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Volkswagen sales in Europe rise in September despite emissions scandal

Cars are parked at a Volkswagen dealer in Milan, Italy, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. Italian authorities have searched the headquarters of Volkswagen Italia as part of a local investigation into the emissions testing scandal at the German automaker. The financial police in the northern city of Verona conducted the searches on Thursday and confirmed that there are officials under investigation. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Cars are parked at a Volkswagen dealer in Milan, Italy, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. Italian authorities have searched the headquarters of Volkswagen Italia as part of a local investigation into the emissions testing scandal at the German automaker. The financial police in the northern city of Verona conducted the searches on Thursday and confirmed that there are officials under investigation. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)  (The Associated Press)

Volkswagen sales in Europe rose last month despite the emissions scandal, but the German automaker's growth lagged the market.

The European carmaker's association ACEA said Friday that sales of VW brand cars in the EU rose by 6.6 percent, while the group's overall sales, also including other brands, were up 8.4 percent.

That compares with an increase in EU car registrations of nearly 10 percent to 1.35 million in September. While growth this year has been strong, ACEA noted the market is still far below pre-crisis levels.

Volkswagen's emissions scandal broke in mid-September when U.S. authorities discovered software that disabled emissions controls except when they were being tested. German authorities have ordered a recall of all VW cars fitted with the software, affecting 8.5 million diesel cars across the EU.