Overnight, Volkswagen headquarters issued a statement saying that "during the course of internal investigations irregularities were found when determining type approval CO2 levels" and that "based on present knowledge around 800,000 vehicles from the Volkswagen Group could be affected".
The company has yet to detail which engines are covered by this latest discovery of "irregularities". The German automaker states: "Under the ongoing review of all processes and workflows in connection with diesel engines it was established that the CO2 levels and thus the fuel consumption figures for some models were set too low during the CO2 certification process. The majority of the vehicles concerned have diesel engines."
According to the company: "The Board of Management of Volkswagen AG will immediately start a dialog with the responsible type approval agencies regarding the consequences of these findings. This should lead to a reliable assessment of the legal, and the subsequent economic consequences of this not yet fully explained issue."
Using initial estimates, Volkswagen believes that this latest discovery may cost the car maker a further 2 billion euros ($3.1 billion).
After admitting that up to 11 million cars worldwide with the EA189 turbo-diesel engine had software that could cheat its way past emissions testing, the company set aside 6.5 billion euros ($9.9 billion) to deal with the fallout from the "dieselgate" affair.
Matthias Muller, recently elevated from head of Porsche to CEO of the Volkswagen Group, said: "From the very start I have pushed hard for the relentless and comprehensive clarification of events. We will stop at nothing and nobody. This is a painful process, but it is our only alternative. For us, the only thing that counts is the truth. That is the basis for the fundamental realignment that Volkswagen needs. The Board of Management of Volkswagen AG deeply regrets this situation and wishes to underscore its determination to systematically continue along the present path of clarification and transparency."
Yesterday, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) served a second notice of violation against the Volkswagen Group, claiming that eight vehicles sold in the US and fitted with the company's 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine had emissions testing defeat devices installed.
The company refuted the EPA's assertions, saying that "no software has been installed in the 3.0-litre V6 diesel power units to alter emissions characteristics in a forbidden manner".
More: All the news on the Volkswagen’s Group dieselgate affair.