The tribunal increased the compensation amount of Rs 171.34 crore.
Pune: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday ordered the Dieselgate-hit German car giant Volkswagen to pay Rs 500 crore as fine for “intentionally programming its diesel engines with cheat devices”.
The Volkswagen Group in India has been accused of using emission cheating devices in its range of cars in India by the NGT.
The Pune-headquartered Indian arm of the Volkswagen Group, which has invested in excess of Rs 4,000 crore at its factory in Pune, responded in a statement, saying that it would “challenge the order in the Supreme Court”.
A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the carmaker to deposit the amount within two months.
The tribunal had increased the compensation amount of Rs 171.34 crore in January 2019, which was recommended by an NGT-appointed committee, as a means of "creating deterrence".
However, Volkswagen had argued that it did not violate the BS-IV fuel emission norms and that the test results were based on 'on road testings' for which there were no prescribed standards.
In response to the NGT order, the carmaker has said it will challenge the ruling and claimed its vehicles meet the law of the land.
"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 Honourable NGT. The Volkswagen Group will challenge the order of the Honourable NGT before the Honourable Supreme Court,” said a Volkswagen statement.
Earlier, a four-member expert panel constituted by the NGT had first passed the official indictment against Volkswagen Group.
It had recommended that the German global auto giant pay at least Rs 171.34 crore as a “conservative” fine for damage to health caused in India.
The NGT panel was formed in November 2018 in the wake of the 2015 global emission scandal, or ‘Dieselgate,’ when the company was found to be guilty of intentionally programming its diesel engines with cheat devices to meet US regulatory standards but actually emitted up to 40 times more nitrous oxides (NOx) in real-road conditions. The expert panel report had estimated that Volkswagen cars released about 48.678 tonnes of NOx in 2016.
This panel, which used Delhi as the base city to calculate the damages, had “estimated cost of health damage due to additional NOx from the Volkswagen group vehicles is approximately Rs 171.34 crore”.
The penalty was determined on the basis of the 3.27 lakh Volkswagen cars that had deceit software installed in India.