Battling the emissions scandal worldwide, German automaker Volkswagen faces the first major speedbreaker in India when the government issued it a notice on Wednesday and has asked Volkswagen to respond within 30 days. The auto major could also face fines or recall if the company is found guilty of violating the emission norms.
The apex automobile testing agency, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) has found “significant variations” in the emission levels of some on-road vehicles when compared to laboratory measurements, of the firm’s three diesel models in India - Jetta, Audi A4 and Vento.
“ARAI has found significant variations in the emission level in on-road vehicles as compared to the laboratory measurements. We are issuing a notice to Volkswagen Group of companies today to give technical inputs and explain their position,” Ambuj Sharma, additional secretary, Heavy Industries Ministry told PTI.
“Significant variations in the emission levels have been found in diesel vehicles belonging to the Jetta, Audi A4 and Vento models. We will give them (Volkswagen) 15-21 days to reply to the notice. We are expecting a reply from them by month-end, with detailed technical inputs from their HQ in Germany,” Sharma said.
The findings are a part of the report submitted to the Heavy Industries Ministry by apex testing agency ARAI, which earlier began a probe in India into Volkswagen’s emission standards after a manipulation scandal hit the German auto major in the US and several other countries.
Volkswagen’s India unit said in a statement it had received a notice from ARAI, and would submit its response by November 30.
The ARAI report was submitted on Tuesday. ARAI provides technical expertise in R&D, testing, certification, homologation and framing of vehicle regulations.
If proved of any wrongdoing in India, the world’s largest car-maker may have to face criminal proceedings, fine and recall of vehicles, Sharma had said earlier.
VW has admitted that 11 million diesel engine cars worldwide were fitted with the software that helped in manipulating emission tests. It faces fine of up to $18 billion in the US.