India orders probe into the Volkswagen emission scandal

SansadTV Bureau

Volkswagen1Days after the US ordered a probe into German auto giant Volkswagen for rigging emission tests and flouting emission norms, the Indian government has swung into action.

The Heavy Industries Ministry has asked the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) to investigate any possible violation in emission norms by Volkswagen cars in India. The government has demanded a report from ARAI by September 30.

“We have asked ARAI to investigate the matter and submit a report by Wednesday (September 30),” Union Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete told PTI in Mumbai.

“We have asked ARAI to probe whether the company has flouted domestic emission standards and submit its report. If they are found guilty, we will take necessary action,” Geete added while explaining how emission standards are different in every country.

ARAI falls under the Ministry of Heavy Industries and it provides technical expertise in research and development, testing, certification, homologation and framing of vehicle regulations.

Volkswagen has a manufacturing plant in Pune with a capacity to produce 1,30,000 vehicles a year.

Meanwhile in the US, the authorities have already begun a criminal probe. Volkswagen could face up to $18 billion as penalty for cheating pollution tests in the US .

Last week, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had alleged that Volkswagen diesel cars had much higher toxic emissions than the tests had suggested. The auto giant fitted 11 million of its diesel cars with a software that was capable of rigging emission tests and deceive the regulators. Volkswagen had to recall all the 11 million units sold since 2006.

Two days ago Volkswagen admitted to “totally screwing up” in the emissions scandal after which the global CEO of the company, Martin Winterkorn, resigned. Volkswagen is now in the process of picking a new CEO to steer the auto giant out of the mess.

However, after the exposure, investors dumped Volkswagen shares that plunged to a 35 per cent meltdown and wiped out 25 billion euros (USD 28 billion) off the company’s market.

It’s not just the US and India, several other countries have also launched a probe. French and South Korean authorities have announced an independent investigation on Volkswagen cars.