Berlin (AFP) - German auto giant Volkswagen, mired in a massive emissions cheating scandal, said on Monday (Nov 23) that it has found technical solutions for more than 90 per cent of the vehicles affected in Europe.
The recall process is now viable "technically, financially and in terms of manpower. This is good news," chief executive Matthias Mueller said.
"For over 90 per cent of the Europe group's vehicles, solutions are now confirmed," he told around a thousand VW executives at the company's headquarters in Wolfsburg, northern Germany, without giving more detailed figures.
The carmaker has admitted to fitting 11 million diesel engines worldwide with sophisticated software fitted to skew the results of tests for nitrogen oxide emissions.
That admission has triggered both regulatory and criminal investigations in several countries, including Germany and the United States.
Volkswagen has subsequently revealed that beyond the nitrogen oxide scam, it had also understated carbon dioxide emissions of 800,000 vehicles, including petrol cars.
The carmaker, whose divisions include Audi, SEAT and Skoda as well as its truck and commercial vehicles, now faces the sizeable task of recalling 8.5 million vehicles throughout Europe.
Mr Mueller has promised that the company would submit its recall plans to German authorities by the end of November.
The fixes will range from simple software update for two-litre diesel engines, to more complex solutions for 1.6-litre models.
Mr Mueller said VW's internal enquiry into the scandal was "very complex" and would take many months to complete, though he promised a report on its progress in mid-December.
"Our main concern is not sales figures or operating results. Our main concern is the credibility and confidence in our brands," he added.
Volkswagen car sales fell 5.3 per cent in October as the pollution cheating storm hit European demand.
Deliveries slipped 1.3 per cent in western Europe compared to a year ago, with weakening demand seen in Germany, Spain and Italy.
Global sales were however lifted by its biggest market China, where deliveries rose 1.8 per cent to 233,500 cars for the month.