The repair will involve a software update, according to a statement released by Volkswagen.
The company said a "service procedure" would be required to repair 5 million vehicles out of the 11 million total vehicles involved in the cheating.
But the fix will apparently not address problems with the 482,000 VWs sold in the U.S.
According to a source close to the company, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss the matter, the announced fix will apply only to vehicles sold and tested for emissions in the European Union. The repair recall appears to be a software update that would remove or nullify the "defeat devices."
The models affected by the service procedure, VW said, are the "sixth generation Volkswagen Golf, the seventh generation Volkswagen Passat (or the first generation Volkswagen Tiguan) fitted with Type EA 189 diesel engines."
Volkswagen had said in an earlier statement that the cars sold in the E.U. were already compliant with local emissions standards, but that they, like the cars sold in the U.S., were equipped with the same "defeat devices."
A representative of Volkswagen U.S. said the fix will not apply to vehicles sold here, which will have to meet stricter emissions standards administered by the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board.
"For the U.S. we are still diligently working with EPA and CARB for a remedy agreed upon by all parties," said company spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan.
The German automaker, the world's largest, has acknowledged installing "defeat devices" in 11 million Volkswagen Jettas, Golfs, Passats and Beetles, as well as in engines in some Audi A3s.
The devices helped the VW diesel engines cheat on emissions tests by detecting engine conditions and adjusting performance. In real world driving, the cars spew up to 40 times the legal emissions. LA Times