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German carmakers to recall 630,000 cars in Europe over emissions irregularities

German manufacturers will recall 630,000 Porsche, Volkswagen, Opel, Audi and Mercedes vehicles to fix diesel emissions-management software. The clampdown on pollution has widened in the wake of the Volkswagen scandal.

A German government official said Friday this is part of the broader investigation into high levels of health-threatening nitric oxide (NO) diesel emissions.

The government ordered tests on a range of vehicles but found that only Volkswagen had installed the illegal manipulation software commonly referred to as a defeat device.

VW, US officials agree on settlement in 'Dieselgate' case

The "dieselgate" scandal has already led to the departure of VW's chief executive Martin Winterkorn.

The company set aside 6 billion euros ($7 billion) in provisions, but the final sum is expected to be much higher. Newspaper reports have suggested the group may set aside more than 16 billion euros in provisions to cover possible regulatory fines, lawsuits and the cost of recalling or replacing the suspect engines.

VW has already started recalling some eight million vehicles affected in Europe.

Today's recall is aimed to ensure that a legal loophole allowing manufacturers to throttle back emissions treatment systems under certain circumstances is tightened to make sure lower levels of pollution going forward, the government official said.

Daimler and Mitsubishi have similarly found themselves accused of possibly cheating on engine readings.

Daimler - the owner of Mercedes-Benz - said late Thursday it is launching an internal investigation, "into its certification process related to exhaust emissions in the United States at the request of the US Department of Justice.

Daimler insisted it was "cooperating fully with the authorities."

jbh/jil (Reuters, AFP)

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