SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Korea Bizwire) - German carmaking giant Volkswagen submitted a recall plan to the South Korean government on Wednesday for its vehicles whose emission results were found to have been faked, claiming that there will be no change in fuel efficiency and power even after removing the so-called “defeat device,” officials and industry sources said.
“Volkswagen submitted its detailed recall plan to the environment ministry today, which is focused mostly on rectifying problems found in vehicles,” a company official said, declining to elaborate on what was specified.
Sources told the English division of Yonhap News Agency that Volkswagen emphasized that there will be “no change” or “downgrade” in fuel efficiency and power of the vehicles even after the emission manipulation device is removed.
Compensation schemes for Korean customers in connection with the “diesel gate” were not included, they added.
The move comes as Volkswagen was ordered by the environment ministry in November to recall about 125,000 cars equipped with the defeat device designed to fake emissions results to pass regulations. It was also fined 14.1 billion won (US$11.8 million) for the cheating.
In addition, Volkswagen was asked to submit its recall plan by Wednesday detailing how to remove the device and still maintain fuel efficiency and power of those cars even without it.
The environment ministry said that it will closely review the recall plan immediately, which is expected to take several months.
“Usually, it takes one or two months to complete our review of any recall plan, but in this case, we are going to take more time to get a closer look,” a ministry official said on customary condition of anonymity.
According to recall plans separately unveiled in Germany late last year, the 2.0-liter TDI engine requires only a simple software update to make it free of the manipulation device but the 1.6-liter TDI engine needs installation of a part called a“flow transformer.”
In the European Union region, Volkswagen plans to recall the 2.0-liter and 1.6-liter vehicles in the first and second half, respectively.
As for the concerns that the recall in South Korea might be delayed given the timetable in Germany and the need to secure the necessary parts, the environment ministry said that it will do its best to start the process “as soon as possible.”