The National Green Tribunal on Friday directed Volkswagen to deposit an interim amount of Rs 100 crore with the Central Pollution Control Board in a case related to allegations against the German auto major for using a ‘cheat device’ in emission tests of its diesel vehicles.
The NGT bench, headed by chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel formed a committee comprising officials of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of Heavy Industries, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Automotive Research Association of India to calculate the actual quantum of the environmental loss. The NGT directed the committee to submit the report within a month, while asking the company and the petitioner in the case to appear before the panel within seven days with their contention.
The Tribunal was hearing a plea that had been filed by school teacher Saloni Ailawadi and other that sought the ban on the sale of Volkswagen vehicles for alleged violation of emission norms. 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.
The recall roadmap
The German auto major, had last year, submitted a road map to NGT to recall over 3.23 lakh vehicles that had been fitted with the 'defeat device'. Volkswagen India had in December 2015 announced the recall of 3,23,700 lakh vehicles in India to fix the emission software after Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) conducted tests on some models and found that their on-road emissions were 1.1 times to 2.6 times higher than the applicable BS-IV norms.
What is the Volkswagen emissions scandal?
The scandal, nicknamed 'dieselgate' was sparked in Spetember 2015, when the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice on the violation of the Clean Air Act to the German car giant. The agency had said that it found that Volkswagen had intentionally programmed a device that would activate emission control only during laboratory emission testing, that caused the vehicles to meet NOx emission norms during testing - but emit 40 times the amount on the road. It was alleged that the company had deployed this software in 11 million cars worldwide. The scandal has resulted in several high-profile arrests and resignations in the company.