Audi says 2.1m of its cars are affected, as German authorities say they have started an investigation into VW’s former boss.
Audi says 2.1m of its cars were fitted with emission cheating software, as Volkswagen is said to have suspended the research and development heads of three divisions.
The luxury car brand, which is a subsidiary of Volkswagen, has admitted that millions of its vehicles with so-called EU5 engines have an emissions “defeat device” installed.
Newer cars with EU6 engines aren’t said to be affected.
The news comes as reports suggest the R&D chief of Audi, along with those of Volkswagen’s core passenger car division and sports car maker Porsche, is reported to have been put on leave.
All three companies have declined to comment.
Volkswagen was forced to apologise last week after it was discovered that it had developed the device in order to trick emission tests in the US for some of its diesel models.
The devices are able to detect when cars are undergoing tests, and can switch the vehicle to a low emission mode in order to achieve more favourable results.
This means that many people have bought cars which are much less environmentally friendly than they had been led to believe.
According to the Audi spokesman, around 1.42 million Audi vehicles in Western Europe are fitted with the device, with 577,000 in Germany.
Another 13,000 Audi cars in the US are affected.
Vehicle lines involved include the Audi A1, A3, A4, A5, A6 and the TT, Q3 and Q5 models.
Volkswagen said last week that around 11 million of its cars worldwide have been fitted with the cheat device, 5 million of which were produced directly by its core VW brand.
Then CEO of the Volkswagen Group, Martin Winterkorn, has been forced to resign over the revelations after almost nine years in the job and was replaced by Matthias Müller, who has been the chief of another Volkswagen subsidiary, Porsche, since 2010.
German investigators subsequently announced they have started an investigation into Winterkorn, which will focus on “allegations of fraud in the sale of cars with manipulated emissions data”.
Also on Monday, a European environmental organisation said it had found evidence that some new models of Mercedes, BMWs and Volkswagen cars are consuming up to 50% more petrol than lab tests have suggested.
The Transport & Environment organisation said that, while they had no evidence of cheat devices similar to those in Volkswagen diesel cars, the gap between fuel economy levels judged in lab tests and those seen in real road driving for gasoline (petrol) cars had risen to 40 percent in the past year.
They specifically singled out Mercedes for criticism, suggesting its A, C and E class models showed differences of over 50% between lab tests and real-world performance.
The organisation has called on EU governments which have announced investigations as a result of the Volkswagen controversy to broaden their probes to include petrol cars as well
Source: SKY NEWS