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Volkswagen Australia to recall all vehicles with emissions cheating devices

Volkswagen logos adorn a sign outside a dealership for the German automaker located in the Sydney suburb of Artarmon, Australia, Oct 3, 2015.

[SYDNEY] The Australian unit of German carmaker Volkswagen AG on Friday said it will conduct a voluntary recall of vehicles fitted with devices designed to mask the level of emissions, two days after revealing up to 90,000 cars may be affected.

Volkswagen Group Australia said it would write to all affected car owners and would "do everything we can to fix this problem and regain the trust of our customers".

Although the Australian unit gave no timetable, the move pulls it into line with the head office in Germany which plans to start recalling up to 11 million vehicles globally in January following revelations they were fitted with illegal software.

The biggest crisis in Volkswagen's 78-year history has wiped more than a third off its share price, forced out its longtime chief executive and sent shockwaves through both the global car industry and the German establishment.

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Australian regulators have already launched an inquiry to decide if consumers were misled, while law firm Maurice Blackburn has said it is considering filing a class action suit to compensate customers for lost re-sale prices.

The Australian Volkswagen unit has also set up a website for customers to see if their vehicles, including almost 55,000 Volkswagen branded passenger cars, 5,000 Skodas and more than 17,000 Volkswagen commercial vehicles, have the affected EA 189 diesel engines.

It said it had notified Australian authorities of the recall.