VW has admitted using the same fake emissions test in Europe as it used to falsify results in the US, Germany’s Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt says.
It was not known how many of the 11 million vehicles affected were in Europe, Alexander Dobrindt said.
He also said other manufacturers’ vehicles would be checked.
The scandal began unfolding on September 18 when Volkswagen said it had used software in the US to provide false emission test results.
Alexander Dobrindt said he had been told vehicles with 1.6 and 2.0 liter diesel engines are “affected by the manipulations that are being talked about”.
VW’s Jetta, Beetle, Golf and Audi A3 models in the US from 2009 to 2015, and the Passat from 2014-15, were fitted with the devices which produced doctored results. However, diesel cars are far more popular in Europe than in the US.
Alexander Dobrindt also said random tests would be conducted on cars made by manufacturers other than VW: “It is clear that the Federal Office for Motor Traffic will not exclusively concentrate on the VW models in question but that it will also carry out random tests on vehicles made by other carmakers.”
The value of the world’s largest automaker has shrunk by around 30% since the scandal was revealed.
Separately, BMW shares dropped by 10% on reports the false tests had been used by other automakers.
BMW issued a statement denying the report, saying the “group does not manipulate or rig any emissions tests”.
“We observe the legal requirements in each country and adhere to all local testing requirements,” it continued.
Volkswagen is setting aside €6.5 billion to cover the costs of the scandal.
VW CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned following the revelation.
Martin Winterkorn said he was “shocked” by recent events and was “not aware of any wrongdoing on my part”.
VW’s supervisory board said it would announce Martin Winterkorn’s successor at a board meeting on September 25.
There has been speculation in German media that Matthias Mueller would be named as VW’s next chief executive. He is head of Porsche, which is part of the Volkswagen group of companies.
German public prosecutors are considering an investigation into VW emissions case, with US authorities also said to be planning criminal investigations.