SEOUL, June 28 (Korea Bizwire) – Volkswagen is now facing a lawsuit from Korean consumers of one of the company’s gasoline vehicles, the seventh generation Golf 1.4 TSI. A total of 26 vehicle owners filed a lawsuit Monday against the German Volkswagen Group, Audi-Volkswagen Korea, and the car’s domestic distributor, through Barun Law LLC, a full-service law firm in Korea.
The seventh generation Golf 1.4 TSI failed emissions testing in May 2014, and was banned from sale in Korea. The company, however, later used software to alter the car’s emissions output, a process that the Korean Prosecutors’ Office said amounted to an illegal modification.
Since March 2015, a total of 1,567 units of the model in question have been sold in Korea, and as such Barun Law expects to see more litigants soon.
“Audi-Volkswagen Korea should nullify all sales contracts and provide full refunds for the vehicles in accordance with article 110 of civil law,” said lawyer Ha Jong-seon from Barun Law.
The 26 car owners also filed a petition with the Ministry of Environment, demanding a full-scale investigation into all of Volkswagen’s vehicles for other potential defects. More specifically, they demanded that the government reinvestigate all vehicles that the authorities and the company had once approved, including Euro 6 EA288 diesel vehicles, 3L engine diesel vehicles (including the Porsche Cayenne), and other gasoline vehicles.
The petition also requested that the government stop its recall negotiations on diesel vehicles with EA189 engines, and instead issue a ‘vehicle replacement and refund order’ for 125,000 vehicles of concern.
Such actions on the part of domestic customers stem largely from the fact that Volkswagen’s attitude towards Koreans differs greatly from its treatment of American customers.
According to the Associated Press, Volkswagen is providing refunds for all of its controversial vehicles on top of up to $10,000 in additional settlement in the United States. Some even anticipate the total sum of settlements for American customers to exceed $10 billion.
Furthermore, Volkswagen decided to recompense even the former owners of the vehicles, who had sold their cars before the problems came to light. The company is also paying $4 billion in compensation for environmental damages.
Unlike in the U.S., Volkswagen has stood firm in its position not to provide any monetary compensation in Korea, as it insists that it has not broken any laws. But the latest government probe into the scandal proves otherwise, and the company’s illicit activities are being unveiled.
“The compensation agreement will be revealed on June 28 at the San Francisco federal court, and we plan to demand that the company recompense Korean consumers at the same level as their American counterparts,” said Ha. “Korean consumers have every right to demand so, because they’re also victims of fraud for purchasing defective vehicles for which the company deliberately faked the emissions data.”
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)