Mumbai: Union Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete Wednesday said Volkswagen cars have been found to be exceeding permissible emission limits by nine times in the country and the road transport ministry has been asked to take necessary action against the German auto major.
"We've informed the transport ministry about the factual position and have referred the matter to it, saying they (VW) have violated the norms, and (it should) take action as per law," Geete told reporters on the sidelines of the Make in India week here.
Following the controversy in the US and Europe over emission regulations, the Heavy Industries Ministry has asked the Automotive Research Authority of India (ARAI) to conduct tests as there are 3.24 lakh Volkswagen cars on Indian roads.
"In the ARAI tests at factories, the Volkswagen cars meet the requirements as per the norms. However, the on-road tests have revealed emission in excess of nine times. We've informed them (the company) about it," he said.
Geete said the auto major plans to recall all the 3.24 lakh cars in the country.
"Emission violation is happening on the road and not in the lab. They've accepted that they've put such a device on the car. They have said they want to call back all the cars," he added.
Just like in the US, the company was found to have been using diesel engines equipped with a defeat device which ensures lower emission levels during test conditions to comply with the law.
Volkswagen has already admitted that 11 million diesel cars worldwide were fitted with the software that helped in manipulating emission tests. It faces an immediate fine of up to USD 18 billion in the US, which could go up further if class action suits are initiated.
"However, any further action in this matter is not my department's responsibility," Geete clarified, adding that the transport ministry headed by Nitin Gadkari has to take a call on punitive measures.
When contacted, the Pune-based company reiterated its position that it has not fitted any defeat device as its cars are not violating the BS IV emission norms.
On December 3 last year, the company had announced a recall for all cars with EA 189 engines in the country, in line with what it has done in Europe.
Under the recall, it is offering free software updates to the 2-litre engines and 1.2-litre engines while the 1.5- and 1.6-litre engines will get a 'flow rectifier'.
The government had asked ARAI to probe on-road emission levels of the Volkswagen group models in December.
The group companies Audi and Skoda also faced probe. Volkswagen India sells the hatchback Polo, a crossover Polo and the Jetta and Vento sedans.
The Volkswagen Group, which was the global leader until last year, sells seven car/SUV brands in the country - Audi, Beetle, Bentley, Lamborghini, Porsche, Skoda and Volkswagen.