The manufacturer's badge is displayed on a VW car in London, Britain September 23, 2015. REUTERS/Neil Hall

Australia may have to bear the brunt of the ongoing global scandal surrounding the Volkswagen group as more than 50,000 Volkswagen vehicles in Australia might have been fixed with the emissions-tricking software that has thrown the automobile company into the spotlight.

The scandal came to the fore last week after the U.S. Environment Protection Agency discovered that the emissions ratings of 486,000 VW cars sold were false, and the U.S. government slammed a fine of US$18 billion (AU$25.03 billion) on the company.

Later, the group admitted that more than 11 million vehicles across the globe have diesel engines fitted with a software to trick emissions testing. The group also agreed to pay an amount of US$7.3 billion (AU$10.37 billion) to cover the cost of the scandal. Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned on Wednesday amid pressures to act decissively.

Volkswagen Australia will only confirm if any vehicle has been affected locally after receiving advice from the German head office.

According to experts, even though the emission standards for Australia are lower than that of Europe and the U.S., vehicles sold locally between 2009 and 2015 might have to face the enquiry since it has been found that some toxins are 35 times higher than what they should be.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission also said that investigations are underway about the representation Volkswagen made to Australian car owners and drivers.

"The ACCC is making enquiries to determine if consumers might have been exposed to misleading claims. The ACCC is also considering the rights of consumers under the Australian Consumer Law," a spokewoman said.

An investigation led by News Corp Australia discovered that there is a substantial possibility of more than 50,000 Volkswagen vehicles in Australia being fitted with the emission testing software. It is about the number of cars with diesel power engines across 136,000 models sold in Australia during that time. However, the figure doesn’t include Audi and Skoda cars, both Volkswagen-owned, although they use the same engines.

While owners of the affected cars have been assured that the software would not affect how their cars drive, emissions experts said that if a remedy was introduced, it might bring down the power of the affected cars to meet the emissions standards.

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