The Korea Herald


Up to 60% of Volkswagen cars to be kicked out of Korea

By Ahn Sung-mi

Published : July 11, 2016 - 12:07

    • Link copied

[THE INVESTOR] South Korean authorities announced July 11 that they will cancel the registration and suspend sales of all Volkswagen vehicles here that cheated on emission tests.

The amount is expected to reach up to 60 percent of the total 250,000 units of VW cars that were sold in South Korea since 2007.

Due to the staggering number, some industry watchers say the move may be designed to eventually kick the brand out of the market for good.

The Ministry of Environment said the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office confirmed that it submitted the list of diesel and gasoline engine vehicles that were certified to sell here based on false documents.

Earlier this year, Korean prosecutors opened a local inquiry into the German carmaker’s emission scandal that came to light in 2015. After a five-month investigation, the authorities discovered that VW had indeed circumvented local emission control systems with several models including the Audi RS7, Audi A8, Golf 1.4TSI and the Golf 2.0 GTD.

South Korean customers have filed class action suits against VW for compensation, but the German carmaker has refused, saying there are no legal grounds for it to do so. According to current environmental laws, VW can recall the problematic cars to fit them with upgraded software. In addition, the company has pledged to donate 10 billion won (US$8.5 million) as a part of its corporate social responsibility program here.

The figure, according to local critics, compares with the $14.7-billion deal Volkswagen reached with its US consumers.

On July 8, former Volkswagen Korea managing director Park Dong-hoon was resummoned for questioning regarding the carmaker’s emission-cheating. Park, however, is said to have played no role, as his authority was limited to managing sales at most, according to those close to the matter.

Audi Volkswagen Korea was unavailable for comment.

By Ahn Sung-mi (