VW India to recall 3,877 Vento cars over emissions issue

German carmaker Volkswagen's Indian arm today said it is recalling 3,877 Vento sedans in the country as their carbon monoxide (CO) emissions exceeded the threshold limits during tests carried out by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).

The current recall is restricted to 1.5-litre diesel engine models with manual gearboxes. The company, which has its production plant in Pune, has temporarily suspended sales of the manual gearbox version of the Volkswagen Vento with 1.5-litre diesel engine with immediate effect.

The tests were part of the Conformity of Production (COP) tests by ARAI.

The results run counter to a statement made by a senior Volkswagen executive that VW cars do not violate any emission norms in India. Jurgen Stackmann, Volkswagen passenger board member of sales and marketing, had said that VW cars are in line with Indian norms even as he apologised for the emissions glitch. 

Volkswagen India said it is analysing the issue and will propose technical measures to ARAI to resolve the inconsistency at the earliest. Once approved and confirmed by the competent authorities, Volkswagen India will implement the measures and resume the production and sales of the vehicle. The same technical measures will also be implemented in the affected vehicles that are already being used by customers, the company said.

The company further added that this problem impacts only the manual gearbox version of Vento with 1.5-litre diesel engine and is not connected to the global NOx emissions topic. All other diesel models and variants of Volkswagen India, including Vento 1.5TDI with Automatic Transmission (DSG) and all diesel Polo cars, conform to the norms and will continue to be produced and sold in India.

Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete in February had stated that Volkswagen cars have been found to be exceeding permissible emission limits by nine times and that the road transport ministry headed by Nitin Gadkari had been asked to take necessary action against the German company.

In December, Volkswagen India announced the recall of 323,700 cars across three brands – Volkswagen, Skoda and Audi – which were made between 2008 and November 2015 in India. Changes have to be made to four engines that belong to the EA 189 family of engines. The recall was part of the 11 million units recall made by the company globally.