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1 August 2016
Korea’s environment ministry has confirmed it’s suspending sales of scores of Volkswagen and Audi models sold in the country.
The models in question were caught up in an escalating scandal involving false claims over emissions, fuel efficiency and noise levels.
Our Lee Ji-won has more.
The environment ministry on Tuesday nullified the certifications of vehicles imported to the country by Audi Volkswagen Korea.
“The Ministry of Environment revokes the certifications for 80 submodels of 32 models.”
The cars can’t be sold without the certifications, and the decision affects 83-thousand cars in Korea that have already been sold, while sales of 11-thousand cars will be banned.
This comes after the ministry held a hearing last week, where officials representing the automaker explained Volkswagen‘s position on the government’s push to suspend sales.
Although the German auto giant voluntarily suspended sales prior to that hearing,… it denied any manipulation of emissions levels, but acknowledged making “errors” on test documents.
But after the hearing and review, the ministry confirmed the sales suspension for 80 models and fined Audi Volkswagen Korea 16 million U.S. dollars.
It also plans to recall an unspecified number of vehicles — to be announced at a later date.
The government had already been moving to enforce a sales ban on the vehicles in question, including the Golf, Jetta TDI, Audi A6 and other diesel and gasoline models, saying test documents for emissions and noise levels were forged in order to get the certifications.
After a final review, the ministry took out two overlapping models, and added three — the Audi A3, A8 and A8L.
Audi Volkswagen Korea is already seeing its sales plunge in Korea, and it can’t register new cars for sale,… which will have an even bigger impact.
Lee Ji-won, Arirang News.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV:
South Korea stops Volkswagen sales
South Korea has to a large extent halted the sale of Volkswagen cars. The Minister of Environment has taken the decision because the German automaker has provided incorrect information on emission and noise levels. The corporation must apply for licenses again for most versions before they can be sold again.
It is the second time that South Korea sanctions the automaker strongly because of its fraudulent software scandal; in November the company had to recall more than 125,000 cars. Also, Volkswagen will again have to pay a fine of over EUR 14 million. …
In South Korea mainly luxury brands of the Volkswagen Group are popular. The German car manufacturer last year had a turnover of 2.2 billion euros in the Asian country, tripled in five years. …
The fraudulent software scandal was revealed last September. Environmental inspectors were misled when testing the emissions of diesel cars. The software was set so that the cars seemed to be OK when tested about environmental standards, but the standards were exceeded in normal use.