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VW admits emissions manipulation in Europe

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The Volkswagen logo atop the company's factory in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, reflected in a puddle. Photo: DPA
12:21 CEST+02:00
UPDATE: As the emissions scandal spreads across the Volkswagen (VW) group, the company admitted that cars in Europe also cheated on tests. Executives from Audi and Porsche - both owned by VW - are to stand down from their jobs on Friday.

Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt told reporters in Berlin on Thursday that government investigators sent to investigate at VW's headquarters had received the admission from company officials.

Dobrindt said that the number of cars affected "will be clarified in the coming days."

"For this reason, we will also carry on working intensively to find out exactly, together with VW, in detail which vehicles are affected so that we can further inform the public."

Dobrindt said that most of the vehicles involved in the manipulation had 1.6- or 2-litre diesel engines.

VW is "working on" a list of the affected models, but "can't yet say when it will be published," a VW spokesperson told Bild.

The EA 189 motors involved in the emissions scandal are also found in Audi's A1, A3, A4 and A6 cars, an Audi spokesperson tol the tabloid.

The Transport Minister did not say whether the vehicles affected would have to be removed from circulation.

But he added that cars from other manufacturers would now be tested to see if the problem is more widespread.

SEE ALSO: BMW diesels '11 times over EU pollution limits'

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VW had already admitted that on-board computers in around 11 million cars worldwide included a program designed to reduce cars' emissions levels if it detected they were being tested.

The cars reduced their emissions of nitrogen oxides dramatically under testing conditions.

The scandal led to VW CEO Martin Winterkorn's stepping down on Wednesday evening.

Audi and Porsche executives 'to stand down'
 
Bild reported on Thursday that more heads are to roll at Volkswagen, as two of the most senior executives at Audi and Porsche – both car manufacturers owned by Volkswagen – will stand down on Friday.
 
Audi executive Ulrich Hackenberg and Porsche executive Wolfgang Hatz are to be held accountable by the board for the emission cheating software scandal by the VW board, the tabloid resports.
 
Hackenberg and Hatz were development and engines development chiefs at Volkswagen in 2009 when the software was first installed.
 
Hackenberg is believed to be a close confidant of Winterkorn's.

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