Remedial action on the vehicles will begin in January 2016, at no cost to the customers.
Details on the fix is still unclear but Volkswagen said a technical fix is currently being developed for each affected model, and that it will involve software as well as hardware measures.
“All measures will first be presented to the responsible authorities. Volkswagen will subsequently inform the owners of these vehicles over the next weeks and months,” said the Volkswagen Group.
The company also added that only the four cylinder EA 189 diesel engines are affected.
“The current successor generation of EA 288 diesel engines (in use since 2012) is not affected,” said the company.