File Photo: Hannibal Hanschke / Reuters

Berlin, Germany - The German transport ministry says there's no evidence Volkswagen cheated on emissions tests for its petrol cars, even though the company has admitted to doing so for its diesel vehicles.

The ministry confirmed on Sunday that the Federal Office for Motor Vehicles had investigated all the allegations made against the company so far.

The Sunday edition of Germany's popular Bild newspaper cited witnesses accusing Volkswagen Group brands of manipulating emissions tests for petrol vehicles. They said experts from VW had admitted at a crisis meeting in 2015 that automatic transmission mechanisms in three VW brands had switching programmes that were only active during the testing phase and could therefore influence emissions values, Bild reported.

'No new facts'

The public prosecutor refused to comment on the newspaper report, while Volkswagen said the subject had been intensively discussed with Germany's Federal Motor Transport Authority in recent weeks.

"In this respect there are no new facts," VW said. Decisions and measures had been put in place, the company said. "As usual, we cannot comment with regard to the content of the other issues in the context of the public prosecutor's investigations against the background of the ongoing process."

VW said in November 2015 that up to 800 000 vehicles, including 98 000 petrol ones, could have irregularities in their carbon dioxide readings, but later reduced the number to just 36 000.