In a move that threatens to widen the already damaging NOx emissions scandal relating to some of its diesel engines, Volkswagen has admitted to irregularities in CO2 levels affecting some 800,000 group vehicles, including some fitted with gasoline engines.

The company said that internal investigations have showed up the irregularities, which also point to  fuel consumption being higher than officially certified numbers. The company is conducting internal investigations as a result of the diesel emissions scandal, and the CO2 issue has arisen as part of that.

VW said that an initial estimate puts the economic risks from the CO2 irregularities at approximately two billion euros and said VW 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, the company said.

VW admitted that for some models the CO2 levels and thus the fuel consumption figures “were set too low during the CO2 certification process”. The majority of the vehicles concerned have diesel engines, VW said – implying that a number of gasoline engined vehicles are affected.

“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”, Matthias Müller, CEO of Volkswagen said, and added. “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.”

VW also stressed that the safety of the vehicles is in no way compromised.