German auto major Volkswagen Group had yesterday announced recall of 3,23,700 vehicles across three brands – Audi, Skoda and Volkswagen – after a government-ordered probe found the group using diesel engines equipped with a defeat device that helps cheat emission tests.

"The violation was detected when the on-road vehicles were tested. It is a well thought-out crime," Union Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete said at an event.

ARAI found that Volkswagen violated emission norms in India to the extent of 8-9 times of the current levels, he said, adding that his ministry is referring the matter to Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways (MoRTH) to take action against the company.

The process of testing the diesel passenger vehicles by ARAI will begin this month and stretch over a 6-month period.

"From the end of this month, we will start testing all passenger diesel vehicles in India to estimate whether they have committed emission violations. The process of testing diesel passenger vehicles by ARAI will be completed in six months," Additional Secretary in the Heavy Industries Ministry Ambuj Sharma said.