” said the company in a statement.

This leaves the company exposed to further legal action from consumers who purchased cars based on stated emissions levels. Various European countries offer incentives to car buyers who opt for low-emissions vehicles.

Volkswagen has put aside another two billion euros ($A3.05b) to cover what it calls the “economic risk” from the revelations, which come on top of news this week that the group’s 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo-diesel engine is now under investigation by the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

The list of affected vehicles includes, for the first time, a petrol-powered variant. Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda cars fitted with 1.4-, 1.6- and 2.0-litre diesels built in 2012 and later – including the VW Golf, Polo, Passat, Audi A1 and A3, Seat Ibiza and Skoda Octavia models – have been implicated, along with VW's 1.4-litre petrol engine in the Polo that is equipped with the company’s cylinder-on-demand system.

In some cases, the figures were out by as much as 15 per cent.

While Europe is the only sales territory nominated by VW in the statement, the affected vehicles are sold in markets around the world, including the United States and Australia.

As the issue is one of reporting, not of the emissions themselves, no recall of the affected vehicles should be necessary.

"From the very start I have pushed hard for the relentless and comprehensive clarification of events. We will stop at nothing and nobody. This is a painful process, but it is our only alternative,” said Volkswagen AG CEO Matthias Mueller in a statement.

"The Board of Management of Volkswagen AG deeply regrets this situation and wishes to underscore its determination to systematically continue along the present path of clarification and transparency." The internal findings merely adds to the deepening crisis at Volkswagen AG, sparked by the discovery of fuel emission test-beating software and hardware in more than 11 million vehicles worldwide, and which now involves vehicles from its prestigious – and profitable – Porsche arm.

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