MADRID -- Spain's High Court said on Friday Volkswagen Group, based in Germany, would be liable to answer any charges over emissions fraud, rather than its Spanish affiliates.
Volkswagen admitted in September to cheating U.S. diesel emissions tests and said that up to 11 million vehicles worldwide could be fitted with illegal software.
The carmaker had said the Spanish probe, accusing it of fraud in relation to exhaust emissions and pollution from its diesel engines, should be directed at its Spanish affiliates Seat, Volkswagen-Audi Espana and Volkswagen Navarra.
The court opened initial proceedings against VW in October, with about 700,000 diesel vehicles in Spain, mostly VW and Seat models, believed to be affected.
Several lawsuits around the world have been levelled at the company and on Thursday it was told it must pay an additional $86 million in penalties in California on top of a $14.7 billion U.S. settlement last week.