SEOUL, Nov. 24 (Korea Bizwire) – German auto giant Volkswagen is not responding to South Korean customers demanding the same kind of compensation as granted in North America for fabricating emission results of some of its vehicles, their legal representatives said Tuesday.
Barun, which spearheads a class-action lawsuit against Volkswagen and its luxury brand Audi for car owners here, had made an official request for them to come up with the same kind of compensation plan for local customers. It demanded any response be given no later than Monday.
Volkswagen earlier unveiled their compensation plans for around 480,000 customers in the U.S. and Canada, promising to give US$1,000 worth of vouchers and others along with a three-year free repair guarantee. Audi also announced similar measures later.
“We demanded that officials in charge of legal affairs at Volkswagen and Audi clarify their stance on our request by Nov. 23 but no response has been made,” said Ha Jong-sun, a lawyer at Barun, which is leading the class-action suit.
“Granting a $1,000 compensation package to American customers but not giving it to Koreans is explicit discriminative treatment. It appears that Volkswagen has decided to exclude Korea from its compensation program but we are considering requesting its stance on this matter again,” he added.
So far, Volkswagen has unveiled compensation plans only for customers in North America. No such measures have been made public in other regions including Europe and Asia.
Volkswagen and Audi officials in South Korea have said that any decision on customer compensation here depends much on the outcome of the investigation by the environment ministry as it did in the United States and Canada.
Investigation is under way in South Korea as well to determine whether Volkswagen had cheated on emission results for local customers. The environment ministry is to announce the result on Thursday.
Industry data showed that about 95,000 Volkswagen cars and 30,000 Audi vehicles could face a recall in connection with the emissions fabrication scandal.
Critics say that the reason why the German carmaker decided to compensate American customers only could be intended to assuage the anger of authorities and customers in the region where the cheating was first revealed in September by U.S. environment authorities.