NGT Takes Volkswagen India To Task Over Delay In Vehicle Recall

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has reproached Volkswagen India for the delay in the recall of vehicles affected by the emissions cheating scandal.

In addition to directing the company to submit a plan for the vehicle recall it announced last year, the green court also stated its intention to impose a punitive fine unless Volkswagen’s Indian arm picks up speed in the matter.

The tribunal was hearing a petition by Saloni Ailawadi, who said that Volkswagen’s vehicles were not only in violation of the country’s emission norms but were also jeopardizing the lives of the country’s citizens.

The petition further appealed that the sales of Volkswagen cars in India be stopped till they match up to the country’s pollution related conventions.

Last year in September, the Ministry of Heavy Industries had requested the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) to determine if Volkswagen was selling the same models in India that had been found to be violation of environmental norms in the U.S.

ARAI discovered a significant discrepancy in the on-road emission levels of the vehicles and the laboratory measurements. In its defence, VW said ARAI had approved the redesigned software for only 70 per cent of the 3.14 lakh affected vehicles in India.

Countering that argument, ARAI said Volkswagen had proffered redesigned software for only 70 per cent of its affected vehicles. The agency added that the carmaker was yet to submit the reconditioned software for the left over vehicles.

In a statement, the company reiterated its stance that its cars were in fact in compliance with BS IV emission norms.

The statement read, “We are in the process of implementing voluntary recall of vehicles fitted with EA 189 diesel engines in India. We are cooperating with the concerned agencies and putting our best endeavours to conclude the recall process soon. We have received approvals for 13 out of 16 types of vehicles that are eligible for the voluntary recall.”