Volkswagen customers can now find out if their diesel cars are involved in the still-unfolding emission-cheating sandal, using an online tool from the company's website.

It's the same searchable database that already allows customers to check a vehicles' VIN against a list of cars being recalled.

But now it's been updated to include the 482,000 Volkswagen and Audi TDI models that were found to have software that bypassed emission controls in real-world usage.

DON'T MISS: VW Diesel Acceleration, Fuel Economy Fall Without 'Cheat Mode' (Video)

The search function can be found on the recall sections of the VW and Audi websites, as well as a standalone website VW has set up specifically for the diesel issue.

"As approved remedies are available for the affected vehicles, the site will be updated," a VW statement said.

The company still has not said when recalls will begin, in part because its proposed fixes are likely to receive extensive scrutiny from regulatory bodies before they're approved.

2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI

2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI

In testimony before Congress earlier this month, Volkswagen U.S. CEO Michael Horn said bringing the cars into compliance with regulations could require changes to hardware, software, or both, depending on the model.

Roughly 325,000 vehicles in the U.S. may require the addition of SCR urea-injection systems, which other carmakers have used since 2009 to meet U.S. diesel-emissions standards.

ALSO SEE: How Will VW Fix My Diesel Car, And When? A List Of All Models

On other models, simple software changes could eliminate the "cheat" program that allowed cars to operate differently under testing conditions--something many analysts believe will affect fuel economy and performance.

Consumer Reports claims to have tested two cars--a 2011 Jetta SportWagen equipped with a Lean NOx trap and a 2015 Jetta equipped with both a Lean NOx Trap and SCR system--in the emissions "cheat mode."

2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI

2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI

It said testers noticed slightly lower fuel economy and slower acceleration when the cheating software was disabled.

The clock is ticking for Volkswagen to determine what it will do to fix its U.S. cars, however.

California regulators have given the company until November 20 to submit compliance proposals to the state's powerful Air Resources Board.

MORE: VW To Recall 8.5 Million TDI Diesel Vehicles Across Europe; Fixes Not Yet Revealed

Outside the U.S., the company has also announced a recall of 8.5 million vehicles in Europe, with 2.4 million of those in Germany alone.

It plans to begin fixing cars there in January, using both hardware and software modifications.

European emission standards before 2015, however, are substantially more lenient than those in effect in the U.S. since 2008, so the fixes there may be simpler and quicker.


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