- May 27, 2008
German carmaker Volkswagen AG's India unit is investigating the Polo hatchback cars it sells over "technical issues", a spokesman for the local unit told Reuters on Wednesday.
The spokesman said the investigation is not related to the diesel emissions scandal over which the company is facing a probe in the United States and Europe.
Europe's biggest carmaker has admitted cheating in emissions tests on around 11 million diesel vehicles. The scandal has wiped about a third off its share price, forced out its long-time chief executive and sent shockwaves through the global car industry.
"The company is gathering details on the technical issue. There is no timeline on when the analysis will be completed," the spokesman said.
He did not give details on what part of the car was affected by the technical issue or how many cars could be involved.
Volkswagen Group India, which may issue a recall of the cars if needed once the analysis is finished, has asked dealers to hold off delivery of Polo cars it has already sold to customers, the spokesman said.
Volkswagen sold about 45,000 cars in India in the year to end-March, of which about two-thirds were Polo hatchbacks, giving it less than 2 percent share of the overall passenger vehicle market, industry data showed.
The German carmaker is still assessing the impact of the emissions scandal on the cars and engines it makes in India.
The Polo hatchback and Vento sedan are available in India with the EA 189 diesel engine that is at the centre of the emissions probe elsewhere. Volkswagen also assembles some engines in the country that are fitted into cars sold locally and for export, the company said.
"We cannot comment (on) anything till we have the results of the evaluation from headquarters in Germany," the spokesman said.
The Indian government is also investigating Volkswagen's local unit to see if the cars sold in the country have the "defeat device" software and flout local emission norms.
The Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) is expected to report its findings by the end of this month.