BERLIN (Reuters) -- German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said that emissions manipulations by Volkswagen took place in Europe, not just in the U.S.
"We have been informed that also in Europe, vehicles with 1.6- and 2.0-liter diesel engines are affected by the manipulations that are being talked about," Dobrindt told reporters on Thursday, adding it was unclear how many vehicles in Europe were affected.
He also said random tests would be conducted on cars made by VW and other automakers.
"It is clear that the Federal Office for Motor Traffic will not exclusively concentrate on the VW models in question but that it will also carry out random tests on vehicles made by other carmakers," he said.
VW said in a statement Sept. 22 that what it called software "irregularities" apply to 11 million Type EA 189 engines sold worldwide.
VW and other automakers likely don't need to cheat diesel tests in Europe because emissions limits are less stringent than in the U.S., according to industry watchers.
Evercore ISI analyzed the tests from West Virginia University that set off the VW emissions scandal. It said the VW diesel engines that were manipulated in the U.S. would have been compliant with Euro 4 rules tested under the European NEDC test cycle without a software cheat.
"We also believe that the engines would have been compliant under the Euro 5 test standard," Evercore global research head Arndt Ellinghorst said.
Plans to introduce tougher testing in Europe in September 2017 will almost certainly be approved by the EU but the two-year interval gives automakers "ample" time to comply with the new test procedure, he said in a note to investors.
BMW, Daimler 'clean'
BMW said on Thursday it has not manipulated emissions tests, denying a magazine report saying some of its diesel cars were found to exceed emissions standards. "There is no difference in the treatment of exhaust emissions whether they are on [test] rollers or on the road," BMW said.
German trade magazine Auto Bild said that BMW's X3 xDrive 20d model exceeded the latest Euro 6 emissions limits more than 11-fold in road tests by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).
"No specific details of the test have yet been provided and therefore we cannot explain these results," BMW said. "We will contact the ICCT and ask for clarification of the test they carried out."
Daimler also said it did not manipulate emissions data for diesel engines. A spokesman for said the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars did not use so-called defeat devices employed by Volkswagen and complied with rules on nitrogen oxide emissions around the world.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report