Volkswagen Australia checking cars with head office for emissions cheat
Volkswagen Group Australia is checking with its German head office to see if any of its cars on sale locally have the same emissions-cheating software that was discovered in the United States.
The car maker has stopped all sales of its diesel vehicles in the US amid an investigation into software that has enabled thousands of cars to cheat emissions tests.
The federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, which regulates vehicle emissions standards, said it was waiting on clarification from Volkswagen Australia about whether its cars here featured the same software.
The news came as South Korea said on Tuesday it would investigate emissions of three VW and Audi diesel cars in the wake of the US scandal.
South Korea's environment ministry said its probe could be expanded to all German diesel imports, which have surged in popularity in recent years
The Korean probe will involve 4,000 to 5,000 vehicles, covering VW Jetta and Golf models and sister company Audi's A3 produced in 2014 and 2015, said Park Pan-kyu, a deputy director at South Korea's environment ministry.
The US Environmental Protection Agency said last week that Volkswagen, the world's biggest carmaker by sales, used software that deceived regulators measuring toxic emissions and could face penalties of up to $US18 billion. The US Department of Justice has started a criminal probe, according to media reports.
VW global CEO Dr Martin Winterkorn said in a statement that he was "deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public.
"We will cooperate fully with the responsible agencies, with transparency and urgency, to clearly, openly, and completely establish all of the facts of this case."
Volkswagen had ordered an external investigation of the issue, he said.