Volkswagen to recall 3.23 lakh vehicles in India

German auto major Volkswagen said it would recall 3.23 lakh vehicles in India after a government-ordered probe found that the company used a 'defeat device' on EA 189 diesel engine to cheat emission tests. The recall, which would affect 323,700 cars from Volkswagen, Skoda and Audi brands, comes after a meeting of company executives with officials of department of heavy industries in the backdrop of the submission of a report by the Automotive Research Association of India.

''Volkswagen Group India has presented its observations, findings and outlines of possible solutions on the EA 189 diesel engines to the Government of India - ministry of heavy industries and ARAI. The recall will encompass cars from the Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda model range, which carry the software that requires to be updated,'' according to a statement issued by the association.

According to the company, from 2008 till end of November 2015, approximately 198,500 cars from Volkswagen, 88,700 cars from Skoda and 36,500 cars from Audi across various models that were sold in India had been equipped with the EA 189 engines, which include 1.2-litre, 1.5-litre, 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesel engines. The Volkswagen Group India would first present a solution to the ministry of heavy industries and ARAI and necessary action would follow in a phased manner, according to the statement.

''The existing installed software does not affect the handling, technical safety or road worthiness of the cars, the statement added.''

Volkswagen would initiate a communication programme for reaching out to the owners of cars with EA 189 engines through the respective brands.

While there had been no official word on the technical solution, it was know that the cars in India would be served with the same solution that had been developed for the international models. The latest reports show that Volkswagen had developed a rather simple solution to counter the effect of the 'defeat device' installed in the cars fitted with EA 189 diesel engine.

In an official note, the company said a technical solution for the EA 189 1.6-litre engine would feature a so-called 'flow transformer' installed in front of the air flow sensor for stabilising the air flow and to allow for more precise measurement of the incoming fresh air flow. This will help more accurate metering of fuel to ensure most efficient combustion process.