Green tribunal tells VW to submit road map for faster recalls

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday directed Volkswagen India to submit a road map for the recall of its vehicles for violating India's emission norms.

The tribunal also questioned the automobile company and others including Automotive Research Association of India (Arai) about the number of vehicles that had been recalled and asked them to speed up the process.

The green tribunal was hearing a plea by Saloni Ailawadi, a schoolteacher, who alleged that vehicles from the Volkswagen group were violating emission norms and endangering the lives of millions of people and sought a ban on their sale until they conformed to India's pollution norms.

The petition claimed that all models on sale from Skoda and Audi are being manufactured using key components, design and technology provided by Volkswagen, and are in violation of environmental norms as per the preliminary tests carried out by Pune-based Arai.

It claimed that tests have found that the vehicles being manufactured, assembled and sold by Volkswagen and its subsidiaries are emitting up to nine times more nitrogen oxide than permitted.

The ministry of heavy industries and public enterprises had directed Arai to carry out tests on Volkswagen's vehicles in the laboratory as well as on the roads, using real-time driving conditions.

Based on its findings of nitrogen oxide levels being five to nine times more than laboratory emission test limits, it directed the company to initiate a recall of its vehicles.