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NGT slaps Rs 500 cr fine on Volkswagen; company to challenge order

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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday imposed a Rs 500 crore penalty on German automaker Volkswagen for using a “cheat device” in its diesel cars to deceive emission tests.

However, the company said that it will challenge the order in the Supreme Court.

On Thursday, the Tribunal ordered the company to deposit the amount within two months.
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An NGT-appointed committee had earlier recommended a penalty of Rs 171.34 crore, which the bench enhanced in its Thursday order.

Volkswagen, however, said that it did not violate the Bharat Stage-IV (BS-IV) emission norms and that the results were based on “on-road testings” for which there were no prescribed standards.

The Bharat Stage are government instituted standards to regulate emission of air pollutants from motor vehicles.

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The bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said, “Sustainable development is the main guiding factor… We are unable to accept the manufacturer’s objections to the report.”

The bench passed the order on a petition moved by Delhi-based teacher Saloni Ailawadi.

A Volkswagen Group India spokesperson said: “The Volkswagen Group in India reiterates that all cars from the Group are compliant with the emission norms defined in India. The group awaits the copy of the order of the NGT.”

“The Volkswagen Group will challenge the order of the Honourable NGT before the Supreme Court.”

Automobile

Tata Nexon delisted from EV Policy Scheme: Delhi government

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The Delhi government has moved to delist the Tata Nexon EV from its EV Policy Scheme following two complaints regarding the advertised range of the vehicle. According to the Delhi Government’s statement, the Tata Nexon EV failed to meet the specified range on a single charge. Delhi’s transport minister, Kailash Gahlot announced the move after two users reportedly complained regarding allegedly “sub-standard driving range” offered by the electric vehicle. The Delhi government has decided to suspend subsidies offered via the Delhi EV Policy 2020 for the Tata Nexon EV.

Gahlot stated in a tweet; “Delhi govt has decided to suspend subsidy on an EV car model, pending the final report of a Committee, due to complaints by multiple users of sub-standard range performance. We are committed to support EVs, but not at the cost of trust & confidence of citizens in claims by manufacturers

In February 2021, Tata Motors was issued with a show-cause notice by the transport department regarding the complaint filed by a single individual. The owner of the Nexon EV claimed that the vehicle did not deliver more than 200 km of driving range on a single charge, while the manufacturer states an ARAI certified range of 312 km.

The move by the Delhi government comes after Tata Motor’s response which the body declared to be “found non-satisfactory”. The full statement can be viewed via a tweet issued by Gehlot on Twitter embedded below.

 

TATA MOTORS response:

“It is unfortunate to receive this order from the Delhi Transport Commission. We will continue to engage constructively to protect the interests of our customers. The Nexon EV is the only personal segment EV available in the market today that meets the stringent FAME norms. The range at single full charge (312 km) for the Nexon EV is basis the certification received from the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), which is the official body that independently tests all mass produced vehicles under standard/defined test conditions before they can be offered to customers. As with conventional vehicles (with IC engines), the actual range achieved in EVs is dependent on AC usage, individual driving style and the actual conditions in which the vehicle is driven. The range achievement is also a function of familiarity with the new technology, and customers report improvements upwards of 10% within 4-6 weeks of familiarity. We have been receiving several positive testimonials from our customers and are encouraged to see them exploring new places with Nexon EV and sharing their experiences. We are extremely confident about the value proposition of the Nexon EV, which since its launch a year ago, has consistently grown in popularity to become India’s largest selling EV with thousands of families enjoying the pleasure of owning and driving it.”

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