June 27, 2016 11:38
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office on Friday indicted an Volkswagen executive here on charges of doctoring emissions test results.
The executive, identified by his surname Yoon, is the first Korean Volkswagen executive to be indicted since prosecutors started investigating the German automaker for emissions test tampering in February.
A prosecution spokesman said, "We are focusing our investigation on whether the automaker knowingly duped customers."
Meanwhile, Volkswagen has agreed to pay U.S. customers US$10.2 billion but said it does not intend to make compensatory payments to customers in other countries.
Citing a Volkswagen source, Reuters reported that owners in the U.S. "will receive an average of $5,000 in compensation along with the estimated value of the vehicles as of September 2015, before the scandal erupted. Owners would also receive the compensation if they choose to have the vehicles repaired, assuming U.S. regulators approve a fix at a later date."
Around 600,000 Volkswagen cars sold in the U.S. have been affected by the emissions scandal.
But a Volkswagen spokesman said, "Monetary compensation must be preceded by proof of violating regulations, and we have not violated Korean laws." He added that Korea banned emissions-rigging software in 2012, but the cars affected by the scandal were sold before that time and were certified by the Korean government.
In contrast, the U.S. government banned the cheating software in the 1990s, while imposing stricter emissions regulations that make it compulsory for the automaker to compensate customers.
Volkswagen has yet to announce a recall plan here since the government rejected three drafts since November because they were vague on what VW means to do to fix the problem.
The ministry said 125,500 Volkswagens sold in Korea do not meet its emissions standards.
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