NGT summons ARAI director to explain about test on Volkswagen
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked Pune-based Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) to explain the details about the tests carried out on diesel cars produced by German auto major Volkswagen. A bench headed by acting NGT chairperson justice UD Salvi summoned ARAI director Rashmi Urdhwareshe to appear before it on February 2 and explain the technical aspects of the examination which was carried out on these vehicles in 2015. The order came after the tribunal was informed that ARAI carried out tests at the instance of the ministry of heavy industries and examined 11 BS-IV compliant diesel vehicles of the German company under different conditions. The VW emissions scandal, referred to as 'dieselgate', will cost Volkswagen an estimated $ 25 billion to settle various compensation claims from vehicle owners, regulators, dealers in the US alone. There have been far-ranging implications in the case, which also led to a former VW executive being sentenced to seven years in jail. Volkswagen has since also pledged to invest $ 84 billion towards the development of electric vehicles (EVs) to turn over a new leaf.
"It appears from the report placed before us by ARAI that instructions to examine the said vehicles were given by the ministry to ARAI along with the liberty to interact with Volkswagen India officers. To evaluate the worth of the said report of ARAI dated October 30, 2015, it is necessary to get certain inputs from the director of ARAI, Pune," the NGT bench stated.
The automobile giant had earlier submitted a roadmap before the tribunal to recall over 3.23 lakh vehicles in the country fitted with a 'defeat device' meant to fudge emission tests. A 'cheat' or 'defeat device' is a software in diesel engines to manipulate emission tests by changing the performance of the cars.