Volkswagen tells dealers in India to stop Polo deliveries

The Indian unit of crisis-hit German automobile maker Volkswagen has asked dealers in a hundred cities to halt delivery of its popular hatchback Polo, citing a 'technical reason'.

Volkswagen, however, clarified the temporary hold was not related to the emissions scandal, at the heart of which is the EA 189 diesel engine that is also used in some versions of the Polo.

''We request not to physically deliver any Polo vehicle (all variants) with immediate effect till further notice from Volkswagen,'' it said in a letter sent to about 120 dealers on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for Volkswagen Passenger Cars India said the ''temporary hold on deliveries of its Polo was due to a technical reason under evaluation. This concerns a limited number of cars out of a specific production period''.

The spokesperson did not specify the number of vehicles whose delivery had been put on hold. Volkswagen said deliveries for the non-affected Polo range would continue as scheduled.

Domestic sales in India dipped for the first time in September after seven months of consistent growth, indicating an impact of the global emission fudging crisis that started on 18 September.

Volkswagen India, which sells products such as the Polo, Jetta and Vento, saw wholesale dispatches to dealers declined by 21 per cent in September. Volkswagen's domestic sales had outperformed the industry for seven consequent months since February, but declined against the industry's growth of 4.6 per cent last month. The company, which had been sharing monthly data for last several months, did not announce its September data.

The world's largest automobile maker, Volkswagen is in the process of recalling 11 million vehicles, mostly with EA 189 engines and software that allows the car to cheat on emissions tests.

It is not established yet if the company has resorted to such a practice in India. The Indian government has directed its agency Automotive Research Association of India to investigate and test Volkswagen vehicles sold in the country.