BERLIN -- Volkswagen Group has only fixed a small number of the 8.5 million cars in Europe affected by the company's diesel emissions scandal.
Dealers have fixed only 50,000 diesel cars across the region since the start of the year, sales chief Fred Kappler said on Tuesday during an earnings call.
The majority of the 8.5 million cars could be repaired this year but an unknown number of vehicles would not be fixed until next year, he said.
Kappler expects Germany's KBA regulator to approve a proposed fix for the Passat midsize model in coming weeks. "We are in deep discussions with the KBA," Kappler said, noting that the KBA had so far approved fixes for the VW Golf, Audi A4 and A5 models.
"We are quite optimistic about getting approval (for other models) in coming weeks," Kappler said, without elaborating.
VW triggered the biggest scandal in its history with last year's admission that it rigged U.S. diesel emissions tests. It later said 11 million of its EA 189 diesel engines sold worldwide by its VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat brands have manipulated engine software.
The automaker began a European recall to make the rigged engines compliant with type approval law in January with the Amarok pickup truck. VW said in February that software updates on the affected 1.2-liter, 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter vehicles, as well as hardware fixes for about a third of the 8.5 million cars, would be completed by the end of the year.
However, the second wave of about 160,000 Passat was halted in March. A VW source said the KBA was concerned that the proposed fix would lead to an increase in fuel consumption for the Passat.
In April, VW began recalling 15,000 Golf TDI Blue Motion cars in Europe with 2.0-liter engines.
VW had hoped that a swift completion of repairs in its home region could serve as a precursor to recovering from the crisis.