VW dieselgate scandal: Made-In-India cars affected?

by Shourya Harwani , 23 Sep 2015


The VW India engine assembly plant. The 1.5-litre diesel engine powers the VW Polo, Vento and the Škoda Rapid.

The Volkswagen Group’s dieselgate scandal  escalated on Tuesday when the automaker revealed that 11 million of its cars worldwide could be affected. However, with regulators in other countries scrambling to see whether similar software was used to deceive their testing regimes, there is still no clarity on whether cars in India are affected or not.

The engine in question here is Volkswagen’s Type EA 189 common-rail diesel engine family, which is used in a host of cars, across the Group’s brands including Audi, Skoda and Seat.

VW has clarified that new vehicles from the Group with EU 6 diesel engines, currently available in the European Union, comply with legal requirements and environmental standards but there is no assurance on its vehicles sold in India yet.

It is understood that VW’s Polo hatchback, Vento sedan and Skoda’s Rapid are powered by the 1.5-litre TDI diesel engine from the same EA 189 family, but spokespersons from VW India are unsure of the impact on Indian cars.

“The EA 189 engine is used in most of the diesel cars sold by the Group in India, but we cannot comment on whether Indian cars are affected by the software or not as we still are awaiting clarity from the Group,” a company source told Autocar Professional.

Apart from the Volkswagen badging, the Group sells its cars in India under the Audi, Skoda, Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini brands.

While the super luxury brands like Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini are likely to remain unaffected, some diesel cars sold under the Audi, VW and Skoda brands could come under the scanner.

Reports also suggest that Indian authorities are evaluating the situation and may launch their own probe on the matter if necessary.

Meanwhile Volkswagen AG is in damage control mode and has put aside a fund of 6.5 billion euros (Rs 49,686 crore) to cover the costs of dealing with the issue, which would also result in it adjusting its financial targets for 2015.

With nearly $26 billion off its market value wiped out in just two days and with the Group staring at scores of lawsuits from unhappy customers, Volkswagen’s woes seem to have just begun.

The diesel engine scandal could also lead to other vehicle manufacturers coming under the scanner globally.

More from VW Dieselgate:

Group chalks out plan to refit cars affected by emission scandal

Vehicle recall likely soon, brands yet to finalise plan

Matthias Muller announced as new VW Group CEO

How a university lab helped unearth the VW emissions scandal

Winterkorn steps down as Volkswagen boss

Motherson Sumi denies any impact from VW dieselgate

11m vehicles worldwide could come under scanner