June 08, 2016 11:03
Volkswagen is dragging its heels recalling cars and compensating customers in Korea for selling millions of diesel cars with emission cheating devices.
The German automaker admitted cheating on emissions tests in the U.S. and has vowed to compensate customers there, while pledging to pay environmental taxes for customers in Europe.
But in Korea, Volkswagen is still busy denying fresh allegations from the government rather than appeasing angry customers.
The Environment Ministry on Tuesday said it rejected a recall plan submitted by the automaker for 120,000 vehicles sold here. It was the third time the recall plan was rejected because the automaker again failed to describe how to solve the problems in detail.
An Environment Ministry official said, "We are skeptical whether Volkswagen is even willing to live up to its recall plan. Prosecutors are expected to launch a full-blown investigation of Volkswagen's failure to follow the government's recall order."
Failure to follow a recall order can lead to up to five years in jail or a W30 million fine (US$1=W1,160).
Customers are increasingly frustrated. People who bought cars linked to the emissions-rigging scandal on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against 12 executives at the German automaker, including CEO Martin Winterkorn.
Ha Jong-sun, a lawyer for the customers, said, “Volkswagen defrauded customers by selling them cars that did not meet emissions standards. If the customers had known that, they would not have bought the cars.”
Ha said 500 car owners have joined the lawsuit, while 1,500 more planning to follow.
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