India panel finds GM responsible in emissions testing case: government source

Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:05am EDT
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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - An Indian government-appointed panel investigating General Motors Co's (GM.N: Quote) recall of 114,000 Tavera vehicles says the company flouted testing regulations, a senior government official who has seen the report said.

"The report has pointed out that it is in the nature of corporate fraud," the government official, who declined to be named as the information is not public, told Reuters.

"It says only the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) was responsible for whatever happened," and that there was no wrongdoing found on the part of the testing labs, the official added.

GM India said in a statement it had identified violations of company policy and those responsible.

The company could be fined about 100 million rupees ($1.6 million) under current provisions, the official said.

The report, which will be taken up by India's roads ministry, does not name any specific GM officials, he said.

The case relates to the July recall of 114,000 India-made Tavera sport utility vehicles (SUVs) over issues relating to emission standards and other regulatory specifications. Production was also halted.

The Economic Times reported in July that GM had told the government that employees had fitted engines with low emissions in the vehicles sent for inspection.

The company fired several employees in July after an internal probe into the recall uncovered what it called "violations of company policy".   Continued...

Employees work on the Chevrolet Tavera compact MPV assembly line inside a plant of General Motors India Ltd. at Halol, east of the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, September 22, 2010. REUTERS/Amit Dave