Two Indian subsidiaries of German carmaker Volkswagen group have been charged for allegedly selling seven Audi cars fitted with "cheat devices" that are able to deceive excessive pollution emission tests to a Noida businessman, police said on July 17.
The FIR was lodged by businessman Aniljit Singh in Noida Sector 20 police station against Audi India and Skoda Auto-Volkswagen India on charges of forgery and cheating. The FIR also mentions the names of their top officials and parent company in Germany. Aniljit Singh in his complaint mentioned that he was sold "substandard" vehicles after misrepresentation of facts on emission. He said he bought the cars in 2016, costing him crores of rupees. He alleged the carmakers "induced" him into buying their vehicles and he bought them with an "impression" that they were compliant with the latest emission norms of the country. He also mentioned that he was duped by the company on disclosure of pollution emission by its vehicles at the time of sale.
The spokesperson of SAVW Group, however, denied the allegations and claimed the vehicles to be compliant with the emission norms prescribed in India.
The FIR names as accused Noida-based firms Audi India, Skoda Auto-Volkswagen India, and Volkswagen India besides Audi AG and Volkswagen AG of Germany.
Businessman Singh also cited in the FIR what is now popularly known as the "Volkswagen Emission Scandal" or the "diesel dupe" involving the violation of environmental norms by automobile giant by the installation of "cheat device" on its cars that are able to deceive pollution emission tests.
India's National Green Tribunal (NGT) had in March 2019 too imposed a fine of Rs 500 crore on German auto major Volkswagen for damaging and harming the environment through the use of "cheat device" in its diesel cars in India.
"It was after the NGT order that the complainant realized that he has been duped of his hard-earned money by the accused persons as they had misrepresented him about the quality of their expensive cars by making false representation and forging the documents and devices," the FIR stated.
He alleged that the accused persons had misrepresented the complainant by forging the documents and devices and caused wrongful gains to themselves and wrongful losses to the complainant. These officials had made wrong records to capture the market, with malafide intent and under a pre-planned conspiracy had induced and defrauded the complainant.
The accused persons are guilty of cheating the customers and have induced the complainant to part with hard-earned money for sub-standard cars. The accused are also guilty of forging the documents on which they had sought various clearances.
The complainant has demanded that the allegations may be thoroughly investigated by a senior official.
A senior officer of Noida Police said the investigation has been taken up and if needed, officials of the Volkswagen group, including those in Germany, could be summoned for questioning.