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FRANKFURT/HAMBURG (Reuters) - Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) has received regulatory approval for technical fixes on more cars in Europe affected by its diesel emissions scandal, it said on Friday, meaning it can now recall another 2.6 million vehicles.
Volkswagen (VW) admitted last year it had installed software that deactivated pollution controls on more than 11 million diesel vehicles sold worldwide.
In Europe, home to around 8.5 million of the affected vehicles, it has agreed to recalls to implement technical fixes.
German motor authority KBA had already approved fixes for around 5.6 million VW group models with 1.2-litre and 2.0-litre engines, which required only a software update on pollution control systems.
Fixes for the 1.6-litre TDI engines of type EA 189 that were cleared on Friday also require a mesh to be installed near the air filter. KBA's approval is valid for countries throughout Europe.
The emissions scandal rattled VW's global business, damaged its reputation and prompted the departure of its CEO.
In the United States, VW is spending up to $16.5 billion to settle with nearly 500,000 customers and government regulators. But it has rejected calls from the European Commission for similar compensation for car owners in Europe.
VW said on Thursday the software allowing its diesel vehicles to evade emissions rules did not violate European law, drawing criticism from the German state of Lower Saxony, its second-biggest shareholder.
State premier Stephan Weil's office said it was indisputable the software caused lower nitrogen oxide levels to be measured during inspections than were achievable during normal driving on the road.
"This manipulative action is inexcusable in the opinion of the prime minister, regardless of whether the software is legal due to varying national legislation," a spokeswoman for Weil's office said on Friday.
VW's leaders are meeting on Friday to discuss cost cuts and investments to help tackle the fallout from the scandal and fund a shift to electric cars and self-driving vehicles.
Reporting by Maria Sheahan and Jan Schwartz; Editing by Christoph Steitz and Mark Potter