SEJONG, July 11 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s government on Monday said it will ban sales and revoke certifications of dozens of Volkswagen models that are suspected to have passed the local authentication process with doctored reports.
The Ministry of Environment said it has received an official request for cooperation from the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office with a list of over 70 models of the German carmaker that are suspected of obtaining approval from the local authorities with faked reports on noise level, fuel efficiency and emissions results.
Seoul prosecutors have been widening their probe into the local unit of Volkswagen over its alleged irregularities that came to light following last year’s emissions scandal.
The ministry said once the irregularities are proved to be true, it will put a sales ban on vehicles that have not been sold yet and order a recall for those that have been sold, along with fines.
Industry watchers said the number of vehicles to receive the administrative measures could go up to some 100,000 to 150,000, or some 40 to 60 percent of about 250,000 Volkswagen vehicles that have been sold here since 2007.
“We are reviewing the probe result delivered from the prosecution to sort out which models will be put under the administrative measures,” a ministry official said, asking not to be named. “After reviewing legal issues, we will officially notify Volkswagen of the results.”
The move came a few days after a former managing director of Volkswagen Audi Korea was summoned by prosecutors as a suspect over his alleged involvement in the company’s cheating.