SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Korea Bizwire) – Over 3,000 owners of Volkswagen vehicles in South Korea are participating in a class-action lawsuit against the German auto giant, demanding the cancellation of their purchases and full refunds, industry sources said Tuesday.
According to the sources, about 3,200 customers of Volkswagen and its luxury brand Audi have joined the collective lawsuit filed with a Seoul court against the German carmaker, its local units and dealerships.
The number of people suing Volkswagen has been on the rise since it was revealed by U.S. authorities in September that the German carmaker used stealthy software to fabricate the results of emissions tests for some of its diesel models.
“Around 3,200 people have joined the suit and the number continues to rise,” said Ha Jong-sun, a lawyer of Barun that represents the plaintiffs. “Volkswagen is causing public anger here by taking an ignorant attitude toward Korean customers.”
Recently, Volkswagen decided to compensate customers in North America by giving them around US$1,000 worth of vouchers, free repairs and other compensation. Audi is to unveil similar plans later this week, media reports showed.
No such compensation plans have been announced in other regions, including South Korea, causing criticism that they are not treating their customers equally.
On Nov. 26, the environment ministry ordered Volkswagen to recall around 125,000 cars sold in South Korea in connection with the emissions scandal. It has to submit its detailed recall plan by early next year.