New Delhi: Reiterating that all its cars conform to emission norms in India, German auto major Volkswagen on Thursday said it will comply with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order and deposit Rs 100 crore with the authority within the stipulated time frame.
Volkswagen’s response came after the NGT slammed it for not depositing Rs 100 crore in accordance with its November 16, 2018 order and directed the company to submit the amount within 24 hours.
“The Volkswagen Group reiterates that all cars from the group are compliant with the emission norms in India. The order of the honourable NGT is already under challenge before the honourable Supreme Court. However, the Volkswagen Group India will comply with the order of honourable NGT and deposit the money, as directed,” said Volkswagen Group India spokesperson.
Earlier during the day, a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel took strong exception to the non-compliance of its order by the automobile giant and asked it to give an undertaking that it will submit the amount by 5 pm Friday.
The tribunal deferred the matter for hearing after it was informed that the Supreme Court is also seized of the issue. On November 16, 2018, the tribunal had said that the use of ‘cheat device’ by Volkswagen in diesel cars in India leads to environmental damage and had asked the company to deposit an interim amount of Rs 100 crore with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The tribunal was hearing pleas filed by a school teacher, Saloni Ailawadi, and a few others, seeking a ban on sale of Volkswagen vehicles for alleged violation of emission norms.
A ‘cheat’ or ‘defeat device’ is a software which the company was found using in its diesel engines to manipulate emission tests by changing performance of its cars globally.
In December 2015, Volkswagen India had recalled 3,23,700 vehicles to fix the emission software after Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) conducted tests on some models and found that their on-road emissions were 1.1-times to 2.6- times higher than the applicable BS-IV norms.
The automobile giant had admitted to the use of ‘defeat device’ in 11 million diesel engine cars sold in the US, Europe and other global markets to manipulate emission test results. After the tests by ARAI, Volkswagen India had undertaken to rejig the software by recalling around 3.23 lakh vehicles fitted with EA 189 diesel engines which were in alleged violation of emission norms.
The company, however, had said that the recall in India was purely voluntary in nature as it did not face any charges regarding violating emission norms in India unlike in the US.