The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday directed German automobile major Volkswagen not to sell any diesel vehicle in India fitted with “cheat device” and to give an undertaking in this regard.
A bench headed by Justice UD Salvi directed the company to give in writing that it would sell only those vehicles which comply with all emission norms as applicable. Cheat or defeat device is a software in diesel engines to manipulate emissions tests by changing the performance of the vehicles to improve results.”We do see gravity of the matter. You should not sell cars with defeat device and which are not compliant. Let Volkswagen give an undertaking that it would not sell any vehicle in India fitted with ‘cheat device’,” the bench said.
The Tribunal also directed Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) to place its investigation report by February 4, the next date of hearing. Senior advocate Pinaki Misra, appearing for Volkswagen, told the green panel that there were no such devices in its vehicles and ARAI was already investigating the matter and outcome is awaited. “The whole argument is based on the fact that something which happened in the United States. We are manufacturing different vehicles here. The cars which we sell in India comply to all emission norms. Let ARAI complete its job,” Misra said.
He further said that investigation over “cheat device” was going on even in the US and EU and the company has yet not been directed to pay any compensation. Earlier, the tribunal had issued notices to Centre, Volkswagen and ARAI on a plea by Delhi residents seeking a ban on sale of its vehicles for alleged violation of emission norms.