Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete has directed city-based Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) to submit a report on emission levels of Volkswagen vehicles in the country. Geete’s directive comes days after the emission scandal came to the fore, prompting the German automobile manufacturer to recall 11 million vehicles from across the world.
Speaking to Newsline, Geete said he has instructed ARAI to submit the report within a week after which the government will decide the future course of action.
Around 11 million vehicles across the world have been affected by Volkswagen’s emission software trick, which faked the carbon emission from the diesel cars. The company had set aside 6.5 billion euros ($7.27 billion) to cover the costs of the recall. An official release issued by the company said that the discrepancies relate to vehicles with Type EA 189 engines.
“A noticeable deviation between bench test results and actual road use was established solely for this type of engine,” reads the release.
This engine type is used in a variety of vehicles including Jetta, Beetle and Audi A3, all of which are available in India. When asked about the number of vehicles on Indian roads which might be affected, the company refused to comment. However, the company agreed that due to the ongoing investigations, its earning targets for this year will be adjusted accordingly.
Geete said the government is keeping a close watch on the developments and has asked ARAI to start collecting information on emission levels. Senior ARAI officials pointed out that while Europe has Euro VI norms, India still follows BS IV norms.
“The BS IV norms are equivalent to EURO IV norms. Euro VI norms will have more stringent emission norms than Euro IV. So, we will have to test the technicalities of the vehicles to see the actual emission limits,” said the officer.
The information which will be collected would involve measurement of CO (carbon dioxide), Nox, HC and particulate matter from engine emission. These would determine whether the engines are following the set norms.
In 2013, automotive maker General Motors was in the thick of another emission scandal which led it to recall over 1,14,000 vehicles manufactured in India.