Even more Volkswagen cars may be equipped with software that allows them to cheat on regulators’ emissions tests, a German transportation official said Friday.
Alexander Dorbrindt, Germany’s transportation minister, said Volkswagen’s deceptive software, known as a “defeat device,” might also be present on cars with 1.2-liter engines, Bloomberg reports. “At least for now we believe that possible manipulations can come to light here, too,” he said in a speech to parliament. “That’s being further investigated in the current talks with Volkswagen.”
So far, the illegal software has only been found on Volkswagen’s 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter diesel engines. About 11 million of the company’s cars are affected globally, including 2.8 million in Germany. The software was able to detect when Volkswagen vehicles were being tested by federal regulators and dial back emissions to meet road standards. During normal driving, the cars spewed 10 to 40 times more pollutants than during the tests.
The automaker could face $18 billion in fines in the U.S. alone. In addition to the U.S. and Germany, Volkswagen is also facing investigations from France, South Korea and Italy.