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Arai has been investigating if Volkswagen models in India are fitted the same defeat device that led to the emissions scandal in the US and Europe. Photo: Reuters
Arai has been investigating if Volkswagen models in India are fitted the same defeat device that led to the emissions scandal in the US and Europe. Photo: Reuters

Volkswagen to submit its India findings by Nov-end

The auto maker says its executives have met govt and Arai officials to update them on the exercise

New Delhi: The Indian unit of German auto maker Volkswagen AG said on Thursday that it would present by the end of November the findings of an assessment being conducted on the impact of its emissions scandal on locally produced vehicles.

“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," the company said in a statement.

The auto maker said its executives had met government officials and representatives of the country’s apex vehicle-testing agency, Automotive Research Association of India (Arai), on Thursday to update them on the exercise.

“The next steps will depend on the findings from these evaluations," the company added. “Meanwhile, Volkswagen Group India would like to assure that all vehicles in the customers’ hands remain technically safe and roadworthy."

Earlier on Thursday, a person familiar with the development said on condition of anonymity that Arai had found that some diesel-engined Volkswagen cars had been fitted with the same “defeat device" used to cheat on emission tests globally, and 100,000 vehicles may have to be recalled, as a result.

The number is based on the total number of cars sold in the country that are equipped with engines from the controversial EA189 diesel engine family.

Engines from this family go into Volkswagen models such as the Polo, Vento, Jetta, Passat, Audi’s A3 sedan and some models in Skoda-branded cars.

The defeat device allows cars to pass emission control tests by showing much lower levels of pollution than when they are in ordinary use. In the US, it was found that emission levels of VW diesel cars were 40 times higher than the level allowed in that country.

A second person familiar with the matter said that while the defeat device may have been fitted into cars in India, that does not mean those vehicles have been breaching emission norms in the country. “Also, you have to understand that our emission standards are different from the developed countries," said the person, speaking on condition of anonymity.

On 25 September, Mint reported that the government had written to Arai to evaluate Volkswagen cars and check if the automobile maker used the defeat device to fudge emissions data in India.

Arai has been investigating if Volkswagen models recalled in the US and Europe are also sold in India. Arai director Rashmi Urdhwareshe declined to comment on Thursday but said her team will be meeting government officials later in the day with a report. Arai did not submit its report on Thursday and is now expected to do so early next week, the second person quoted above said.

In September, Volkswagen admitted to the irregularities concerning a particular software used in diesel engines in “some 11 million vehicles worldwide".

Matthias Müller, the newly appointed chief executive officer of Volkswagen AG, said that the company will start a global recall of affected vehicles in January, and the process will be completed by 2016-end.

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