Volkswagen admitted on Wednesday that 3 million cars in Europe equipped with 1.6 litre diesel engines will require hardware changes to disable the emission-cheating device in the heart of the emission-rigging scandal.
The German car-manufacturer said all vehicles will be fixed by the end of 2016.
While cars with larger, 2-litre, engines will be corrected with a simple software upgrade, the smaller 1.6-litre engines will require more expensive and complex hardware adjustments in addition to the software patch. Some of the smaller engines affected will also be fixable only with the software change.
The company’s CEO Matthias Mueller, who took the office last month after his predecessor Martin Winterkorn was forced to resign, said the firm has set aside more than €6.5bn (£4.71bn) for the corrections.
The fact that Volkswagen was using the so-called defeat device in its diesel cars to cheat in US emission tests was revealed in September by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The agency found that actual nitrogen oxide emissions of affected VW cars were up to 40 times higher than legal limits.
Volkswagen used the technology to detect when the car was being tested to turn on emission mitigating technology. As Volkswagen knew these technologies had a negative impact on the cars’ performance and fuel consumption, it decided not to use them continuously in normal driving.