"I can confirm that where the Skoda brand is concerned, there are 1.2 million cars that were produced," said Skoda spokesman Jozef Balaz.

Volkswagen sparked global outrage last week when it admitted that 11 million of its diesel cars worldwide are equipped with so-called defeat devices that activate pollution controls during tests but turn them off when the car is on the road.

"We are talking about previously produced EA 189 motors which are now in use," Balaz said in a statement, adding that the vehicles in question were "completely safe in everyday use".

"All new Skoda cars equipped with diesel motors on sale in the European Union fulfill the Euro 6 emissions norm," he said.

Earlier yesterday Volkswagen's top-of-the-range automaker Audi said that 2.1 million of its diesel cars were also fitted with the sophisticated software enabling them to cheat emission tests.

German prosecutors also announced today a criminal probe against Volkswagen's former chief executive Martin Winterkorn, who resigned over the scandal.

The car-maker named Matthias Mueller, head of VW's luxury sports car brand Porsche, as his successor.


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