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

Reuters

NEW DELHI, Oct 22 (Reuters) - An Indian government-appointedpanel investigating General Motors Co's recall of 114,000Tavera vehicles says the company flouted testing regulations, asenior government official who has seen the report said.

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

"It says only the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) wasresponsible for whatever happened," and that there was nowrongdoing found on the part of the testing labs, the officialadded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Times of India and the Hindustan Times newspapersearlier on Tuesday reported the panel's findings.

"We determined there was an emissions problem," GM Indiasaid in an emailed statement on Tuesday. "We investigated it andidentified violations of company policy.

"We held people accountable. And, we advised Indianauthorities," the company said. "Beyond that, we're not able tocomment as we've not heard from the government or seen thereport."

GM has restarted production of the Tavera sport-utilityvehicles in India after receiving regulatory approvals, acompany executive told Reuters on Saturday.

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