Volkswagen denies fitting 'cheat devices' in cars sold in India

German auto major Volkswagen on Tuesday denied that its cars sold in India were fitted with ‘cheat devices,’ meant to manipulate emission tests.

Volkswagen India told the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that it had not made any statement before a court or a government agency or in the media in India admitting to the violation of emission norms.

The automaker said that last year it had announced a recall of 323,000 cars in India – across its three brands, Audi, Skoda and Volkswagen – which were fitted with EA 189 diesel engines as a goodwill gesture to technically upgrade the vehicles.

Volkswagen claimed that it had voluntarily conducted on road tests on vehicles fitted with the diesel engines in the presence of officials of the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). The results were found to be normal and acceptable, said Volkswagen.

It told the NGT that the ARAI and the Ministry of road Transport and Highways have initiated a probe as to whether the company had violated emission norms in India. Their report is still awaited.

Last month, the NGT had asked Volkswagen not to sell any diesel vehicles in the country fitted with the ‘cheat device.’ Some Delhi residents had sought the NGT’s intervention and had called for a ban on the sale of Volkswagen vehicles for alleged violation of emission norms.

The troubled German auto major had last year admitted to having deployed ‘cheat devices’ in 11 million diesel cars that were sold in the US, Europe and other markets. The devices enabled it to cheat on emission tests. Volkswagen could face fines adding up to $90 billion in the US.