Volkswagen has announced that nearly 1.2 million of its vehicles sold in the UK are fitted with the software behind the emissions scandal.

It includes diesel-powered cars with the VW brand, Audi, Seat and Skoda as well as VW commercial vehicles.

In the next few days the company will give the vehicle identification numbers to retailers as well as coming up with a process for owners to check if their vehicles are affected. VW will then start contacting owners.

VW plans to present its plans for resolving the problems with the affected vehicles to regulators next month.

The specific number of vehicles affected under each brand are:

• Volkswagen cars 508,276

• Audi 393,450

• Seat 76,773

• Skoda 131,569

• VW commercial vehicles 79,838

• Total 1,189,906

Commenting on the announcement, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “The government’s priority is to protect the public and I understand VW are contacting all UK customers affected. I have made clear to the managing director this needs to happen as soon as possible.

“The government expects VW to set out quickly next steps it will take to correct the problem and support owners of these vehicles already purchased in the UK.”