Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg

Volkswagen to Recall 323,700 Cars in India After Emission Tests

  • Affected models include those made by Audi and Skoda
  • Variations between on-road and laboratory tests detected

Volkswagen AG will recall about 323,700 cars in India after a government-ordered probe into its diesel models showed emissions exceeding permissible limits.

The automaker will decide on the recall schedule to remove defeat devices from its cars including those manufactured by units Audi and Skoda, Ambuj Sharma, additional secretary in the Ministry of Heavy Industries, said on the phone. Last month, the government said it sent VW a show-cause notice after tests by the Automotive Research Association of India showed significant variations between on-road tests and those done in laboratories.

Volkswagen said in a statement that it would present a solution to the ministry and ARAI for approval, and carry out the recall in phases. The plan would include a software update, it said.

The recalls in India add to the woes of the Wolfsburg, Germany-based carmaker. Volkswagen and the German industry have been rocked by revelations starting Sept. 18 that the carmaker had used software to hoodwink regulators about the true emissions of its diesel cars for years. Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch said in October that the crisis is posing an “existential threat.”

India’s standards for controlling pollution from exhaust fumes lag behind those in Europe by several years. Volkswagen’s India unit sold 26,479 units in the country in the seven months through October, giving it a 1.7 percent share of the market and ranking it eighth in Asia’s third-biggest auto market, according to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

Volkswagen is facing challenges on three fronts: cheating software it installed in about 11 million cars worldwide; irregular carbon dioxide ratings on about 800,000 vehicles in Europe; and additional questionable emissions software in about 85,000 VW, Audi and Porsche cars with 3.0-liter diesel engines in the U.S.

The company is closing in on regulatory approval for a series of low-cost fixes for 8.5 million rigged diesel vehicles in Europe, and its proposals for three affected engines have made a “positive” impression on regulators, Germany’s Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said in a statement on Monday.

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