February 2, 2016 / 3:43 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-VW car sales in Germany fall 8.8 percent in January

* German passenger car registrations up 3.3 pct in January

* VW passenger car registrations drop 8.8 pct in January

* Opel German registrations rise 22 pct (Adds details of sales)

FRANKFURT, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Volkswagen’s passenger car sales fell 8.8 percent in Germany in January, official registration data showed, while overall car sales in Europe’s largest market rose 3.3 percent from a year earlier.

German passenger car registrations in January rose to 218,365 vehicles, statistics from Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority KBA showed.

Volkswagen, which has been rocked by an emissions cheating scandal, saw sales of its passenger cars fall to 47,147.

Opel, which recently launched a new version of its Astra, which is a rival to VW’s Golf, saw its German car sales jump 22 percent to 16,549 and registrations of Ford vehicles rose 19.2 percent to 14,945, the KBA data showed.

Separately, Volkswagen said on Tuesday it had started modifying engines in Europe which were equipped with emissions cheating devices.

In December, the Volkswagen Group presented specific technical measures to the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) to rectify its EA189 engines, VW said.

VW updated the software of engines with a capacity of 2.0 litres in January and will extend the update to engines with 1.2 and 1.6-litre capacities, the company said.

The vehicles are technically safe and roadworthy and can continue to be driven on the roads, VW said. (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by Edward Taylor and David Clarke)

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