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VW to recall 74,000 cars over faulty warning triangles

This mage of Volkswagen’s Tiguan 2.0 TDI shows the model's faulty warning triangle. (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport)
This mage of Volkswagen’s Tiguan 2.0 TDI shows the model's faulty warning triangle. (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport)

Volkswagen Korea will recall more than 74,000 cars over faulty warning triangles, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said Wednesday.

Starting from Friday, the Korean unit of the German carmaker plans to issue a recall on a total of 74,809 vehicles across 27 car models that were sold here. The list includes 15,691 units of Tiguan 2.0 TDI, 9,466 units of Arteon 2.0 TDI and 9,050 units of Jetta 1.4 TSI.

The Lamborghini brand, which was originally off the list, was added to the recall.

A Volkswagen Korea official said, “Lamborghini cars were also subject to recall but we failed to notify that earlier due to a communication error.”

The Korean unit had anticipated a recall on 67,459 vehicles but 7,350 cars were added to the list.

“The ministry might have demanded the company recall more earlier models,” said Kim Pil-su, a car engineering professor at Daelim University.

The ministry plans to impose fines if the company fails to meet the minimum recall rate.

“After Volkswagen’s 'Dieselgate,' the Ministry of Environment set the minimum recall rate. It seems the Transport Ministry has also adopted similar measures to urge car brands to improve safety management,” said Kim.

Dieselgate refers to an incident in which a half-million Volkswagen diesel cars were found to have cheated engine emission tests in 2015.

Volkswagen Korea would need to report to the Transport Ministry of its recall status each quarter. The goverment could cut back on the fines when the carmaker reaches a 90 percent recall rate after the recall announcement. If it is less than 70 percent after six months, the company should notify customers again.

Warning triangles are car accessories used to warn other drivers of an emergency further along the road.

Volkswagen Korea announced on Jan. 31 it will issue a recall on the vehicles and has suspended all new car sales because the warning triangles attached to the cars do not reflect enough light to alert other drivers.

Seperately, Mercedes-Benz Korea is also planning to recall 13,530 cars across 15 models including GLE 350 d 4MATIC over a faulty waterproofing of the rear part of a vehicle that might shut off the engines, according to the ministry.

In addition, E280 and 34 other car models -- a total of 3,581 cars -- need to replace their sunroof glass panels due to loose connection.

Ford Korea’s 7,083 Aviators and another car model failed to meet safety regulations because of a software bug that might fail to alert drivers and passengers to fasten seatbelts for more than four seconds.

BMW Korea’s 927 units of Mini Cooper SE 927 were found to carry airbags that deployed too slowly in the case of a crash.

Another 2,324 vehicles across three models, including the R1250GS Adventure, were found to have a software glitch in their electric control units that might result in power failure.



By Byun Hye-jin (hyejin2@heraldcorp.com)
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