South African regulators are investigating Volkswagen's local business to see if cars sold there also rigged carbon emissions data, an official has said. The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS), which ensures vehicles comply with the necessary standards, including emissions, before being sold locally, said on its website all VW cars had met the requirements.

The NRCS said it could recall cars if VW was found not to have complied with local emissions measures.

"Should we find out that the tests that were provided to us were non-compliant, that's when the sanctioning process will have to start," Temba Kaula, acting general manager of the automotive sector at the NRCS, told the Reuters news agency, adding it hoped to conclude the investigation within two to three months.

VW South Africa  spokesman Matt Gennrich said the firm was in contact with regulators.

"There is obviously a full investigation going on internally, and that includes to see how many cars are involved in each market, including South Africa, and once that investigation is complete we will co-operate with authorities," he said.

Volkswagen was the second most popular car brand in South Africa after Toyota, selling 8,472 out of 51,055 units in the entire market during August, Reuters noted, citing data from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa.