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Volkswagen to Refit Up to 11 Million Diesel Vehicles

Newly appointed Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller in Wolfsburg, Germany, Sept. 25, 2015,
Newly appointed Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller in Wolfsburg, Germany, Sept. 25, 2015,

Volkswagen announced plans Tuesday to refit up to 11 million vehicles worldwide affected by the emissions-rigging scandal.

The German carmaker also said that 1.8 million commercial vehicles are among those fitted with the sophisticated software to cheat on emission tests.

Newly appointed Chief Executive Matthias Mueller said Volkswagen would issue a factory recall "in the next few days" to refit diesel vehicles that contain the software in question. According to some analysts, the cost of the refit could exceed $6.5 billion.

The company is under pressure to address the worst business crisis in its 78-year history. Recognizing the situation, Mueller said late Monday in a closed-door meeting with about 1,000 top managers at Volkswagen's Wolfsburg headquarters that the automaker was facing the severest test and it would take a lot of hard work to recover from the scandal.

The 62-year-old Mueller replaced Martin Winterkorn as Volkswagen’s CEO on Friday. German prosecutors said Monday that they were investigating Winterkorn on allegations of fraud.

The scandal began on September 18, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Volkswagen had equipped about half-a-million diesel cars in the United States with software that switched pollution controls on during tests, but shut off anti-pollution devices during normal driving.

In the U.S., several lawsuits have already been filed against the automaker. U.S. environmental regulators say Volkswagen faces fines of up to $18 billion.

The deficient models include the VW Jetta, Beetle and Golf from 2009 through 2015, the 2014 and 2015 Passat, as well as the Audi A3, model years 2009-2015.

Some material for this report came from AP, AFP and Reuters.

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