NEW DELHI: In the wake of Volkswagen’s voluntary recall of 3.23 lakh cars, the government on Wednesday decided to test all diesel vehicles to check for violations of emission norms in the country in the next six months.
Speaking at an event here, Anant Geete, Union Heavy Industries Minister, further said that the German carmaker accepted the violations after being sent a show cause notice, and thus decided to voluntarily recall its cars. “Further action, if at all, will be taken by the ministry of road transport and highways. The company was guilty of fitting emission cheating software in cars, calling it a “well thought-out” crime,” he said.
Noting that four carmakers in the country are being investigated at present, Geete said, “Over the next six months, we will carry out checks on emission levels of all diesel passenger vehicles in India.”
“From the end of this month, we will start testing all passenger diesel vehicles in India to estimate whether they have committed emission violations. The process of testing diesel passenger vehicles by ARAI will be completed in six months,” a ministry official said.
On Tuesday, the company announced a voluntary recall of 198,500 cars from Volkswagen, 88,700 cars from SKODA and 36,500 cars from Audi across various models sold in India.
The company has already admitted that 11 million diesel engine cars worldwide were fitted with the software that helped in manipulating emission tests. It faces fine of up to $18 billion in the US.
The so-called defeat devices turn on pollution controls when the car is undergoing testing, and off when it is back on the road, allowing it to spew out harmful levels of nitrogen oxide.
Automobile manufacturers have been recalling vehicles on safety issues since industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) initiated a voluntary policy in July 2012. Till now over 13.25 lakh vehicles have been recalled by various manufacturers in India so far.