Volkswagen emissions scandal: It's official now - VW India to issue recalls

If you have an EA 189 engine running in your car, expect a call from Volkswagen anytime starting from the first quarter of 2016

Overdrive December 03, 2015 20:27:53 IST
Volkswagen emissions scandal: It's official now - VW India to issue recalls

A month after 'dieselgate' coming to light and Volkswagen India telling us that they have sent the EA 189 engine-d cars to ARAI for evaluation, official word has arrived from Volkswagen about the entire situation. In a press release sent out by the German carmaker, the company claims that it "believes" that its cars "are not equipped with a ‘defeat device’” that would help it pass emission tests. A very ambiguous claim, since there is no outright denial of a defeat device being present. VW has said that all the cars that were sent to ARAI for testing have come back having been cleared as Bharat Stage IV compliant. This includes all cars with the EA 189 engine from the Audi, Volkswagen and Skoda stables.

Volkswagen also announced that in order to make sure that all its cars are running the latest hardware and software, there will be a voluntary recall of all cars sold running the EA 189 engines. Mind you, this is not a mandatory recall. Nevertheless, VW officials have said that the cars with the 2.0-litre engines will get a software update while 1.5-litre and 1.6-litre units will also get an additional ‘flow transformer’ in the air mass sensor. Measures for the 1.2-litre engines will be announced later.

This is the same software update that is able to delete the bit of code that would send the engine into limp mode when emission diagnostics were being run. Meanwhile, the flow transformer is a simple chicken-mesh style filter that will help reduce the turbulence, which in turn will improve the accuracy of the air mass sensor. This will ideally lead to better combustion and hence, reduced emissions.

The amusing bit is that while VW Europe has already admitted to the presence of a defeat device in the cars, VW India claims there never was a device to begin with. Of course, it goes without saying that European emission norms are much more stringent than ours, so all they could have meant is that the defeat device didn’t matter for Indian emission norms in any case. Nevertheless, it begs the question " why spend so much money and recall cars and apply the same updates as the recalled European cars if nothing was wrong in the first place?

We spoke to a representative from VW India and he told us that the recall was to make sure that the Indian cars were running the same level of technical updates that Volkswagen cars elsewhere in the world are. Whatever be the case, one of either of the following is true - either Indian emissions norms are too lax (which they are, since BS IV is only equivalent to Euro III) or VW is not telling us the entire story. Either of the scenarios isn’t good for the Indian customer.

If you have an EA 189 engine running in your car, expect a call from Volkswagen anytime starting from the first quarter of 2016, when the recall is scheduled to begin. On the bright side, the cars that are being recalled in Europe have been having this fix installed in approximately an hour, so even if your car is being recalled, you will most likely not have to wait for too long for it to be returned.

[table id=1364 /]

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Volkswagen meets Ministry of Heavy Industries and ARAI to update on emissions issue
Auto

Volkswagen meets Ministry of Heavy Industries and ARAI to update on emissions issue

Volkswagen will analyse all its vehicles in India and present the results by the end of November 2015

Government of India orders probe into Volkswagen cars sold here
Auto

Government of India orders probe into Volkswagen cars sold here

The Government of India has asked the ARAI to investigate into whether Volkswagen have adopted measures to pass Indian emissions tests as well

ARAI finds that Volkswagen’s diesel engines violate BS stage IV emission norms in India
Auto

ARAI finds that Volkswagen’s diesel engines violate BS stage IV emission norms in India

The cars affected by this are the 1.5-litre Polo GT TDI, Polo Cross TDI and Vento TDI, and the 2.0-litre Jetta and Passat