Cars in India not equipped with defeat device, meet norms: Volkswagen

ARAI carried out random tests on Volkswagen cars and found significant variations in on-road emission levels compared to laboratory test results in the case of diesel variants of six of its auto models such as Polo, Vento, Jetta, Audi A4, Audi A6 and Skoda Octavia.

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The automobile manufacturer was served a notice by the government last month over the alleged charges of manipulating emission norms in India, as it has done in the US.

Volkswagen Group India issued a statement saying that it believes its cars are not equipped with a “defeat device”.

The probe was ordered by the Department of Heavy Industries. “They will also decide in one or two days whether sales by Volkswagen should be halted till it completes the recall process”, said Ambuj Sharma, additional secretary in the heavy industries ministry. Volkswagen has been given eight months to complete the recall process.

To come to a common conclusion on this topic, further meetings with the road transport and highways ministry will take place, the company added.

The Automative Research Association of India (ARAI), the government body, ran its own investigation of the emissions-test software, and its findings were in line with those of environmental agencies in the US and Europe. All necessary technical measures will be implemented in the vehicles at no cost to the customers.

“In addition, a software update will also be performed on these engines”. According to Volkswagen, the sales crash is exclusively due to the freeze on selling any 2.0-liter TDI models and the 3.0-liter TDI-powered Touareg, and this is somewhat validated by the fact that Tiguan sales jumped 88 percent, Golf GTI sales increased 18 percent, and the e-Golf’s sales up over 300 percent. The measure for the 1.2-litre engines will be announced shortly.

“Based on the current situation, Volkswagen Group India will continue the production and sales of the cars with EA 189 engines in India”, the company said. The 1.5-litre and 1.6-litre diesel engines will go through certain hardware tweaks. The technical updates are expected to be implemented from the first quarter of 2016 and will be continued in a step-wise manner. Additionally, the company faces fines and lawsuits around the world.

The company was then asked to recall around 11 million vehicles worldwide could be affected.

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