BERLIN -- Volkswagen Group's French division reported inaccurate delivery figures to German headquarters for years to make its performance look better, a German magazine reported.
The auditors found a number of cars were registered by their owners "several months or even years" after the deliveries were recorded by the French business, Der Spiegel said on Friday, citing a report by the carmaker's internal auditors.
The registration process normally takes weeks. Some of the vehicles classed as delivered didn't even have purchase contracts, the magazine said.
Inaccurate information was provided on almost 800,000 vehicles in total, it said.
A spokesman at VW's headquarters in Wolfsburg declined to discuss the article, saying the company "doesn't comment on internal documents."
The French division's actions started in 2010 and affected cars from VW's namesake brand, luxury division Audi, Czech unit Skoda and the Spanish Seat brand, Der Spiegel said.
VW Group CEO Matthias Mueller was given the auditors' report on April 24 and as a result, the head of VW's French operations, Jacques Rivoal, quit, the magazine said.
Rivoal couldn't be reached for comment by Reuters on Friday.
When Rivoal's departure was announced in May, VW said "strategic differences" with management had caused the French manager's exit, without being more specific.