Volkswagen halts Polo sales in India

Volkswagen India has asked its dealers to keep sales of its Polo hatchback on "temporary hold", until further notice, amidst an ongoing global crisis over emissions cheating in its diesel engines.

The beleaguered German auto major, which has been hit by emission test cheating scandal in the US and Europe, did not specify the reasons for such a step.

Sources, however, said that the step is not related to the emission scandal but is due "to other technical issue".

"Both the petrol and diesel engine variants have been taken off the dealerships," an official said.

"This is not related to the engines at all, but to a completely different topic altogether," the official said. However, the official refused to elaborate further. "A high-level meeting is on to assess the development and anything further on the subject can be said only after that," he said.

It is also not known whether the step is intended to counter an IARI move to check Volvo vehicles on roads. Company officials, however, said instructions have been issued to dealers to "stop the sale and deliveries" of Polo "immediately".

The Volkswagen group has already initiated an internal investigation in India to see how many models and variants of its brands - Audi, VW and Skoda - may have possibly been impacted by the diesel engines scandal that cheated emission tests in the US and other markets across Europe.

Any action by the company will depend on the outcome of the inquiry.

Meanwhile, testing agency ARAI has asked Volkswagen India to present details of all the cars sold in India with the EA189 engine and the firm is in communication with them on the matter.

The EA189 diesel engines were fitted with the software that enabled manipulation of emission tests. VW has already announced that globally around 11 million vehicles have been affected.

The company is in communication with ARAI, which has been asked by the government to probe if Volkswagen manipulated emission tests in India as it did in the US and Europe.

The ministry of heavy industries and public enterprises had, last week, asked ARAI to file a report on the probe by the end of this month.