Greater Noida, Feb 4 (IANS) Contrary to what Volkswagen has claimed, Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete on Thursday asserted that the German carmaker has admitted its cars do not comply with India’s emission norms. The union minister said action will follow after a written undertaking from the company.
“They have (Volkswagen) said that they do not comply. They are also giving this in writing. We will take further action after that,” the minister said at Auto Expo here, after visiting the exhibits of the German automaker here.
“We have already asked them to recall the vehicles. When we will get a response in writing, we will propose further action,” he said.
Asked for their comment on the minister’s statement, Volkswagen, referring to its release dated December 3, said in an e-mail to IANS: “The company sticks to the same statement till date.”
As per that statement, Volkswagen cars sold in India meet the country’s emission norms.
Geete’s comments come a day after Volkswagen apologised at the Auto Fair for the emissions fiasco but said their assessment was that the cars complied with the emission norms. Yet, it assured, it was voluntarily recalling the vehicles to win back people’s trust.
“Volkswagen made some big mistakes,” Jurgen Stackmann, board member for passenger cars overseeing sales and marketing, said. “I’m truly sorry for that. I assure you that we are committed to set things right. We want to win back the trust in our brand.”
He said the company was aware of the anxiety in the minds of those who owned Volkswagen cars.
“We have examined the issue very carefully under the observation of the authorities. We came to the conclusion that our cars fully comply with Indian emission standards. However, winning back the trust means more for us than just obeying the law,” Stackmann added.
Thus far, the company has decided to recall 323,700 vehicles of Audi, Skoda and Volkswagen brands.
The German carmaker has been maintaining that its models and others sold under Skoda and Audi brands do not violate Indian emission norms. Last December, Volkswagen Group India announced a voluntary recall of all cars with EA 189 engines in India.
“Volkswagen Group India will implement technical updates in accordance with the timelines presented to the authorities,” it said in the statement issued on December 3.
“The 2.0 litre engines will get a software update. In the 1.5 litre and 1.6 litre engines, a ‘flow transformer’ will be fitted in front of the air mass sensor. In addition, a software update will also be performed on these engines. The measure for the 1.2 litre engines will be announced shortly,” the company said.
According to Volkswagen Group India, the first solutions are expected to be implemented from the first quarter of 2016 and will be continued in a step-wise manner. However, the company did not specify the exact or approximate date on which the upgrade process would begin.