As much as I am tired of people incorrectly pronouncing the name Volkswagen as ‘Volks-way-gen’ instead of ‘Folks-Vah-gen’, I think same was the case with India’s environmental court when it threatened the automobile giant into paying Rs.171.34 crores for violating pollution norms in India.After enjoying a whole month on air quality alert, the authorities regarding pollution control were finally seen performing some solid work by finally fining Volkswagen for violating pollution norms back in 2015!! A little too fast considering there were real lives at stake here, don’t you think?? I guess we have one more thing which is expensive and harmful at the same time other than booze and smoke with Volkswagen cars joining this list!!
THE DIESELGATE SCANDAL
The Volkswagen Group India had admitted in 2015 using “defeat device” which helped its diesel cars appear less polluting only in emission tests. Subsequent to this, the company recalled 3, 23,700 vehicles in India in December 2015 to fix the emission software. The Automotive Research Association of India, under the performance pressure after the scandal, performed few tests which showed a 1.1 times to 2.6 times higher emission by the cars than the suggested norms. *feels the end of year performance pressure there*
WHY DID THE SCANDAL PICK-UP SO MUCH HEAT?
Keeping aside the obvious reason that a company name such as of Volkswagen would always pick up attention whenever an involvement such as this one is found, the biggest reason it couldn’t be let-off easily was that it involved playing with the lives of the people. Nitrogen dioxide gas, longer exposure to which causes respiratory infections and asthma, is also considered the reason why metro cities like Delhi had a high pollution alert.
HOW WAS THE COMPANY PENALISED?
The National Green Tribunal formed a four-member committee, which stated in their report, a 48.678 tonne release of nitrogen gas in Delhi in 2016. I believe they needed a whole year to calculate the total release in the pollutant instead of just going ahead and posing a ban until it was made sure that we are not being served a hot nitrogen cake at the back of our air conditioner!! Don’t we all agree??
However, the biggest joke was that with the smaller issues such as of JNU making an impact on the Lok Sabha sessions for quite some time now, the issue of big corporate was kept on hanging for 3 years and wasn’t handled strictly till recently!!
The resultant of the whole commotion being Volkswagen provided with a bill of Rs.171.34 crore, with the estimate based on approx. 3.2 lakhs of the car and also keeping in mind various factors such as inflation and per capita income in Delhi.
CONDITIONS TO THE PENALTY
One thing that every single one of us would agree is that when India plays on its laws, it plays hard!! The NGT finally came out with its ruling on January 17, threatening the executives to pay the penalty amount within 24 Hrs. to avoid arrest of the country’s Managing Director and seizure of its properties.
All in all, the whole scandal proved to be the reason as to why insurance company issued tonnes of medical claims in Delhi. Also, it also entertained quite a bit of people watching a German company receive a German Suplex from Indian courts!!