Free Press Journal

VW to report impact of emission scandal in India by Nov-end


New Delhi: Beleaguered German auto major Volkswagen today said it will come out with details on the impact in India due to the emission scandal that hit the company in many global markets, including the US and Europe, by the end of next month. The government had ordered a probe and asked automotive testing agency ARAI to find whether the German carmaker had cheated emission tests in India as it did in the US, where it faces a fine of up to USD 18 billion.

The Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) was asked to submit its report by the end of the month. A meeting was held between Volkswagen Group India representatives and the Ministry of Heavy Industries and ARAI officials today.

Executives of the group updated the government officials on the evaluations so far on the ongoing emissions issue with reference to India. “Since there is a complex combination of several brands,
various models, different engine variants and gearboxes as well as different model years that need to be analysed, establishing detailed facts is taking a longer time,” Volkswagen Group India said in a statement.

The group will present its results from the evaluations by the end of November 2015. “During this period, the company representatives will stay in regular touch with ARAI to keep the authorities updated on the analysis. The next steps will depend on the findings from these evaluations,” it added.

When contacted, Additional Secretary in the Heavy Industries Ministry Ambuj Sharma told PTI that ARAI, which has been testing random samples of Volkswagen vehicles, will submit its report on the issue early next week.

“That will give an indication. Volkswagen’s response based on inputs from its headquarters in Germany, as to which vehicles are affected, that will actually mesh into the report and give the whole picture,” Sharma said.

He, however, added: “But Volkswagen is saying they need some more time for response from their headquarters, they will get a response from headquarters only by November-end.” VW officials also rubbished reports that the company would recall about one lakh vehicles in India due to the emission scandal.

Earlier this month, the ARAI probe was extended till the end of this month. The government had earlier given a week’s time to ARAI but the agency sought more time to complete its investigation.

Volkswagen India had sought detailed technical inputs from its headquarters in Germany. Cars manufactured by Volkswagen group firms Audi and Skoda, besides the VW branded vehicles, are among over 11 million vehicles globally that were equipped with a software in diesel engines enabling them to cheat during emission tests in the US, Europe, South Korea and other markets.

Models such as Jetta from Volkswagen and Audi A3, which are sold in India too, have been affected by the scandal. The German auto major had admitted that 11 million diesel cars worldwide were fitted with devices help cheat emission tests by switching on pollution controls and switch off the controls when the car is on the road. Subsequent to the scandal, Volkswagen reported its first quarterly loss in at least 15 years.