July 11, 2016 11:26
The government is planning a comprehensive response to misconduct by Volkswagen over the last decade, including canceling sales licenses and hefty fines.
Volkswagen is accused of doctoring the authorization papers of 70 models sold in Korea. Government sources said Sunday that the misconduct covers more than 70 percent of Volkswagen sold here since 2007.
The response could include canceling sales licenses, sales bans, fines and recalls.
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office recently sent the ministry an official letter with a list of Volkswagen cars whose exhaust and noise test results were doctored.
Between 100,000 and 150,000 of the 250,000 cars the German automaker sold in Korea since 2007 are on the list. This could mean that Volkswagen will have to shut its operations in Korea altogether.
Prosecutors launched a probe of Volkswagen early this year on suspicion of doctoring environmental tests of diesel cars. It discovered that documents submitted to the Environment Ministry for the Audi RS7, A8 sedan, Golf hatchbacks and Bentleys had been tampered with.
Last November, the ministry ordered the recall of 15 models including the Tiguan SUV and Golf after they were found to emit excessive amounts of nitrogen oxide and other pollutants due to manipulated software.
A government source said, "It looks like more than 70 percent of Volkswagen cars sold here will be subject to administrative action. We have no choice but to take severe steps against Volkswagen, which duped Korean consumers by tampering with documents."
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