VW diesel scandal: How does it affect India?

Volkswagen, whose products are often termed well-engineered and robust, seems to have found itself in a mess. America’s EPA or United States Environmental Protection Agency has found that the brand indulged in unlawful practices and has slapped it with penalties of up to $18 billion.

Volkswagen Emissions Scandal

According to the claim, which the VW has agreed to, the German carmaker’s EA 189 engine produced more emissions in everyday use than it did while undergoing the emission tests. You can read more about the whole saga in our detailed report, but here we try to find out if the vehicles sold by VW in India are likely to be affected, given that the scandal, or ‘dieselgate’, includes a total of 11 million cars worldwide.

Also see – How did Volkswagen cheat?

According to a recent article by Autocar Professional, Volkswagen India is unsure of the consequences. Mainly because the emission norms in India are quite different from that in the USA. But at the same time, a VW India spokesperson confirms that most diesel engines sold by the VW Group are from the affected EA 189 family. And brands like Audi, Skoda, and Porsche can also be affected, given that the larger engine will also be checked.

Volkswagen TDI engine
Representational photo

The cars affected in the USA include Volkswagen Jetta, Beetle, and Golf. While outside the VW range, the Audi A3 is affected, too. This holds true for the 2-litre, 4-cylinder engine family while the 3-litre, 6-cylinder units are yet to be checked.

If you look at EPA’s official announcement, it says that the amount of NOx emitted by the affected cars is generally 10-40 times more than the permissible limit. The culprit in the scandal is a software which limited emissions while the vehicles were tested. But 10-40 times is huge irrespective of the country you live in, and if Indian or European emission norms allow that, then it’s a shame indeed.

Mr Nitin Gadkari, India’s Union Minister of Transportation, in a statement to PTI said,

I feel it is not a concern for India right now. That is a US development. We are watching reports on the development.

According to a tweet by Overdrive’s editor, Bertrand D’Souza, VW India products are unlikely to get affected.

Much like in the US, Europe, or any specific country where the checks will be done, Volkswagen will get in touch with its customers if there’s a recall. It might take a huge task, but nothing in comparison to the customer trust the brand has lost. And to regain that, if VW has to make a new engine family, it might as well do that…