Volkswagen diesel scandal: Over 1,00,000 cars may be recalled in India

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New Delhi | Updated: October 30, 2015 10:30:53 AM

Volkswagen India is expected to issue a recall in the first half of November which might affect over 100,000 vehicles across the company’s product portfolio, revealed a highly placed industry expert on the condition of anonymity.

Volkswagen Diesel ScandalVolkswagen India is expected to issue a recall in the first half of November which might affect over 100,000 vehicles across the company’s product portfolio, revealed a highly placed industry expert on the condition of anonymity. (Reuters)

Volkswagen India is expected to issue a recall in the first half of November which might affect over 100,000 vehicles across the company’s product portfolio, revealed a highly placed industry expert on the condition of anonymity.

While the US and Europe erupted in anger over the diesel scandal, there wasn’t even so much as a noticeable whisper, in comparison, in India. Some reports in the media suggested, based on initial reactions by Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) executives, that Volkswagen India might not be found culpable as the emission norms in India are lower than that in the US, and the country still struggling to implement Bharat Stage IV (equivalent to Euro 4) across its landmass. The scenario might change over the next couple of weeks.

In India, the under-investigation EA 189 (1.2-litre, 1.5-litre, 1.6-litre, and 2.0-litre) TDI engine which had the defeat device software installed, is in application across the Volkswagen and Skoda range of cars in India, and even a number of Audi models. There wasn’t, however, any word of confirmation from Volkswagen or Skoda on the matter.

In the UK alone, close to 1.2 million vehicles are expected to be affected and VW is planning a three-stage recall to cover and fix these vehicles by the end of 2016. The 1.2-litre and 2.0-litre diesel engines will require a software fix, while the 1.6-litre diesel will need new injectors, in addition to the software fix, acknowledged Paul Willis, managing director, Volkswagen Group, UK, recently. The affected cars in the US, however, might need a change of catalytic converters and/or Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) AdBlue urea injection system. AdBlue is used in SCR to reduce NOX levels in diesel exhaust emissions. Michael Horn, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, has reportedly admitted that any fix is likely to affect the performance of the cars.

Watch: Volkswagen diesel cars recall in India: Discussing implications

Recent reports in Germany suggested that the EA 288 engine — a derivative of the EA 189 engine at the nucleus of the scandal — could also have the cheat software, but VW denied the claims clarifying that the Euro 5 and Euro 6 EA 288 engines were not built with the defeat device found in the EA 189 engine.

According to an estimate by Credit Suisse — which accounted for the cost of fixing the cars, settling the civil and criminal claims, and reimbursing the customers — the diesel scandal will cost Volkswagen almost $90 billion.

Statement from Volkswagen Group

Volkswagen Group India representatives have met Ministry of Heavy Industries and ARAI today, on 29th October 2015 and have updated them on the evaluations so far on the ongoing emissions issue with reference to India.

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.

Volkswagen Group India will present its results from the evaluations by the end of November 2015. During this period, the company representatives will stay in regular touch with ARAI to keep the authorities updated on the analysis. The next steps will depend on the findings from these evaluations.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen Group India would like to assure that all vehicles in the customers’ hands remain technically safe and roadworthy.

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