Volkswagen (VW) has suspended the sale of more than 4,000 vehicles in the UK over fears they could have been fitted with the same emission cheating device used in the US. The scandal-hit car company said the vehicles it is preventing from being sold amount to just 3% of its stock and all of them had not yet been registered.

VW said the move is "temporary halt on sales" as the cars contain the EA 189 engines that are fitted with software that was used to cheat the emissions test. The brands of cars involved in the suspension includes VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat.

The company recently announced nearly 1.2 million vehicles in the UK are affected by the fraudulent emission software, meaning they could be producing more emission gasses than legally allowed. The German car maker admitted there could be as many as 11 million diesel vehicles fitted with the device.

The affected vehicles include five million VW-branded cars, 2.1 million Audis, 1.2 million Skodas and 700,000 SEATs. Owners of the affected cars will be notified "in the coming days" and will also be able to check via a self-serve process to see if their car requires a modification.

A Volkswagen Group UK spokesperson said: "Step by step, affected customers will be contacted with details of a process to get their vehicles corrected in the near future. In the meantime, all vehicles are technically safe and roadworthy."

The British government announced it is to investigate vehicle emissions in the wake of the scandal that resulted in Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn stepping down. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the government is taking the "unacceptable actions" very seriously.