Volkswagen’s US Chief Executive Michael Horn has admitted the firm falsified car emissions.
At an event in New York earlier this week, he told the audience: “Let’s be clear about this, our company was dishonest with the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] and the California Air Resources Board and with all of you and in my German words ‘we’ve totally screwed up’.
“We must fix the cars to prevent this from ever happening again and we have to make things right with the government, the public, our customers and employees and also very important, our dealers.”
The EPA alleged the car manufacturer used software that deceived emissions testing for certain air pollutants, violating the Clean Air Act.
It added Volkswagen’s diesel models from 2009-2015 have the technology included to avoid some emissions.
In a statement, the German company revealed 11 million of its diesel cars worldwide used the software.
It added: “Volkswagen is working intensely to eliminate these deviations through technical measures.”
The firm also said it will set aside €6.5 billion (£4.7 billion) to cover the cost of fixing the cars to comply with pollution standards.