June 10, 2016 10:16
Volkswagen sold some 50,000 cars in Korea with parts that had not been authorized by the Environment Ministry, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said Thursday.
Prosecutors said the German automaker obtained government approval on emission and other parts for 29 different models such as the Audi A7, Tiguan SUV and Passat sedan sold since July 2013. But the 50,000 cars did not actually contain the authorized components.
Automakers are required to get ministry authorization before changing parts in cars sold here. Volkswagen paid a W1 billion fine in 2013 after a government probe showed that it failed to get authorization for changed components, but then allegedly committed the same violation again (US$1=W1,158).
Industry watchers say it is difficult to force an automaker to recall cars with unauthorized parts if no defects or malfunctions have been reported. Prosecutors have asked the ministry to check if the unauthorized parts have been traced to any defects.
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