Government Increases Volkswagen's Emission Headache

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The Indian Government is set to issue a show-cause notice to the Volkswagen group today following an ARAI investigation into the German carmaker's diesel models on sale in India. The ARAI report which was submitted to the Heavy Industries Ministry yesterday, found 'significant variations' in on road emission levels compared to laboratory measurements of the Jetta, the Vento and the Audi A4.

The Heavy Industries Ministry stated that the notice to the Volkswagen Group of companies asks them to explain their position and give technical inputs. Volkswagen has been given 15 – 21 days to reply to the notice.

The ARAI report is the latest setback to the world's largest automaker following the 'Diesel-gate' expose in the United States which found that Volkswagen and its subsidiaries had been manipulating emissions levels using a software program. The program switched the engines to a 'safe mode'when they were being tested, cutting down on their performance and emission levels. Once outside test conditions, the engines emitted upto 40 times the permissible limits of Nitrous Oxide allowed under US emission laws.

If VW are found to have violated any norms in India, the auto giant may have to face criminal proceedings, fines and a recall of vehicles. VW has admitted that 11 million diesel engine cars worldwide were fitted with the software that helped in manipulating emission tests. It faces fines of up to $18 billion in the US.

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