ARAI finds Volkswagen, Skoda and Audi “Guilty” of cheating in India?

Dieselgate may have hit India too. The Indian government will issue a show cause notice to the Volkswagen group. This notice will ask the German automaker to show cause after 5 of its diesel cars – the Volkswagen Vento, the Jetta, the Skoda Octavia, the Audi A4 and A6 – were found to be emitting more tail pipe emissions on the road, compared to lab figures. These tests were carried out by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), which launched an investigation into cars sold by Volkswagen after the Dieselgate scandal erupted last month in the United States.

Volkswagen Dieselgate Meme 2

[Cartoon courtesy AutoLatest]

Here’s word from Ambuj Sharma, Additional Secretary, Heavy Industries Ministry,

Significant variations in the emission levels have been found in diesel vehicles belonging to the Jetta, Audi A4 and Vento models. We will give them (Volkswagen) 15-21 days to reply to the notice. We are expecting a reply from them by month-end, with detailed technical inputs from their headquarters in Germany

ARAI Director Rashmi Urdhwareshe said,

We had tested the exhaust in Volkswagen’s on—road vehicles and found a significant difference in emission levels in comparison to the laboratory measurements. Significant variation has been found in models including Jetta, Octavia, Audi A4 and Audi A6 in particular. We are seeking a clarification from Volkswagen through the notice. We will decide the future course of action based on their reply and the technical inputs from their German Headquarters. 

Also see – 14 Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda cars that could be hit by the Dieselgate scandal

Volkswagen Dieselgate Meme 3
Just days ago, the US EPA accused Volkswagen of selling Audi and Porsche cars equipped with defeat devices. Volkswagen responded angrily, saying that 3.0 TDI Diesel V6 engines were not fitted with “defeat devices”. But will buyers believe VW anymore?

The ARAI’s findings seem to suggest that the automaker adopted similar “cheating” tactics in India. In fact, ARAI’s explanation of the “emissions disparity” is eerily similar to the findings that the University of West Virginia researchers reported, after testing the Volkswagen Jetta Diesel sold in the USA for “emissions disparity between lab and on-road conditions”. For now though, ARAI and the Indian government have stopped one step short of calling Volkswagen India guilty.

Also see – 1 lakh Volkswagen, Skoda and Audi cars could be recalled

Volkswagen Polo in Red 1

For its part, Volkswagen has not responded to the latest findings yet. It will have to respond to the Government of India’s notice within 15-21 days. So, by the end of this month, we’ll know Volkswagen India’s response/position to the show cause notice.

Volkswagen Vento TSI

Also see – How Volkswagen cheated America and the world

Meanwhile, in a statement released last week following CNBC TV18’s announcement of a possible recall, Volkswagen explicitly called its cars “safe and roadworthy“. For those of you wondering what the Dieselgate scandal is all about, and how it could affect Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda cars sold in India, read this.

Also see – 5 car makers caught cheating

Via TheHindu