South Korea Plans to Sue Local Volkswagen Group Executives on Dieselgate Issue

VW TDI engine bay 1 photo
Photo: Volkswagen
Volkswagen Group’s top executives in South Korea will face criminal charges because of the Dieselgate situation.
South Korea’s Ministry of Environment has rejected Volkswagen’s proposed fix for its TDI engines with emission issues. Along with the rejection, the Ministry of Environment has decided to bring the local executives of the German company to court with criminal complaints.

The government officials stated that the fix proposed by Volkswagen “lacked key information, and thus is unacceptable.” This is not the first lawsuit that Volkswagen AG is up against because of the Dieselgate situation, as the German company is facing charges in US courts as well. Furthermore, shareholders and customers might take Volkswagen to court in civil lawsuits.

South Korea already fined Volkswagen with the equivalent of $12.3 million, The Wall Street Journal informs. The company is also ordered to recall more than 125,000 vehicles in the Asian country to fix the emission control devices on the Dieselgate-affected TDI engines.

However, the South Korean government asked the German company to show how it would improve its emissions on the affected cars without diminishing fuel efficiency. The German carmaker did just that on January 6, 2016, the deadline to propose its fix, but the South Korean officials rejected it because it did not fully comply with their requests.

If the Volkswagen executives charged by the South Korean government are convicted, they risk up to five years in jail and a fine of up to 30 million won, the rough equivalent of $2.5 million.

Audi Volkswagen Korea has already replied to the South Korean government’s demands and stated that they will offer explanations on their proposed fix. The South Korean car market is significant to the German corporation, as nearly a third of all cars imported into the country last year were Volkswagen and Audi models. The imports in South Korea have increased significantly after a free-trade deal in 2011 cut duties on vehicles imported from Europe.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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