Volkswagen tells German parliament eight million cars have been fitted with emissions cheat device in European Union alone

Madeline Ratcliffe
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Almost 1.2 million cars in the UK are affected (Source: Getty)

Volkswagen has admitted that eight million cars in the European Union alone have been fitted with software to cheat emissions tests.

The carmaker sent a letter to German parliament members on 2 October, co-signed by VW's current chief lobbyist, and former government spokesperson, Thomas Steg, Reuters and local press are reporting.

VW said in the letter that vehicles with 1.2, 1.6 and 2.0 litre EA 189 engine models are all affected. This includes Golf, Beetle, Jetta and Passat models, as well as many luxury Audi models.

The letter was sent to members of the transport committee and lawmakers in constituencies where VW has factories.

The "detect device" software lowers emissions of pollutant nitrogen oxide under test conditions.

The emissions scandal has been rumbling on since the middle of September, when the US Environmental Protection Agency told VW it would have to recall some 5000,000 cars.

The following week, VW then said it could be as much as 11m cars worldwide, including 1.2m in the UK.

The car giant has said that more than 508,000 VW passenger cars sold in the UK carried the device; nearly 400,000 Audi vehicles, 132,000 Skodas and 77,000 Seats are also affected. A further 80,000 commercial vehicles are also on the list.

Audi has said 2.1m of its cars around the world are affected.

British VW customers will not have to pay additional taxes if their cars are found to have been fitted with the devices that allowed vehicles to cheat on emissions tests, the government has confirmed, even if they do not meet emissions standards.

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