LONDON, England (CNN) -- Max Mosley kept his position as the head of world motor sport Tuesday after winning a vote of confidence called over allegations about his sex life.
Mosley is taking legal action against the News of the World over their report.
However, motor sport now risks being left divided after angry automobile groups indicated they could withdraw from involvement with the FIA -- the world's governing body which Mosley will continue to lead.
The Briton won a secret ballot 103-55 -- with seven abstentions and four invalid votes -- at the specially convened assembly in Paris.
Votes were cast by 140 clubs from 96 countries. They represented a total of 177 votes (including 19 proxies).
Each delegate was called individually in front of the assembly and asked to put a sealed envelope containing their vote into the ballot box.
The votes were counted in private by the FIA's legal department in the presence of four scrutinizers.
The German, American, Japanese, French, Australian and Spanish auto federations all voted against Mosley.
But Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone was "happy" with the results of the vote.
"The one thing I didn't want to happen, the last thing I wanted, was for Max to go today," Ecclestone said.
"Up until now, I've asked him a million times to stand down at the end of November. But today he got what he wanted. He is still there and that's it."
ADAC -- the German federation and Europe's largest automobile organization --said in a statement that it had frozen its activities with the FIA.
An ADAC spokesman also told the British Press Association that it viewed the vote result "with regret and incredulity."
Robert Darbelnet, the head of the American Automobile Association (AAA), said the result was a "disappointing day for the FIA."
"We don't think his behavior is appropriate for an organization which represents hundreds of millions of motorists. This is not the type of behavior that any organization I know of should be condoning," he told PA.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press quoted Gueorgui Yanakiev, the president of Bulgaria's national federation, as saying Mosley's retention was good for the FIA..
"We voted for a very successful president that made this organization a very respected body. We think it is good for FIA if Max finishes his mandate."
Mosley had been fighting for his future since March 30, when the UK's News of the World newspaper alleged he took part in an orgy with Nazi-style role play.
Mosley, the son of the British fascist Oswald Mosley, denies the orgy had Nazi overtones and has started legal action for violation of privacy against the newspaper in Britain and France. Any proceeds will be donated to charity.
He has kept a low profile in the past two months -- making his first race appearance since Malaysia in the paddock at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Mosley has already promised to resign when his term ends next year, and also said he will hand more of his public duties to his two deputies.
The story has bubbled along despite Mosley's low profile, with a number of teams, motor sport bodies and former drivers demanding he resign over the allegations.
The story was given extra zing by claims an MI5 agent had to resign after it was revealed his wife was one of the prostitutes involved.
In the past week, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone also pushed for Mosley to resign ahead of the vote rather than risk any further embarrassment.