In what could be yet another slap on the face of Volkswagen, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has slammed the German car-maker for allowing its recalled vehicles to remain on India roads. The NGT, while hearing a petition filed by Saloni Ailawadi, also warned that any further delay would attract a hefty fine.
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Volkswagen India's woes began way back in September 2015 when the company admitted that it had fitted a "cheat device" in some of its diesel models sold in the United States to pass the stringent government emissions tests. Following the expose, the company came under the scanner across the globe.
In India, the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) investigated the matter and discovered that some of the Volkswagen models did not meet emission standards in the country as well. The company was then directed to recall more than 3.14 lakh affected vehicles. Although Volkswagen had issued a recall, it did not initiate the process for reasons best know to the company.
Volkswagen has now been asked by the NGT to submit their plan of action to recall the models in India. Volkswagen, in its defence, says that only the redesign of the software for 70 percent of the 3.14 lakh vehicles were approved, while the ARAI insists that the company submitted redesigned software for only 70 percent of the vehicles in question with the remaining 30 percent falling short of the emissions standards.
In its statement, Volkswagen has reiterated that their cars in India are in compliance with BS IV emission norms. "We are in the process of implementing voluntary recall of vehicles fitted with EA 189 diesel engines in India," reads a statement from the company that goes on to say the company is cooperating with the concerned agencies to conclude the recall process shortly. It further adds that the company has received approvals for 13 out of 16 types of vehicles that are eligible for voluntary recall.
The recall of Volkswagen includes diesel cars that come fitted with EA 189 engines under brands Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda. They have been under criticism for poor emission control.
The recall includes vehicles manufactured from 2008 to December 2015. It was earlier said that the process of recalling would last for about 10 months.
Source: ET Auto