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VW to recall more than 3 lakh cars in India to refit diesel engine

More than three lakh cars sold in India between 2008 and November 2015 under the Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda badges are to be recalled to modify their engines and bring them on a par with globally accepted emission norms. The recall will affect 1,98,500 units of VW cars, 88,700 Skoda and 36,500 Audi, a total of 3,23,700 vehicles, the biggest single recall of cars in India till now. These cars were fitted with the EA 189 diesel engine, which was discovered by the Environment Protection Agency of the United States in September to have been fitted with a defeat device a software that modified its performance when it sensed being run in test condition by monitoring speed, engine operation, and even steering-wheel position. Volkswagen later confessed to the malpractice and said about 11 million cars worldwide were fitted with the defeat device. The EA 189 engine was found to emit nitrogen oxide up to 40 times above the norm. The engine is built in 1.2 litre, 1.6 litre and 2.0 litre displacement. India also has a 4-cylinder, 1.5-litre derivative of the 1.6-litre engine. While VW is ready with a technical solution for the 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre engines, a solution for the 3-cylinder 1.2-litre diesel engine is being developed. While an official statement from VW made no mention of the technical fix for the cars to be recalled, it is learnt that the solutions developed at the companys head office in Germany will be applied in India as well. A communication plan is being devised by VW Group India to reach out to the owners of these cars. After studying the air intake system for the EA 189, VW decided that installing an air flow transformer would be the most efficient solution to reduce emission in line with globally accepted limits. The flow transformer will be installed in front of the air flow sensor to stabilise air flow and enable more precise measurement of incoming fresh air. This will help the fuel to be metered more accurately. The installation of the flow transformer and software alteration to the 1.6-litre engine is expected to take an hour. The 2.0-litre engine which will receive only a software upgrade will be serviced in just 30 minutes.