Volkswagen temporarily stops sale of Polo model in India

New Delhi :Beleaguered German auto major Volkswagen today asked its dealers in India to temporarily stop selling its premium hatchback Polo, citing a technical issue, which however is not related to the emission scandal that has hit the firm in the US and Europe.

“Volkswagen India has confirmed a temporary hold on deliveries of its carline Polo due to a technical reason which is currently under evaluation,” a Volkswagen Passenger Cars India spokesperson said in a statement.

This concerns a limited number of cars out of a specific production period, it added.

On whether the matter is related to the emission scandal, the spokesperson said: “Volkswagen would like to clarify that the temporary hold on deliveries is not related to the ongoing EA 189 diesel engine topic.”

Earlier in the day, in a letter, signed by Ashish Gupta, Head of After Sales Operations, Volkswagen Passenger Cars and Pankaj Sharma, Head of Sales Operations, sent to the “dealer partners”, the company asked them “not to physically deliver any Polo vehicle (all variants) with immediate effect till further notice from VW.”

VW India produced 20,030 units of Polo in the April-August period this year. It had sold 13,827 units in the domestic market and 6,052 were exported.

Earlier this week, the company had said that it is still evaluating the impact of the emission scandal on Indian operations, and a recall of vehicles will depend on findings of the ongoing investigations.

The company is in communication with testing agency ARAI, which has been asked by the government to probe if Volkswagen manipulated emission tests in India as it did in the US and Europe.

ARAI has asked Volkswagen India to present the details of all the cars sold in India with the EA189 engine and the firm is in communication with them on the matter.

The EA189 diesel engines were fitted with the software that enabled manipulation of emission tests. VW has already announced that globally around 11 million vehicles have been affected. The company faces fine of over USD 18 billion in the US over the issue.

Last week, ARAI was given time till the end of this month to file a report on the probe by the Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises.