German carmaker, Volkswagen has suspended acceptance of mica from some of its Indian suppliers, owing to death of child labour in these illegal mining facilities, reported Thomson Reuters. The three-month investigation brought out an estimate of the number of child deaths in Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh to at least seven in number. The mineral in question is used to accentuate a car's paint and bring out the metallic finish we see in most cars these days.
Leslie Bothge, spokesperson for Volkswagen Group said, “VW and its tier one, or direct paint suppliers in India have put additional due diligence efforts in place to make sure the mica we are buying comes from legal mines where child labour is not used. Additional efforts were also undertaken at the second tier level which has led to temporary suspension of purchases on some supply chains until the investigation is complete and respective measures have been put in place.” India is one of the largest resource and producer of mica that is eco-friendly as well. That said, a number of tier two and tier three cities have illegal mining locations that supply mica to a number of large scale product manufacturers globally. It is, therefore difficult for manufacturers to keep a close check on the locations used to extract mica, especially in tier two and tier three locations.
Recently, the German giant was involved in the emission scandal, more prominently known as the Diesel Gate Emission Scandal, wherein models from the Volkswagen's stable emitted more toxic gases than permissible. However, due to the help of a software that could sense the car is being tested, the performance would be altered to clear the emission test. That said, the company has accepted this and are now working to curb the problem and develop new diesel engines