NGT Directs Volkswagen To Deposit Rs 100 Crore With CPCB For Using Software Not Reflecting

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New Delhi: Taking stern measure on the automobile giant, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed Volkswagen India Private Limited to deposit a sum of Rs 100 crore with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) within a month for installing ‘deceit devices’ — software that does not reflect the real level of emissions — in their cars.

An NGT bench headed by chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel invoked the “polluter pays” and “precautionary principle” to compensate the environmental damages caused by Volkswagen vehicles which didn’t meet emissions criteria.

Asserting that the Volkswagen complied with emissions norms defined in India, a group spokesperson said it will challenge the NGT order.

The order, pronounced orally on November 16 and published on the NGT website on Saturday, states that it’s an interim order, awaiting an expert evaluation of the environmental damage caused by the auto manufacturer.

The ministry of heavy industries had submitted in an affidavit that the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) was asked to assess if Volkswagen cars in India had installed cheat devices in their cars.

This was following trials in the US that showed Volkswagen had installed a software in their cars which allowed them to fudge results during lab tests to check compliance with emission norms.

ARAI had found that on-road oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions from the Volkswagen vehicles tested were 5-9 times higher compared to tests carried out in laboratory.

“In view of these results, the ministry of heavy industries directed the Volkswagen to initiate vehicle recall. Accordingly, Volkswagen informed that they would recall 3.2 lakh vehicles and modify software or hardware after approval of the authorities,” the order said.

About 60-64% of the 3.2 lakh vehicles have been recalled so far according to the order.

Volkswagen, however, claimed that they had agreed to recall only those vehicles with diesel (EA 189) engines manufactured between 2008 and 2015, which were tested by ARAI and not of other models.

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