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Volkswagen India has been asked to pay a fine of Rs 171.34 crore by a four-member panel of the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The expert panel stated that the fine would be a 'conservative' cost for the health damage caused by the German carmaker in the country.
The NGT panel was formed in November 2018 towards the emission scandal or 'dieselgate' of Volkswagen back in 2015. The German auto giant admitted to using an illegal cheat device in their diesel cars to pass the strict pollution standard of the US.
The report filed by NGT on the 28th of December 2018, estimated that the cars released approximately 48.678 tonnes of NOx (Nitrous Oxide) in 2016. Using Delhi for its calculations, NGT estimated that the total cost of health damages due to the additional NOx released from Volkswagen came up to Rs 171.34 crore.
The panel stated, "longer exposures to elevated concentrations of NO2 may contribute to the development of asthma and potentially increase susceptibility to respiratory infections." NOx also has adverse effects, as it causes the formation of smog and acid rain which increases the chances of the formation of ground-level Ozone and Particulate Matter (PM).
NGT Chairman, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel has ordered Volkswagen India on November 2018, to pay Rs 100 crore to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The penalty was determined on the basis of 3.27 lakh Volkswagen cars found to have the illegal cheat device installed in India.
The NGT also constituted a joint team comprising of the CPCB, Ministry of heavy Industries, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI). The entire team were asked to examine "whether the manufacturers have exceeded the prescribed environmental norms and fair estimate of the damage caused to the environment."
Apart from the fine in India, Volkswagen might soon have to recall more cars in Europe as well. The German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) recently opened an investigation into the 1.2-litre engine offerings from Volkswagen. The KBA will be investigating whether a software update in the 1.2-litre engines, powering the Polo hatchback allowed the brand to cheat in the emission tests as well.
Thoughts On The Volkswagen Emission Scandal In India
Volkswagen admitted themselves to using an illegal cheat device in their diesel cars, back in 2015. Since then, the German carmaker has recalled thousands of cars all around the world and paid millions of Euros in fines towards damages caused.
Source: Indian Express