VW says 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide have rigged emissions software

BERLIN (Bloomberg) — About 11 million Volkswagen vehicles worldwide have diesel engines with software “irregularities,” as the scandal that started in the U.S. widens.

Examinations have shown that the emission-control software built into U.S. models that were found to be violating U.S. clean air rules has also been used in other VW group diesel cars, VW said in a statement today.

The automaker plans to set aside 6.5 billion euros ($7.3 billion) in the third quarter to cover the costs of addressing the issue. The amount of provisions it needs could still change as the investigation continues, VW said. “Earnings targets for the group for 2015 will be adjusted accordingly,” VW said, without providing details.

It said the provisions it was setting aside were to cover service measures resulting from the emissions scandal as well as “other efforts to win back the trust of our customers” but did not say whether part of the money could go toward potential penalties it may have to pay.

Diesel cars with so-called Type EA 189 engines built into about 11 million VW models worldwide have shown a “noticeable deviation” in emission levels between testing and road use, the company said.

VW has previously guided for an operating margin between 5.5 and 6.5 percent this year, compared with 6.3 percent in 2014.

VW is facing penalties of up to $18 billion in the U.S. after admitting to cheating diesel car emissions tests.

Germany, France, South Korea and Italy were among countries that said today they would look further into revelations that VW rigged diesel vehicles to pass emissions tests in the U.S. That comes as the U.S. Justice Department begins its own probe into the matter, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the inquiry.

VW shares plummeted as much as 20 percent today, after declining 19 percent on Monday. The stock has dropped 41 percent this year.

German Transportation Minister Alexander Dobrindt told the Bild newspaper in an interview published Tuesday that he has ordered emissions checks of VW diesel models in Germany.

Italy’s Environment Ministry asked VW for assurances it has respected emission rules for its cars sold in Italy. South Korea said it will check whether the German automaker complied with its pollution standards.

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin called for a Europe-wide probe into carmarkers, including French ones, in the wake of the revelations. “It’s seems necessary,” Sapin told Europe 1 radio. “We have to do it at a European level because the market is European with European rules.”

The executive committee of the carmaker’s supervisory board meets Wednesday to discuss the crisis, said people familiar with the matter.