European car buyers appeared reluctant to punish Volkswagen too severely for its emissions scandal, penalizing the German carmaker's sales but no more than some of its competitors.

The European carmaker's association ACEA said Tuesday that the European car market expanded by 2.9 percent in October, topping 1.1 million units as growth slowed in all major markets.

VW remained the top seller, commanding a quarter of the market, in the first full-month of figures since it acknowledged cheating on U.S. diesel emissions tests. Volkswagen sales slipped 0.2 percent, while all of Volkswagen sales, including also SEA, Skoda, Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini, dropped by 0.5 percent.

By comparison, mass-market competitor PSA Peugeot Citroen saw sales drop 0.9 percent, while Renault sank 0.7 percent. German luxury carmakers BMW and Daimler posted double-digit increases.